The Ethiopian Experience: Trekking the Highlands of Lalibela

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Selam, and welcome to “the origin,” the African nation that has never been colonized by Europeans. Look up The Battle of Adwa where King Menelik II defeated the Italians in an epic sequence of historical consequence. So finally, after years of research, readings, teachings and listening to roots reggae rhythms epitomizing The Promised Land, I finally took the requisite steps needed for a transformative Ethiopian experience as part of my 6th Annual Nomadic Journey in Addis Ababa and Lalibela.

I ventured to Ethiopia for its strength, Abyssinian culture, veggie injera meals, traditional Eskista shoulder dance up close and to breathe with deep spirit from the highlands of Lalibela. I began the excursion upon landing into Addis Ababa, the capital and largest city of Ethiopia, while enjoying many of the historic sites including the National Museum of Ethiopia, Ethiopian National Theatre, Ethnological Museum, the Red Terror Martyr’s Museum, Menelik Palace in the Entoto Hills and the Historic Kidist Selassie Cathedral which is the highest-ranking Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in the city. Sarcastically, I was also also looking for freedom fighting singer Teddy Afro, the Bob Marley of Ethiopia. Listen to any one of his classics and you will be become an instant devotee. Trust me! [Read more…]

Healthy Culinary Experiences in Africa

Here are some of the amazing and traditional vegan foods we enjoyed in Kenya, Egypt and Ethiopia during the 6th Annual Nomadic Journey. Keep in mind that the staple food for mostly every indigenous culture is a legume (bean) or grain.

Our favorite culinary experiences included the Ethiopian veggie injera dish with lentils and cabbage and Egypt’s Koshari national dish which was divine. Koshari is a super meal made from macaroni noodles, lentils, rice, chickpeas and spiced tomato sauce. In Nairobi, Kenya make sure to pay a visit to the LMS Adventist Guest House for their magnificent $2.70 all vegan medley. [Read more…]

Elements Restaurant at Bucuti & Tara Resort: Natural & Organic Dining By the Sea

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Experienced by Kimatni & Misa Rawlins

We were looking for a blend of health conscious culinary experiences alongside fine dining and found the precise place. Just two years old, the luxuriant Elements Restaurant is nestled within the Bucuti & Tara resort on Aruba’s Eagle Beach. Hosting adults only, my wife Misa and I enjoyed a full-on vegan collection of exquisite, warm and chilled selections. There was nothing more enchanting during our Aruban vacation than natural and organic dining by the sea.

“The dining experience is an extension of our commitment to a sense of total wellness, providing guests with a beautiful atmosphere and wholesome dinner options, which include organic/natural, vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free and world cuisine,” stated Owner and Managing Director Ewald Biemans.

Vegan_Elements_Restaurant_Bucuti_Tara_Resort...11To begin the romantic evening Elements’ viscous Broccoli & Carrot soup along with a refreshing Caesar Salad with avocados tickled our pallets. For the entrees, Misa ordered the Quinoa Pineapple dish consisting of quinoa sautéed with a medley of vegetables creatively stuffed in the shell of a whole pineapple, and then flamed in front of us with Caribbean rum. I went with the Wheat Spaghetti featuring squash pasta, tomatillos, leeks and Quorn which was enhanced with garlic, Dijon mustard and Riesling wine. Dessert consisted of the Panna Cotta, a chilly assortment of almond milk, coconut milk and cacao simmered together and topped with chopped nuts.

Misa and I were seated outside on a patio atop the pristine, white sandy beach where the Caribbean waters were calm, palm trees whistled gently from the soft breezes and the temperament was as romantic as a sunset wedding. You may also pay a bit more to dine in a private palapa directly on the sand. Other items guests may fancy include the Garden Fresh Salad, Mediterranean Mezze Chili Hummus (chickpea puree with chili pepper), Couscous Zucchini medallions dusted with fresh herbs, carefully blended Potato Leek Soup, Carrot Ginger Soup, Polenta Galettes served over a bed of lentils and much more.

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We do suggest you book at Elements Restaurant during your next getaway to Aruba. For reservations between 6:00 pm and 10:30 pm please visit: http://www.elementsaruba.com/reservations. It’s simply amazing!