Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Lentil Soup or Stew

Looking for a rich, thick, filling and slimming, protein power packed meal?
 Then Ila's Lentil Soup is just what you're looking for!

This soup or stew can be mixed up to suit your own tastes. you can throw whatever vegetables or grains you have available in there or just make the peas alone, the combinations are endless each time!

You will need:

1.5 cup brown lentils
1/8 cup quinoa (or millet)
¼ cup brown rice
1 big sweet potato cubed
1 carrot diced
A hand of green string beans
2 leaves kale finely chopped
1 cup cabbage finely chopped
1 cup shredded pumpkin
¼ zucchini, chopped
3 okra finely cut
1 med. onion
2 pimentos
3 cloves garlic
1 thumb ginger grated
1 tbs flax meal (optional)
1 cup coconut milk
1 spoonful tomato paste (or maybe 3 sundried tomatoes blended)

Enough preboiled water to keep a wide big pot ¾ full

Pink or sea salt, ground cumin and turmeric, Italian seasoning, blackstrap molasses


Soak lentils in hot water at least half an hour to forty-five minutes before cooking. or soak overnight which is best.

Finely chop onions, pimento and garlic. Add to the pot along with grated ginger and a drop of blackstrap molasses. Sautee and then add the lentils using a small sieve to strain off the soaking water. Mix well and then add the water they soaked in – or fresh boiled water from the kettle.

Allow to cook for a while, say twenty to thirty minutes then add the quinoa, brown rice, coconut milk, shredded pumpkin and flax meal. Add more water again keeping the pot at least just over half way full.

Prepare the vegetables. You may use any selection of course. In this recipe I used zucchini, carrot, cabbage, kale and green beans. Also cube the sweet potato.

When the lentils are softened and the soup is thicker, add the sweet potato along with all the seasoning for taste: salt, cumin, turmeric, Italian seasoning – 1 tsp of everything.

Allow to cook for another fifteen minutes, then add the fresh vegetables. Allow to cook for no more than another 7-10 minutes and remove from heat.

Allow to cool considerably before tasting the soup to decide how much more ground seasoning or salt it needs, as lentils can be hard to flavour. I add a spoonful of tomato paste to give it more flavour when the heat is off.

This is a great meal for the Kingman who is physically active! It is also a great meal to freeze or have on the go! Take it to work, share it at a gathering of Idrens or just fulljoy on the weekend.

I hope you love it! Remember to share your creations using Ital People recipes by hashtagging us on Instagram @italpeople, or on Google +. 

Also email italpeople@gmail.com with your own recipes and pictures for InI to share with the RasTafari community.

Bless the Ital Kitchen!

Melon Morning Hydration

Watermelon is one fruit that should be eaten alone - not with dense fruits like Pawpaw or Mango or Banana. It is a very watery fruit and therefore digests faster than denser or fleshier fruit. If you eat melon with dense fruits it will ferment in the tummy and even give you bloating and cramps!It is important to always eat or drink watermelon on an empty stomach  - don't snack on it after a meal. Fermentation in the intestines causes acne on the skin!
However, from what I have observed from Raw Vegans such as FullyRaw Kristina, it might be okay on your tummy to eat it with other watery or more acidic fruits like blueberries, cherries and citrus, doesn't seem to be too bad a combination as they are not dense or heavy fruits.

So for my watermelon smoothies I break the rules a little by mixing it with basil or mint leaves and ginger because I really don't fulljoy it blended on its own.

This Melon Morning Hydration Smoothie is great for after a workout, or as your first meal of the day to get the body awake and pumping! Especially if it's very hot!

You need:

Half of one small to medium melon or enough to fill up your Nutribullet blender cup to make 20-32 ounces of juice
1 bunch of basil or mint leaves
1 thumb of ginger
you can add a 1/4 cup of water or coconut water if desired.

Simply blend it up and drink it down!

Happy juicing!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Ten Steps for Making the Perfect Big Salad

I know it seems hard to make a big salad and eat it everyday. For some it is not filling or appetizing, or too crunchy. But it doesn't have to be that way - salad is quite enjoyable! It is all in how you prepare it. To make it a filling meal you MUST make an EXTRA BIG SALAD - one that would normally serve 6 or more people! All the ingredients that typically go into salads are very low in calories so a nice salad dressing of avocado, mango or plantain for example, can boost calories and make it much more enjoyable to eat.
Here are a few steps that create a perfect daily Big Salad:

1. First you have got to make your salad interesting!
Don't just put lettuce, tomato and cucumber and expect a miracle! The more fresh ingredients the better! change your ingredients and salad dressings daily to keep it creative and your taste buds satisfied.
Tomato, carrot, cucumber, green leafy vegetables, okra, avocado, broccoli, chayote/christophene, pumpkin and beet root are great bases for a salad. I make sure I have all of these in each salad (except the avocado).

2. Change your green leafy vegetables regularly!
Don't just use lettuce all the time. Use different kinds of greens like pakchoi/bokchoy, chard, and varieties of lettuce like romaine or butterhead. Try kale and spicy green leaves like arugula and watercress. Chives, mint and basil will also add some kick.

3. Add fruit for sweetness!
Beet root or carrot can be sweet but chunks of fruit are great too. I like apple, strawberry, blue berries, pear, mango or kiwi. I usually add just one fruit. But two works just as good. Cubed peaches, mango and apricots might also be quite nice. Some like orange slices.

Likewise if you want spice or zing add fresh red onion, ginger or a hot pepper.

4. Add seeds or nuts to get more nutritional value! Pumpkin seeds are a favourite of many.

5. Add a grain to increase the "heaviness" of your salad if you don't feel full (though the bigger the salad the more full you will feel. It is a meal so make it big)

Add half cup of cooked, room temperature quinoa, cous cous, bulgar wheat or millet, and make sure when you prepare them that your water is well seasoned with curry, saffron, cumin to name a few spices.

6. Add lentils or chick peas. It is important not to mix your salad with too much cooked food. It should be eaten as an all-raw meal ideally. but if you need to make it heavier to get you through the day, add a grain as mentioned OR add legumes such as channa/chickpeas or lentils. Soak them overnight, cook them, but strain off all the liquid before you mix them in a salad.

7.Make everything bite size!
Eating salad as a meal isn't fun when u spend all your energy trying to chew hard chunks of carrot and cucumber!

Make sure your chunks are bite size for tomato, avocado, cucumber, strawberries, brocolli, apple, pear and kiwi. For broccoli I make sure to break the heads apart so that they are small as well and I add chunks of the stalk.
Always grate carrots, christophene, pumpkin and beets. Squeeze out the juice in your hand so they won't get soggy if you are not eating your salad immediately after prep.  I also grate or spiralize zucchini, and spiral noodles can be made of carrot and beets as well to be fancy!

8. Add a great dressing to your salad. Use a thick and creamy dressing from plantain, avocado or mango; or make an oily dressing. 

9. Keep your salad fresh by separating the wet ingredients from the dry, if you are not eating it immediately after prep. Letting it get all soggy throws off your appetite! Store greens in their own container or section of a compartmentalized container. Store tomatoes and cucumbers separately as well. This goes for the channa or lentils as well. If you have a big flat dish, just put every ingredient into its own pile and then mix them altogether when it's time to eat.

10. Buy enough produce to last you through the week! This is important to maintain your healthy Ital lifestyle. the more people in our family following the Ital Livity, the more produce you need to get, so it's best to budget wisely and be as frugal as possible - growing your own herbs and greens at home saves lots of money as well!

I hope these ten steps will help you become an avid salad maker! There are no limits to the creativity you can put into making your salad meal. you can even write your favourite combinations down which help you plan your produce list when shopping.

See our recommendations for buying and storing fresh produce for a week here!

Starburst Smoothie

This is a perfect summer smoothie to start the day. It is dense in calories, very creamy and thick so it will keep you full longer!

Starburst Smoothie

2 ripe carambola/ starfruit/five finger
1 slice pineapple
2-3 bananas
1-2 ripe mangoes
1/2 thumb ginger
4 oranges, juice extracted (optional)
1 cup greens (optional)
¼ cup water/coconut water or more if not using oranges


Skin carambola and slice off the flesh from the core like you would an apple, but you can also leave the skin on. Combine with other peeled fruits, ginger and orange juice in blender or Nutribullet.
Remember you can and should make each smoothie recipe your own based on what ingredients you have available.

Happy Juicing!