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Last Update : 12/05/2013

The Rastafari diet or Liveth as we like to call it (no die words) is an individual choice. We cant say all Rastafari are vegan or vegetarian or only eat Ital (vital) food. There are also Rastafari that strictly eat Raw food or eat fish and other meat. It is just what the individual’s personal view point is about this matter and what it means for them to be a Rastafari (it is a matter of personal consciousness). The more conscious someone is about food and health, the more it will show in I&I livity (eating and drinking habits). Rastafari that will praise Selassie I and try to live good lives but still drink soda pop and eat at Mc Donald lack some overstanding comparing to a Rastafari that will eat Raw or Ital. Raw being the most healthy and lively of all consumption, then Ital, then vegan, vegetarian, fish, and lastly Biblical approved meat (although that is matter of opinion).

In general when we talk about the liveth of Rastafari, it means living as healthy a possible (this just differs from person to person). The most common way of eating and drinking that Rastafari are specifically known for is Ital (Vital) living. Ital cooking meaning everything natural that comes from the earth (including fish). But no canned food, no powdered spices, (just the whole spices), no or very little sea salt, no preservatives or colour dyes and preferably biological vegetables (not what we find in big supermarkets), Home grown is the best… The same goes for drinks, Rastafari commonly drink fresh juices (not from a package), tea, spring water and root or herb juices (bitters). No alcohol or soda pops…sometimes Rastafari will drink a little bit of home made wine.  

These are some guidelines that we can give that are upheld by the different mansions.

NYAHBINGHI

There is a lot of room for the individual within the Nyahbinghi so most of I&I are either vegan, vegetarian or eat raw food but there are also some that will include fish in their livity. Fish are known to be quite healthy and a good source for protein. There is also some biblical approval found for this by Yahshua feeding the people fish. Although the attitude towards this is changing somewhat by the knowledge that fish nowadays is not what it used to be. There is a lot of pollution in the oceans that we in turn consume when we eat these fish, there is also more knowledge about over fishing and the depletion of certain fish to alarming numbers, and the knowledge about man made fish farms that feed these fish steroids to make them grow faster and bigger, so more and more Rastafari are getting more weary about this and have ruled it out of there liveth. Chicken and other meat are usually avoided completely.

BOBO SHANTI

Bobo Shanti (especially those living in communities) are always Vegan. You might find a Bobo out side of the community that is vegetarian or might even eat fish, but normally a Bobo Shanti who live according to their creed will be totally Vegan. Biblical support for this is found in…
Genesis 1:29
Then YAH said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
Or in Romans 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
And Ezekiel 4: 14 Then I said, Ah Lord YAH! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth. 
There are also passages that will approve eating meat, but this is after man fell into sin, and YAH knowing that mankind would not stop eating meat gave us some guidelines concerning this. But in the beginning mankind was vegan so Bobo Shanti go forward to that originality, and not back to a fallen state.  

There are also verses that tell man not to kill anything and to be respectful of animal life.

TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

Twelve Tribe members are permitted to any kind of animal that is pronounced clean by YAH, and wont eat anything that is declared unclean. Biblical support is found in chapter Leviticus 11:1-47 (shortened)
And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you...
Twelve Tribe members are also permitted to drink alcohol as long as One doesn’t get drunk.

So as we can see there is not One way all Rastafari abide by when it comes to our Liveth, and there is room for anyone who wants to eat and drink in a certain way that is preferred to them.
This way no one has to feel guilty or unworthy about how they are living and the livity is open to anyone’s personal consciousness. Often Rastafari will start of eating meat or being vegetarian and once this persons knowledge increases through time and study will change to a Vegan, Ital or even Raw Liveth.

YAH Guidance

Ital Recipes

Ital omelette

Ingredients:
1/4 cup chickpea flour 
3/4 cup water 
salt to taste 
pepper to taste 
1 onion 
1 or 2 potatoes (depends how hungry you are) 
1 broccoli stalk (or other vegetable; You can experiment) 
1 tsp olive oil 

Directions:
This recipe sounds kind of gross, but you have to make it to appreciate how wonderful it is. 
Make a mixture with water and chickpea flour in such a proportion to get an 'egg-like' batter. Start with 1/2 cup of water, add the chickpea flour, stirring constantly, and progressively increase the amount of water and chickpea flour until you get about 1 cup of batter. The amounts I have indicated above are approximate. Season it with salt and pepper. Boil the potatos 'al-dente', then slice.
In a pan, stir-fry the onion (sliced) in 1 TSP. of olive oil. Add the sliced potatos and stir until golden. Add the broccoli florets and pour the batter along the vegetables. Put a lid on top and simmer until the bottom is golden, then turn (a plate can help - if the pan is non-stick it will make the turn a lot easier) and cook the other side.
Serve hot or cold.

Greens, lentils and sweet potato in coconut sauce

Take a big bunch of spinach or callaloo, 1 big sliced onion, garlic and put them in warm vegetal oil about 4 minutes.
Add enough coconut milk, chopped sweet potato and cho-cho, aubergine, carrots, or vegetables of your choice, hot pepper, black pepper according to your taste. cook until done and the sauce thick.
Then, add cooked lentils. keep 5 minutes on the fire. it is ready.

Sesame Glazed Beans

1/2 lb. Green Beans
1/2 cup water
1/2 red bell pepper julienned
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. saltless sesame oil (dark)
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
slightly cook beans w/red bell pepper then combine all other ingredient and pour (as sauce) over the beans at a simmer, allowing to thicken. When thickened a bit, drizzle with the sesame oil, an top wit seeds (or ganja seed, which are very good for the I nutritionally!)
Enjoy with rice or whatever....

Daikon Pot-Stickers

Pot Stickers:
3 tbsp. veg oil
2 tsp. mince fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups radish
1 cup carrot, grated
1/3 cup crumbled extra-firm tofu
2 tbsp. soy
20 Wanton (saltless soy) skins
In a large skillet, heat one tbsp of oil. Add ginger and garlic, add the radish and stir at a constant (very important!!!) for two minutes. Then add grated carrot. Stir constant for one minute. Add the tofu and soy. Take skillet off and allow to cool. Lay out wanton skins and place one tbsp. of the filling you've made in the center of each skin. Wet rim of the skins and fold, forming a triangle. Deep fry to the I's likeness (InI prefer a light brown fry), and allow to cool, then enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 C dried beans (any kind)
2 medium Idaho potatoes
1 C diced yellow yams
2 medium sweet potatoes
12 medium okra
2 C fresh corn (cut kernels off cob)
3 medium carrots
3 stalks of scallions
3 cloves fresh garlic
1 small green Scotch bonnet (habanero) pepper
3 C natural coconut milk
1 T soya margarine
7-12 pimento seeds (allspice)
7-12 pimento seeds (allspice)
3 pieces fresh thyme
2 C whole wheat flour
Fresh cilantro (garnish)

Directions:
Soak beans in distilled water overnight to remove the gas. Chop garlic and thyme and dice remaining vegetables. Put beans to boil with scallions, pimento seeds, thyme, garlic, and pepper. Add coconut milk to boil along with beans until fully cooked, then add vegetables to the pot. Knead flour with a little water to make small dumplings (spinners). Add spinners to pot and boil until cooked. When stew starts to thicken, add soya margarine and simmer to flavor. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with brown rice and a salad. 

Ital maffé (1 person)

This sauce is inspired from a senegalese dish.
Cut 1 1/2 big onion and heat in vegetal oil until it become transparent and lightly brown, but not burned.
Add one squashed clove garlic, 3 teaspoon of peanut butter, 3 teaspoon of tomato purée and some water to diluate. add pepper, a very little paprika. Add done sweet potato, carots, turnip, yam...
Serve with rice.
You can also add fried tofu in the sauce.

Ital curry (1 person)

Cut one half of a big carot in very little cube (about 5mm) Cut half of a turnip in cubes too.
Slice one big onion and put all in a frying pan with vegetal oil till vegetables are done.
Add one or two smashed clove garlic, curry, pepper, Sliced ginger, some raisins. 
Add coconut milk (about 1 1/2 glass) and heat till the sauce become creamy.
Serve with rice and peanuts.

Plantain and coconut sauce

In a friying pan with vegetal oil, put sliced carots, sliced onions, green gourd slices, and garlic, sliced plantain, paprika, and grated coconut. Warm a little then add water, peppers, garam masala or curry. Warm until doneand until the sauce is thick . You can add tofu in it. Serve with rice.

Ital soup (excerpt from the Rasta Cookbook)

A substantial soup that will satisfy the largest of appetites; a true “Ital” feast which requires only fresh fruit juice to complete the meal.

Ingredients:
1 lb (450 g) yam: ½ (225 g) sweet potato
1 lb (450 g) pumpkin: 1 lb (450 g) callaloo
½ small cabbage: ½ lb (225 g) carrots
1 cho cho: 1 green pepper
2 cloves garlic: 2 medium-sized tomatoes
3 spring onions: 2 pts (1100 ml) water

First prepare the vegetables. Peel the yam, sweet potato and pumpkin and cut into large die, removing the seeds from the pumpkin. Carefully wash the callaloo, trimming away any thick stems and chop. Coarsely chop the cabbage having carefully discarded the outer leaves, peel and slice the carrots. Peel the cho cho, cut it lengthways into quarters and remove the heart. Roughly dice the cho cho and green pepper, peel and chop the tomatoes and slice the spring onions. Place the pumpkin and root vegetables in a large saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Add to the pan the callaloo, cabbage, cho cho, pepper and finally the chopped tomatoes and spring onions. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and simmer for twenty minutes more until cooked. Serves 4-6.

Chinese style tofu (1 person)

Cut half of a carot in small matches. Slice 1 big onion.
Slice 2 or 3 medium mushrooms (shitake ones). Slice some Bamboo.
Put in frying pan with some vegetal oil, till all begins to brown lightly, add tofu cubes, soya sauce, pepper.
When hot, serve with rice or chinese pastas.

Crispy Raw Vegetable Summer Rolls

4 ounces dried rice noodles, softened with water, in 2 inch lengths
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 1/2 shredded cucumber
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. peanuts (crumbled/crushed well!)
1 tbsp. soy
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
6-10 rice pancake wrappers (7-8")
In a large bowl, toss together noodles, carrots, cukes, cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk the peanuts, soy, ginger, and garlic until smooth, then add to veg mix and toss. Soften the rice pancake in warm water (double them up!!!), and then wrap the veg mix like a spring roll. Fry until golden in veg oil, then refrigerate and enjoy!

Salads

Asian tofu salad

Ingredients
12 oz lowfat firm tofu
1/3 c red bell peppers; chopped
1/3 c scallions; chopped
1 tb fresh parsley; chopped

-DRESSING
2 cloves garlic
2 ts fresh ginger root; grated
1/2 ts chili paste; or to taste
2 tb soy sauce
2 tb rice vinegar
1 ts dark sesame oil

-Instructions

Crumble the tofu using a wooden spoon or fork. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Add the dressing and the peppers, onion, and parsley.Mix well. Serve at room temperature or chilled. This salad will keep for 2-3 days.
Serving suggestions: Tusk the salad in a pita with watercress. Or serve it on rice crackers, or with roasted vegetables.

Masala Puri

Ingredients:
2 medium potatoes or several small potatoes
Soya yoghurt
Bombay mix - or anything similar 
Chilly - hotter the better :-)
1 small onion
Fresh coriander leaves (coriander is best but if not available use dill, parsley, etc)
Tamarind sauce - See below on how to make your own tamarind sauce. 
If you can't get tamarind use a combination of mustard (i.e. French 
mustard) and tomato ketchup (yuck). Sounds awful, but it works! 
Sultanas

1. Dice the potatoes into 1 cm cubes (I usually clean them but leave the skin on)
2. Boil the potatoes, until cooked but not too soft (nice and firm)
3. Put a few tablespoons of soya yoghurt into a large salad bowl
4. Add half the tamarind sauce (or all of the alternative mustard/ketchup mix) and stir well 
5. Finely chop the chilly, and add to the salad bowl
6. Coarsely dice the onion, and add to the salad bowl
7. Add the potatoes and sultanas and mix. There should be enough of the yoghurt mix to cover all the ingredients.
8. Just before serving, add copious quantities of the bombay mix, and mix well. If you do this too early the bombay mix will get soggy, which is not a problem, but it is much better if it is crispy.
9. Serve on a plate as part of a meal or put in a bowl as a snack.
10. When serving, pour some of the remaining tamarind sauce on top, 
and finish by garnishing with some finely chopped coriander leaves.

Making your own tamarind sauce:

Ingredients:
Tamarind seeds
Coriander powder
Black salt (to taste)
Jeera powder
Paprika powder
Chilly powder
Jaggery (unprocessed sugar). NB I once used molasses, and it was horrible, had to add amchoor powder to rescue the sauce

NB: All of the above ingredients are available at any Indian good shop

1.Boil the tamarind seeds until you get a nice thick sauce
2. Strain off the pulp (NB don't throw the pulp away, as you can reuse it several times - it is very strong)
3. Put the liquid back into the saucepan and keep boiling.
4. Add the other ingredients and keep boiling for 10 mins.

This sweet, sour, chilly sauce will last for about 3 months in the refrigerator. You can use it with many dishes. It's a great way to spice up a reheated meal, i.e. to bring life back to yesterdays left overs.

Lentil salad (1 person)

Prepare a sauce with hot pepper, according to your taste, black pepper, lime juice and vegetal oil. Chop finely 1 shallot, chop 1 tomato, chop some cucumber in little cubes.
Cook 1 part of brown lentils and wait until cold. Blend all ingredients.

Irie salad

Prepare 3 corn cob (maize). Make 1 medium sweet potato boil until done and then cut it in cubes. Slice one big onion, 3 green onions. Chop 2 green apples in little cubes, about 1 cm.
Prepare a sauce with arachid oil, lime juice, pepper.
Blend all the ingredients and sauce into a dish. A litlle curry can also be added.

Carrot salad. Libanese style (1 person)

Grate 1 or 1 1/2 big carrot. Prepare a sauce with the juice of half an orange, pepper, a little cinammon, and a little lime juice. Mix all.

Desserts

Almond honey crisp 

1 cup of whole almonds
1/4 cup soya margarine
1/3 to 1/2 cup of honey
2 teaspoon unsweetened vanilla extract
Process the almonds in a blender for a few seconds to chop coarsely
In a bowl mix all the ingredience
Preheat owen to 375f 
Put in a cake pan and bake till golden brown
Cut into squares while still warm

Sauces

Radish greens sauce

3 bunches coarsely chopped radish greens (or other if not available)
4 tbsp tomato puree (or other sub), or cider vinegar
2 tsp. thyme
1 cup water
2 tbsp. veg oil
1 tsp. smooth peanut butter
1/4 onion thinly diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tsp. black pepper
dash of crushed habanero
1/4 chopped/crushed red pepper with seeds
1/4 tsp. crushed cardamom
1/4 tsp. allspice
Mix all ingredient together and heat low until greens collapse. Add water if needed (but careful not too much!). Allow to cool after thouroughly heated w/greens readily collapsed, then bottle and refridgerate. Pour over rice, greens, or anything the I desire.

Pepper and tomato sauce

Slice a red pepper and put it in a oven (grill position) until slightly brown. Remove the skin and cut in very little bits (or mix).
Then, warm in a pan with olive oil, hot pepper, sliced onion and tomato puree.
Use with pasta, rice or what you want.

Courgette sauce

Peel a courgette, cut it in little cubes, about 1 cm, and warm in a frying pan with olive oil. Add smashed clove, thyme, basilic, pepper. When done, mix all and add black olives.
Serve with rice or pastas.

Drinks

Enhanced carrot juice

Mix 3/4 litter of carrot juice with the juice of 3 limes. In 1 glass of water, put 2 tsp cinammon and about 1 finger of fresh sliced ginger, according to your taste. Make it boil 10 minutes and mix with carrot and lime juice. Add sugar, and refrigerate.

Infused Kola

The kola nut is a nut used in Africa for energy (and sexual prowess ;). It can be used shewed, but is very bitter. The infusion is much tasty: grate half of a kola, infuse 5 minutes in boiling water. Add sugar or honey. It can also mixed with tea or ginseng. You won't feel tired anymore!

Various

Ital bread

-in a dry pan put sesame seeds, cumin seeds, or the seed of your choice
(hemp, crushed peanuts...) and warm until light brown, so the seeds can
exhale their flavors. when done, reserve.
-Make then a paste using half corn flour and chickpea flour, salt, natural
yeast, water, pepper. you can also add herb such as thyme. add water in
order to have a classical bread paste. add the seeds.
-knead about 15/30 minutes and then leave 2 hours. Knead again and leave 2 hours again
-when ready, oil very lightly a big pan, warm it (my position is 3 on 6).
add the paste a make it plate. add a liitle flour and project a little water
with wet hands. cook aproximately 10 min per face, until brown.
-Note: you can also use this past inna oven like usual bread.

Mandarin Pancakes 

3 1/2 flour
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cold water
1/2 cup sesame oil
Oil as needed for greasing

Preparation:

- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. make a well in the center and add the boiling water, a little at a time, incorporating the flour by stirring it into the water with a wooden spoon or chopsticks.
-Cover bowl and let sit for 5-minutes, then add the cold water, mixing well.
-Turn the flour mixture out and work with your fingers to blend until a dough is formed. Cover with a dampened towel and set aside for 15 minutes.
-Remove dough to a board and knead for 10 to 12 minutes or until smooth.
-Divide dough into 4-equal portions. Roll each part into a rod, then divide each dough rod into 10 equal pieces.
- Grease an area of the kneading board about 10 inches square with oil to prevent sticking. Flatten each piece of dough into a 2-inch round and brush evenly with sesame oil on the surface. Place another round on top, forming a 2-layered round. Roll into a thin pancake about 6 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Grease the board with more oil if needed.
-Roll 2 pancakes, then proceed with the cooking. Continue to roll and cook, 2 pancakes at a time, until all the dough is used up.

Cooking:

- Set a griddle (or heavy skillet) over medium heat. Pan-fry each pancake for 1 minute or unti lthe surface bubbles and brown spots appear on the bottom side. Turn to brown on other side for about another 30 seconds.
- Remove pancake and pull the 2 layers apart while hot. Stack pancakes on a platter and cover with a lightly dampened cloth.
-Finish pan-frying the remaining pancakes.

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