Historically Black dishes are full of traditional flavors from Africa and many other parts of the world. Whether you’re trying something to honor Black History Month or looking for new healthy recipes, here are three dishes that are flavorful and commemorative—and pack a nutritious punch.

Misir Wot

A plated serving of an Ethiopian traditional meal, misir wot
Misir Wot is a traditional Ethiopian dish. Red lentils are the star of the recipe. They are an excellent source of protein and iron. Try this reduced-sodium vegan recipe.

Makes 6 servings

Prep: 15 min Cook: 40 min


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp berbere powder (you can use a mix of 2 Tbsp of cayenne pepper and 1 tsp of ground ginger if you do not have berbere powder, a traditional Ethiopian spice blend), separated in half
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 cup of red split lentils, washed
  • 2 cups water


  • Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and heat on medium heat.
  • Once the oil is warm, add the diced onion and cook until it becomes soft.
  • Add the garlic and chili powder and mix gently. Let this cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and half of the berbere powder (or half of the cayenne and ginger mix).
  • Heat mixture for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the olive oil and cardamom powder and stir.
  • Add the lentils and water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the rest of the berbere (or cayenne and ginger mixture) and salt.
  • Turn the heat to low-medium.
  • Cover and let this simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Nutrition information

Per serving

Calories: 224; Total fat: 10 g; Saturated fat: 2 g; Sodium: 481 mg; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Total carbs: 26 g; Fiber: 12 g; Sugars: 4 g; Protein: 10 g; Potassium: 563 mg

Shrimp and grits

A bowl filled with shrimp and grits garnished with scallions
Celebrated as a popular dish from the southeastern U.S., shrimp and grits is believed to have roots in Charleston, South Carolina. The dish was popularized in the early 20th century based on written recipes from the Gullah Geechee. The Gullah Geechee are descendants of West and Central Africans who were enslaved and brought to the lower Atlantic states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia to work on the coastal rice, Sea Island cotton and indigo plantations.

Makes 4 servings

Prep: 10 min Cook: 45 min


  • ½ Tbsp paprika
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ⅓ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 1¼ cup fat-free milk
  • 2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup dried grits
  • ½ Tbsp butter
  • 1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions or scallions, sliced


  • Mix the paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, thyme and oregano to create a spicy mix.
  • Next, coat the shrimp in olive oil spray. Add the spice blend to the shrimp and mix to coat the shrimp well.
  • In a separate pot, add the milk, broth and 2 cups of water, bringing to a boil.
  • Once it boils, slowly stir the grits into the pot.
  • Bring back to a boil, stirring to make sure that the grits do not clump.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.
  • Let the grits simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Pay special attention to the bottom of the pot so that grits do not stick.
  • After 30 minutes, add the butter and cheeses to the grits and stir until well mixed. Remove the pot of grits from heat.
  • Coat a skillet with a thin layer of cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until the spices are blackened.
  • Place grits in a serving bowl and add shrimp. Sprinkle the sliced scallion on top and serve.

Nutrition information

Per serving

Calories: 456; Total fat: 17 g; Saturated fat: 10g; Sodium: 280 mg; Cholesterol: 287 mg; Total carbs: 23 g; Fiber: 1 g; Sugars: 11g; Protein: 49 g; Potassium: 367 mg

Slow cooker collard greens

A spoonful of collard greens ready to be served
While collard greens have been enjoyed for centuries in many cultures around the world, Southern-style collard greens have become an American favorite. Many of the flavors and spices of this dish have roots in African cuisine. Collard greens are high in iron, vitamin A and many antioxidants. Try this low-sodium, low-fat, reduced-sugar recipe that’s also vegan.

Makes 12 servings

Prep: 20 min Cook: 9hr


  • 1 14-oz can low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 lb fresh collard greens, washed and chopped
  • 1 14.5oz can diced or fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on low for 9 hours. Stir occasionally.

Nutrition information

Per serving

Calories: 79; Total fat: 3 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Sodium: 160 mg; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Total carbs: 10 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 0 g; Protein: 4 g; Potassium: 17 mg

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There is tradition in all kinds of foods. One that’s pervasive is the drinking of “red drinks” for Juneteenth. Try this delicious and cooling recipe.

Published February 1, 2024

Source: https://library.teladochealth.com/hc/en-us/articles/13521168742163-Celebrate-Black-History-month-with-3-Heart-Healthy-Dishes-Influenced-by-African-Cuisine-

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