Tara Thomas of Her Garden Kitchen is a talented chef in Portland, Oregon and she modeled for our Summer Capsule Collection! Today, we’re so excited to share some of Tara’s insights with you in addition to an amazing summer salad recipe that she created with inspiration from common Ugandan ingredients. 

From Tara:

Everything you interact with is an exchange of energy.

Who you surround yourself with, where you devote your time, and most of all how you feed your body. Feeding your body physically, mentally and spiritually is what I mean. Something that I’ve learned in life is that you should periodically look within and analyze whether the places you’re allocating your energy is positive or negative. Then ask yourself how valuable is your time and most of all your energy. That is when you get to know yourself, to understand that your energy is truly valuable.

To me that starts with food. Knowing where your food came from, you handpicking what feels right, emitting positive energy into the creation, and most of all nourishing yourself with what your body truly needs. This creates a clean slate for you to achieve your dreams. As a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free chef who focuses on healthy ingredients, I wouldn’t be where I am today without that realization. To build upon that to see the value of your energy is understanding what’s important to you.

We have this life to live in the best way possible, don’t waste a single bit of it putting money, objects, or anything negative ahead of what you truly want to do. Anything that you can dream of can and will happen you once you realize your energy is sacred. The sun iis such a beautiful source of energy, and in honor of the upcoming summer season, I created this Ugandan inspired Curried Peanut Potato Salad with Spinach and simsim.

This recipe is truly nourishing to your mind, body, and soul especially with that lovely sun out there. Refresh and entertain with this beautiful salad all summer long.


Chef Tara Thomas of Her Garden Kitchen



  • Ingredients
  • Spinach and Simsim
  • 1/2 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup of water 10 oz spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil (any neutral high heat oil)
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a large pan combine sesame seeds and water over medium heat. Stir in spinach as it simmers. Add water as necessary, but you want it to have the least amount.
  2. Cover and let it simmer with occasional stirring for 10 minutes.
  3. Add avocado oil before serving with a pinch of salt



  • 2 pounds of yellow potato cut into half-inch cubes
  • 1/4 large red onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup of julienned carrots
  • 1/4 cup celery
  • 2 teaspoons of curry (increase by 1/2 teaspoon to add flavor)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dried coriander
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon plus zest
  • 1/4 cup of crushed toasted peanut


  1. Boil chopped yellow potato until tender for 15-18 minutes. You should be able to easily place a fork into it.
  2. Once done drain and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Once cooled toss diced onion, cilantro and carrots together.
  4. Either blend in a food processor or whisk coconut cream, peanut butter curry, coconut sugar, cumin, dried coriander, lemon juice and zest, and salt.
  5. Once combined, fold in sauce with produce ingredients. Once immersed, add chopped peanuts then refrigerate and enjoyed cooled.

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