Tag Archives: simple

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

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!

Super Simple Pineapple Salsa (a.k.a Pineapple Chow)

pineapple salsa aka chowTrinidadians are famous for making a chow (salsa) out of almost any fruit – Plum Chow, Mango Chow, and now a recent favorite – Pineapple Chow.

Now I have to admit,  even though Pineapple is my favorite fruit I was a little bit skeptical when I saw that it met its ultimate fate in the Trini palate as a Chow.  But, as they say, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, right?

So, I decided to make my own version, without the heavy dose of pepper sauce.

The result?

I was wowed!  I couldn’t believe it tasted so good.

So, without further ado, here’s my super simple (and super mild) Pineapple Chow recipe.

RECIPE

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 pimento pepper, seeded and minced

1 clove garlic, grated

METHOD:

– Add all ingredients to a small bowl

– Stir well to combine

– Serve and enjoy!

TIP: This salsa/chow could also work well as a topping to your favorite

burger recipe.