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The longest recipe in the world: Sauce a L'Afrique

Inside Biosphere 2 sweet potatoes and yams were a major source of the meager amount of calories available to Roy and the other crew members. But they never thought to eat the leaves! What a pity, because recently - in February of 1997 - while roaming West Africa with a cerain warrior princess, Roy came upon a delicious, spicy sauce made from sweet potatoe leaves. It was so good he wished he'd known about it during those hungry inside days. But at least now he knows. Of course you can't buy sweet potatoe leaves in the local market. You have to raise your own. That's why sauce a l'Afrique is the longest recipe in the world.

Roy proudly displays his verdant sweet potato plants

First, let two nice, fat sweet potatoes sit unmolested on a shelf or table until they begin to sprout, and have sent up little shoots an inch or more in length. That takes two to three weeks. Then, a month before dinner time, place the potatoes in a pot outside your back door, just barely cover them with soil, and water them ever few days. In a month you'll have abundant leaves, like Roy #1 has in the picture (the Roy standing against the brick wall). OR, if you're an inside-person, place your sprouting sweet potatoes in a deep dish on your coffee table and keep them about one fourth submerged with water. In a month you'll have abundant leaves, like Roy #2 has in the picture (the Roy with the bookcase and photo of Biosphere 2 behind him on the wall). Notice how happy both Roy's are. No wonder! They are about to prepare sauce a l'Afrique .

An hour or so before dinner, cut off the leaves, and proceed as follows:

Place a small amount of olive oil in a non-stick pan over a medium flame. Add half the garlic and the tempeh or ground meat. Stir fry until lightly browned. Remove, and set aside.
Add a little more oil, the remaining garlic, and onions. Cover and simmer until the onions are tender. You may need to add a little water or broth if the ingredients get too dry. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, and some hot chili pepper or cayenne. Simmer until the broth is thick. Add the squash, the tempeh, and the sweet potato leaves. Simmer a final four to five minutes until the squash is tender.
Sauce a l'Afrique is great served over millet, or pasta. The original version Roy had in Africa was served over potatoes cooked with peas.

Per serving; 1.5 cups of sauce: 105 calories, 26% calories from protein, 55% calories from carbohydrates, 10% from fat. RDA values: Vitamin A, 30%; Vitamin B6, 19%; Vitamin B12, 12%; Vitamin C, 30%; Vitamin E, 20%; Calcium 5%; Iron 12%.


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