The Vital “ital” 2012 Resolution

December 31, 2011 |  by  |  Healthy Eating


I’ve been a so-called vegetarian since 2004, but I wouldn’t call myself a healthy eater. (Read: The Life and Times of a Carbo-tarian) This year I’m going to do and become better. I’m going Ital!

What is ital?

Ital food promotes a healthy mind, body spirit, and environment. Though there are different interpretations of ital regarding specific foods, the general principle is that food should be natural, or pure, and from the earth. In general, avoid food which is chemically modified or contains artificial additives. In strict interpretations, foods that have been produced using chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizer are not considered ital.

Early adherents adopted their dietary laws based on their interpretation of several books of the Bible, [Then God 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.” -Genesis 1:29] *Source

Watch as poet Mutabaruka introduces No Reservations’ Anthony Bourdain to some delicious Ital cuisine.

Where can I find Ital Recipes?

Here! I will be posting recipes weekly.

Ital cooking was essentially traditional Jamaican cooking without table salt, meat, and additives. Today however, ital cooking has expanded beyond its traditional Jamaican roots to include other foods such as tofu and many other foods and vegetables not native to Jamaica. To some extent one can look at ital cooking as an eclectic approach to the preparation and cooking of food that is based on Rastafarian beliefs that can be applied to foods and ingredients that are available locally.

Therefore, a good ital cook has to be skilled at using available herbs and spices to produce food that is palatable and tasty.*Source:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Root Vegetable Ital Stew
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 - 8
This stew is perfect on cool fall and winter evenings.
  • 1 cup dried kidney beans
  • 5 2-inch slices of ginger
  • 1 3-inch piece kombu
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 2 cups peeled and diced winter squash
  • ½ cup peeled and diced parsnips
  • 1 cup peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 1 cup peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and minced
  • 10 clovers roasted garlic
  • 2 cups vegetables stock
  • 1 cup long bean, sliced in 2 inch diagonals
  • 2 cups quartered Brussels sprouts
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ minced cilantro
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Combine the kidney beans, ginger, and kombu with enough water to cover by two inches in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are starting to turn tender, about 40 minutes, adding more water as needed to keep the beans covered. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and potatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for about 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes for even browning, until the vegetables are tender and caramelized.
  5. While the beans are cooking and the vegetables are roasting, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the onions, thyme, allspice, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large saucepan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are soft. Add chile and garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Add the reserved beans, 2 cups of the reserved bean liquid, the roasted vegetables, and the vegetable stock to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer, partially covered, for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the long beans and Brussels sprouts and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until soft. Stir in the coconut milk, agave nectar, lime juice, and cilantro and simmer until heated through, about 3 more minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with brown rice. *optional.


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Student and practitioner of Vedic Meditation, Ayurveda Holistic Health Science, Rastafarian Itality, world religions and Life. - @AWrighter "As above, so below; as below, so above" -Kybalion

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