Posted on Leave a comment

Curried Mince with Eggplant

This recipe generates pleasant memories for me. I’ve modified a recipe that was passed on to me by a Japanese lady who runs an amazing kitchen. Thanks Junko!


½ cup veggie mince
2 eggplants
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk escallion, chopped
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 spring thyme
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp honey/sugar
2 boullion cubes
½ tsp jerk seasoning
½ cup water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Chop the eggplants into bite-sized pieces and soak in water for about 10 minutes.
2. Re-hydrate veggie mince in hot water (follow package directions).
3. Heat oil in a pan then stir-fry onion, garlic, escallion, ginger, tomato, and thyme.
4. Drain eggplant then add to pan along with veggie mince.
5. Add curry powder and coat mince and veggies evenly.
6. Add soy sauce, ketchup, honey, boullion, jerk seasoning, and water.
7. Simmer on low heat for 5-minutes.
8. Put on medium heat until water evaporates to a thick sauce.

Serve with rice, your favourite pasta, or garlic bread.

Posted on Leave a comment

Should We Eat Meat?

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

When we attend the Food & Nutrition lessons taught in school, we learn about the Six Food Groups as designed by the Caribbean Food & Nutrition Institute (CFNI). We are taught to use this guide to plan meals for healthy eating as it is modelled off the food we produce in the Caribbean.

The groups are:
1. Staples e.g. cassava, potato, plantain, macaroni, rice, porridge, etc.
2. Legumes & Nuts e.g. kidney beans, gungo peas, peanuts, cashew nuts, etc.
3. Vegetables e.g. callaloo, pumpkin, cho-cho, cucumber, garden egg, etc.
4. Fruits e.g. mango, guava, pawpaw, June plum, sweet sop, pineapple, etc.
5. Food From Animals e.g. meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, egg, yoghurt, etc.
6. Fats & Oils e.g. cooking oil, coconut milk, avocado pear, ackee, butter, etc.

The Caribbean dietary guideline is very well done, except for the inclusion of the ‘Food from Animals’ group. Although, the eating of meat is culturally acceptable for the wider society, we have had different social and religious groups who abstain from consuming animal products to varying degrees. So, we can admit that eating meat is a social normal but, are we really supposed to eat food from animals?
Dan Piraro of produced a very animated and informative video about why meat is bad for you:
As brought out in Piraro’s video, in many ways, eating meat is like any other unhealthy lifestyle or habit that has long term effects. You won’t necessarily have instantaneous physical injury or other such drastic and obvious effects from maintaining an omnivorous diet. However, the practice of eating meat has its hazards.
Many medical professionals have identified various lifestyles diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease, that are the direct result of a diet based on meat and dairy products. These foods are filled with saturated fats, parasites, viruses, and bacteria. Most of the animals raised for commercial consumption are raised on steroids, hormones, and antibiotics, and these extra ‘condiments’ for the meal are not eliminated all together from the heat process of cooking.
There are more factors that could be considered as we ponder the question, “Meat – to eat or not to eat”. Yet, there are more good reasons to stop eating meat than there are to continue.
Posted on Leave a comment

The Healthy Diet: Basic Nutrition Lesson

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

We are as healthy as our body is whole, fault-free, and fully-functional. For every inch of us that lacks comfort and wellness, we are experiencing disease. Most of us are born in ‘perfect’ health and our state of wholeness changes as we grow and age. But, it is not our aging that is responsible for most of our ailments and complaints, but our lifestyle or habits.

Our lifestyle includes the way we dress, the food we eat and our physical activities. However, because the food we eat is the fuel for our bodies, it is our diet (regular food) that really determines our wellness.
To be healthy, our food needs to supply us with the chemical compounds and elements that our bodies are made of: water, carbohydrates (sugar, starch, fiber), proteins (amino acids), and fats. Other essential nutrients are vitamins and minerals.
Energy comes from carbohydrates, proteins and fats and we can get them all from plant-based foods. The Power Plate is a dietary guideline developed by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to promote overall health and well-being. The Power Plate contains four food groups to choose from:
1. Whole Grains e.g. rice, bread, pasta, corn, bulghur, roti, etc.
2. Vegetables e.g. carrot, breadfruit, okra, tomato, yam, onion, callaloo, etc.
3. Fruits e.g. banana, mango, jackfruit, sweetsop, pineapple, naseberry, etc.
4. Legumes e.g. red peas, coconut, cashew, soy milk, TVP, gungo peas, etc.
These food groups are the sources of all the energy and other essential nutrients that we need.
Please note that it is recommended that we supplement our diet with a good source of Vitamin B12 if we choose to consume no animal products.