A Carribean Christmas pt 1 – Ackee and Saltfish

Happy blogmas everyone. I wanted to gift you all with some extra Flava over the festive period. Let’s be honest once you get to a certain age, there’s only so many Lynx gift sets you need in your life, and Christmas becomes about two things food and family. This is fitness n flava so I’m here to talk about the food.I don’t eat turkey at Christmas! I said it, you heard! People are always fascinated when I say that, but my Christmas spread is too good to fill myself up with turkey. With that being the case, this December I’m going to share some of the amazing things I do eat and how to cook them, probably with the help of a few friends. Disclaimer… Although this blog is a fitness food blog, it’s blogmas/thicccmas/time to eat good. So that’s what we’re going to do! First recipe up is breakfast and we’re going to cook Ackee and Saltfish with fried dumplings.

Quick Food History

Ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit and this is Jamaica’s national dish so naturally, this is one steeped in a deep and rich history. As with so much of Jamaica’s food and culture it has, it’s roots in colonialism. The ackee tree is native to West Africa and is believed to have been brought to Jamaica in the 17th century. Records suggest that it was brought upon a slave ship to provide a nutritional source for Jamaica’s enslaved population. While slightly less is know about how it came to be combined with saltfish, we do know cheaper or discarded cuts of fish would have provided a good source of protein for the enslaved peoples. During my research, I found a great piece on this history so go check it out if you’d like to learn a little more.

Ackee & Saltfish

Ingredients

  • 1 Can of Ackee
  • 250g Saltfish
  • 1 Red Sweet Pepper
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Black Pepper
  • 15ml Oil or Butter

Method

  1. Place your saltfish into a small pan and cover it in water leave it to soak for around an hour.
  2. Pour the water off, add fresh water and bring it to the boil until it’s tender (about 20 minutes).
  3. Once this is done break it up into large flakes and set it to the side until later.
  4. Thinly slice your onion, spring onion, scotch bonnet and sweet pepper.
  5. Crush and dice your garlic and cut your tomato into small chunks
  6. Heat your oil on a medium heat
  7. Add your tomato, onion, spring onion garlic and sweet pepper then allow them all to cook until caramelised, 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  8.  Add your saltfish, ackee and thyme then cook for a further 3 minutes.
  9. Finish with some black pepper

Fried Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 150g Self-raising Flour
  • 150ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • Oil

Method

  1. Add your flour and salt to a large bowl
  2. Add your water and slowly mix it with the flour
  3. Once it begins to turn into a dough, its time to get stuck in
  4. Knead the dough with your hands till it comes together in a large ball, it shouldn’t be too sticky if it is, add a little more flour, if it doesn’t come together add some more water.
  5. Separate it into smaller balls (golf ball sized)
  6. Heat your oil to a medium heat
  7. Once its hot add your little dumplings and fry until they are golden brown it colour
  8. You can deep fry them or shallow fry them and rotate them so they’re cooked on all sides.

There you have it a delicious Jamaican breakfast for your Christmas morning. Go try it out. You can pick up the ingredients it big supermarkets if you take a walk down the ‘Foods of the world’ isle or even better go find a little local Caribbean, African or Asian food store and I’m sure they’ll sort you out.

Like and share the post if you want me to make Part 2, which will be Curry Goat! (AKA the Christmas dinner of Champions).
Subscribe to the blog to stay in touch, Comment below and let me know what you eat at Christmas!

Not Jerk Chicken

Everybody loves Jerk, its the meal people ask me to cook for them most often. And the recipe everyone wants to see. Even though Jamie Oliver is out here selling Jerk rice *Laughs out loud*, in order to make Jerk you need a Jerk pan and meat! In my opinion, Jerk has three key elements Scotch Bonnet, Pimento (All-spice) and the method of cooking. All of this is to say the recipe I’m about to give you is not Jerk Chicken but it takes inspiration and borrows some of those flavours to make something delicious and easy to make. 

We already spoke a little bit about the history of Jerk, check out that blog here. But this dish has a different history. One that dates back to around 2009 in my kitchen. I was 12, and fell in love with all the Jerk flavours I discovered in Jamaica. I didn’t have a Jerk pan and England was far too cold to be outside on the BBQ (this was pre-global warming madness). However, I did have an imagination and I knew what Jerk tasted like to me, so I went to work. The product was so good, I was cooking for every church, family and community gathering. I never wrote the recipe down, I refused to share it with anyone but today I’m going to share it with all of you! 

Also, as it’s nearly I though I’d give you all a little gift, a bonus recipe… the best coleslaw you ever tasted. Enjoy! 

Ingredients 

Chicken

  • 600g Chicken
  • 1 Lemon
  • All-purpose Seasoning
  • 1 Onion 
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet
  • Pimento or allspice
  • Thyme
  • 50ml BBQ sauce 
  • 200ml Water
  • 2 tbsp Honey

Method

  1. Squeeze your lemon over the chicken and rub it down in the juice this will help get rid of any raw flavours. 
  2. Cover the chicken in a generous dash of all-purpose seasoning.
  3. Put this chicken in the oven and let it cook until it’s golden brown in colour (30 – 35 minutes) 
  4. Finely chop your tomato, onion, scotch bonnet and garlic 
  5. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and add your tomato, onion and garlic
  6. Cook them for 4-6 minutes until the onions have caramelised. 
  7. Add your BBQ sauce, honey and water 
  8. Add your pimento, thyme and scotch bonnet then cover your pan and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes
  9. Once your chicken is brown you’re going to add your sauce to the chicken, pour it, brush it, throw it whatever your style is.
  10. Pro Tip – save a little sauce to add to the chicken once you’ve served up
  11. Let it cook for another 20 minutes. 
  12. BOOM! There you have it, NOT Jerk Chicken!

C’Slaw

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 Green Cabbage
  • 1 Red Sweet Pepper 
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Chilli Peppers
  • 1/2 Mango 
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 100g 0% Greek Yoghurt 
  • 20g Extra Light Mayonnaise 
  • Salt and Black Pepper (to taste) 

Method

  1. Thinly slice your cabbage, pepper, onion and chillies and then add them into a large mixing bowl 
  2. Grate your carrots and add them to the bowl as well
  3. Cut your mango into small chunks 
  4. Then add the honey, yoghurt and mayonnaise 
  5. It’s time to get your hands dirty, get in there and mix it around
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste and maybe even some hot sauce (if you’re brave enough)

Let me know in the comments if you want to see the macros and I will update the post and add that in for you all. 

This one is for all of you that struggle in the kitchen and everyone who wants something that’s nice and easy to make. So get cooking and let me know how you get on. Also, comment your ideas for what I should call this I feel like this dish needs a name so let me know. 

I’m in the process of improving the blog, so expect more regular content… more recipes, more fitness advice, more Flava! Make sure you’re following the blog on Instagram, Facebook and by email so you can stay up to date!

Peace and Love, 
B

Natural Peri Peri Chicken

As the blog grows and develops I want to tell more stories and share recipes and ‘Flava’ from cultures all around the globe. This week I’m going to start with something that might just be the most popular dish in the fitness community and in the country in general. Peri-Peri Chicken! This one has taken the country by storm and I’ve been a fan since way back when my Under-18’s basketball team were sponsored by Nando’s *Living the dream*.

Quick Food History #StayWoke

Food tells great stories, that was one of my main motivations for writing this blog. We pass our culture through our food, so it’s important to strive to know a little bit more about the food that you eat, its history, and its origins.

Just like Jerk, Peri-Peri is a dish with rich cultural history, variations of that famous sauce date back as far as the 15th century. Although it has come to be known as Peri Peri the Portuguese refer to it as Piri-Piri Swahili for pepper-pepper, which hails back to the dish’s African roots. While it’s exact origins are still debated we know that the dish likely originated with Portuguese settlers (Colonizers) in Angola and Mozambique, who discovered the African Bird’s Eye Chilli and combined this with some other seasonings to create the dish we know and love today.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Bulb of Garlic
  • 6 African Birds Eye Chillies
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Crushed Chilli Flakes
  • 3 Fresh Lemons
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper

DSC01320

Method 

  1. Heat a skillet or griddle pan on a medium heat
  2. Slice your onions and pepper and crush your garlic
  3. Add these to the pan and cook them for 5-10 minutes
  4. Slice your chilli peppers 
  5. Juice your lemons 
  6. Add the cooked garlic, onions & pepper to a blender along with your chillies, lemon juice and vinegar 
  7. Blend until it’s smoother than a Marvin Gaye album
  8. Add chilli flakes, paprika and a dash of salt and pepper (blend it some more for good measure) 
  9. Bring it to the boil in a small saucepan 
  10. Slowly add your oil and honey then stir it up.
  11. Add your thyme and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes 
  12. Let it cool and there you have it your very own Peri-Peri Chicken Marinade*
  13. So now to make the chicken all you need to do it smother it in your marinade, let it sit in the fridge overnight and soak it the flava then the next day cook it in the oven for those delicious peri flavours
  14. For extra flava cook the chicken for 5 minutes on each side in a skillet or griddle pan before finishing in the oven.  

*Pro tip: I’ve found that this sauce improves with time so let it sit in your fridge for a few days the flava just keeps getting better. 

Get cooking, I hope you enjoy it. Like, share and subscribe to the blog if you want to see me explore some other dishes from around the world. 

Peace,
B


Blueberry Protein Pancakes

This week I’m bringing a classic. If you watch enough YouTube you already know about this one but I feel I have to add a little fitness and flava twist to it and share it with the world. Pancakes are one of my all-time favourite desserts/breakfasts/snacks, basically, whatever time of day it is I’m down to eat some pancakes. So pancakes that are high in protein, filled with micronutrients and take 5 minutes to cook up, then that’s a dream, right? Well, that is the dream I’m sharing with you all today!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 50g Oats
  • A dash of Cinamon
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • Blueberries

Method:

  1. Add your banana, egg whites, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg into a blender.
  2. Blend until you get a smooth consistency, you need it to be slightly runny if it’s too thick add a dash of milk
  3. Cut your blueberries in half and stir them into the mixture.
  4. Heat a frying pan to a medium heat and add a dash of oil
  5. Once it’s hot, it’s time to get cooking, get fancy with it – show off your pancake flipping skills
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Macros:

Calories (kcal): 365
Carbohydrates (g): 72
Fat (g): 5
Protein (g): 15

Pumpkin Soup

There’s nothing spooky about this pumpkin soup. Growing up in a Jamaican household we don’t really do much celebrating for Halloween, but while the rest of the country is carving pumpkins, we’re cooking pumpkin soup. So I’m going to let you in and show you this secret winter recipe. It’s time to get rid of all that trick or treat chocolate and let the flava into your life!

Soup is a staple of any good Carribean kitchen, we can *Jamaican accent* ‘tek anyting an mek soup’. So over the winter months, I’m going to share a variety of different Flavas, hit that follow button and go check out my Instagram, so you don’t miss out. But we’re going to start with one that’s super easy to make and tastes amazing!

Ingredients

  • 400g Pumpkin
  • 40g Coconut Milk
  • A Clove of Garlic
  • A Finger Chilli (for some spice!)
  • A Stock Cube
  • Dried Thyme
  • Black Pepper

Method

  1. Peel, dice and boil your pumpkin for 10-15 minutes
  2. Drain the water from your pan and add your coconut milk, garlic, chilli and stock cube.
  3. Blend the contents of your pan until it’s smooth, like an 80’s jazz band
  4. Add your stock cube, thyme and black pepper
  5. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally
  6. Serve and enjoy the flava

Macros

Calories (kcal): 140
Carbohydrates (g): 18
Fats (g): 6
Protein (g): 2

Jamaican Browned Stew Fish

Inspired by my recent trip to Jamaica, I’m coming back to the blog with some real Caribbean cooking. I spent a lot of time living it up by the beach and tasting everything the ocean had to offer, this has to be one of my favourite meals from the trip. I’m going to recreate it for you all. So you can bring the Flava into your life.

This recipe shows what fitness n flava is all about. Delicious food that will help you stay on track towards your fitness goals. Fish is a great source of Omega 3, Vitamin D and many other minerals. Helping to do everything from lowering blood pressure and improving brain function to reducing inflammation in your joints. This is definitely a recipe to add to your meal prep rotation.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole fresh fish (in Jamaica Snapper is a favourite, I’ll be using Sea Bass)
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/2 Sweet Pepper
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Vinegar
  • All Purpose Seasoning
  • Vegetable Stock Cube
  • A Dash of Pimento/Allspice
  • Thyme
  • 50ml Coconut Milk

Method

  1. Make sure your fish is scaled and clean your fish, you can get the fishmonger to do this, it saves time or you can cook the recipe with fish filets.
  2. Rub down the fish with vinegar.
  3. Chop your onions, pepper and scotch bonnet, slice all of these into rings.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a frying pan and cook these of a low heat for 5-7 minutes
  5. Once these are cooked remove them from the pan and place them to the side.
  6. Lightly dust your fish with some all-purpose seasoning on both sides.
  7. Using the same oil you cooking you fresh seasonings in, fry the fish for approximately 5 minutes each side (Until cooked)
  8. Slice your tomato and dice your garlic then add these to the pan along with the fresh seasoning prepared earlier.
  9. Add 1 cup of water along with your thyme, coconut milk, stock cube and pimento.
  10. Let is all simmer for 8 minutes
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Graduate Gains

How to make gains and look great for busy people…

Everyone knows about the freshers 15 lbs (Coming home for Christmas looking like you already ate the turkey). Somewhere between vodka – squash mixers and 2 for 1 dominos pizza, it becomes real difficult to stay in shape. But you spend the next 3 years fighting it, getting yourself in the best shape of your life, certain you’re about 1 month of hard training away from that Gymshark endorsement. Now it’s time to graduate and as the weeks pass you come to realise, it’s just as difficult to stay in shape now, as it was during freshers.

Adults (the real ones, who have long finished with student life) told you,  “it’s not as easy to stay in shape with a full-time job and responsibilities”. Now you know they weren’t lying. Hours of sitting in an office, that cool place you go for lunch and all those epic office snacks are not great for the gains. But, there’s no need to give up, that graduation day pic doesn’t need to be the last time your Insta was lit, there is a better way!

These are my top 5 tips to help you stay in shape after you’ve rocked that cap and gown.

Microwave Egg Whites (& other handy snacks)

One major problem of grad life is the lack of flexibility it’s hard to make sure all your meals are on point when you have a 9-5. You tried carrying the meal prep bag but let’s face it the tube is too hot for that and it’s effort anyway. However, there are a bunch of quick snacks you can make at work that will keep your protein high and your macros on point. Microwave egg whites, yes you heard me, microwave egg whites, 6 egg whites, 4 minutes in the microwave, that’s 22g of protein in a snack that’s under 100 calories. Egg whites too bland?? There are plenty of options, 0% Greek yoghurt with some fruit is poppin’. If that graduate paycheck is treating you well, then there’s Grenade, Barbells or Fulfill and tons of other options in terms of protein bars or other snacks. But the key is to put yourself in a position where you can eat well all day, whatever your budget.

Get Up!

You’re an adult now, it’s time to stop hitting that snooze button and go get it! The morning is a perfect time to get your workout in, whether that’s a long walk or a session in the gym. Think of how good it will feel to be getting fitter, stronger and healthier while everyone else is still fighting with there alarm clock.

ALARM

Power Hour Workouts

I’m busy is no longer an excuse! Go in there, put in the work, then get out. You don’t need to spend 2-3 hours in the gym. You can get great results consistently putting in an hour of hard work 4-5 times a week. Comment if y’all are interested and I’ll let you know what my training week looks like in a future blog.

Find your passion

Post graduation is a great time to start something new, whether it’s running a marathon or going to your first powerlifting meet, you’ll feel a fresh wave of motivation. It’s so much easier to put in the work when you have a goal. Hold yourself accountable, better yet, find a friend, train together and hold each other accountable.

Prioritise!

How bad do you want it?! I know you’ve managed to watch the whole series of love island, your up to date on Game of Thrones and you’ve just spent the last hour scrolling through Instagram. It’s time to roll out of bed and put in that work. You got this, I believe in you!