Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas !!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!! Eat well and be merry.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

''There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.''- C.S. Lewis

I love sweet potatoes - love it boiled, sauteed and roasted. I've never really had or thought to roast it unpeeled until today. I was in such a hurry and couldn't find my potato peeler - and thought meh I'll just eat the skin . It came out really really good and even the hubby that absolutely hates sweet potatoes loved it . Will definitely be adding to our weekly menu. It was very easy to prepare, I'd definitely recommend over regular white potatoes, this is because they are more nutritious than white :- they are packed full with antioxidants, rich in vitamin c and beta-carotene oh and plus they have a lower glycemic index - tis a WIN, WIN in my books


1 medium sweet potato
Sea salt to taste
Paprika - pinch to 1/2 tsp
Chilli  Chipotle powder - pinch to 1/2 tsp
White ground pepper  - pinch to 1/2tsp
Parsley  - 1 tsp
Coconut oil - 1/2 tbs

1) Preheat oven to 400F
1) Cut sweet potato in wedges , place in a clean bowl and add ingredients , toss until evenly coated
3) Spread on a baking sheet (try not to overlap) - roast for 30-35mins - be sure to check/flip every say 10mins

Serve hot with green salad and some homemade sauce

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sauteed Bok choy

You have exactly one life in which to do everything . Act accordingly.

Bok choy
Bok choy is a member of the cabbage family. There are three types of boy choy, all of which have tender green leaves and thick but edible stems. Bok choy is rich in vitamins A,C and K and contains healthy levels of folate and vitamin B6 

Below is a quick saute recipe 

Boy choy  1 head 
Onion      1
Grape tomatoes 1/3 cup
Chilli/Habero      1 ( optional)
Rice Vinegar       1tbs (optional)
Water/broth         1/4 cup
Ginger                 about 1/2 tbs
Olive oil              1 tbs - may use sesame       
Salt to taste


1) Slice boy choy - both green and white parts

2) Saute onions and ginger in olive oil until onions is tender

3) Add remaining ingredients starting with grape tomatioes ,white part of bok choy , cook for 1-2mins then add green parts , cook for 3-5mins , add salt and vinegar and simmer for 1-2mins

Serve hot 


Quick Kale Salad - Kale, Strawberry, Kiwi & Cucumber

There is no better way to fight weakness that with strength, Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's impossible to turn back.' - Henry Rollins'

Did I already mention I love kale? if not for the umpteenth time kale is truly one of my favorite leafy green.

Here's a quick/easy kale salad recipe 


Strawberries (4)
English cucumber (1/2)
Kiwi   (1-2)
Hazelnut - may substitute for almond, pecans, or even dried fruits/raisins

Raspberry vinegar 3-4tbs
Agave                   2tbs
Black pepper         1/4 tsp
Dijon mustard        1tbs
Extra virgin oil        3/4 cup
salt to taste

Beet recipes

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why - Mark Twain

I absolutely love beets (beetroot); they're low in calories, contain no cholesterol and are packed full of fiber, vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. I only started eating them this year and started doing so by adding to my early morning smoothies and salads - now I've moved on to cooking with it  - they go nicely with just about any herbs/spices - so be sure to play around with your what you have in your kitchen - -in addition to herbs they are also great with a bit of honey, vinegar or lemon juice - YUMYUM

Below are a few recipe inspirations

organic beets

Beet chips

sauteed beets with a side of cous cous

Below are a few recipe ideas

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Avocado, Mango & Grape Tomatoes Salsa

Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring.

Grilled shrimp with a side of Avocado, Mango & Grape tomatoes.

Made this a few months ago and never really documented it - so forgive me if my recipe isn't really helpful - It's simply shrimp marinated in lemon juice and old bay seasoning (i think) and a side of avocado, mango and grape tomatoes - I may have added a light dressing of maybe lime/lemon with agave but not 100%  - - tis hardly rocket science - play around with what you have in your fridge 


Shrimp (say 1 cup) 
Old bay seasoning
Lemon juice 1 tbs

1 Avocado 
1 Mango
1 cup of grape tomatoes

Lemon juice/Vinegar/Lime
Extra Virgin Olive oil - (optional)


1) Place shrimp in clean bowl, add lemon juice & add old bay or salt to taste - let marinade for an hour in the fridge

2) Thread marinaded shrimp onto a skewer 

3) Heat grill , and grill skewers for 5-10mins (or until cooked)

4) For side  - chop ingredients and place in a serving bowl ; prep dressing and drizzle on salsa to serve

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bean cake[moi-moi] topped with onions & spinach

Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bean cake (moi moi) is a staple food in Nigeria. Moimoi is essentially a bean cake/pudding made from blend of black eyed/brown beans, peppers & onions. Moimoi makes a great protein rich  vegetarian dish.
It is normally steamed in leaves, empty cans, foil paper or ramekins , it can also be baked in the oven - this is my preferred method - (less hassle)


2 cups dry beans (this yields 4 cups wet/soaked beans)
1 bell pepper (lg)
1 small onions
1 habenero/scotch bonnet - optional
1 cup of water/broth to blend mix
2 tbsp of extra virgin oil
Corned beef (may opt for boiled eggs, sausages, fish or veggies)

Salt to taste

Garlic      1/2 tsp
Turmeric  1/2 tsp

All purpose season or Bouillon cubes X 2  (optional )


Pre heat oven to 350F
1) Soak beans overnite or for at least 3hrs if using black eye beans; the brown variant only takes 20 mins to de-skin. Wash off the skin/covering.

2) Blend beans, peppers, & onions with water or broth for more flavor

3) Add oil and chosen seasoning (i used all but the bouillon cubes)

4) Prep filling - I used corned beef - about a slice

5) Grease pan or dish with oil

6) Pour bean mixture into pan to about halfway , add filling , then pour remainder mix

7) Place in the oven and bake for 45mins or until done (test by sticking a tooth pick in it - clean pick means all done)

8) Remove from oven and let cool for 15mins

Serve as a main or side dish
   - serve with rice
   - serve with tomato stew

I opted for a caramelized onions and spinach topping - this was incredibly yummy .

[Breakfast] Steel-cut oats with fresh fruits

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration - Thomas Edison

Steel-cut oats

I must say since we purchased a pressure cooker - making steel-cuts oats has been a breeze (this is one tough grain to cook) - normally would take 25- 30mins to cook , this now takes 8mins using the pressure cooker . Did I already note that I love pressure cooking? if not WELL I LOVE PRESSURE COOKING! It's simply the bomb diggity. 

1 cup steel-cut oats (serves 2)
2 cups water or 3 cups water (if using a cooker)
Salt to taste
dash of cinnamon (optional)

Throw all into pressure cooker and set to 8mins , natural release

1 Bring water to boil
2 Stir in the oats
3 Once oats starts boiling , turn down heat to low
4 Simmer uncovered or partially covered for 25-30mins - be sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning

May be sweeten with agave, honey or maple syrup . 

[Breakfast] Pancakes topped with fruits (grilled bananas)

You don't have to be great to start , but you have to get started to be great 
-Les Brown

Breakfast during the week for me is usually yogurt & fresh fruits, granola cereal or a tall glass of homemade whey protein shake - simply because it's much quicker - occasionally when I have time I'll make a sunnyside up - but I'm usually on the run - so anything more than 10mins is not an option. That said on the w'end I like to take my time to make breakfast for the family - from hash browns, omelette, waffles/pancakes etc 

For Thanksgiving we had homemade pancakes - now baking is certainly not one of my strengths - I just don't get the exact science - so I prefer to get pre-made mixes and simply add water , eggs  etc. I'm still working on my own batter recipe - we're 50% there.

Pancake mix - Namaste waffle/pancake mix - gluten free/kosher certified
2 Eggs
1 tbs of coconut oil
1 tbs of brown rice syrup (optional )

2 bananas ( serves 2)
1/8 Coconut oil - optional
1/8 Natural cane sugar - optional

Pancakes - follow direction on packaging
 - preheat grill pan or grill
 - peel banana and then slice into two
 - combine sugar and oil in a bowl - mix together
 - apply mixture to bananas and let marinade for 3-5mins
 - place banana on grill , grill each side for 2mins or until grill marks appear - 
 - remove once done and serve 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Swiss Chard , Peach and Radish Salad

Swiss chard! Want a leafy green packed with all green goodness/nutrients? then Swiss chard is for you: . It is high in vitamins A, K and C. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein

I only discovered this uber fab vegetable early this year - so far I love it in sautes and salad - It is slighty bitter but nothing compared to kale and mustard greens .

This recipe calls for raw ingredients

Organic swiss chard
Radish 1- 2
Grape tomatoes - 1/4 cup (or desired)
Pinch of salt (optional)

Dressing : Raspeberry Vinegar & Agave syrup

Chop greens in medium chunks and place to a bowl
Cut tomatoes, radish and peach and add to bowl with greens
Toss bowl
Serve with desired dressing

Desserts - Rum flavored Watermelon Balls

Rum balls anyone? This 'dessert' is perfect for hosting - incredibly easy to make and all so yum.

Note - Instead of rum you may choose other flavors/drinks

Watermelon - 1/4
Malibu Coconut Rum - 3 tbs (to desired)
Shredded Coconut

Ball watermelons using a melon baller and place in clean plastic bowl
Pour rum or desired drink
Freeze for 1-2hrs

Garnish with shredded coconut and served chilled

Healthy Snacks - Plantain chips

Craving a bit more than nuts, seeds and granola? then try plantain chips. This is usually fried but this recipe shows it baked -tis equally yummy !

Plantain (1)
Coconut oil (1 tbs)
Turmeric 1/8 - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Water - 2 cups

Using a mandoine or sharp knife thinly slice plantain into a bowl
Add the water , let sit for 1 min - (this steps makes the chips crisp and crunchy)
Remove slices from water and place on paper towel - pat dry the excess water
Grease baking pan
Spread slices on pan
Bake for 15-20mins - at 10-12mins - flip chips



Quick Appetizer - Crackers with Toppings

Crackers make a great everyday snack; but you can easily top with a variety of things to take it from plain to an appealing appetizer for your guests. It is extremely easy to do - play with what you have in your pantry/fridge.

The recipe shown uses a mix of fruits, fish and veggies

Salmon (poached or grilled)

Arrange selected topping on cracker (note : if you choose to use a dressing be sure to mix before topping)

Refried Beans and Tortilla

I love beans - they are mega high in proteins, fiber, iron and plenty good stuff. Beans is featured at least 2-3 times in our weekly household menu . It can be eaten in so many ways ; salad,  side dish, with tortilla, rice, plantain etc
This recipe calls for dry beans - you can use the canned and adjust accordingly.
Before I bought a pressure cooker the cook time was 90mins but that's been reduced significantly to 25-30mins.

11/2 -2 cup beans (black-eyed or brown beans)
Olive oil - 1tbs
Tomatoes (2-3)
Red Bell peppers (1)
Onions 1
Chilli (Habanero/Scotch bonnet) 1 -2
Curry - 1tsp
Bouillon - 1 cube optiional
Sea salt

Bell peppers
Sweet potatoes (S)

Cook beans in 6-8 cups of water for 90mins - be sure to check water level every 20mins; top up as required
If using a pressure cooker; follow the directions per manual/recipe book .
Blend tomatoes, half the onions, half the bell pepper, habanero  with a little water - say 1/3 cup
Heat mid-size sauce pan , add oil, add remaining onions - saute for 2-3mins
Add tomatoes blend and salt to taste- cook on low heat for 5-7mins
Add additional seasoning - curry , bouillon - simmer for 2-3mins
Add cooked beans , mix well with blend - simmer for another 3-5mins
Should you want it mashy - you may do so using a potato masher or a large spoon

Garnish with grape tomatoes, bell pepper & boiled sweet potatoes (diced)

Serve as a side dish or on wholewheat tortilla

Grilled Plantain, Zucchini & Squash

Hey friends,

Ok I guess I haven't been posting as often as I thought I would - I must confess I thought this whole food blog would be a piece of cake. The cooking bit is probably the easiest, followed by the photography however finding time to pen down the recipe and instruction is what I struggle with - I struggle because all of my recipes are pretty random (inspired by my mum, restaurants, friends, books etc), I don't measure and pretty much go by how I feel.  Cooking to me is an art there's no set way - you should be able to play around with ingredients - the photos are just there for inspiration - the ingredients can be changed - Ok enough of the excuses now - please do bear with me as I slowly find my way .Thank you for your patience

Ok today's meal (well more like a few months) is Grilled Plantain, Zucchini & Squash.  Plantain remains one of my favorite meals - It can be fried, baked, boiled and grilled. I chose to grill in this time - it was just as yummy fried - oh and we're trying keep the waistline in check so frying is NOT an option

1 Large plantain (preferably mid-ripe)
1 Zucchini (mid size)
1 Yellow Squash (M)
Roasted garlic grapeseed oil (any healthy oil should do, infact coconut oil will be superb) - 1 tbs
Red pepper flakes 1-2tsp
Sea salt to taste (may opt for additional seasoning)

Using a sharp knife*, thinly slice plantain, zucchini and squash into a clean bowl
Add desired oil
Add salt to taste
Grill in the oven/bbq/grill pan  for 5-10mins or till done

Once cooked serve hot with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes

*(may use a mandoline as well for precise cuts)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Old fashioned popcorn

'Only those who will risk going too far can possible find how far one can go'' - T.S Eliot

Popcorn anyone? Who says eating healthy is all steamed sprouts eh ?. So lately I've been looking for ways to add more healthy treats to my pantry. Currently it's full of nuts, seeds and dried fruits - which are all very good but I wanted a bit more variety - in the last 3weeks I've baked banana bread, beets chips, plantain chips and now popcorn - I'll be posting pics as soon as I get round to it :)

Today I made some good ole fashioned popcorn - I kept it very simple - with just 3 ingredients  - sea salt, coconut oil and ofcourse the corn itself - within 5mins I had my snack - yummy, simple and healthy just how I like it . 

1/4 cup of organic yellow popcorn
1 tb of coconut oil
salt to taste 

Add oil to pot (5qt or larger) preferably stainless steel or heavy duty
Add corn and salt to taste 
Cover pot, turn heat to med-high - 
Cook for cicra 5mins or till popping sounds stops 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sauteed Okra, Collard Greens and Garlic chicken

“A man knows he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live, and begins to live. -Thomas Merton

Okra! Okra! Okra! I grew up eating lots of Okra. Infact it was one of my favourite meals. Okra and Tomato stew was all my mum had to cook for me to be a good lil lass :).
Since I moved across the pond I've never been keen to eat it- Mum made it just right and no one else could replicate. 
Anyhoo, surprisingly whilst shopping last week I came across the good ole Okra and thought hmm I wonder if I could just saute it with leafy greens, herbs and spices instead of boil like Mum did ...well that thought became an action - 2days after my purchased I sauteed with collard greens and threw in some garlic/ginger chicken slices

Collard greens
Olive or Coconut oil

Soy sauce (may substitute with broth, lemon juice)
Salt & pepper

1) Chop all your ingredients - onions, collard, okra
2) heat skillet, add 1tb of oil, onions, 1 crushed garlic cloves ;saute for a few mins 
3) Add broth - say 1/4cup
4) Add collard greens - (note if you choose to blanch before saute then you may reduce the broth quantity - or not use broth at all - in this case add a lil water
5) Add seasoning - salt, pepper etc
6) Cook for say 8mins 
7) Add chicken*and let it simmer for couple more mins

You may choose to grill or panfry - I panfried using the listed ngredients.; following the steps  below

1) heat skillet, add 1-2tb of olive/coconut oil 
2)add chopped onions , ginger and crushed garlic  
2) add chicken cuts, soy sauce, salt, pepper and cook till done

Loved the dish so much I cooked it again the next day - this time adding thai chili for heat

Butternut squash chips with Salmon & Steamed veggies

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”- Anonymous 

Happy October! Is it me or is 2012 going way too fast. I can't believe we're less than 90days from Christmas and the New Year; oh lest I forget Thanksgiving (Turkey day) coming up next month - Phew!! Tis the food season :).

I've never been a big fries fan - or maybe I just prefer to exclude from my diet . So when I came across Butternut fries on a few blogs I decided to give it ago. Instead of frying I baked them. I did add a few sweet potatoe chips as I didn't think the quash will be filling. I had added a few sides of poache salmon and some steam veggies for a complete meal.

Butternut squash
Sweet Potato
Olive oil
Seasoning - insert your favourite seafood seasoning - I used Old bay


Pre-heat oven to 400F
1) Cut butternut squash and sweet potato into medium size chips
2) Throw chips in a bowl and drizzle a bit of olive oil over it
3) Add salt (or seasoning )
4) Toss bowl to ensure chips are well coated
5) Spread the chips evenly on a baking tray and place in the oven  for 40mins - be sure to check and stir chips say 15-20mins in

Salmon - you may poach or grill it - I poached in water, vinegar and seasoning (old bay)

Mixed veggies- steam in a pot or microwave

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Purple Barley and Salmon Salad


Purple Barley 
Went shopping a few months ago and picked up Purple Barley. It's been sitting in my pantry ever since; I've only just thought to try it. I must say it is quite a grain, a wee chewy but sure packed with nutrients. It took an hour and a half to cook - so I'm not sure I'll be repeating in a hurry - perhaps overnight soaking would help - but let's say JoJo will need to devise quicker cooking methods. 

Quick Nutrition facts
  • Low in saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Rich in Fiber
  • High in protein
  • Rich in Iron
  • reduces the risk of heart disease
  • reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and colon cancer

1 cup Barley 
1-2 med sized Salmon fillet
2 - 3 Spring onions stalk
Bell peppers
Cranberry raisins (optional)
Sea salt

Dressing  -may use dressing of choice or create own using below
Dijon Mustard
Olive oil

*Note - Soaking barley overnight will shorten the cooking time to about an hour 

 1)Bring 4cups of water to boil , add barley (1 cup) and stir. Cover pot , reduce heat to low. Cook for 60-90mins

2) Poach salmon in water, vinegar  & seasoning (optional). You may chose to bake or grill your salmon. Once cooked, de-skin and place in the fridge(7-10mins) to cool . Once cool - shred with a fork or knife

3) Chop  chosen veggies - mine is as mentioned above

4) In a large bowl, combine cooked barley, veggies , salmon and raisins - mix well 

5) add dressing of choice. I used plain vinegar - you may opt for the dressing mix above.

Serve as a side or main meal

Please feel free to leave me a comment - I would love to hear from you 



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