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

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!

Beastmode Banana Bread

Sometimes you need energy, whether it’s to go for that run or go smash some heavy ass squats, fuelling your body is essential, so you can activate beast mode during your training. This week’s blog is going to be my banana bread recipe, guaranteed to have you more pumped for your workout than any pre-workout in the game*.

*This guarantee is not real, but the banana bread is delicious so get baking!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 120g Self-raising Flour
  • 1 Egg + 1 Egg White
  • 60g Caster Sugar+Stevia (silver spoon)
  • 75g Flora Light
  • A Dash of Cinnamon
  • A Dash of Nutmeg

Method:

  1. Cream the Flora and sugar together, until it’s smooth.
  2. Beat your egg and egg white, then add them to the mixture.
  3. Mash your bananas until they make a purée then fold them into your mixture
  4. Sift in your flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Mix it all together!
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  7. Slice and serve

There you have it, a little different from the usual blogs but I hope you all enjoy it! The macros are great, I think this will make the perfect pre-workout snack. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Macronutrients (Makes 6 Servings):

Kcal – 201
Fats (g) – 5
Carbohydrates (g) – 36
Protein (g) – 4

Escovitch Fish and Sweet Potato Pieces

If the first three blogs didn’t make it clear I LOVE chicken. But I’m not trying to promote any stereotypes here and it’s not everyday chicken, sometimes you have to switch it up. All the fitness ‘Bro’s’ out there know that there’s only so much chicken, brown rice, and broccoli you can eat before you go insane. And even with all the flava coming out of my kitchen variety is still the spice of life. This dish will revolutionalize your meal prep Mondays and help you stay on track towards your fitness goals.

As well as being delicious, salmon is high in protein, which will aid in building and retaining muscle. It’s also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to improved cognitive function, reduced risk of heart disease and improved joint health, among many other benefits. So this is definitely a recipe to add to your meal prep rotation.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 2x100g Filets of Salmon (use a fish of your choice)
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic
  • Black Pepper
  • All Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 1 Green Sweet Pepper
  • 1 Red Sweet Pepper
  • 1/2 a Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice (pimento)
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • Dried Thyme
  • 1.5 tbsp Oil

Escovitch Salmon Seasoning

Method:

Fish

  1. Lightly score the surface of the fish and squeeze one of your limes over it.
  2. Finely chop up your garlic
  3. Rub your garlic, black pepper, onion powder, chilli powder and all-purpose seasoning into the fish and set this aside in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Grab a frying pan and add a tiny bit of oil so the fish doesn’t stick.
  5. Cook the fish on a medium heat for 4-6 minutes each side.

Sweet potato

  1. Wash your sweet potatoes leaving the skin on
  2. Cut them up into little bite-sized pieces
  3. Boil them for 8-10 minutes
  4. Take them out and place them on a baking tray, add 1 tbs of oil and mix them up so they are evenly covered.
  5. Add thyme and all-purpose seasoning
  6. Bake them at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until they’re golden brown and crispy.

Escovitch sauce (Vegetables)

  1. Neatly slice your onions, both sweet peppers, and your scotch bonnet pepper.
  2. Heat up a small frying pan with 1/2 tbs of oil
  3. Slowly saute your onions, sweet peppers, and scotch bonnet pepper for around 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the white wine vinegar, all-spice, and squeeze in the juice of a lime, then stir it up!
  5. Cook on a low heat for 6-7 minutes
  6. Serve everything up and enjoy!

 

Escovitch Salmon

Macros

  • 519 Kcal
  • 24g – Fat
  • 48g – Carbohydrates
  • 26g – Protein

 

Chillin’ Curry Chicken

The weather has been hot and you will be too with this recipe! Insane macros and Intense flava. Some of you may know about curry goat aka food heaven (recipe coming soon) but I thought I’d start with something a little closer to home and easier to get your hands on.

*Disclaimer* this recipe is hotter than your #MCM and #WCW Instagram feeds combined so if you’re not about that life… Don’t add that scotch bonnet pepper!

Quick Food History! #StayWoke

One of the most fascinating things about Jamaica cuisine, beyond the role of Scotch Bonnet peppers and Jerk seasoning, is the love of curry. I’ve witnessed this in every Jamaican household I’ve been in from London to Kingston curry is king. But how did this happen? Simple answer… colonialism specifically British colonialism. Following the emancipation of the slaves in Jamaica in the mid 19th century, there remained a need for plantation labour, indentured servants were taken from other British colonies such as India, with them they brought a rich culture which is still evident in Jamaica to this day. Over time the fusion of Indian curry spice with spices such as Pimento (allspice) led to the creation of that distinctive Jamaican curry flavour that is about to be cooking in your kitchen.

It’s important to note that from the sources I have found timelines vary widely and it is possible, according to some sources that Indians were present in Jamaica before the abolition of slavery. 

Ingredients

  • 640g Chicken Breast
  • 4 Spring Onions
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • 4 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Tbs Allspice (Pimento)
  • 3 Tbs Curry Powder
  • 1 Tbs Tumeric
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ginger
  • 200g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil

Chicken Seasoned

Method

  1. Cut up your chicken and rub it down with lemon juice
  2. Slice and dice your spring onions, red onion, garlic and scotch bonnet
  3. Grate about a teaspoon full of fresh ginger
  4. Sprinkle your curry powder and allspice over the chicken
  5. Add your fresh seasoning and rub it all together (make sure to massage your meat!)
  6. Let it marinade at least 4-5 hours (Preferably overnight)
  7. Grab a frying pan and add a couple tablespoons of oil and place on a medium heat
  8. Cook your seasoned chicken with all the seasoning in the pan for around 10 – 15  minutes till it’s a nice golden brown colour
  9. Add one cup of water, your chopped tomatoes, thyme and your chopped carrot then let it simmer on a low heat for 20-25 minutes
  10. Serve with some white rice or fried dumplings

The recipe makes 4 Servings

Macros (Rice and dumplings not included)

  • Calories: 291Kcal
  • Fats: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 9
  • Protein: 39