Posts tagged “nutrition

cilantro detoxifying smoothie

smoothie

So today I made a delicious smoothie and wanted to share the recipe with everyone.

It’s very simple and really, you can use whatever ingredients you like.  I’ve been reading a lot about juicing and its benefits and discovered that cilantro/coriander (very similar (although much more muted) to shadon beni/bandania found here in Trinidad) is a really good detoxifying herb.  Apparently many nutritionists use this herb (coupled with parsley) as the base of many of the ‘green smoothies/juices’ that are popular today as detox drinks.  I’m eager to try some smoothies with the shadon beni/bandania and have already thought up one using tomatoes- should taste like seasoned tomato juice!

Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh organic pineapple
1/2 berry mix- blue/black/raspberries
1 ripe starch mango (substitute with any sweet mango)-equals about 1 cup
10 cilantro stalks with leaves attached
1 red apple
1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened, unprocessed pomegranate juice- Dewlands brand is good if you have access to it.

Method

Wash and roughly chop all the ingredients removing any seeds as applicable. Place all in the blender and pulse, adding juice as required. Blend or pour over ice if desired. Garnish with a strawberry/pineapple wedge and some cilantro leaves.  Enjoy!

Serving- 1 person~ 1 1/2 cups

Suggestion- Make this ahead of time using lots of frozen fruit of your choice and keep chilled. Perfect as an afternoon ‘pick me up from my blood sugar drop’ and perfect as a detoxifying agent.

smoothie detail


fruits and ginger sauce

fruit and oat bowl

Today was a very busy day in our household, well, not so much busy as hectic.  I didn’t get a lot of rest last night, in fact I’d say it reminded me of when my baby was a newborn.  My little one decided to stay up all night until the early hours of this morning and then wake up early!  Needless to say I woke up feeling like a train wreck!

Of course this meant that breakfast, lunch and dinner had to be quick and easy…

Today I had fruits and old-fashion rolled oats for breakfast.  Simple and delicious; I threw in apples, pawpaw, pomegranate, pineapple and strawberries.  That was all there was to it, yet the sweetness of the fruits and knowledge that I was doing something good for myself by having rolled oats was enough for me to feel satisfied until lunch.

fruit/oat breakfastfruit/oat close

For lunch I made Chinese style ginger chicken.  It’s super easy and really quick with very little prep time and cooking is a snap.  I’m focusing on this multi-use ginger sauce because the chicken or meat that accompanies this is really variable since it’s about how you’d like to prepare it.  I do it the traditional way- boiled or steamed because it’s quicker, healthier and no fuss.  But I’ve had it and prepared it roasted and pan fried.  It really doesn’t matter since the motive is the same- to have a bland tasting meat with an explosive sauce!
It works, it really does!  My way of ‘healthyfying’ the traditional recipe is to use extra virgin olive oil- it’s not really a huge adjustment, but it’s something and every little counts for something!  I ate the ginger chicken as a salad- Romaine lettuce, water cress, cilantro, sliced carrots, lemon juice all topped by slices of the steamed chicken and ginger paste- it was clean yet sharp, healthy yet satisfying.

ginger sauceoil being added

ginger sauce

The last thing I made today was a smoothie.  I’ve been trying to find ways to rid myself of all the junk I’ve been putting into my body over the last couple of years and reading a lot about juicing and its benefits.  After my last trip to the market I got some stocks so decided to make myself a refreshing smoothie.  I made mine with fresh strawberries, frozen berry mix(blueberries, raspberries and blackberries), a sweet starch mango, pomegranate juice (all natural, no additives or sugar), cilantro and some raw chia seeds.  It came out remarkably well!  The tanginess or the berries were so well balanced by the unique flavor of the cilantro and the sweetness of the mango was enough to have me wishing I had made more!

smoothie

smoothie detail

The ginger sauce and smoothie recipes are both very simple and can be viewed here.


baked fish platter

enoki

So yesterday I ventured to Othaheite here in Trinidad to purchase my fresh red snapper fish for lunch and today I’m posting the recipe with photos of the delicious lunch I prepared for my family.  For dessert I had a lovely, sweet persimmon fruit- it reminds me of sweet kymit (a Trini fruit, currently out of season; when it’s in season I’ll be sure to post photos).

fish lunch

I actually ‘borrowed’ the idea from my cousin whom I call from time to time when I want to get a different perspective.  I cook 2-3 meals each day and sometimes you want to use the same methods of cooking but you just want a bit of variety in ingredients.  Sometimes it’s about what you have, other times it’s about what you could think up!

fishseasoning

saute

I can say this, the freshness of the fish makes a huge difference in its flavor, so get the fish fresh once you can.  Forget the frozen stuff you find at the supermarket.  I would make just a couple of adjustments to the recipe the next time I make baked fish, so maybe you can try them and let me know how it works out? I found that having the olives and tomatoes in the sautéed vegetable mix was a bit too acidic and salty for me.  So next time I think I’ll choose just one or the other.  I chose to add in capers because I think it goes great with fish- it does, but again I thought with the olives the sauce was a bit too tart.  Now, usually I would add a touch of cream to the sauce once it’s done, I’m trying to eat clean so I chose to forego that option this time.  But I think if you had all of these ingredients the cream added at the very end would make the fish all the more tasty! I also took it upon myself to add in coriander and found that this was a great addition;  the sharpness of the coriander really balances out the mild, clean flavor of the red snapper.  All in all, I’d give this lunch an 8/10- not bad for something that too very little preparation and a really short cooking time!

final fish

Recipe

Ingredients

Approximately 1-2 lbs of freshly bought fish- try red snapper, white salmon, tuna or sea bass
10-12 Greek olives cut into halves
2 large tomatoes
1 Tbsp capers
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
5 button mushrooms
1/2 pack enoki mushrooms
Juice of 1 lemon plus a few wedges to serve
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Preheat conventional oven at 450F or convectional oven at 350F. Slice onion and garlic cloves thinly. Cut tomatoes into large chunks- about 4 quarters/tomato. Cut olives into halves and button mushrooms into quarters.  Slice off the bottom of the enoki mushrooms.  Heat oil in flat bottomed pan on high heat and add in the onions and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Lower heat to medium.  Add mushrooms, tomatoes, olive and capers.  When soft, remove from heat.  While cooking the vegetables, cut slits into cleaned fish.  Add salt, black pepper and lemon juice ensuring that they penetrate the slit fish.  Pour vegetable mixture over fish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked.  Serve hot.

Serving- 2 persons

Suggestions- Serve hot with green salad, roasted potatoes or brown rice pilaf.

persimmon


trip to the market

seasoning

Today is Sunday.  It’s market day for us- in my family at least.  It’s the first time I’m taking my little one.  We go to the Marabella market located in South Trinidad.  It’s vibrant colors and characteristic scents remind me of when I myself was a little one and I’d go with my mother.  I always loved it.  The people, the colors, the chatter, the produce.  It’s about getting in touch with the real Trinibagonians, the people who we seldom think about; those kind folk who choose to make their livelihoods toiling away beneath the blistering sun so that we-you and I- could taste and sample only the freshest crops.  I admire them. I love them.  They are my people.

pumpkinpiccassavatomatoes dasheen bushshattine pumpkinmosaicmarket

Everything looked enticing and fresh today at the market and I’m keen to see what recipes I come up with during the week!


trip to the market

seasoning

Today is Sunday.  It’s market day for us- in my family at least.  It’s the first time I’m taking my little one.  We go to the Marabella market located in South Trinidad.  It’s vibrant colors and characteristic scents remind me of when I myself was a little one and I’d go with my mother.  I always loved it.  The people, the colors, the chatter, the produce.  It’s about getting in touch with the real Trinibagonians, the people who we seldom think about; those kind folk who choose to make their livelihoods toiling away beneath the blistering sun so that we-you and I- could taste and sample only the freshest crops.  I admire them. I love them.  They are my people.

pumpkinpiccassavatomatoes dasheen bushshattine pumpkinmosaicmarket

Everything looked enticing and fresh today at the market and I’m keen to see what recipes I come up with during the week!


my 7 simple ‘musts’ for getting healthy and staying healthy

I recently came up with these little gems to help me along the way to an healthier me.  I’m sick of hearing about low carb, fat free, grapefruit, blood type blah blah blah… I mean, seriously?  I’ve never tried any of those and I pray that I’ll never need to!

I just want to simplify things for myself. I want to be able to think like somebody who has never had any weight issues or problems. So, I came up with a few things that I want to do for me.  I hope you find them useful in some way.

fresh veges

My Seven Simple ‘Musts’ to getting healthy and staying healthy

  1. I must never eat while watching TV- in fact, never eat and do anything else besides eat.  Too many times I’m so distracted by what’s going on on TV that I seldom remember what I’ve eaten or how much I’ve eaten!
  2. I must center my meals around vegetables.  I’ll admit, I plan my meals around the meats that I have in my freezer or being chilled in the fridge, I’m planning to reverse this.
  3. I must exercise every single day. Now, this can be anything- a walk or stroll, picking up after by baby, scrubbing bathroom floors- it doesn’t matter. It just has to be for an extended period of time (my aim each day is 45 minutes-broken up into smaller portions if necessary).
  4. If I must snack, it’ll have to be on fresh fruit and the odd nut.
  5. I must drink at least 12 glasses of water/day.
  6. I must eat more fish- this one is easy, I live on an island!
  7. I must look in the mirror and see the positives about myself even when it’s hard to ignore the negatives. We all need to love ourselves just a little bit more, then maybe it would be easier to accept our minor faults so that we’d be more willing to change them(and no, I’m not referring to sagging stomachs or arm flab, I mean our internal faults too)

so what? my stomach shakes!

stomach shakes

Ok so this is the reason I created and thought up this site in the first place- no, not my stomach in particular, but close…

I’m pretty fed up of the fact that I need to drop some pounds.  I’ve gained quite a bit of weight over the last few years and I feel a bit bogged down, well, really bogged down.  You know as you get older it really does become a lot more difficult to lose weight and take control of that aspect of your life.  You have children, a career and a host of other things to think about, so little by little you notice that the things that you had the time to deal with or concentrate on just sort of lose priority.  It’s sad honestly, but it’s true.

I don’t believe that women just let themselves go.  I think we just start to view things as important because things become important, things that weren’t there before.  It’s been very very difficult for me to shift weight of late.  I’ve tried many things- within reason, I can say with pride that I don’t jump from one thing to the next every other Monday just because I’ve tried something one Saturday and switched it up by Sunday, I’m pretty consistent;  which is what bothers me.  You know, one week I’d be losing weight smoothly and then as my body prepares for her monthly visitor I gain it back!  Then somewhere along the way I think I just become so disenchanted by the fact that the numbers keep fluctuating between two set points that I just feel like giving up. It’s just frustrating.

I’ve been conscientiously trying for the last 2 weeks now to look at my lifestyle and to modify it.  There must be something that I’m doing wrong, or not good enough, or maybe I’m just not doing the good stuff hard enough or for long enough? I don’t know, but I’m determined to find out.

Anyway, I’m not in the business of talking about every little flaw I have because I choose not to degrade myself that way.  I know I’ll feel better soon enough, I just need to put in the work!

So what? My stomach shakes! Big deal.  I need to get over that because I walk around feeling like everyone notices it. Like I am scorned for having a flabby, post baby belly.  Maybe they are but then again, maybe they’re not!  More than that, who doesn’t have an issue?


soy sauce baked chicken salad

soy sauce board

Ok, now one of my favorite types of chicken is stewed chicken- called ‘stew chicken‘ here in Trinidad & Tobago.  Now, the thing with stew chicken is that it’s quite rich and sweet- that’s probably why it tastes so good!  It’s old-fashioned food, it’s comfort food, it’s food that goes well with almost everything.  Some West Indians eat it with roti, others choose rice and some even eat it with pasta-perhaps I remember this being eaten more when I was a student?  The point is, it’s good.  But, as with all good food there’s a trade off.  This is no exception.  Stew chicken or beef or pork or shrimp, any kind of stew is made with oil and sugar and some people make it with coconut milk.  Sure, you can make it with smaller amounts of these  ingredients, but it somehow just doesn’t taste the same; the way mama used to make it.  So I’ve come up with a way to almost fool myself into believing I’m eating stew chicken.  It’s not stew chicken; there’s no comparison; but I have to do something that’s healthier while still giving me that caramelized goodness of stew chicken done right.

So, this is my take.

about

Recipe

This salad is simple and mild yet refreshing. The citrus of your choice adds a dash of sweetness to the meat without adding the extra calories of a traditional dressing.  The crisp carrots and lettuce leaves add texture to an already flavorful meal.  I prefer to stay away from local Trini lettuce for this recipe simple because it tends to have a slightly bitter after-taste, hence I chose Romaine for my salad. The citrus I chose for my dressing was tangelo- an hybrid between an orange and and a grapefruit, it was sweet and delicious and gave the salad a crisp, clean taste. Choose premium dark soy sauce since the flavor is a bit muted compared to regular soy sauce.

Ingredients        

1/4 whole chicken- or piece(s) that you prefer
1 Tbsp premium dark soy sauce
1 sprig of French thyme
2 garlic cloves
1-2 pimento peppers-I prefer the red ones
2 Tbsp chopped chives
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small carrot
2 cups Romaine lettuce/Boston/Local Trini lettuce
Juice of 1/2- 1 whole fresh orange/portugal/grapefruit
Salt and black pepper to taste
Method

Preheat oven at 350F. Slice or grate garlic cloves thinly or on the smallest side of the grater.  Season chicken pieces with soy sauce*. Remove the leaves of the thyme sprigs and slice the pimento peppers.  Add 1 Tbsp (reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish)chopped chives, pimentos, thyme and garlic to soy sauce chicken. In a thick bottomed sauté pan heat olive oil over high heat. Add seasoned chicken. Let the chicken brown for about 2 minutes on each side, just until golden brown.  Off heat, remove pan and place in oven at 3o0F for about 20 minutes or until cooked.

Salad Assembly

Chop 2 cups of lettuce leaves. Thinly slice carrot into 1/4 inch thick sticks. Arrange in a salad bowl. Squeeze 1/2 citrus of your choice over salad components. Add salt and black pepper if desired.  Place cooked chicken on top of salad and garnish with chopped chives. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serving size- 1 person.

Suggestions– Can be served with stir fried vegetables, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes or mixed rice and a small green salad.

*This step can be done from the day before and stored overnight in the refrigerator for stronger flavor.

chicken close

soy sauce chicken salad


soy sauce baked chicken salad

soy sauce board

Ok, now one of my favorite types of chicken is stewed chicken- called ‘stew chicken‘ here in Trinidad & Tobago.  Now, the thing with stew chicken is that it’s quite rich and sweet- that’s probably why it tastes so good!  It’s old-fashioned food, it’s comfort food, it’s food that goes well with almost everything.  Some West Indians eat it with roti, others choose rice and some even eat it with pasta-perhaps I remember this being eaten more when I was a student?  The point is, it’s good.  But, as with all good food there’s a trade off.  This is no exception.  Stew chicken or beef or pork or shrimp, any kind of stew is made with oil and sugar and some people make it with coconut milk.  Sure, you can make it with smaller amounts of these  ingredients, but it somehow just doesn’t taste the same; the way mama used to make it.  So I’ve come up with a way to almost fool myself into believing I’m eating stew chicken.  It’s not stew chicken; there’s no comparison; but I have to do something that’s healthier while still giving me that caramelized goodness of stew chicken done right.

So, this is my take.

about

Recipe

This salad is simple and mild yet refreshing. The citrus of your choice adds a dash of sweetness to the meat without adding the extra calories of a traditional dressing.  The crisp carrots and lettuce leaves add texture to an already flavorful meal.  I prefer to stay away from local Trini lettuce for this recipe simple because it tends to have a slightly bitter after-taste, hence I chose Romaine for my salad. The citrus I chose for my dressing was tangelo- an hybrid between an orange and and a grapefruit, it was sweet and delicious and gave the salad a crisp, clean taste. Choose premium dark soy sauce since the flavor is a bit muted compared to regular soy sauce.

Ingredients        

1/4 whole chicken- or piece(s) that you prefer
1 Tbsp premium dark soy sauce
1 sprig of French thyme
2 garlic cloves
1-2 pimento peppers-I prefer the red ones
2 Tbsp chopped chives
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small carrot
2 cups Romaine lettuce/Boston/Local Trini lettuce
Juice of 1/2- 1 whole fresh orange/portugal/grapefruit
Salt and black pepper to taste
Method

Preheat oven at 350F. Slice or grate garlic cloves thinly or on the smallest side of the grater.  Season chicken pieces with soy sauce*. Remove the leaves of the thyme sprigs and slice the pimento peppers.  Add 1 Tbsp (reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish)chopped chives, pimentos, thyme and garlic to soy sauce chicken. In a thick bottomed sauté pan heat olive oil over high heat. Add seasoned chicken. Let the chicken brown for about 2 minutes on each side, just until golden brown.  Off heat, remove pan and place in oven at 3o0F for about 20 minutes or until cooked.

Salad Assembly

Chop 2 cups of lettuce leaves. Thinly slice carrot into 1/4 inch thick sticks. Arrange in a salad bowl. Squeeze 1/2 citrus of your choice over salad components. Add salt and black pepper if desired.  Place cooked chicken on top of salad and garnish with chopped chives. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serving size- 1 person.

Suggestions– Can be served with stir fried vegetables, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes or mixed rice and a small green salad.

*This step can be done from the day before and stored overnight in the refrigerator for stronger flavor.

chicken close

soy sauce chicken salad


pineapple yogurt breakfast

This morning I awoke to beautiful sunshine-a surprising contrast to the rainy weather we’ve had here in Trinidad for the last few weeks!
I decided to celebrate the beautiful crisp morning with a delicious, refreshing breakfast.  I make this often since it’s exceptionally simple and is really more of a ‘throw together’ than a recipe!

organic pineapple

You can use any fruits you like once they are sweet.  I’ve tried bananas, berries, paw paw, mangoes, apples, pears and grapes- I’d have to say banana is my least favorite. The texture just doesn’t blend well with the plain yogurt and other ingredients.

Pineapple

Recipe

1/2 cup of fresh sliced/chopped/diced pineapples
6-8oz fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp sliced/slivered almonds
2 tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats

Method

Throw them all together in a bowl, mix and enjoy!

Optional variations
raisins, ground flax seeds, raw chia seeds, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup- all of these can add sweetness and fibre to the breakfast. I don’t use sweeteners, I just make sure my fruits are really sweet and juicy!

Serving- 1 person

pine3


pineapple yogurt breakfast

This morning I awoke to beautiful sunshine-a surprising contrast to the rainy weather we’ve had here in Trinidad for the last few weeks!
I decided to celebrate the beautiful crisp morning with a delicious, refreshing breakfast.  I make this often since it’s exceptionally simple and is really more of a ‘throw together’ than a recipe!

organic pineapple

You can use any fruits you like once they are sweet.  I’ve tried bananas, berries, paw paw, mangoes, apples, pears and grapes- I’d have to say banana is my least favorite. The texture just doesn’t blend well with the plain yogurt and other ingredients.

Pineapple

Recipe

1/2 cup of fresh sliced/chopped/diced pineapples
6-8oz fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp sliced/slivered almonds
2 tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats

Method

Throw them all together in a bowl, mix and enjoy!

Optional variations
raisins, ground flax seeds, raw chia seeds, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup- all of these can add sweetness and fibre to the breakfast. I don’t use sweeteners, I just make sure my fruits are really sweet and juicy!

Serving- 1 person

pine3