(246) 538-2277      info@barpbb.com       Mervue House, Marine Gardens, Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados

Yield: 14 – 16

INGREDIENTS

1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
½ cup couscous
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1/3 cup Canola or other neutral tasting oil, plus extra is needed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup finely minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Minced hot pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
2 stalks green onions thinly sliced – white and green parts
14 – 16 curly lettuce leaves

DIRECTIONS

1. Wash and drain lentils. Add to saucepot along with water and bring to a boil until the lentils are cooked and most of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and add couscous, salt and lemon juice; stir to mix, cover and set aside.
2. Add oil to a pan and place on medium low heat. Add tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute. Then add onions, garlic, hot pepper and half of the cilantro and cumin. You want everything to cook on low heat and not develop a colour; the ingredients should be cooked softly.
3. Remove sautéed aromatics from heat and stir in green onions and remaining cilantro.
4. Add the sautéed mixture to the lentils and couscous and mix well to incorporate.
5. Taking about 3 - 4 tablespoons of the mixture at a time, form into kofta – form into a ball and then gently roll lengthways.
6. Serve as is or wrapped in lettuce leaves.

INGREDIENTS

½ pound carrots

1 – 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro/coriander

1/3 cup dressing (recipe follows)

DRESSING

½ cup distilled vinegar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

For dressing:

  1. Add all ingredients to a saucepot and place on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar and salt.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat and let cool completely.

For pickle:

  1. Peel carrots and cut into fine long strips (julienned)

  2. Add carrots to a bowl along with cilantro.

  3. Pour 1/3 cup of dressing over the carrots and toss to coat and mix.

  4. Set aside and toss a few more times until ready to serve.

NOTES

  • You’ll have more dressing than you need, store the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge for another use

  • Pickle can be made days ahead, stored in an airtight container, refrigerated

  • The dressing can be used as well for carrots and cucumbers

INGREDIENTS

3 large bell peppers (green, red, yellow)
1/3 cup dressing (recipe follows)

DRESSING

½ cup distilled vinegar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

For dressing:

1. Add all ingredients to a saucepot and place on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar and salt.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat and let cool completely.

For pickle:

1. Cut peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds. Slice lengthways into strips.
2. Add sliced peppers to bowl, pour 1/3 cup dressing and toss thoroughly using spoon and fork. Set aside tossing a few more times until ready to serve.

NOTES

You’ll have more dressing than you need, store the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge for another use
Pickle can be made days ahead, stored in an airtight container, refrigerated
The dressing can be used as well for carrots and cucumbers

harvard-healthy-plateThe new Healthy Eating Plate was created by Harvard Health Publications and nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health as a guide to the healthiest choices in the major food groups. According to Harvard it offers more specific and more accurate recommendations for following a healthy diet than MyPlate, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Service. Harvard further states that the Healthy Eating Plate is based on the most up-to-date nutrition research, and it is not influenced by the food industry or agriculture policy.

But both the Healthy Eating Plate and MyPlate are based on U.S. food groups and North American food preferences. Can the Healthy Eating Plate be adapted for use in the Caribbean? Should Barbadians (Bajans?) try to follow these guidelines? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes!
The Caribbean food groups has been developed by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI) and is based on foods generally available in the region and also what people in the Caribbean like to eat. There are six food groups:
Staples (starches)
Legumes (peas and beans)
Foods from Animals
Vegetables
Fruits
Fats & Oils

The National Nutrition Centre (Ministry of Health) has recently published Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Barbados. These guidelines aim to encourage healthy eating habits and promote active lifestyles to prevent chronic nutrition related diseases. The specific recommendations in the Barbados dietary guidelines incorporate the Caribbean food groups and are based on the same “up-to-date nutrition research” as the Harvard plate model.
So, to create a Healthy Eating Plate – Bajan style all we have to do is select the more nutritious foods available to us and prepare them with less fat, salt and sugar. You can modify all of your favourite recipes to make them healthier and we are fortunate to have a wide selection of herbs and spices readily available so dishes should still have that authentic Caribbean flavour that we love. Healthy eating does not have to be bland, boring and tasteless.
Barbadian Registered Dietitians, Julian Rowe and Karen Griffith, have recently published two books, Lower your blood pressure in 14 days and Every day diabetes guide: Carbs, calories and... cake? Both books feature recipes for Bajan favourite recipes that have been adapted to make them healthier but without losing taste so that the whole family can enjoy them.
Here we show you how these recipes can be used to make your own Healthy Eating Plate – Bajan style!

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