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Greens For Dinner 

Have you ever considered drinking a gallon (3 litres) of green smoothies a day? How about a salad filled with a pound of dark-green leaves? LOL. I figured!

Yes, dark-green leafy vegetables are an essential part of a vibrant diet, but there must be other ways of consuming our leafies without going all in on the liquids or chewing for 1 straight hour. As an effortless fix, I recommend incorporating dark-green leafy vegetables into your favourite dinner dishes and adding new greens-heavy dishes to your regular evening fare. I find these to be two of the best ways to maintain a greens-based diet: adding greens to regular dishes and trying new dishes that have lots of greens.

In my mind, it is a simple fix. Afterall, I’ve spent so much of my life collecting recipe books, watching cooking shows on TV, making playlists of recipe videos on YouTube or filling up recipe boards on Pinterest. (Please tell me you do things like this, too. LOL) Well, just in case you’ve been busy doing more important things – like ending civil wars or providing potable water to displaced communities 😉 – I’ve compiled a quick list of scrumptious, vibrant eats for you to add to your usual cooking routine.



Long before we had a flag, reggae music or top class athletes, Jamaicans had Pepperpot Soup. One of the classic Taino dishes that we still enjoy today, the spicy brew is full of leaves, like Callaloo, making a hearty and warm bowl of flavour. This is my favourite thing to have my brother, the chef, make for me.

Pepperpot Soup Recipe


Yes! It’s possible to make a quiche without any eggs. It’s also possible to whip one up into individual servings: with the magical utensil called a ‘muffin pan’. If you don’t have a latex or other nonstick baking pan, you can always use cupcake liners inside a regular muffin pan to prevent your mini quiches from falling apart. They are great for fancy dinner parties, potlucks or packing into lunch boxes.

Mini Quiche Recipe




Chinese food and I go way back. I’ve gone to extreme lengths to enjoy the stuff and really appreciate the many ways this cuisine incorporates vegetables into various dishes. Chowmein is a simple stirfry of veggies and noodles and once you make your first batch, you’ll find yourself keeping noodles in the cupboard for a rush-rush day. Unlike most people, you don’t have to use green cabbage or Chinese cabbge everytime. Many dark-green leafy veggies will combine well to produce and excellent meal. You won’t miss any texture of flavour once you do it well.

Vegetable Chowmein Recipe



This Italian open-faced pie has become an international fun, easy-to-access food. I like to store pre-made crusts in my freezer, but you can easily make one from scratch in a little time. But, if you decide to order from your local pizza shop, you can always request the toppings you love. (Tip: the super-thin crust turns to ‘cinder’ if you don’t add cheese. But, regular crusts will be fine with just sauce and your favourite toppings.)

The highlight of this pizza is the Spinach Pesto used in place of the traditional tomato sauce. But the genius for me, comes in the form of the Cashew Ricotta. I love making tofu ricotta for my lasagna, but I’m a bigger fan of my sister’s Cashew Cheese dips and sauces. So, a Cashew Ricotta is awesome – especially for my peeps who stay away from tofu.

Spinach Pesto & Cashew Ricotta Pizza Recipe



Just because I have fond memories of making, ordering, and eating pizza as a child, I’m giving you a second recipe for this category. What I specially love about this pizza is that once it comes out of the oven, it’s topped with (fresh / raw)  uncooked leafy greens and other vegetables. Isn’t it beautiful?! It ‘s quite the treat for anyone who loves Mexican flavours.

Taco Pizza Recipe




I was probably in Primary School, the first time I saw lasagna being served was on TV. I promptly asked my mother to make it and grew up enjoying it at least once a year – usually at some big fancy dinner. But, once I started banging the pots around in my own kitchen, I found out how to make various versions of this one of a kind dish. A well-made tofu ricotta or cashew cheese sauce can easily substitute dairy cheeses and satisfy the biggest lasagna fan.

Spinach Lasagna Recipe




Plain pasta, usually spaghetti, is in regular rotation for my family. Usually because it works as a quick meal you can put together in 10 minutes or less. But, to kill the boredom that comes with traditional tomato sauces, the Spinach Pesto stars the show. Pastas like linguine are a great choice for offering variety to your palate without losing out on flavour nor simplicity.

Linguine with Spinach-Lemon Pesto Recipe


What other greens-heavy dishes have you been enjoying?



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5 Easy Dishes Packed With Greens For a Tasty Breakfast 

The healthy eating guidelines published around the world will tell you that you need to get 3-6 servings of raw and cooked veggies everyday. Dark-green leafy vegetables need to fill up most of that vegetable quota and a lunchtime salad is surely not enough. So, if your aim is to eat (or drink) at least 3 servings of leafy greens every day, it might be a good idea to include 1 serving in each of your main meals throughout the day. But, does that mean you’re stuck having salads for breakfast? If you love a big salad, then sure it’s fine. But if you’re looking for quick, easy and flavour-packed, the question won’t sit so easily with you.

I know. You haven’t really thought of more than a couple simple and tasty recipes that you an rely on for getting your greens in at breakfast time. But, don’t worry. I did the thinking for you 😉

If you flip through your best recipe books, you might be surprised to see all the different ways that dark-green leafy vegetables can become the star of your morning plate or shine as the perfect compliment to your usual favourites. Whenever you decide to try them out, you will certainly do a much better job of eating/drinking up your daily nutritional requirement just by adding a serving of leafy greens to your breakfast plate.

Below you will find 5 different kinds of dishes (with recipes in the links) that you can put into rotation for breakfast and easily increase the amount of leafy greens you consume everyday:


Steamed Callaloo
Steamed Callaloo

My favourite way to have greens on my plate, is in a stirfry, and most Jamaicans grew up eating ‘steamed’ Callaloo, Cabbage or Pakchoy for breakfast. My mother had filled half the backyard with callaloo, sprouting new leaves all year long, to ensure that we fed on those leaves, for what seemed like every Sunday morning. While some persons assume that salted codfish is Callaloo’s bestfriend, I have been eating my stirfried greens for years and prefer to combine it with other vegetables, like carrots, mushrooms, and various peas and beans. With the right herbs, spices and sauces, you won’t miss a thing!



Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

I love wraps! All flatbreads count. Roti, tortillas, pita bread and of course, bammy (wafers). Mostly populare at lunchtime, wraps are great for breakfast because you can drop them in your handbag and head on the road without worrying about missing the most important meal of the day. To save time, you can always make them the night before, seal them up in plastic wrap and eat them chilled or reheated in the morning. You can fill them with leftovers from your green veggie stirfry dinner or fill them up with Romaine Lettuce topped with scrambled tofu or your favourite beans.



Double Chocolate Spinach Muffin

Double Chocolate Spinach Muffins

Some people don’t mind the green colour of Popeye Muffins, but if you are not yet comfy with the grassy hue, you can add chocolate to your recipe for a ‘secret’ healthy muffin. Your children and friends won’t notice the difference when you sneak in leafy greens into the sweet treats. Muffins are a great on those mornings when you are strapped for time, because they can be made ahead, frozen and reheated in the toaster oven for a wholesome breakfast bite that you can enjoy on-the-go. Perfect if you like meal planning and freezer meals, you can enjoy variations like Blueberry Kale or Banana Spinach.



Tofu Omelette

Tofu Omelette with Spinach & Mushrooms

That one summer holiday after I learnt egg cookery in my high school Food & Nutrition class. LOL. I went through my mother’s tray (yes, 24 eggs) in about 2 weeks! I made every version of scrambled eggs and style of omelette I could dream up. By September, I couldn’t stand the scent of eggs! But, I still love scrambling and folding fluffy batters filled with different chopped up goodies. Whether you choose to use tofu or chickpea flour to make your omelettes, you should try to sautĂ© your favourite greens and fold them inside. Stuff your omelettes until they pop open or sprinkle in the leaves along with other veggies – either way, you are guaranteed a hearty start to your day.



Mango & Baby Bok Choy Smoothie

Mango & Baby Bok Choy Smoothie

You really didn’t think I would end this list without including a smoothie, did you? LOL.

The quickest, easiest and probably tastiest way to pack in a huge amount of dark-green leafy vegetables for breakfast is with your blender. With smoothies, the greens are liquefied, so they are absorbed much quicker than if you were to chew them; and the ‘bushy’ flavour gets masked by the sweetness of the season’s best sunripened fruit. So, if you haven’t started, it’s time to get blending. Then, when you find a really good recipe (the kind you think you should drink every single day), just be sure to rotate your greens. Don’t be afraid to try different leaves in your blends from time to time. The same fruits that work with the baby bok choy will go just as well with the watercress or the arugula.


Plan For Your New Eating Habits

While, you may be inspired to try any of these dishes, habits are hard to develop and even harder to break. So, plan ahead to ensure you keep your kitchen stocked with leafy greens, then decide which dishes you’ll make throughout the week to keep yourself focused.


Which of these will you try today?

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10 Mouth-Watering Desserts You Can Enjoy Without Any Guilt

You’ve just completed a hearty meal in a fine restaurant and the waiter returns with the menu, inviting you to try their decadent-looking desserts. Dessert or no dessert? This is the question that many of us mothers struggle with on a daily or weekly basis; we want to provide treats to satisfy that innate desire for sweetness, but we also have to struggle against the all too common sugar addiction and its accompanying diseases.

Today’s Sugary Habits 

We don’t need to look very far to observe the dangers of feasting on ice cream and cake. There are kindergarteners on insulin for type 2 diabetes, obesity is becoming more prevalent among elementary school children and teenagers are being hospitalised for heart disease and stroke.

The times have certainly changed; our eating habits and our food choices have deteriorated, and now we’re paying  the price. School canteens, corner shops, and quick-service restaurants have become regular features in our daily lives, having replaced home-cooked meals and fresh foods. These businesses provide us with shelf-stable, readily-made and pre-packaged desserts loaded with genetically-modified ingredients, synthetic preservatives, artificial flavours and unnatural colours. These individually-wrapped novelties are mass-produced and high-fat, high-calorie and sugar-laden with little to no nutrients, even though they bear the same names as the lovingly-prepared, wholesome desserts we enjoyed as children. Additionally, these treats are sold very cheaply and marketed, not as once-in-a-while bites, but snack items to enjoy between meals. Ice cream sandwiches are munched during TV time, sticky donuts and hand-held pies are served for breakfast. The average child can consume a handful of chocolates and caramels in half an hour without anyone batting an eye.

Cooking Dessert the Old Fashioned Way

When I was a child in Jamaica, we had desserts for special occasions; Easter buns and Christmas cakes during the respective holidays, sugar buns and rock cakes at special events, and my grandmother’s homemade puddings and pone whenever we had good sweet potato and corn harvests. Whenever my mother had time on the weekend, she tolerated us tangling her feet in the kitchen while she ‘rubbed up’ batches of pineapple-upside-down cake, orange cake or baking sheets of warm, flaky plantain tarts. When things were hectic, a scoop of rum n’ raisin ice cream or a small bowl of strawberry Jell-O was our Sunday afternoon delight.

Since treats were not a regular part of our diet, if we wanted something sweet after dinner, we had to make do with freshly picked fruit or baked nuts. Or, instead of drinking plain water or limeade with the evening meal, we might get to guzzle down homemade fruit juice.

When I think back to my childhood desserts, I think of homemade goodies – not the stuff from the supermarket shelves or pastry shops. My mother and grandmothers always knew exactly what went into their baked goods and sourced high quality produce to create them. I can’t help but agree with medical professionals and nutritionists who’ve been saying that we, the new generation of Mommies, need to return to real, whole foods.

Planning for Dessert

The strategy of meal planning and pre-cooking can be applied to desserts – especially if you reserve dessert for a special/Sunday night dinner. Even if you decide to satisfy your sweet tooth on a daily basis, fruit-based desserts are an excellent way to get yummy tummies without the guilt or dietary ills. You’d be amazed at how fresh fruits can be transformed, quite quickly and easily, into freezer pops, ice creams, sorbets or slushies without giving you any extra work. By searching out some whole  food, plant-based recipes, you can discover dishes that are easy for children to make and allow for them to enjoy something sweet without the adverse effects of excess sugars, fat or refined carbohydrates.

Healthy Dessert Ideas 

The following list of whole food plant-based desserts are a great place to start. If they become regular features in your family’s meal plans, you will certainly be decreasing the amount of ‘products’ in your diet and increasing the amount of ‘produce’ you consume. Here’s to healthy and delicious desserts, for your family and mine:


  1. Mint-Melon Sorbet Recipe here


  1. Raspberry Lime Freezer Pops  Recipe here


  1. Peanut Butter-Banana “Ice Cream” Recipe here


  1. Vegan Chocolate Banana Mousse Recipe here


  1. Dairy-Free Chocolate Bars Recipe here


  1. Raw Strawberry Peppermint Cheesecake Recipe here


  1. Coconut Cream Pie Recipe here


  1. Vegan Strawberry-Banana Cupcakes Recipe here Picture1
  2. Vegan Cinnamon Rolls Recipe here lemongrass-dreadlocks-500x500
  3. Vegetarian Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe here


Which of these will you make first?




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3 Reasons I Cook Only Once a Week

I love to eat, but I don’t love being in the kitchen. Yes, I love trying out new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients, but that’s probably just the adventurer and weird scientist in me. I hate the long standing, the heat from the stove and oven, the constant washing of utensils, the essential prep of the ingredients, or the moments in which the Small, Bright-eyed Human runs in circles around my feet and screams until I pick her up. But, this post isn’t about my ‘laziness’ as much as it is about time management and prioritising.


Menu Planning & Batch Cooking

Having transitioned from Homemaker to Employee, I needed to find a way to be present with my daughter for the few hours we are together each day (since she goes to daycare while I teach). But, even more so, I needed to avoid exhaustion while feeding my family hearty and nutritious meals. I remembered how for my CXC practical exam in Food & Nutrition, I was able to make the birthday cake (baked and decorated with freshly made icing), drinks, different types of sandwiches, snacks and fruit table pieces all from scratch and decorate the table in a couple of hours. This is because I had learnt how to make a menu plan and a time plan to make it all work, and I decided to put this aspect of my high school education to use!

What I do is cook all the food my family will eat, once a week (on the weekend) and simply heat and serve throughout the week. It may sound like a lot of work, but I can get 3 or 4 entrees and the same amount of side dishes made in 2 or 3 hours. Which works out to about 3 hours of intense work to cover the whole week, instead of cooking an hour a day, every single day. So, let me give this disclaimer before going any further:

If you are one of those persons who claims, “I don’t eat over-night/hot-up food.” Then I suggest that you don’t read any further. I’ll also recommend that you don’t eat anything you haven’t cooked yourself, because all commercially prepared food involves batch cooking and rĂ©chauffĂ©. So, if you eat food from restaurants, hotels, school cafeterias, office canteens, hospitals, or caterers, you have eaten rĂ©chauffĂ© or reheated food. The main reason the food looks and tastes differently from what you’ve re-heated at home is because food service operators have been trained to observe industry standards in food safety (sanitation, storage, preservation, time and temperature). I’m grateful to have received the same training when I got my food handler’s permit, but even more so, for having worked in the food service industry to learn, first-hand, about things like ‘food danger zone’.


Ital Stew (Photo Credit:


That little issue addressed, these are my reasons – plain and simple – for cooking once a week:

1. Free To Relax
Since I’m away from my family all day, I want to know that I can enjoy the time reconnecting with them when I get home. We can sit together and play, or do any other fun thing together before we settle down for dinner. Plus I don’t need to rush with my daughter when I go to pick her up from the daycare. If she wants to just hug me for a little or wants me to join her with digging up dirt in the yard, I feel comfortable to do that without watching the time.

2. No Extra Work After Work
Since all my meals (lunches and dinners) are already cooked, I don’t need to go grocery shopping or spend time in the kitchen cooking dinner and the next day’s lunch. After work is finished, I can truly come home and de-chakarise.

3. Fancy Dishes Without the Hassle
Who wouldn’t like to eat a fancy, weekend-style meal during the week? Entree with two or three different sides? How about two entrees? I can do that because it’s all made in advance, I just need to heat and serve.


Japanese Vegetable Curry & Rice (Photo Credit:


This Week’s Menu
For this week, I made 3 entrees (Ackee & Mixed Veggies, Japanese Curry with Lentils & Pumpkin, and Ital Stew), and the main starches were Brown Rice, Mushroom Rice (used my rice cooker), Roti and Naan (bought them frozen and put them in the toaster oven before serving). I served these sides as well: Cucumber-Basil Pasta Salad, Garden Salad and another Mushroom Sauce Pasta Salad. It may sound like a lot, but I also bought a deli box (with simmered veggies and tofu skin) from the supermarket, and each day I have a mug of Miso Soup along with my lunch. My game plan for getting this done each week is basically: Plan. Shop. Cook. I give a detailed breakdown in this article that I wrote for Baby & Blog: HERE.


Do you plan your meals and do once a week cooking? If you don’t, would you try it?