Becks in the City

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Category: Recipes

Red Peas Stew Recipe

One of my go-to vegan dishes has been this Jamaican classic. It’s taken me a while to find the particular ingredients and quantities to make this the succulent, tasty, feel-good recipe it has become. I have posted pictures of various versions on social media and people keep asking me to share the recipe. In fact, my mum and sister asked me just last week.

Now before I tell you how I responded, you need to know that I spend a lot of time writing for my business. A good 60% of my week is filled with writing proposals, reports, blogs, plans etc… So, when someone asks me to write a recipe, it just feels like work that I don’t want to do when I am chilling out.

Last week, I replied to a request from my mum and sister with a voice note detailing the ingredients. My sister was quite aghast upon realising she still had to write the recipe down.

But in the spirit of generosity and sharing, plus it’s the end of the week and I haven’t had to do that much written work in the last 24 hours. I’m feeling generous. So guess what?

You get a recipe, you get a recipe, in fact you all get a recipe!

Happy Friday everyone!



Cooked Red kidney beans (a whole tin or equivalent)

Pimento (I prefer whole but you can use the grounded version)

A sprig of thyme


Black pepper

A clove of garlic

1 Scotch bonnet pepper (deseeded if you prefer less heat)


Tomato ketchup

Coconut milk

Plain wholemeal (white) flour





  1. Cover the kidney beans with water in a pot to boil. There should be at least 2 inches of water above the beans.


  1. Add the scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, rosemary, pimento, garlic, salt, coconut milk and boil for ten minutes.


  1. In a bowl mix water into the flour to make a dough that is sticky but pliable, if there is too much water, you will not be able to mould the dumplings.


  1. Create spinners (dumplings) by rolling the mixture between your two hands.


  1. Add the dumplings to the pot.


  1. Leave to cook with the lid on for 20 minutes.


  1. Remove the lid, add the tomatoes sauce and leave it to reduce and thicken.


  1. When your happy with the thickness, serve with vegetables or rice or bulgar wheat or anything else that takes your fancy!



Olive Oil vs Rapeseed Oil

Last night I was speaking on Facebook Live in my Living on Purpose 2018 group about plant-based eating, and some really interesting topics arose. One such subject was around the types of oils we use to cook. In particular, we spoke about what we perceived to be the benefits (or not) of Rapeseed oil. My knowledge on it was very sketchy but what I did know was that Rapeseed oil has a high smoke point. This is a positive attribute because it means that it can be cooked at high temperatures without breaking down. Once it breaks down, it loses its health benefits and can actually become toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing). But admittedly, I didn’t know much more beyond this.

Olive Oil has long been touted as a healthy oil but again, I could categorically tell you why. So, today I set about doing some research and this is what I found:

Olive Oil vs Rapeseed Oil

Personally, I need to be drizzling extra virgin olive oil on my salads for those antioxidant polyphenols. But as for my cooking, it has to be Rapeseed oil all the way, mainly due to its high smoke point. What’s the point having a so-called healthy oil, if it becomes toxic when heated? Which do you prefer?

Fluffy American Style Teff Pancakes


This morning I awoke with an appetite for American fluffy pancakes. As with many dishes, these days I am having to rethink how I cook without eggs and dairy.

Just in case you are wondering why I no longer eat these: Eggs have been associated with an increased risk breast cancer, read more here. Dairy too would increase my chances of getting a breast cancer recurrence as can be seen from this report. Whilst, I would love to be eating the once enjoyed dairy and egg based pancakes I once did, I love my life much more.

One aspect I am really loving about this plant-based journey is that I am constantly being introduced to new foods. 20171223_110510I was given a bag of brown teff flour from a friend yesterday. Teff is a grain grown and widely used in Ethiopia. It has a huge range of health benefits including: balancing blood sugar, being gluten free (though if you wish to make this dish gluten free you will need to eliminate the white flour), assisting digestion and elimination due to its high fibre content, being low fat and it actually tastes really good. Therefore, this formed my main ingredient for the pancakes.

This method of making pancakes was pretty much a trial and error job. Don’t be put off by the vinegar as you won’t taste it at all. As an acid, it is added to produce carbon dioxide. It reacts with the baking powder to help the pancakes rise. I might add a little more baking powder next time to help them become a little fluffier, but other than that, I am proud of my accomplishment. I ate them with maple syrup and seasoned baked beans (made with onion and black pepper).

You don’t have to be vegan or consciously living a plant-based lifestyle to give these a try but you will most certainly gain from its benefits.



2 tbsp brown teff flour

2 tbsp white flour

1 tsp white wine vinegar

A dash of vanilla essence

1 tbsp coconut sugar (or any sugar you like)

1-2 tsp baking powder

150 ml almond milk

2-3 tbsp Rapeseed oil


Makes 6 – 8 pancakes


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together
  2. Add the milk, vinegar and vanilla essence and mix thoroughly
  3. Add rapeseed oil to a skillet of frying pan
  4. Use a ladle to add the mixture in oval shapes to the hot oil
  5. As soon as you see the edge of the pancakes begin to harden, turn them over
  6. Once cooked, serve hot with maple syrup


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