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Recipes, Uncategorized

Sugar Cravings? Eat Carrot Cake.

April 14, 2016
I know. I know. You're not supposed to give in to your cravings.  You're supposed to be defiant and resist them, right? Wrong! Cravings are your body's signal that something is off.  It could be physical (perhaps some sort of nutritional deficiency) or it could be emotional (perhaps you need to address an issue).  Either way your body is trying to get your attention . . . so listen in! In the case that it is emotional, I highly recommend that you grab your journal, talk to a friend or speak to your voice recorder about it.  But what happens when you do all of that and you still want some damn cake? Well by all means, you get into the kitchen and you bake one! CarrotCake   Check out this video and learn how to remix the traditional carrot cake.  If you're going to emotionally eat, then you might as well feel good about what you put into your mouth.  No need stuffing down white sugar, white flour and butter that's gonna leave you feeling bloated and ugh. Let's up the vibrancy factor and use healthier ingredients that don't disrupt our bodies and still satisfy that sweet tooth!  
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free Carrot Cake
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A healthier alternative to using white flour, white refined sugar and butter.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 6 oz. non-dairy butter (I use Earth Balance Coconut Spread)
  • 3oz. coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 oz. gluten free all purpose flour (I use Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (I use aluminum free baking powder)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I use pumpkin spice)
  • 4 oz. ground almonds
  • 4 oz. carrots, shredded
  • 3 oz. raisins
  • 3 oz. no-soak, dried apricots (I used unsulphured)
  • 2 oz. chopped nuts (I used almonds)
  • Cashew "Cream Cheese" Frosting
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked in water for minimum of 4 hours or overnight
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • maple syrup, to sweeten
  • salt, to taste
  • Using a blender, food processor or stick blender process cashews, lemon and maple syrup until creamy. Taste as you go along to ensure it meets your satisfaction. You may have to stop blender or food processor to scrape sides of container. Once desired creaminess is achieved, sprinkle a little bit of salt to enhance flavor.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and line a shallow 10x8 inch or 2 small round 6 inch baking pans with non-stick parchment paper
  2. Cream the non-dairy butter and coconut sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in eggs and add a little flour after each addition.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients in order listed while the mixer continues to mix.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the mixture is cooked and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and cool. Remove from tin and frost and decorate.
Recipes, Videos

{VIDEO} Moqueca de Peixe – Brasilian Fish Stew

March 22, 2016

In 2008 I moved to Brasil to heal myself.

The year before, I was in an abusive relationship and suffered a lot of trauma.  I had abandoned my body and was steeped in depression. I was a heavy emotional eater and I had essentially checked out of life.

In order to recover, I felt it necessary to leave everything I knew and immerse myself in something new.

That place was Salvador da Bahia, Brasil.

I got all the healing I needed plus some.  While there I met this dish and  fell in love ❤️ ~ Moqueca de Peixe 🍲.
A traditional, creamy Afro-Brazilian fish stew made from a base of coconut milk and palm oil with a flavorful combination of hot and sweet peppers, onion, cilantro, tomato and lots of Ase! 🙌🏾  😋

Meal time is an act of prayer for me. It's a way to honor my body, my emotions, my mind, my community and ultimately my SELF.

The flavors in this dish are loud like a party. Bold like a statement piece. Exciting like life.

Eating it reminds me of the transformation that took place in my soul during that lonely time.

It also reminds me of the beauty of African Heritage. No matter what happens to us, our SPIRT survives.

Enjoy. (scroll down for recipe) Moqueca de Peixe - Brazilian Fish Stew Back in 2009, I hosted my first cooking series online.  I included the moqueca dish in this video. My recipe has evolved over the years to what I've shared with you below. But you can watch the video and get the picture of how the cooking process works as well as see the ingredients.  
Moqueca de Peixe - Brasilian Fish Stew
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A flavorful, colorful fish stew made from a base of coconut milk and palm oil.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Brazilian
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb. white firm fish (I prefer swordfish)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 habanero pepper, de-seeded
  • 1 red chile pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, rough chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1" ginger
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ⅔ tsp of smoked paprika powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup palm oil
  • 2 - 13.25oz coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 handful of shredded kale (optional)
  1. Clean fish with 1 lime and chop into bite size pieces and set aside.
  2. Make fish stock by mixing 1 tsp of fish sauce with ¼ cup water and set aside. (If you have fish stock already prepared, you may use ¼ cup of that instead.)
  3. Mix ¼ cup of cilantro with sliced red chile pepper and shallot and set aside. This will be your garnish.
  4. Grate 1" piece of ginger with 8 garlic cloves using a microplane or the fine edge of your grater. If you don't have either, you may blend them or chop them in a food processor as well. You may have to add a little water to make a paste in blender. Don't worry about that, the water won't affect the strength nor taste.
  5. Blend 2 tomatoes with seedless habanero(s).
  6. Add palm oil to dutch pot and heat on medium flame.
  7. Once heated, add ginger-garlic and paprika paste to oil and "fry" until fragrant.
  8. Once fragrant, add ONLY ½ of the onions and peppers and "fry" until fragrant again.
  9. Once fragrant, add tomato-habanero blend and "fry" the tomato mixture in hot oil for about 1 minute.
  10. This step allows all of the flavors to seal and set the tone for the stew.
  11. Reduce heat to low.
  12. Lay fish pieces on top of tomato mixture.
  13. Next lay the OTHER ½ of onions and peppers, followed by kale and more cilantro if you like.
  14. Pour fish stock, coconut milk and lime juice over veggies and fish.
  15. Cover the dutch pot and cook until fish is done.
  16. It doesn't take long for the fish to cook (about 7-10 minutes).
  17. Don't worry about mixing the pot neither, there will be plenty of time to do that once the dish is finished.
  18. Serve by itself with garnish of (shallots, chiles and cilantro) or over rice or with boiled green banana or cassava.
Recipes, Videos

Almond Milk + Why Drinking Milk is Bad For Your Health

August 5, 2015
Why is drinking milk bad for you?When you're losing weight, you are warned to not eat too many dairy products because of the fat content. So you reduce your cheese.  Hold off on the butter.  Eat less ice-cream.  Say no to whipped cream. Etc. But what about the other stuff? Most of the milk produced in the U.S. is laced with a host of hormones (rGBH) and antibiotics that are detrimental to your body and health. In 5 minutes, let me show you why you should be concerned about drinking dairy and what you can do to protect you and your family's health.  
Almond Milk
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Almond milk is an easy alternative to cow's milk.
Recipe type: Vegan
Serves: 4
  • ½ - 1 cup almonds, soaked
  • 2 cups - 3 cups filtered water
  • vanilla (optional)
  • maple syrup (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)
  1. Soak almonds for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain almonds.
  3. Add to high speed blender with water.
  4. Blend on high for about 1 minute.
  5. Strain almond milk mixture into a clean glass jar using cheesecloth or a nut milk bag
  6. Drink as is or add optional flavoring such as vanilla, maple syrup and/or cinnamon
Recipes, Uncategorized, Videos

Chocolate Avocado Mousse + How To Substitute White Sugar

July 31, 2015
Your sweet tooth doesn't care about your new diet.  It doesn't care that you have been trying to lose weight or get in better health.  All it cares about is being satisfied. When it's denied and not satisfied, it intensifies.  That's where you get into trouble. So what should you do?  I'll tell you in this 5 minute video. ChocolateAvocadoMousseCollage
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
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A quick and easy to make creamy vegan, sugar free chocolate mousse or pudding dessert.
Serves: 4
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 2-3 TB of cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Maple Syrup (enough to sweeten)
  • Brown Rice Syrup (enough to sweeten)
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until the pudding is smooth and creamy. You should not see any green avocado pieces.
Adding cinnamon is optional, however if you like to spice things up, try adding other spices like cardamon or pumpkin pie spice. You can even heat things up by adding a pinch of chipotle.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup

How To Make Ketchup

July 16, 2015
I'm an avid label reader. And if you're serious about your health, you should be too. When I go grocery shopping I read the labels of every box, bottle, can, container and bag that I pick up.  I used to just buy whatever looked good but then I learned how companies pay a fortune on marketing just so consumers like you and I can buy them. Their priority is their profit and not necessarily our health. So we have to look at what we're buying before we give it the okay and put it into our bodies. Recently, I decided that I wanted to limit my sugar intake. (I talk about why  in this video.)  So I started checking the labels of everything that I bought for their sugar content. And lo and behold I kept seeing high fructose corn syrup as a primary ingredient in a lot of processed foods including ketchup!  So I thought to myself, "let me try Organic - surely that must be better!" *rolls eyes and kisses teeth*  The organic labels used sugar too, they were just nice enough to use "organic" sugar. Le sigh. Most ingredients won't say "sugar", instead they will use some other name such as : 
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • fructose
  • aspartame
  • maltodextrin
  • dextrin
  • glucose
  • fructose
  • sucralose
(These are some of the more popular names. You can see a complete list of sugar synonyms here.) So like I was telling you, I needed ketchup. But what's a girl to do when she needs ketchup and none of it is friendly to her body? She makes her own. Can You See This Picture of Homemade Ketchup? This literally took me 15 minutes and it will last in my fridge for 2 months.  It was completely worth it and now that I know how easy it is to make my own, I have no desire to buy another container of ketchup again. Here's how I did it
Homemade Spiced Ketchup
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A savory and slightly sweet tomato ketchup.
  • 6 oz. organic tomato paste
  • 1 organic tomato, chopped
  • 2-3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • SEASONINGS (use your taste buds to gauge, don't worry about exact measurements)
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 TB Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Garlic powder or 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Dry Jerk Seasoning
  • Adobo
  • Himalayan pink sea salt
  • Coconut Sugar - to taste
  1. Place tomato paste, tomato and sundried tomatoes into a food processor or blender and blend until a smooth paste forms.
  2. Transfer tomato paste to a pot and place over low flame.
  3. Slowly add your seasonings in the order they are listed.
  4. Allow yourself to taste after each addition and make your own ketchup.
  5. Don't get stuck in exact measurements.
  6. Follow your intuition and let your taste buds guide you.
  7. Once the ketchup is to your liking, let it simmer for 10 minutes and stir every minute or so to prevent sticking.
  8. Transfer to a clean glass container and let cool.
  9. Once cool, cover completely, date it and store it in the fridge.
  10. Makes approx. 8oz. ketchup
  11. Enjoy!

Vegan Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Cardamom Glaze

July 8, 2015
Today's post isn't sponsored by an emotion or feeling or weight loss advice or healthy eating tip. Nope, today's post is sponsored by sheer deliciousness. These doughnuts all started because I was going through a "bake everything vegan" phase. Some of the things that I baked, quite honestly, tasted better with butter. So I let them be and didn't try to force them.  However, some things completely worked.  I when I say worked, I mean they had my taste buds jitter bugging with jazz hands,  busting head stands and dutty whining all over the place. Y'all, say hello. Vegan Sweet Potato Doughnuts Continue Reading...

Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

July 1, 2015
One of my secrets for maintaining a healthy weight, clear skin and balanced diet is that I don't drink soda nor juice.  Well I drink juice but not the kind you buy in a can, bottle or jar. I drink the kind that comes directly from fruit.  Why? Because that's where the vitality is.  The fresher it is, the better for your cells.  Fruit juice is meant to be consumed immediately not stored in your cabinet or fridge for months on end.   In my grandmothers' house in Jamaica, we made and drank juicy daily. Juice is probably one of the easiest things to make.  All you need is a fruit of choice and sometimes that's enough, like an orange.  Sometimes you may need water and a sweetener, like this lemonade.  But rarely do you need anything else.  And you don't need preservatives, colors, artificial sweeteners and other additives that you get when you buy juice. Strawberry Ginger Lemonade Continue Reading...

Peach Chutney & Turkey Sandwich

June 24, 2015
When I was 16, I started packing my own lunch. I felt very grown being in the kitchen by myself.  I was in charge of  planning my own meals; something that my mother had taken care of previously.  I really looked forward to my nightly routine of making something amazing for lunch the next day. And if you read this grilled cheese post, then you know that I definitely looked forward to lunch. Peach Chutney Turkey Sandwich One of my staples was 1 slice of Ham,  2 slices of Cheese, mayo, mustard, tomatoes, onions and green leaf lettuce tucked lovingly between two pieces of wheat bread or onion roll. Y'all when I tell you that this thang right here used to have me fiending for 11:30am to come!!!! Anyways as much as I was a fiend for that combination, let's talk about why I had to let it go Continue Reading...
Recipes, Uncategorized

Tres Leches French Toast

June 17, 2015
Her: Shelley, I know I can't have French Toast every day. But is it okay if I treat myself on Saturdays? Me: Here at Body Food Freedom, we don't teach people to "treat themself".   Instead we help people develop a lifestyle that they enjoy. If you like French Toast, then let's find a way for you to enjoy it. Her: But French Toast is just so loaded with calories and carbs. Me: You're right.  You also need calories and carbs to survive.  Since you know this, when you do choose to eat French Toast, be sure that you eat it with enjoyment and love and leave the guilty feelings behind.  So next Saturday, if you want French Toast, eat it.  AND make sure to balance out that carb rich meal with a fibrous, veggie filled dinner 😉   Tres Leches French Toast Photo Continue Reading...