Popeye said what?!

I finally understand Popeye’s infatuation with spinach when I fell in love with the most adorable baby spinach leaves two years ago. (Of course, I grew up hearing Popeye and others blab about how fabulous spinach is for one’s health but I was young and never took them on seriously). Anyways, this spurred my interest at a time when I was being introduced to the low fodmap diet. Nevertheless, I went into recipe research mode. I also began to include it in my diet and enlist this super food in my recovery diary.  I believe in food care versus pharmaceutical care. This means I prefer the farmacy versus the pharmacy on any given day. However, this is solely my opinion. In some instances advanced medical care is needed and the only functional treatment for some illnesses are from the pharmaceutical industry. Nonetheless, I highly recommend a super food diet for anyone who wants to live a healthier lifestyle. My mantra is based on personal experience and it still states that healthy eating equals a healthy body and mind. You can see for yourself the nutritional breakdown for spinach below.


Spinach – The Breakdown

Spinach is made up of protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, C, K, beta-carotene, chlorophyll and folate. It is also high in fiber and water content. Spinach also contains alpha lipoic acid which is an antioxidant . Spinach helps to manage diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity. Its green properties help prevent cancer. It lowers the risk of asthma. A clean green diet helps lower blood pressure levels and the green leafy spinach helps to do just that. It increases bone health with its calcium absorption properties. It reduces constipation by helping to regulate bowel movements. Spinach has vitamin properties to nourish hair and skin health naturally. Basically, these finds suggest infinite benefits for a healthier body and mind.


My Spinach Recipes

Traditional Trinidad and Tobago cuisine includes spinach. Local recipes are available everywhere. There are different kinds of spinach in our local environment. Most people affectionately call it “bhagi”. They eat it with their sada roti for breakfast or dinner. At other times they eat it with dhal and rice. Spinach is also prepackaged at the supermarket with other vegetables for the chef who wants to “bubble a pot” of callaloo. In most homes the callaloo soup is plated with provisions, dumplings, macaroni pie or white rice and a side of cooked crabs, pig tail  or even salted cod . I cook some of these recipes at times but I love gourmet so much that I always try to up the ante in the kitchen (I love to get creative).

Spinach Salad

This salad is great for breakfast, brunch and lunch. You can add what you like and break some rules or bend them as these recipes are always being innovated in my kitchen.


  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/8 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 apple


  1. Wash spinach leaves and drain off excess water
  2. Add the drained leaves to a plate
  3. Wash and drain off excess water from cranberries and blueberries
  4. Sprinkle the berries over the spinach
  5. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the spinach
  6. Chop the walnuts and sprinkle them over the spinach
  7. Thinly slice the half apple
  8. Add the sliced apple to the plated spinach


  • You can add cooked chicken if you eat meat ( I don’t eat meat so I always omit the chicken).
  • You can also leave off the nuts if you are allergic to them.



Spinach Potato Pie


  • 6 potatoes
  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 3 red pimentos
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cups cheese
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Wash, peel and wash potatoes again
  2. Cube them and add them to a pot of boiling water
  3. Cover and allow to cook on lowest heat
  4. Grease a baking tray
  5. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. Wash the spinach, drain off excess water and chop roughly
  7. Wash and chop pimentos
  8. Wash and chop celery stalks finely
  9. Heat a skillet at the lowest temperature on your stove
  10. Add the tablespoon of oil
  11. Allow the oil to get a little heated
  12. Add the chopped celery and pimentos
  13. Stir occasionally for about one minute
  14. Add the drained and chopped spinach to the skillet
  15. Toss the spinach in the oil with the celery and pimentos
  16. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow to cook for three minutes (tossing occasionally)
  17. The spinach should not stick to pan or get burnt
  18. It is ready when the majority of it has shrunk and appears cooked and dark green
  19. Test the potatoes with a fork as they should be ready after half hour or forty five minutes of boiling
  20. Drain off excess water from boiled potatoes
  21. Add boiled potatoes to a bowl and smash them
  22. Add two cups cheese, the milk and mash them together
  23. Add the corn and cooked spinach to the potato mash
  24. Continue mixing and mashing the new mixture
  25. Add this new mixture to the baking tray and spread evenly
  26. Sprinkle leftover cheese over the surface of the spinach pie
  27. Bake for half hour at 325 degrees Fahrenheit or until golden brown on bottom and top layer of the pie. (I used a glass dish so I could easily tell when the pie started to become golden brown)


  • If you are lactose intolerant then you can use coconut milk and cashew cheese.
  • You can serve this with some lentils and fish or chicken or whatever tickles your fancy.


I hope these spinach recipes keep you hearty,  happy and healthy!








Panna Cotta – Caribbean Coconut Style

Coconut is easily becoming the super food aiding and abetting natural treatments for ailments. I absolutely love when a recipe can adapt to a healthier stance and be just as divine. The coconut has been able to do exactly that for me. For instance coconut milk is in abundance and retail at an affordable rate in my country. It has super powers such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing fat, preventing fatigue by providing electrolytes, improving digestion and preventing constipation. Coconut milk is dairy free for those who are lactose intolerant.

Collage 2016-04-20 10_33_10

Recently, I have started to use coconut milk in my many kitchen adventures and I absolutely love it. My favourite dessert recipe that uses coconut milk would definitely be panna cotta. This is an Italian cream dessert usually topped with a fruit, candy, chocolate or garnish of your choice. I love the versatility of the panna cotta because this means I can put a Caribbean twist on this European dessert! In my recipe below I used melted chocolate chips, raspberry puree and passion fruit curd from a local brand called Ambrosia by Christine. Of course I got it at the supplement and gourmet grocer; Level Up Supplement Store.


Coconut Panna Cotta

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup whip cream

1 teaspoon almond essence

1/2 tablespoon unflavoured gelatin powder

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons of cold water


1 container of raspberry fruit puree

1 bottle Ambrosia’s Passion Fruit Curd

1 cup of melted chocolate chips




  1. Dissolve gelatin in cold water and allow to swell for 10 minutes
  2. Add whip cream, milk and sugar to saucepan and simmer
  3. Remove from heat once the sugar has dissolved
  4. Add almond essence and let cool for 5 minutes
  5. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved
  6. Pour the mixture into glasses or cups
  7. Set these in the freezer for 2 – 4 hours when the mixture resembles the texture of jello
  8. Remove them from the freezer as it should not become frozen or icy
  9. Spoon on the mixture’s surface 1-2 tablespoons of preferred topping (passion fruit curd, melted chocolates and raspberry puree) per glass or portion cup of gelatin cream.
  10. These are now ready to serve
  11.  You can also set them in the refrigerator if you do not decide to serve them (to store cover with plastic wrap if using  glasses without lids)
  12. This mixture makes 4 servings in small glasses


  • To make this dessert completely lactose intolerant substitute the dairy cream for coconut cream
  • Portion cups can be used instead of glasses since portion cups have lids on them
  • Monitor the panna cotta cream after 1 hour in your freezer because it will be near ruined if it becomes frozen
  • You can use whatever topping you like

Coconut Flour Kitchen Adventure

I have been dying  to try coconut flour as an alternative flour for quite some time. Coconut flour is actually the dehydrated white meat from the coconut. The milk is separated from the meat and the meat is then dried until it reaches to a powder like consistency. One day whilst perusing my favourite gourmet grocer’s shop, LevelUp Supplement Store, I found my beloved alternative on the shelf and at a discounted sale price too! Of course I bought it and took it home with me. I could not wait to get to my kitchen as I was already day dreaming about what to create with this new fascination. I found a plethora of recipes online. I also found more information on the benefits of coconut flour. These included aiding metabolism, high fiber content, low glycemic properties as well as helping with digestion and cholesterol levels.


However, I needed to integrate the taste of the coconut flour into my regular diet with my West Indian palate. It is quite unusual that one would find someone who associates feelings with food. Nevertheless, I am one of those who attaches profound sentiments to food; flavor, appearance and scent. So coconut flour evokes happy feelings for me with immediate vibes of the tropics and breezy days. Chocolate chip cookies are also very comforting for me. So I decided to stick to one recipe and make some mini coconut chocolate chip cookies. These would be gluten free so I can definitely eat as much as I wanted without a care in the world! The reason I chose to do mini versions was purely because I had never worked with coconut flour so I did not know if I would like the end result. Of course they puffed up like mini muffins and so I decided the appropriate term for this recipe should end in muffins rather than cookies. I am also one who does not give up so I tried this same recipe again with a regular sized cupcake pan and I acquired a flatter cookie. I loved both versions but I prefer the bite size ones more!!!

coconut flour

See my recipe below.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins (Minis)

1/3 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon almond essence

2 eggs

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

20 mini cupcake liners


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix the dry ingredients; coconut flour, sugar
  3. Mix the wet ingredients; almond essence, eggs, oil
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well combined
  5. Add chocolate chips and fold the mixture
  6. Set liners in mini cupcake or mini muffin tin
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of mix to each liner
  8. Any extra batter can be spooned into the cups
  9. Smooth out the surface of the batter in each cup (to look fairly even)
  10. Place the tray in the pre-heated oven and bake for ten minutes
  11. Allow to cool for ten minutes and then enjoy!

Collage 2016-05-24 14_35_48


  • They are great to serve at your next brunch or cocktail party.
  • If you prefer a healthier cookie substitute sugar for maple syrup and the oil for coconut oil.
  • This same mixture can be used to make coconut chocolate chip cookies. Substitute the mini pan and mini liners for regular cupcake pan of 12 servings with regular sized liners. Spread out each mixture in the liner to be even. Bake them and when you are ready to eat them peel off the liner.

Baked Empanada (gluten free)

Baked Empanada (gluten free)

(20 -24 empanadas)

  • 4 green plantain
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

plantain empanada

1. Peel plantains
2. Use 3 plantains; chop them and boil for 45 minutes(big enough chunks to grate or small enough to process if you have a power food processor)
3. Allow to cool before you process or grate
4. The fourth uncooked plantain can be grated while you wait for the other 3 to cool
5. Strain off excess water in the cooked, cooled plantain
6. Grate or process it
7. Add salt and oil to the processed and cooled plantain
8. Mix in the fourth raw and grated plantain
9. Form a dough in the shape of a huge ball
10. Allow to rest for half hour
11. Find your fillings ( I used curried chip chip, flavoured tuna and cheese)
12. Pinch off a ball the size of your hand or smaller
13. Roll out dough into a round flat shape
14. Add about a teaspoon of filling (enough to allow the empanada to be sealed)
15. Fold the flat shape in half bringing the empanada to close
16. Seal the empanada with a fork
17. You can moisten your hands and dough with a little water throughout the process to make it workable
18. Pre-heat your oven
19. Grease your baking tray (I used olive oil)
20. Place the empanadas on the tray
21. Brush the tops of empanadas with olive oil
22. Bake for half hour or more on the lowest oven heat


The change in colour will indicate when it is done as well as the texture. You do not want your empanada to break up with you so make sure it has a bit of a crispy but not arid texture. Also remember it does not need to overcook since the plantains were precooked. I suggest you use a dipping sauce for these empanadas. It can be your own mix of your favourite spicy or sweet sauce.


Gluten Free Fruit Cake

Fruit Cake

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups fruits and nuts chopped
  • 2-5 cups cherry brandy


  1. Blend plantain
  2. Add oil and sugar
  3. Add baking powder
  4. Add fruits , brandy and nuts
  5. Add vanilla essence
  6. Puree (add more brandy and pulse if the mixture is too thick)
  7. Grease baking tray
  8. Add mixture
  9. Bake on lowest heat for 45 mins to 1 hour
  10. The texture will be soft but firm on the outside
  11. A tooth pick can be used to test it but use your judgement

plantain fruit cake

Mini Plantain Bundt Cakes

Mini Plantain Bundt Cakes
1 yellow plantain (peeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon almond essence

1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit. (Lower temperature to 275 Degrees Fahrenheit after preheating)
2. Chop the peeled plantain
3. Add plantain to blender and pulse until the texture is smooth
4. Add other ingredients: olive oil, egg. Baking powder and almond essence
5. Again pulse the mixture until smooth.
6. Grease the mini bundt cake pan (make sure the parts in the middle are greased too.
7. Bake them for ten minutes
8. Remove the mini bundt cake pan from oven and allow to cool.
9. After cooling then remove the mini bundt cakes (try loosening the edges first)
10. Handle with care these are very delicate
11. After cooling plate them up and grate the local chocolate over them.
12. Serve


(2 blocks per 2 cakes) grated chocolate from a local chocolate bar (70% cocoa)



Serve the banana ice cream

(Using the banana ice cream recipe in the previous blog post)


Banana Coconut Ice Cream Cups (chocolate smothered)

Collage 2015-10-12 16_56_03

What you will need

  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 5 bananas
  • 1/8 cup coconut milk
  • 1 mini muffin tin
  • 1 food processor (or blender)



  1. Peel the bananas
  2. Chop bananas
  3. Place them in a freezer bag
  4. Store in freezer for 5 hours (a day or until frozen)
  5. Place the frozen bananas in the processor
  6. Add 1/8 cup of coconut milk
  7. Process
  8. Taste and add more coconut if you desire( or wish to adjust taste)
  9. Put in freezer bag and store in freezer until ready to use
  10. Melt 2 cups of chocolate chips in microwave ( you can add olive oil to thin out the chocolate) or use a double boiler
  11. Monitor to make sure it does not burn
  12. Separate evenly in two bowls
  13. Using one bowl of liquid chocolate coat the mini muffin tin
  14. The insides of the mini muffin tin cup should be well coated
  15. Take the frozen banana coconut ice cream out of the freezer ( you can process it if it is too solid to use)
  16. Add the mix to each cup in the tin
  17. Cover the mix by topping it with the second batch of liquid chocolate
  18. Cover the surface of the entire tin with foil or plastic wrap and store in freezer for five hours or a day or until frozen
  19. Using a knife or flat tipped steel skewer loosen the edges around the cup
  20. Scoop the cups out and plate them



Remember they may thaw if left out for too long so make sure you serve them to guests who eat them immediately. Another thing you can do is to pop it back into the freezer until you are ready to serve again.




Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowl serves 4- 6 persons


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 can corn kernels
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 1 stick of jalapeno or pepper jack cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 4-6 serving bowls

Collage 2015-09-14 15_36_27


  1. Boil rice until tender 20 -45 mins
  2. Strain off excess water when the rice is finished boiling
  3. Peel then mince garlic in food processor
  4. Wash and chop celery
  5. Add minced garlic and chopped celery to rice and mix thoroughly
  6. Squeeze juice of lime over rice and mix
  7. Peel then chop half onion and sauté in heated olive oil (until onions are translucent )
  8. Add 1 – 3 serving spoons of mixed rice to the bowl
  9. Layer with cooked onions
  10. Layer with corn
  11. Layer with black beans
  12. Peel and then chop avocado
  13. Add pieces of chopped avocado on top
  14. Grate jalapeno cheese and sprinkle as next layer
  15. Continue this with other bowls
  16. Serve

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Dark Chocolate Brownies


  • 2 cups semi sweet dark chocolate chip
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup Nutella

Collage 2015-09-14 15_49_59


  1. Pre-heat oven 375 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease Pyrex dish or use wax/parchment paper and line the tray
  3. In a food processor add chocolate chips and butter and puree
  4. Add egg yolks and whites, coconut sugar, cornstarch, vanilla essence, cinnamon to processor
  5. Pulse the new mixture then pour it on parchment paper or greased dish
  6. Smooth out the surface until even
  7. Bake for 20 – 45 minutes or until the mixture is somewhat firm with the outside firm and dry
  8. Allow to cool
  9. When cooled spread the Nutella as frosting
  10. Cut them and serve warm or store in the refrigerator for a colder treat

Breadfruit Cups – The Healthier Alternative

Breakfast making can be so much work  in the morning especially if you are not a morning person. Realistically, even if you are a morning person the struggle is still very real. Hence, in moments of extreme boredom or random bouts of creative vibes or  if you are throwing a mini breakfast”fam bam” ( I have no idea why they use this word on social media but I believe they are connotations from an urban slang that translate to family get together) then something different like breadfruit cups just might be the smashing hit at your breakfast bar.

mr potato headNutrition

Breadfruit has similar properties to our age old friend Mr. Potato! It can be cooked and manipulated in so many different ways too. The nutritional content of the breadfruit indicates that it is high in potassium, vitamin C and it contains fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin B-6. According to globalbreadfruit.com breadfruit is also a great source of antioxidants, carotenoids, copper, niacin, omega 3, omega 6,  phosphorous, protein,thiamine and vitamin A.


The breadfruit is being sought after for national food security as it can be grown as a sustainable crop throughout most parts of the world. In addition to this fact, it also has multipurpose uses. Again globalbreadfruit.com cites the mighty breadfruit uses. These include gluten free flour, insect repellant (male breadfruit flower), latex (sap from breadfruit used in watercraft and chewing gum), fabric ( fibers from the bark of the breadfruit tree can be used to make mosquito nets, accessories, clothing, artwork and paper), animal feed (fallen breadfruits and leaves can be used as nutritious animal feed).


 (http://globalbreadfruit.com/about/why-breadfruit/ )

So now that you know how powerful this breadfruit is you may definitely consider serving this up to your family, friends and house guests. Here’s my breadfruit cup recipe below.


1 breadfruit (washed, peeled, chopped)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 cups  pepper jack cheese (shredded)

2 tablespoons garlic butter

1 carrot (washed, peeled, shredded)

1 teaspoon of salt

1 tablespoon dried seasoning (thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, chilli powder)

1 cake mixer (to mix the batter)

1 cup cake pan or mini cup cake pan

1 large pot

1 colander

1 large mixing bowl



1. Set up a pot of  water to boil

2. Add salt to the boiling water

3. Add the chopped breadfruit

4. Boil until soft

5. Strain off excess water from breadfruit in a colander

6. Add strained breadfruit to the mixing bowl

7. Add dried seasoning and carrot

8. Add 1and 1/2 cups of cheese

9. Add milk gradually while using the cake mixer to beat the mixture until smooth

10. Using the garlic butter grease the cupcake pan

11. Pre- heat the oven at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit

12. Pour in the patter to fill the cups leaving just a quarter space for the batter to expand when cooking

13. Allow to cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick when inserted comes out clean

14. When they are finished cooking use the remaining cheese and sprinkle to cover the surface of the cups.

15 . Allow to cool and serve warm or with a sauce (curry or tomato sauce or whatever your preference may be)


Enjoy !!!