Ital

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


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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 🙂 


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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:

ital-mama-spice-chickpeas

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

Preparation
-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.

Voila
chickpeas-meal

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


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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?

black-eye-peas-meal

Served with traditional Jamaican rice and peas and mashed potatoes.


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How Bees Work

Eucalyptus derived honey

Eucalyptus derived honey

I overheard the producer of this honey telling another customer about the different types of honey she had based on the different trees the bees went to and I asked her to explain more for me.

When bees harvest nectar from flowers the honey they produce has the taste/essence of that flower. She had honey from Eucalyptus (gum) flowers and Macadamia nut flowers. I bought the Eucalyptus one, it doesn’t taste eucalyptus but it does taste different to the other.

She also mentioned that another customer of hers said the macadamia flower honey tastes like maple syrup.


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Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

A friend invited me over for dinner and this is what she made. It is one of my new FAVORITE recipes and I hope you fulljoy. Feel free to sub out any ingredients that you don’t have or like.

Yield: 4 Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (~2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped (or zucchini)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 handfuls spinach, chopped
  • 1 can black beans (~2 cups), drained and rinsed
  • Enchilada sauce or Pasta sauce (about 2.5 cups)* see note
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 4 whole grain tortilla wraps (I used Food for Life Ezekiel)
  • Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce, to pour on top (recipe below)
  • Green onion & chopped cilantro, to garnish

Note: Depending on what kind of sauce you use, you will have to adjust the seasonings to taste. I used a pasta sauce so I likely needed more seasonings to achieve the taste I desired. Continue reading