Healthy Eating, Caribbean style

Start the new year right with our round-up of super versatile, healthy dishes to add to your Caribbean kitchen repertoire.

Zesty Cucumber Chow

This dish is inspired by fond memories from popular food blogger Chris de La Rosa of Caribbeanpot.com, of his dad “mak[ing] a huge bowl of this ‘chow’ with the ‘baby’ cucumbers (always the sweetest).” Bright and refreshing in flavor, cucumbers are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.

Ingredients

6 Dill cucumbers

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 lemon (juice)

8-12 cherry tomatoes

1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (no seeds)

2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)

1 clove garlic (crushed or diced fine)

1/2 small red onion (optional)

Cut cucumber stems and bottoms off and chop into spears (peeling optional). Place in a large bowl with halfed cherry tomatoes. Dice garlic and cilantro finely, and roughly chop scotch bonnet. Add to bowl, give everything a good toss. For best results, allow it to chill and marinate in the fridge for about 1/2 hour.

Caribbeanpot.com

Steamed Snapper

This traditional dish from popular Guyanese foodie Jehan Powell from Jehancancook.com is also a perfectly healthy option, thanks to fresh ingredients and low-fat cooking method. Though there are many types of snapper, the popular protein-rich red snapper is also jam packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients 

For marinade:

4 whole snappers, cleaned

Juice of 2 limes

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

About 10 sprigs of fresh thyme (estimate is fine)

1 tbsp. salt + 1 tsp salt

For steaming:

3 scallions, cut into half

2 tbsp. butter, cut into small cubes

About 10 sprigs of thyme

4 whole pimentos

1 whole onion, sliced

1 whole wiri pepper

Water

Cut two slits on each side of the fish.   Place fish in a large bowl with half of the lime juice and water, then rinse thoroughly. Place fish in a ziplock bag with the remaining ingredients for the marinade (this includes the other half of lime juice).  Refrigerate overnight, turning a few times.

To steam the fish, place scallion, thyme, pimentos and wiri pepper in the bottom of a pot large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Place the fish on top of the onion and herbs. Next add a few pieces of the butter in the cavity of the fish, and then place the rest on top. Add onions on top of the fish. Pour just enough water so it’s just about 1 inch deep. Over medium heat, bring the water to a gentle boil. Once the water is boiling, cover the pot and lower the heat.    Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately!

Jehancancook.com

Vegan Carrot Shake

This delicious recipe from Charlene of thatgirlcookshealthy.com makes a delicious and healthy alternative to dessert when the sweet tooth comes calling. Carrots are rich in super nutrient beta-carotene and fiber for good digestive health.

Ingredients

2lb of sliced carrots

1tsp of nutmeg

¼ tsp of cinnamon

5 cups of water

1tsp of vanilla extract

Coconut condensed milk (sweeten to taste. A half cup should suffice)

Blend carrots and water in blender. You may need to do this in two batches, depending on the capacity of your machine. Once completed, use a strainer or cheese cloth to extract the juice from the pulp. Stir in the coconut condensed milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.

Thatgirlcookshealthy.com

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