Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Chick Pea and Veggie Stir-Fry

This stir fry can go with anything whether it be brown, wild or black rice, quinoa, millet or oven baked potatoes. I love putting some cashew cheese in this recipe as well, it adds a real pop of flavour!

You will need

! cup chick peas (precooked)
2 tomatoes
¼ eggplant
2 florets of cauliflower
3 florets of broccoli
1 or 2 leaves kale
¼ sweet pepper
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
2 pimento peppers
1 leaf shadon beni
4 chive leaves


Finely chop onion, garlic, pimento, chives and shadon beni.

Place in the frying or stir fry pan and set aside.

Chop kale, sweet pepper and cube tomatoes. Set aside them aside in a bowl.

Slice the eggplant in thin circles and then cut it into tiny squares doing it like a tictactoe board, about five lines going across and five lines going down. Add this to the frying pan.

Finely chop the cauliflower and broccoli as well.

Put some oil in the fry pan and heat up the fresh seasonings and the eggplant for about two minutes making sure they have cooked. Doing this with the eggplant gives it a great flavour.

Add the cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes and precooked channa to the pan and stir-fry for two minutes. Sprinkle the food with Braggs liquid aminos, ground turmeric, cumin, garlic, mustard, Italian seasoning. Then add the sweet pepper and kale and mix it all in. Turn off.

Serve with your side dish or eat as is!

Have a great dinner or lunch with this one!

Liz's Red Lentil Soup or Stew

Sista Liz Johnson has once again provided another wholesome and delicious recipe for InI to try!
Her red lentil soup was made for Ethiopian New Year on September 11th and she added to it a variety of dishes to make an Ethiopian meal for the family.


2 tbsp. olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 medium yellow or white onion (diced)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 potato (chopped into bite size pieces)
2 medium carrots (chopped)
3 oz. tomato paste
1 c red lentil (rinsed and sorted)
6 c water or vegetable broth (I use water and organic better than bouillon vegetable base)
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you prefer...I keep it light so my youth will eat it :-)
1/2 tsp salt

Cooking Instructions:

Cook garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Add tomato paste and cook for 3-4 more minutes (the paste will start to caramelize and get a deep red color).

Add potatoes, carrots, lentils, spices (except salt) and water or broth.
 Bring to a boil; cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

 After the lentils are well cooked, stir in the salt. 

 I also sometimes add greens at this point and let them wilt for a few minutes before serving. I top soup bowls with hemp seeds too.

Thank you Liz for this delicious recipe!

Remember to send you Ital recipes to share with the RasTafari Community at italpeople@gmail.com!

Blessed Health and Strength

Spelt Pancakes

My spelt pancake recipe provides a perfect heavy breakfast to send everyone in the family off to work and school!

Spelt is not gluten-free but its gluten content is less. It is also a wholegrain and not genetically modified. It has about 20% more protein that wheat and is chock-full of amino acids. These pancakes are denser than the usual fluffy pancakes especially if you use the flax meal instead of the baking powder. I have given more than one version which work for me! the second option creates a fluffier pancake.
You can also use gluten-free organic whole wheat flour if necessary. you can get the aluminum free baking powder from Bob's Red Mill, as well as the spelt flour.

Option 1

1 heaping cup spelt flour (or gluten free whole wheat flour) don’t level off
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp. flax meal + 3 tbsp. warm water
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tbs coconut sugar
1 cup + 1tbs milk
1 tsp lime/lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tbsp. coconut oil

Agave nectar or maple syrup for topping


Make flax egg and set aside
Sieve flour a little, dumping in the rest of the grain from the sieve. Add sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix dry ingredients

Add milk and lime juice or apple cider vinegar together. If you don’t have enough milk, mix water with it. Sometimes I use coconut powder and water to make the milk.

Add oil and flax egg to that.

Combine wet and dry ingredients slowly with not too much mixing, using a whisk. It should be wet and run easily, but still be thick. Add a little warm water at a time to make it wetter. Let it rest for at least five minutes or seven minutes to get a fluffier pancake.

Cook on a low-medium heat. Flip when the top of the pancake is covered in circles and the softness has adopted a firmer appearance. The bottom side that just cooked should be brown. Allow to cook for at least another minute until that side is brown too.

Taste best when served immediately. Cover with agave or your choice of sweetener.

Option 2

1 cup spelt flour (or gluten free whole wheat flour) don’t level off
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. flax meal
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 tbs coconut sugar
1 cup milk + 5 tbs warm to hot water
1 tsp lime/lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp coconut oil
agave nectar or maple syrup for topping

Sieve flour a little, dumping in the rest of the grain from the sieve. Add sugar, salt, baking powder and flax meal. Mix dry ingredients.

Add milk, water and lime juice or apple cider vinegar together.

Add oil to flour then combine wet and dry ingredients slowly with not too much mixing, using a whisk. It should be wet and run easily, but still be thick. Add a little warm water at a time to make it wetter. Let it rest for at least five minutes or seven minutes to get a fluffier pancake.

Cook on a low-medium heat. Flip when the top of the pancake is covered in circles and the softness has adopted a firmer appearance. The bottom side that just cooked should be brown. Allow to cook for at least another minute until that side is brown too.

Makes 5-6 pancakes if you use a 1/3 cup measure to dip out the pancake batter into the pan, You can make them big or mini sized, It's all up to you! Remember to use a small touch of oil to fry and as you put in the batter, Move around the fry pan to make the pancakes flat and spread.

Make your own pancakes and avoid the unhealthy additives in store bought pancakes and pancake mixes! Bob Red Mill's has a pancake mix which I have never checked but the ingredients are probably a lot better than other brands.

Ital Life Ital Health to you!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Moringa Melon

This Smoothie has a slight tangy taste which is very refreshing when it is cold. you wont taste the greens in it! Pre- chill the pawpaw and cantaloupe.

You will need:

¼ - half a cantaloupe
¼ pawpaw
1 banana
½-1 green apple, skin peeled
1 branch moringa, leaves stripped 
1 pakchoi leaf
½ thumb ginger, peeled
½ cup coconut water
juice of 1 lime

Put everything in your Nutribullet or other blender and full joy chilled!

Happy Juicing!

Avocado Salad

½ medium avocado
4 big tomatoes
1 large cucumber
Fresh leaves of Basil and parsley
3 leaves of pakchoi or lettuce
½ Zucchini
Dash of pink salt
½ cup chickpeas (optional)
Vinaigrette (optional)
Add sprinkles of shredded, pumpkin, sesame, chia and sunflower seeds, raisins, goji berries


Shred the zucchini with a grater

Dice the avocado, tomatoes and cucumber.

Chop the greens.

If adding, after soaking overnight, boil chick peas til tender. Let cool.

Put together the salad and fulljoy!

Cauliflower Rice

Rice is quite starchy and heavy and therefore not good for the digestive system for daily consumption. In addition it is a genetically modified food - especially white rice and parboiled rice etc. Overall the body doesn’t derive much from eating this grain food besides energy. 
However, I love rice just as much as the next person, and I do eat brown basmati rice - but no white rice. Wild Rice or Black Rice are considered natural rice grains, non GMO and are safer to use – but I don’t find them here in Trinidad. Definitely, if eating rice, stay away from white rice of any kind.

Quinoa or jimaca are perfect substitutes, as is cauliflower. This recipe can be turned into other varities by adding shredded or grated vegetables to the mix, as long as they don’t make water when heated. This rice can be eaten fully live or raw, or lightly stir fried which is my preference.

You will need:
1 head cauliflower
3 stalks Chive or leeks
Sprig of Thyme
1 small Onion or 1/4 red onion
½ bell pepper
½ tsp Ground Ginger, turmeric, cumin each
Dried oregano leaves, Italian seasoning
1 tsp or more Pink/sea salt
Drizzle of cooking coconut oil for fry pan

Optional ingredients for more flavor:
1 handful canned corn (non GMO, drained)
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp kelp seasoning

Large flat fry pan
Food processor or blender


Wash cauliflower and cut the florets apart.

Allow them to dry thoroughly by patting and by air, place by a window sill or out in the sun to aid the process.
This entire process must remain as dry as possible for it to be rice-like.
Place some of the cauliflower in food processor – use a blender if you don’t have one but the processor will give the best consistency. You will have to stop intermittently to push and move the cauliflower around so that all blends the same. Do not over blend to make it mushy. Keep doing this until all the florets are blended.

Finely chop the fresh seasonings.

Heat frying pan with a touch of coconut oil and put in freshly chopped seasonings and mix well. 

Then add the cauliflower rice and lightly stir-fry continuously for 5 minutes.

Add all the ground seasonings and salt to taste as you desire.
The turmeric gives it the nice yellow colour.

                               This is how the rice is when using the blender, the pieces are thicker.

with food processor

Preparing Fresh Produce: Removing Pesticides and Wax

Unless you have proof that the fruits or vegetables you are consuming have been organically grown, they will likely have some level of pesticides on them. Ital food generally is supposed to be free of inorganic fertilizers and sprays that keep pests away, but in today’s food market it is very very hard to find true Ital produce. Even foods that are labelled organic may still have spray or fertilizers that are inorganic, but considered to be much less dangerous or more biodegradable than other chemicals.

Some foods are more toxic than others, look at the official Dirty Dozen list which will help you decide what imported foods are best to consume or stay away from. I personally try to stay away from those imported foods that are on this list, but once in a while due to monotony, I may consume them, but following the cleansing steps I mention below. I have learned that many seeds today cannot mature and produce their fruits unless they have been treated by these chemicals. Our agricultural system across the entire world is dependent on the use of chemicals to produce food. So it is truly hard to find produce that satisfies a totally Ital diet unless you are able to farm and grow your own chemical free foods or obtain produce from someone who uses Ital practices.

It is important to take steps to acquire organic foods and to also remove chemical residues as much as possible when you can’t - especially because you will be eating these fruits and vegetables raw! These toxins in the body can over time, make us ill, less immune to diseases and weaken our overall genetics. Birth defects and cancer, and damage to the nervous system can result from pesticide ingestion.

In living an Ital Lifestyle, you are faced with either not consuming foods because they are sprayed, or trying your best to remove the chemicals from the skins of the foods. I choose the second option because I like variety, it’s the spice of life! Realistically everything that is sold in the supermarket or market has some kind of pesticide or inorganic fertilizer attached to its growth process.

Here are some popular tips that vegans around the world use to detoxify their conventionally grown fruits and vegetables as much as possible. I’ve gathered these tips from a variety of sources on line, and you can feel free to google it and see what else you find.

The most effective way to clean your foods of pesticides, which are often water-soluble, is to give all produce a Fruit or Veggie Bath/Wash as soon as you bring them home from the market and before you look to store them away. You can do this in different ways primarily using water, as pesticides are said to be water soluble:

1.) Running Water and a Brush:

I use a small cosmetic nail brush which is soft, to scrub my vegetables or fruits, especially those that visibly have mud or other stains on them. Running water brings force to tough skins of potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, apples, christophene, pumpkin, oranges and other touch produce which helps dissolve the chemicals. Give a gentle yet firm rub based on the skin of the fruit.
Certain foods won't have sprays on them but sometimes the trees themselves are trated for fungicides  like oranges, mangoes, limes or avocado. you need to scrub citrus skins really good because of that.

2.) Veggie Soak:

The Veggie soak is also another effective method to clean the skins of produce, especially for tomatoes, sweet peppers, green leafy vegetables, pears, peaches, grapes and other more delicate foods. Soaking is for no less than 15-20 minutes. You can also use the brush or your hand to rub firmly when rinsing them off after the bath.

There are four ways to make a veggie bath:

a) Foodgrade Hydrogen Peroxide and Water

This is the most recommended method by raw vegan Ras Khepra Anu in Washington, as white vinegar is pretty acidic and not good for the body. The peroxide can be ordered online.

b) White Vinegar and Water

This method is the easiest to use because white vinegar is affordable in large quantities, you will definitely need to buy a big bottle because you will use it weekly.

Basically you want a 10% vinegar and 90% water solution. I tend to use 1/8 to 1/4 cup vinegar to a big bowl of water.

c) Salt and Water

You can also add half a tablespoon of salt to a big bowl of water and soak. 

For any of these three baths do the following: Allow veggies or fruit to soak roughly 15-20 minutes. Then after give them a good rub under running water and put them to drain. For the greens I alternate the leaves and stems in soaking. The water should be brown when you’re finished soaking.

d) Lemon/Lime, Baking Soda and Water

Dailymom.com in their article “Three Natural Ways to Remove Pesticides from Produce,” recommends a spray using 1 tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs baking soda and 1 cup of water. Spray the produce and let it sit for 10 minutes then rinse. I’d try letting them soak in the same solution as well.

3.) Peel the Skin

For my apples, cucumbers, pears I always remove the skin. Cucumbers I do it more because I find a lot of the time the skin is bitter. Otherwise leave the skin on because of its rich nutrient content. I peel apples and peers because the skin has too much wax, and I don’t always buy these imported fruits. If you buy imported plums or peaches, also peel the skins.

Remember to pat your produce dry with a clean kitchen towel before storage!

The best thing about washing your produce is that it's ready to use when it's time for meal prep!

Remember Ital is Vital, meaning whole, cleans foods are necessary for the vitality and health of your body, so take care in selecting the best produce and do your best to acquire organically grown fruits and vegetables. Always read your labels and ask your vendor questions when you purchase any product. Make it known in the market that you seek organic foods and you may find those who are willing to offer you such products. I have one vendor at my market who grows his cucumbers, pimentos, tomatoes and pumpkin without pesticides.
Live and Prosper,

Monday, 5 September 2016

Pineapple Greens Smoothie

A delicious green smoothie to start your day! Ila's Pineapple Greens Smoothie

You will need:

1 cup or even half a pineapple
1 green apple, skin peeled to remove toxins
1 kiwi peeled and cubed
1 banana
1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut water
1 tsp maca powder
1 bunch moringa leaves pulled off stem
2 leaves pakchoi
you can also add 1/2 cup coconut meat or use coconut milk instead of water.

Blend it altogether!
It's always better chilled so you cand add some ice if your ingredients aren't cold. I usually peel, cube and freeze my pineapple.

Happy Juicing!

Liz's Spinach Muffins

I am so so excited to share the first recipe sent in by another RasTafari Sistren!
Liz Johnson lives in Oregon with her Kingman and two princes, and she has been a supporter of RastaWifeLine and all my works for a while now. 
Liz grows a beautiful Ital Kitchen Garden when the summer comes around, she is always an inspiration to I with her green thumb. I love to see her photos of her harvests!

Here is a picture of one of her daily garden hauls!

I would love to make a salad with all this goodness!

Today Liz has shared her Spinach Muffins with InI. You can try it for breakfast or for a snack for the family! I have put some alternatives in brackets which I would use

Spinach Muffins:

You will need:

2 cups Whole wheat flour or flour of choice (Spelt)
1/3-1/2 cup raw sugar or sweetener of choice (try coconut sugar or 1/2 cup agave nectar)
2 tsp baking powder (1 tbsp flax meal/powder + 3 tbsp warm water,  mix and set aside)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 coconut oil
3/4 unsweetened almond or hemp milk
6-8 oz. fresh baby spinach
1/2 mashed banana
2 tsp vanilla


Whisk dry ingredients and set aside.
In a blender- blend oil, milk, & spinach. Then add mashed bananas and vanilla and blend until just mixed.
Pour spinach mixture over dry ingredients and fold in until completely combined.
Oil 2-3 muffin pans and fill cups 3/4 full.
Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes.
Makes ~16-18 muffins.

Happy Baking Ital People!
Ila and Liz

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Tips for Getting Started with Juicing Smoothies

For breakfast, choose to start with the raw, hydrating, nutricious energy of a smoothie or natural juice, having at least 20 to 32 ounces. Drink until you are full and satisfied. You may also have these juices at any time of day you desire.

At least two juices a day is the best practice for womb wellness, immune system building/sustenance and muscle repair from exercise. A 16 ounce smoothie along with your big salad will fill you right up, always be sure to have the liquid before solid. If not it is good to wait at least an hour after eating before drinking.Aim to always consume smoothies on an empty stomach because that is the optimal way for the stomach to digest fruits.

Green smoothies are total body builders – perfect for detoxifying the body of heavy metals and pollutants. They provide the body with minerals and build overall strength and immunity. Green juices are effective for the morning, and before or after exercise. You can add a cup of greens to any recipe.

Many fruit smoothies are calorie dense, they keep you full longer. They are great for energy, Vitamins, enzymes and anti-oxidants. Fruit Juices are great for the morning and any other time of day.

Fast Benefits of Juicing:

Consuming food in raw state to gain all nutrients
Easing digestive system from overworking, thereby gaining more energy
Eliminating constipation
Boosting the immune system with antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals
Weight Loss
Mental clarity, mood improvement

Ital Smoothie Preparation:

Ensure that your nuts and seeds are fresh and free from mildew. Do not buy or consume shriveled nuts. Keep nuts and seeds in airtight containers or ziploc bags in the fridge.

Note that in the Caribbean, obtaining organic produce is very difficult whether local or imported. Note that imported fruits and vegetables generally come with a range of pesticides on the skins and become acquainted with the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Look for a local farmer that grows organically in the market or grow your own foods! Obtain fruits from friends and family who have trees at home.

Because our food supply can be very toxic it is important to be strict about your food preparation. Here are our recommendations for preparing your fruits and vegetables for juicing so that you can decrease the toxicity in your body.

Smoothie Boosters:

To every smoothie or juice you can add one or any combination of the following to build up the nutritional value of the drink.

1 tsp- 1/2 tbs maca powder or moringa powder
1 tsp or more dandelion greens powder
2 tsp to 1 scoop spirulina or raw organic green protein powder
¼ cup nuts like walnuts, cashew or almonds (especially for green smoothies
1/8 cup goji berries or hawthorn berries
1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
1/8 - ¼ cup hulled hemp seeds
1 spoon seamoss
/2 - 1 thumb ginger
3-6 dates

You can if you wish, mill all seeds and nuts (before soaking) using the flat blade of the Nutribullet so that they blend easy. Remember to soak all nuts and seeds before adding them to the smoothie. Alternatively, which I prefer, make nut mylks of almond, cashew or coconut and store in a mason jar in the fridge. add a 1/2 cup to 1 cup to your smoothie instead.
Find boosting powders at your local health food store or herbalist, or order directly from Amazon or other online organic food sources.

It is important to use as many greens as you can in any smoothie, unless you just want fruits alone. Choose from:

1 cup or more spinach (make sure it’s organic to avoid the Dirty Dozen)
2-3 of each leaf: chopped kale, pakchoy, lettuce, romaine, chard
1-2 stalks celery
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch sweet basil
½ bunch mint
1 big bunch of moringa leaves

Fruity Ingredients:

Here’s a list of fruits we use to make our smoothies, some of them are seasonal. Always use ripened fruits. The fruits have been separated into local and imported groups:

Oranges/ Portigal/Mandarin (all varieties)
Lemon, Lime
West Indian cherries/Acerola
Golden Apple/Pommecythere/June Plum
Carambola/Five-finger/Star fruit
Sweet Sop/Sugar apple
Mamey-sapote/Mamisiporte/Mammy apple
Otaheite apple/Pommerac
Passion Fruit
Coconut water and jelly meat
Sugar cane juice


Honey dew
Green or Red Pears

When you want a stand alone smoothie meal, choose denser fruits which are tummy fillers, I tend to use the following measurements:

1/2 to 1 pawpaw
3 mangoes
1/2 to 1 cup sour sop
1/2 to 1 pineapple
1 cup coconut meat
2-4 bananas

Adding bananas to any smoothie instantly boosts it up with calories and makes it creamier and heavier, more filling. 1 big banana contains 100 calories so it provides good energy the more you add.

It is good to have a blender that can effectively blend all your smoothie ingredients. You don't want chunks of greens or ginger or apple still floating around in your meal! I love the Magic Bullet and the newer Nutri Bullet systems! Nutribullet was specially formulated for creating smoothies and is much more inexpensive than the bigger blenders such as Vitamix. Before I used the Osterizer blender, but an older model. It worked well, so I am sure the new version will give you a great smoothie too!

I hope these tips help! See our list of Smoothies by clicking on the Smoothie Tab!

Happy juicing!

Sour Paw Smoothie

First of all, this smoothie is not sour! It got its name from the two main ingredients, Sour sop and Pawpaw!
 Sour sop is known for its strong cancer-fighting powers so make sure to eat it as much as you can when in season! I  usually de-seed my sour sop and freeze it so it wont spoil and I can full-joy it longer!
This is a tangy yet sweet, cool and refreshing snack or meal based on the quantity you make. Chilled fruit always make for better smoothies! 16 ounce I consider to be a snack smoothie, which I would drink before my big salad, or late in the evening if I feel hungry. Remember you can add or subtract from any smoothie recipe based on your ingredients.

You will need for a 16 ounce smoothie:

¼ pawpaw
1/4 cup soursop
1 small lime,juice extracted
½ cup water or coconut water or nut mylk
1 tsp maca powder (optional)

for a bigger smoothie 20-32 ounces try:

1/2 pawpaw
1/2  to 1 cup soursop

Simply scoop out the soft flesh of both fruits, removing the seeds, extract the juice of the lime and blend it altogether with the water and maca powder in your Nutribullet or other effective juicing blender.

Happy juicing!

Seasoned Savory ChickPea Ital Muffins

This recipe is a seasoned savory chickpea muffin that can be used as a protein snack for the family, or to compliment a brunch spread.

When these savory muffins have had a few hours to cool they become even thicker (you may feel to drink a little), because that is the nature of chickpea flour. They are not soft inside like a traditional muffin. To soften them up you might try adding to the mixture 1 blended banana, 1 cup of apple sauce or even 1 small blended plantain and give it a go!

While they taste pretty good on their own,  they can be sliced and made into sandwiches using fried plantain and toasted tomato or eggplant which you can just put in the toaster oven on some foil.

These muffins are sure to satisfy those mid-morning munchies, and as I said, are a shoo-in for any brunch or Ital gathering! As a bonus they are great little snacks for the entire family on the go!

Store in the fridge in ziploc or container, Give them a toast and they are perfect! Four days later, toasted with butter – pretty amazing still!

You will need:

2 cups chickpea flour
2 tbs flax meal
1 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
2 1/4 cup warm water
Ground seasonings ½ tsp: turmeric, cumin, ginger, dried oregano/basil

Fresh seasonings finely chopped:
1 tomato
½ onion
2 stalks chive/leeks stalks
1 leaf shadon beni (if you have)
1 pimento

(Very finely grated ginger, turmeric are optional instead of ground; and a finely grated carrot pumpkin or zucchini no more than ¼ cup can be added)

Large bowl
2 muffin tins or 1 bread tin

Set oven on low heat or around 120-130 C.

Mix all dry ingredients and ground or powdered seasonings well in large bowl.

Add oil and water, and mix.

Add the fresh seasonings and combine well.

It should form a thick, sticky dough, like a very thick batter.

Grease the muffin tins well with coconut oil first. Use the spoon to fill each muffin hole to the top with batter.

Set on the top rack of oven and allow to bake for no more than 40 minutes. By then they should be a nice brown colour, and a knife inserted should come out clean.

Cool then remove to a plate or cooling rack - I used a spoon and gently pried them out, they didn’t break. Allow to cool some more.

Just give them a try! I find them to satisfy cravings for fish if you are just starting a meatless diet!

Stay Ital and Blessed