Jamaican/Rastafari word for VITAL, ORGANIC, NATURAL, WHOLESOME… real roots

Leave a comment

Vegan White sauce

We eat some form of pasta about once a week and a few weeks ago I was craving a white sauce instead of the typical tomato red that we would do. This is not a real Béchamel sauce because it isn’t made with a roux which is made by adding flour to butter to make a paste. I made it by just adding flour to warm milk.

Here’s how I made this one:

vegan-bechemel-white-sauce1 cup Oat Milk (I made it perfectly with rice milk that I mixed out thicker than usual from the powder)
2 tbs salt
3-5 tbs flour
1 tsp white or black pepper

Heat milk on a low heat. When it is warm, but before boiling start sifting flour into pot in small portions and whisk as you go along.  It should thicken as you gradually work in the flour. Add salt and pepper and whisk in well.

I sauteed some garlic and chives in a little olive oil before adding the milk for some more tastiness.
Simple as that 🙂 


Leave a comment

Vegetarian Chickpeas masala

I haven’t cooked chick peas (also called garbanzo beans) in a long time and I am wrong for that!This masala hit the spot for our Sunday dinner.

Here’s what I used to season the pot:


Missing is luscious coconut milk. I added Rice Milk Power instead… I dont care, judge me.

-Chickpeas need to be soaked overnight or pressure cooked for a long time. Make sure you soak, boil and prepare them before hand as this recipe is quick and easy once your ingredients are ready.

-Save some of broth boiled with the chickpeas to incorporate into your dish.

-I also cut my potato, carrots, and string beans into small bits and gently steamed them in a strainer over hot water beforehand.

Cook it up
-Heat some oil to fry onions, garlic, scallion etc until they start to go translucent. I added a 1/2 inch stump of ginger crushed under a clean glass here too.

-In Jamaica cooking there is a technique called “burning the curry” where curry powder is added into the hot oil before anything else. I like to add my curry (in this case tumeric and masala powders) after my onion, garlic, chives etc.

-Stir continuously so it doesn’t catch but so that everything is well coated.

-Add your steamed veggies and keep stiring. I like mine get a bit of a crisp here.

– Now your ready for your pre boiled chickpeas and enough broth to make a nice sauce. Start with a small amount and work your way up if you’re not sure how much broth. Add salt, thyme, coriander and other herbs and spices here.

-Cover and let it bubble on a low heat for 10-20 mins.

-Add tomato in the last five minutes, giving the dish a burst of freshness.


I know i know i know, this is a hefty meal, Real Jamaican Style 🙂

Leave a comment

Homemade garlic butter

Garlic_Press_and_GarlicHere’s a nifty little recipe, too easy to ignore. Simply crush a clove of garlic (or however much you want) or dice it really small. Add to some butter with a bit of salt and mixed herbs to taste. I like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper too. Mix well. Depending on how strong you want your garlic butter, one clove should be enough to blend with up to 4 oz of butter or less.

It even works great in cooking. Go all out and try infusing your oils with garlic too.

Next time forgo the store bought garlic bread and whip up this butter. Smother it all over a french roll or other bread then pop it in a hot oven. I promise it will be better than anything you buy at the store.

Leave a comment

Black-eye peas stew

Nothing like a nice pot bubbling with black-eye peas. The smart looking bean (though called a pea) is jam packed with protein- they have high amino-acid content and are gluten-free.This little legume is also a great source of fibre, folate, iron and calcium.

I like to cook them down in a simple ital stew. Lots of garlic, pepper and onion, pumpkin, potato and carrot. Then my favourite part- a tuuups of the all-perfect coconut milk a few minutes before removing from heat.

In a quick search online I found that people in the US south make black-eye peas with okra and all across the world they are used in salads.

How do you like your black-eye peas?


Served with traditional Jamaican rice and peas and mashed potatoes.

Leave a comment

Homemade Yogurt and Oat Face Mask

Im on a mission to repair my skin and im doing it on a budget. So lately, ive been online looking for the right natural skin care DIY’s suited for my skin.

In comes di ting called…

With lavender flowers

With lavender flowers

Soothing Yogurt and Oatmeal mask
1/2 tablespoon oats
1/2 tablespoon yogurt

Mash the oats a bit, crunch them under a cleaned glass cup or use the back of a spoon. Add the oats to your yogurt and mix in well. Smother all over your face and indulge in the goodness for 15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water, pat dry and follow up with your moisturizer.

*A teaspoon of honey is often added to this recipe but I didn’t have any so my mask went without.

Yogurt is called a ‘superfood’ because it has a whole bunch of nutrients that nourish your body. From zinc to calcium, to lactic acid and B vitamins, yogurt packs a lot in its unassuming plain cream.

Oatmeal will help restore natural moisture and can be used as an exfoliator.

What your favourite homemade mask? Tell us in the comment section

Leave a comment

Apple and Parsley Slaw

In my house, a meal isn’t complete if there isn’t some fresh veges on the plate, there’s always a salad. This one I made the other night is a money and earth saving one too; I used the part of the cabbage that would usually be thrown away because its solid as opposed to leafy. Grate it and its edible though. Add to some grated carrot, grated apple and chopped parsley (ours is proudly grown out back), and voila- a sweet and crunchy slaw that’s full of complementing flavours.

I’ll be making this one again soon.

sweet-slaw salads-slaws

1 Comment

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge with Polenta

One of the things about parenting away from my home culture is that I am often thinking about how I can keep up some traditions or cultural norms so that the youts grow with a slight sense of home.

A great and satisfying way to do this is through food of course. Any plane out of Jamaica is bound to have some escoveitched fish, scotch bonnet pepper, ackee, sorrell, mangoes or roast breadfruit on board also.

polentaTo make what we call ‘cornmeal porridge’ all i need to do is get some ‘polenta’.

Technically, polenta is the name of an Italian dish that usually uses medium or coarsely ground cornmeal (yellow maize) but can be made from buckwheat or white maize. White maize is what is popular in Joburg. Just as how we eat rice with everything in Jamaica, black South Africans and some Afrikaaners eat ‘pap’- made in the same way that we make tun cornmeal. It’s their main starch.

We tried to make the breakfast porridge with the white maize or mielie meal as it is called but it isn’t what we wanted at all. The mielie pap maize is much much coarser than our cornmeal.So seeing this product in the supermarket I decided to give it a try to see if we could end our cornmeal search. I’m so glad I did because the only difference is that the polenta isnt as finely ground as we know it, but its the exact same thing!