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Adventures in Ethiopian Food

Posted Feb 01 2011 8:55am

Last night, I went out for Ethiopian food with my friend Jackie!

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I can actually only remember having Ethiopian once before – at a restaurant in D.C. with a bunch of my high school friends. That was years ago, so it was fun to try it again!

Jackie is my “nutrition buddy” in my program here at UNC – we’re each assigned a buddy in the year above us when we start here as a bit of a support system. We became quick friends and it’s been nice to have someone to ask advice of, especially regarding classes and internship options! I feel kind of like she’s my big sister in a sorority or something, haha, although I’m like 4 years older than her ;)

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Jackie is great – they paired us because we both moved here from Arlington, VA! Our houses at home are literally only a few miles away. Weird! 

Last night, we hit up a place in Chapel Hill called Queen of Sheba for dinner. Here was our table – that hat lifted up and there was a large bowl underneath which is where they put our bread topped with food!

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Ethiopian places are fun because you order a bunch of different little tastes of things and eat it by picking it up with small pieces of this spongy spread. It’s a strange consistency – kind of floppy like uncooked pizza dough? But super spongy and stretchy? We asked the waitress how they make it, but she didn’t know :)

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Messy, but fun!

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We had absolutely no idea what to order and wanted to try a variety of dishes, so the waitress recommended we order both a vegetarian sampler plate for 1 and a meat sampler plate for 1 to share. Perfect!

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The vegetarian sampler included tomato salad, spicy potato salad, lentil salad, yellow split peas, and red lentils. Yum! The meat sampler included braised lamb, spicy ground beef, and marinated chicken on the bone, including a hard boiled egg (right in the foreground of the picture above this). The egg was actually really tasty with it, surprisingly!

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Yum. Such a fun night :)

Have you ever had Ethiopian food? Do you like it? The spongy bread is the weirdest part for me – I feel like it would be better with pita bread, but that’s just because I like crispier, firmer bread!

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In other news…

Please help a couple of my UNC Nutrition/Public Health classmates make a difference in fighting North Carolina childhood obesity!

The Institute of Emerging Issues has a contest going on right now that challenges student teams to design a sustainable, replicable program that combats the rising rates of childhood obesity here in North Carolina. My classmates came up with a program called The Little Red Wagon, which is a mobile market that would bring delicious fresh produce at affordable prices to food deserts and other communities with few resources and limited access to food. The truck will source produce from local farmers and produce suppliers to supply a steady stream of produce to families and kids who need it most. Volunteer staff will provide taste testing and recipe demonstrations to engage everyone in healthy cooking, and the market will also roll in with music, sports equipment, and games to engage children in physical activity and fun movement while their parents shop and visit.

Sounds awesome, right? The families of the pilot site community are so excited about the prospect of accessible, affordable healthy food that they even let their children help make the pitch video! Their video entry is pasted below – check it out, it’s super cute and creative and I love that they involved the kids in their target community. I sure hope they win… what an amazing (and necessary) idea.

Please help give them a chance to make their program a reality by voting for them HERE!

I just had an AWESOME early morning track speed workout with the girls – details to come tomorrow! For now, I’m off to class, and then spending the remainder of the day studying Biochem – we have our first test tomorrow, on carbohydrate digestion. Gah! It’s a LOT of material and I’m a bit nervous since Biochem isn’t exactly my strong point.

Have a good one!

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