I am originally from East Africa, Eritrea, which is the collective cultural heritage of diverse populations. Eritrea shares historic commonalities with the traditions of Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti; Eritrea also has some ties with those of the Middle East and Italy. Therefore, Eritrean traditional diets are similar to or a combination of what you would ﬁnd in Ethiopian, Sudan, the Middle East, and parts of Italy. Eritrean traditional healthy diets include varieties of whole grains, such as barley, wheat, corn, sorghum, and teﬀ used for making diﬀerent traditional breads known as Himbasha, GoGo, Kitcha and Enjera. Beans and vegetables are a part of the everyday diet and there are many diﬀerent ways to prepare them. Popular beverages in the Eritrean culture include traditional coﬀee, tea, buttermilk, hibiscus (know as “Kerkede”), and varieties of fresh fruit juices.
I have lived most of my life in the U.S., since 1991. I have an accounting degree and I love working with numbers. I worked in ﬁnance for over 11 years as A/R analyst. However, my true passion is food, which I developed at a very young age thanks to my mother and my grandmother. As I continued my journey into diﬀerent countries, I took my curious nature to the next level. I researched and carefully identiﬁed healthy ingredients from diﬀerent cultures, then started re-creating my own family recipes by combining our traditional healthy ingredients with other cultures’.
I am the founder of diversitycooking.com, designed to promote a healthy body and mind. I am currently living in St. Louis MO and I volunteer in community outreach programs, by collaborating with individuals and organizations that share my vision. I provide health and wellness information, teach basic nutrition lessons, hands on aﬀordable healthy vegan and vegetarian cooking techniques, and budget friendly healthy grocery shopping.
I taught two A Taste of African Heritage (ATOAH) cooking series in 2013, and I am currently teaching my third ATOAH cooking class at St. Luke’s Plaza Apartments. I led a presentation during African Heritage and Health week, on February 7th, 2015, at a local East African restaurant; I also presented the African Heritage Diet to a group of Red Hat women that week, with a cooking demonstration. The African Heritage & Health program is part of my history and my passion. I enjoy teaching ATOAH to help people in my community eat healthy and learn about African cultures.