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Quick Tips for Easy Meals During Lockdown

In Trinidad and Tobago, all fast-food venue options are closed currently, and we are stuck at home everyday repeating the words, ‘What to cook today boi?’

It is important we keep focus on good nutrition and not fall victim to gaining the ‘COVID 15’ (the unwelcomed trend of gaining 15 lbs during a lockdown).

Good nutrition starts with eating a variety of foods from the Caribbean six food groups.

The six Caribbean food groups include Staples (potato, bread, breadfruit etc.), Legumes (peas, beans, nuts, seeds), Food from Animals, Vegetables, Fruits and the Fats and Oils group.

There are simple combinations for everyone in the family.

First choose a staple, add a protein source, add a healthy fat and get in those micronutrients from fruits and vegetables.

Here are some quick tips for easy meals during lockdown:

1) Convenient items can be time saving and still provide nutrients.

Canned tuna is a low sodium option so no need to worry about too much sodium. There are also ‘no added salt’ versions on the market too. If you are not a fan of preparing fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables can be used. It saves time and provides the same nutrients as fresh vegetables. Look out for deals at your local supermarket.

2) Make use of the oven

The oven can cook multiple meals at the same time such as homemade burger patties and potato wedges or one dish meals such as Shepherd’s pie or a macaroni and vegetable pie.

3) Try legumes such as peas and beans for your protein source

What is a tasty meat alternative that would not break the bank? Black bean burger!

There are low sodium options for canned black beans if bursting beans is time consuming. Look out for sodium under 200 mg per serving on the nutrition facts label of the cans.

Black Bean Burger Recipe

2 cups black beans

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup grated carrots

3 tablespoons chopped seasonings (chive, celery, pimento, shadon beni, garlic, ginger)

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1/2 cup oats

1 tablespoon of geera powder or paprika


1) Drain the can of beans and rinse in cold water. Put into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes to soften. Drain well.

2) Sauté onion, carrot, geera and seasonings in 1 tablespoon of oil, add to the peas/beans.

3) Mash beans/peas and seasoning together. Mix in oats and 1 tablespoon of oil.

4) Form balls (4 ounces) with the mixture and flatten gently to form a burger shape (9 cm diameter).

5) Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Creative toppings for patties: pineapple chow (pineapple chunks, shadon beni and garlic minced) or tomato salsa (tomato, celery, onions, and garlic minced)

Recipe by Cherice Bronte-Tinkew, Registered Dietitian

Cherice Bronte-Tinkew, RD, is a registered dietitian for the past 8 years. She has a passion for helping persons live a healthy lifestyle through a balanced diet. Cherice is an executive member of the Trinidad & Tobago Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (TTANDi).

She can be contacted on Whatsapp: 768-6412 or click here: Just Cher Nutrition

Learn more:

Health Disclaimer:

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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