Recovering Our Ancestors' Gardens


Recovering Our Ancestors' Gardens

Indigenous Recipes and Guide to Diet and Fitness


Devon A. Mihesuah

At Table Series

384 pages
57 recipes, 29 color photographs, 1 table, 2 appendixes, index


November 2020


$27.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2020


$27.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2020


$27.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

2020 Gourmand World Cookbook Award

Winner of the Gourmand International World Cookbook Award,Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens is back! Featuring an expanded array of tempting recipes of indigenous ingredients and practical advice about health, fitness, and becoming involved in the burgeoning indigenous food sovereignty movement, the acclaimed Choctaw author and scholar Devon A. Mihesuah draws on the rich indigenous heritages of this continent to offer a helpful guide to a healthier life.

Recovering Our Ancestors’ Gardens features pointed discussions about the causes of the generally poor state of indigenous health today. Diminished health, Mihesuah contends, is a pervasive consequence of colonialism, but by advocating for political, social, economic, and environmental changes, traditional food systems and activities can be reclaimed and made relevant for a healthier lifestyle today.

New recipes feature pawpaw sorbet, dandelion salad, lima bean hummus, cranberry pie with cornmeal crust, grape dumplings, green chile and turkey posole, and blue corn pancakes, among other dishes. Savory, natural, and steeped in the Native traditions of this land, these recipes are sure to delight and satisfy.

This new edition is revised, updated, and contains new information, new chapters, and an extensive curriculum guide that includes objectives, resources, study questions, assignments, and activities for teachers, librarians, food sovereignty activists, and anyone wanting to know more about indigenous foodways.

Author Bio

Devon A. Mihesuah is the Cora Lee Beers Price Professor at the University of Kansas. She is the author of numerous award-winning books, including Ned Christie: The Creation of an Outlaw and Cherokee Hero, and is the coeditor of Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health.


"The book brims with information. . . . This well-researched book will be most useful to launch discussions or perhaps to read chapter by chapter."—Publishers Weekly

"Educators, librarians, food sovereignty activists, culinary arts students, and those interested in Native American food history and sovereignty will find that this book is an excellent resource."—Elise Krohn, Tribal College Journal

“The political goal of empowerment through dietary change is certainly worthy and most likely to be translated into action when generated from within by such a prominent member of a tribal nation as Devon Mihesuah.”—Linda Murray Berzok, Gastronomica

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface to the Revised Edition
1. Traditional Diets and Activities
Case Study 1: The Five Tribes
2. The State of Indigenous Health
Case Study 2: Changing Diets and Health in Indian Territory
3. Challenges to Recovering Health
Case Study 3: Frybread
4. What Are You Ingesting?
5. Calories, Exercise, and Recovering Fitness
6. Changing What We Eat
7. Importance of Backyard Gardens
Curriculum Guide
Guacamole Dip
Lima Bean Hummus
Summer Salsa
Salads, Soups, and Stews
Dandelion Salad
Poke Salat
Vegetable, Turkey, and Game Stocks
Butternut Squash Soup
Dakota Waskuya (Dakota Dried Sweet Corn Soup)
Elk Stew
Choctaw Stew
Osage Strip Meat Soup (Ta-ni’)
Main Dishes
Meat and Vegetable Kabobs
Venison Steaks
Good for Your Heart Fried Moose Meat
Venison Burgers
Venison Meatloaf
Osage Pounded Meat (Ta’-pshe)
Corn Crust Pizza
Vegetables and Side Dishes
Tepary Bean–Prickly Pear Casserole
Comanche Ata-Kwasa
Baked New Potatoes
Vegetable Sauté
Sweet Potatoes
Mamaw Helton’s Creamed Corn
Osage Yonkopin (Tse’-wa-the), Water Chinkapin Roots and Seeds
Chahta Tanfula
Pinto Beans
Prickly Pear Paddles
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Luiseño Weewish
Wild Onions
Zucchini Canoes
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Wild Rice, Cranberries, or Vegetables
Mashed Potatoes with Corn Gravy
Spaghetti Squash
Osage Persimmon Cakes (Wah-zha’-zhe wa-dsiu’-e çta-in’-ge)
Corn, Bean, and Turkey Bread
Blue Corn Pancakes
Drinks and Desserts
Pawpaw Sorbet
Grape Dumplings
No Wheat, Butter, Eggs, or Sugar Cookies
Mamaw Helton’s Stewed Fruit
Cranberry Pie with Cornmeal Crust
Preserving Food
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Appendix A: Precontact Foods of the Western Hemisphere
Appendix B: Diet Chart for One Week


2020 Gourmand World Cookbook Award

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