Tag Archives: recipe

Tomatoes!

Tomatoes-Beautiful
Beautiful homegrown tomatoes!

Tomatoes are a great addition to salads, sauces, dips, chows and chokas.

They even make a great base for soups and are often boiled, stewed, roasted or eaten raw.

These fruits (yes, fruits) are very versatile and can even be used in desserts.

Tomatoes are excellent sources of Vitamins A and C and also contain a key antioxidant called lycopene.  Studies have shown that lycopene may significantly lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe to enjoy the benefits of tomatoes.

Ingredients

2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lime (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon minced chive
sea salt to taste

METHOD:

– Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

– Serve and enjoy!

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Simple Trini Vegan Oil Down – Limited ingredients version

Oil Down
simple Trini vegan oil down

As a child, whenever my grandmother would cook Oil down, my mother would end up having to cook something different for me to eat.  At the time I couldn’t understand all the provision being muddled together in a pot as opposed to being separately cooked and being able to pick and choose which ones you wanted on your plate.

It was only as I got older and dared to be adventurous in the food arena that I really appreciated this dish.  I was volunteering at a Health Fair, about four years back, and when lunch time came around Oil down was on the menu (Vegan of course).  So, I decided to try this dish once more.  I was smitten by the flavors: the rich creamy coconut coming through, the hint of local seasonings, and the perfectly cooked ground provision (cassava, dasheen, etc). 

Since then, whenever it was cooked at home, I had no qualms eating it whatsoever.

So it came as no surprise that I had a craving for it yesterday.  Even though I didn’t have all of the main ground provision ingredients, I didn’t let that stop me since I still had cassava, carrots, fresh local seasonings and coconut milk of course!  I also threw in some red beans for my protein.

I started by getting the red beans on to boil.  The red beans I used were the dried version that I soaked overnight and the following day I stored them in the freezer so they really came in handy for this dish.

While the beans were cooking for the first 10-15 minutes, I had the carrots steaming as I really didn’t want them to be too soft in the Oil down.

Afterward, I added some Trini seasonings (local celery, chive, etc), coconut milk and sea salt.  When this came back to a boil I added the cassava and cooked until tender.  Just before I took the pot off I added some more celery, chive, dried ginger, onion powder, and salt.  I tossed in the carrots and the dish was done and ready to be served.

Here’s the recipe which I hope  you will enjoy:

You’ll need:

2 lbs frozen cassava (you can used the frozen logs or the frozen cubes)

2 cups red beans**

3 carrots

14 oz coconut milk

2 1/2 cups of water

4 teaspoons dried ginger

2 stalks local celery, minced

2 stalks chive, minced

3 teaspoons granulated onion powder

6 cloves garlic, smashed

2 pimento peppers, seeded and sliced

Sea Salt to taste

METHOD:

– Steam carrots to desired texture and set aside

– In a pot, bring to boil 2 cups of water and 2 cups of red beans**.  Let this cook for about 10-15 minutes*

– Next, add the coconut milk and half of the dried ginger, celery, chive, onion powder, garlic, pimento peppers and a little sea salt.  Bring to boil

– Carefully add frozen cassava logs or cubes and cook until tender

– When desired tenderness is reached add in remainder of seasonings, 1/2 cup of water and carrots

– Take off heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes

– Serve and enjoy

** Fresh red beans are not only more flavorful than their tinned/canned companions but they also have a lot less sodium.  If you don’t have access to fresh red beans then purchase a pack of the dried version instead.  Want to know how to prepare dried red beans for easy cooking? Click here

* I like my beans with some texture so  I didn’t use a pressure cooker for them or cook them for too long

TIP: If the mixture is too thick you can add a little extra water until desired consistency is reached

Quinoa – The Complete Protein

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a small grain food that was originally popular in South America.  It was commonly referred to as “the mother grain” among the Incas.

What does it look like?

Quinoa has the appearance of little round, flat discs.

Quinoa - uncooked
Uncooked Quinoa

When cooked, it appears translucent and the germ ring can be seen around the edges.

Quinoa - cooked
Cooked Quinoa

 Why should I eat it?

This superfood is a “complete protein”, containing all of the essential amino acids, making it a must-have in Vegan and Vegetarian diets.

It is also a great source of dietary fiber, providing as much as 13% of your recommended daily dietary fiber intake in one serving.

How can I use it?

This grain can be used in the same way you would use oats and rice and can also be included in veggie burgers, breakfast cereals, soups and more.

Check out my Oat Quinoa Peanut butter Breakfast Cereal recipe.

Where can I buy Quinoa?

Quinoa is produced by a number of different brands.  The brand featured in my photo below can be purchased at both Hi-Lo Foodstores and Tru-Valu supermarkets, specifically the Westmoorings and Diamond Vale branches respectively.

where to buy
O.A Quinoa Brand – can be bought at Tru Valu and Hi-Lo Foodstores

Oat and Quinoa Peanut Butter Breakfast Cereal

Easy Oat and Quinoa Peanut Butter Breakfast Cereal Recipe

Ingredients

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

4 chewy peanut butter granola bars (click here for granola recipe)

½ cup cooked Quinoa

1 Tablespoon agave syrup (optional)

METHOD:

– In a small saucepan, add almond milk and crumbled granola bars and bring to a gentle boil

– When the mixture starts to simmer, give it a quick stir and take off heat.

– Next, mix in ½ cup of cooked Quinoa

– Empty into serving dish and garnish with sunflower seeds, cranberries and walnuts (optional)

– Serve and enjoy

Quinoa - Serving peanut butter breakfast cereal

Vegan Spicy Spinach Dip

This Vegan spicy spinach dip is easy to make and can be a real crowd pleaser at get-togethers.

Serve hot or cold, with whole wheat crackers, on pasta or on its own.

Here’s my spicy spinach dip recipe.

spicy vegan spinach dip - landsacpe wide

Spicy Spinach Dip recipe

1 pack of frozen whole leaf spinach (450 grams)

½ cup water

¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (fine)

2 teaspoons granulated onion powder

2 cloves garlic (peeled)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 pimento peppers (seeded)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast Flakes (optional)

METHOD:

– In a saucepan, add frozen chopped spinach and ½ cup water and 2 cloves garlic (peeled)

– Bring to boil

– Once the mixture has begun to boil, add ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (fine), 2 teaspoons granulated onion powder, 2 pimento peppers (seeded), ½ teaspoon dried basil, and 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast flakes

– Stir well and let cook for a further 5-7 minutes

– Turn off heat

– Pour spinach mixture into your food processor or blender

– Next, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to mixture and blend well

– Empty contents into serving bowl and garnish with crushed red pepper flakes.

– Serve and enjoy.

Candied Mango with Beets (a.k.a Red Mango)

Red mango is a local favorite fruit preserve.  Sweet, tangy, rich in color, with a hint of spice: this treat is irresistible.

I decided to create my own healthier version without all the fred mangoood coloring and preservatives.

I also used beets to get that beautiful dark red coloring.

Here’s my version of the popular Red Mango.

Candied Mango with Beets (a.k.a Red Mango) Recipe:

 

Ingredients:

500 grams frozen chopped green mango (just over 1 lb)

2 cups beets (roughly chopped – leave skins on)

5 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups brown sugar

2 dried Bay leaves

10 dried cloves

Squeeze of lemon (optional)

 

METHOD:

– In a medium sized pot, add 500 grams frozen chopped green mango, 2 cups beets (roughly chopped), 5 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups brown sugar, 2 dried Bay leaves, 10 dried cloves and bring to boil.

– When mixture has begun to boil, continue to boil uncovered for about 1 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally (or until mango and beets are soft and tender and liquid has turned into a thick syrupy sauce)

– Turn off heat and cool

– Just before serving, add a squeeze of lemon (optional)

Simple Berry Fruit Topping

vegan pancakes and berry fruit toppingSimple Berry Fruit Topping

Do you love cherry or berry toppings for your pancakes and waffles, but hate the store-bought ones laden with preservatives?  I hear you, so do I.

So I thought “I could make my own fruit topping”.  How hard could it be?

Not hard at all!

Here’s my Simple Berry Fruit Topping recipe:

 

Simple Berry Topping Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen mixed fruit

½ cup unsweetened orange juice (can be substituted for apple juice for a sweeter topping)

Pinch salt

¼ teaspoon dried ginger (Optional)

2 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon corn starch

 

METHOD

– In a saucepan, add mixed fruit, orange juice, dried ginger (optional), and pinch of salt and bring to a boil, cooking over medium-high heat

– Let simmer on medium-high heat for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

– Turn down heat to low setting.

– In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon corn starch.  Mix well.

– Add immediately to berry mixture in saucepan.  Stir well

– Cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

– Turn off heat and let cool.

– Serve with your favorite pancakes or waffles and enjoy!