To put the African Heritage Diet Pyramid on the plate, we have compiled a group of 12 Plates of Expression with the help of African Heritage culinary scholar Jessica Harris. These dishes are both the culinary expressions of the Pyramid and the cultural expressions of each of the four distinct regions of African Heritage.

In addition, we created one special Plate of Expression (right), featuring dishes and foods from all four regions. This healthy and delicious Plate includes: Pumpkin Soup (Caribbean); Collard Greens, Brown Rice (all four regions); Black-eyed Peas and “The Holy Trinity” of chopped celery, onion and bell pepper (American South); Okra with Peanuts (Africa and the American South).

Western & Central Africa

African Peanut Soup Illustration
PLATE 1 (Soup)
African Peanut Soup
Jollof Rice Illustration
PLATE 2 (Rice & Beans)
Jollof Rice with Black-Eyed Peas
Chicken Yassa
PLATE 3 (Poultry)
Chicken Yassa
Brown Rice

South America

South American Vegetable Rice Soup
PLATE 1 (Soup)
Vegetable and Rice Soup
(chicken optional)
Black Beans and Brown Rice
PLATE 2 (Rice & Beans)
Black Beans and Rice 
Avocado and Hearts of Palm Salad
PLATE 3 (Fish)
Moqueca De Peixe 
Watercress Salad

The Caribbean

PLATE 1 (Soup)
Hearty Pumpkin Soup
Brown Rice and Red Beans
PLATE 2 (Rice & Beans)
Brown Rice & Red Beans in Light Coconut Milk (Congris)
Sautéed Spinach in Garlic
Sliced Papaya
Grilled Snapper and Mangoes
PLATE 3 (Fish)
Grilled Snapper with Mangoes and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette, Green Beans and Peppers

The American South

PLATE 1 (Soup)
Shrimp Gumbo
Hoppin John
PLATE 2 (Rice & Beans)
Healthy Hoppin’ John
Braised Collard Greens
Cabbage Slaw
Corn Bread
Pecan Catfish
PLATE 3 (Fish)
Pecan-Crusted Catfish 
Baked Sweet Potato
Okra and Corn Mixup     
Brown Rice Pudding


Plate illustrations by George Middleton.