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Clive Caines CaribDirect

Clive Caines Cultural Contributor

If you are concerned about eating healthily while enjoying the delights of Caribbean cookery then you will be well aware that there are concerns around diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and obesity.

To be fair to Caribbean cookery obesity is a growing concern for many countries on both sides of the Atlantic and this is not just due to the type of food being eaten but the cooking methods and calorie intake.

This feature takes a look at videos that promote healthy eating as well as offering good ideas for cooking with slimming in mind.

Healthy Fish Stew

This recipe comes from the ‘Healthy Heritage Kitchen’ website so you can have a deal of faith that the cooking method is designed to help you lose weight. In case you aren’t aware ‘Healthy Heritage Kitchen’ is dedicated to explaining how to prepare food for the family in a way that reduces the intake of salt and cholesterol.

This particular recipe is designed for low calorie eating and is presented by a classically trained Chef, Wilbert Jones. Chef Jones’ inspiration for all of his Heritage Kitchen dishes is the members his family who aren’t able to enjoy his cooking because of their battles with various ailments such as high blood pressure and various heart conditions.

The ‘Healthy Heritage Kitchen’ video is excellently shot with the camera concentrating on the important aspects and not being waved around in a distracting and intrusive manner; the edit is also spot on with the use of a couple of dissolves at the end suggesting that the video was put together by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Aside from the production values chef Jones has a clear, authoritative style backed up with great of food knowledge.

Caribbean Beef Patties – healthier version

For some dieters food products made with pastry are to be avoided given that anything made of pastry is likely to have a high fat content, on top of this you also have to factor in the fat content in the pastry’s filling.

Giving up pastries if like me you’re partial to the odd portion of coconut tart or a Jamaican patty is easier said than done but there is a way out of this dilemma: make them yourself and limit the fat content without losing taste or texture.

This video offers a lot of good ideas for making patties less calorific starting with a pastry that isn’t made with fat. In terms of production this is another a good-looking video with unobtrusive camerawork. The presentation is clear and easy to follow however we never get a shot of the his face, which is a bit disturbing.

Low Carb Curry Chicken

I don’t consider curry to be a Caribbean dish especially if you think about it in terms of what some Europeans might call curry. Truth be told, if you know your Indian cooking then you’ll know that what many call curry doesn’t exist in Indian cooking.

Curry lessons aside, what I’ve always enjoyed about the classic Sunday dinner of chicken and rice and peas is when the chicken has been marinated overnight with fresh herbs and spices including curry powder and that to me is nearer to the traditional Indian approach: that is cooking with a range of herbs and spices.

There isn’t a great deal to be said about the production on this video save that it’s straight forward and that the presenter has a nice easy going style.

As for the recipe it is very simple and therefore easy to follow; however you might want to use a little less fat than the recipe’s cook.

Healthier Spoon Bread

I’ll confess that though I’ve heard of spoon bread I’ve never really tried it let alone attempted to cook it. I was drawn to this dish because I love all forms of bread but of late I’ve tried to reduce my wheat intake so I’m interested in anything that is wheat free but has flavour.

This recipe comes courtesy of chef Jones’ ‘Healthy Heritage Kitchen’ so you can rest assured that it has been put together with not only slimming in mind but with a generally healthy approach.

As can be expected with any video that has a brand name attached there is a standard quality therefore this video is equal to the earlier Heritage Kitchen video in production, presentation style and the information given.

 Cooking healthy New Caribbean Cuisine.

The dish on offer in this video is called Pillau, which some of you will recognise as pilaf rice. It is intended to be eaten without any protein, has an impressive array of vegetables added to it and can be eaten as a main meal.

Though the quality of the video isn’t brilliant, the sound levels vary throughout and at points there’s a degree of pixilation, there is a deal of quality information on eating a healthy diet, food combinations and approaches to cooking, which makes it worth persevering with.

Clearly the cook has spent a deal of time researching the detrimental aspects of a typical Caribbean diet and how these can be avoided or reduced.

Given that the dish prepared here is simple enough it doesn’t present a challenge to prepare and for those who like quick food the cooking time is only twenty minutes.

Cover Photo courtesy: growingupjamaican.com

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We provide news and information for anyone interested in the Caribbean whether you’re UK based, European based or located in the Caribbean. New fresh ideas are always welcome with opportunities for bright writers.


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