Ziggy Marley shares family recipes in debut cookbook

Ziggy Marley shares family recipes in debut cookbook|Ziggy Marley shares family recipes in debut cookbook|Ziggy Marley shares family recipes in debut cookbook
|Gregory Bojorquez|Ryan Robert Miller

Let’s get together and…eat alright.

Coming from a large musical family and the oldest son of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley — Ziggy Marley naturally explored his musical talents and thrives in it. But now he is delving into a different industry and branching his talents into the kitchen with the release of his debut cookbook.

The “Ziggy Marley and Family cookbook,” includes recipes from Marley’s childhood as well as dishes he makes with his family. The musician and married father of three, emphasizes eating food that benefits health, and wants his fans to try the tasty dishes he composed for his cookbook.

“Besides eating the food, I want this book to open people’s minds to other ways of eating — and to have that experience,” said Ziggy Marley. “We want people to experience the book with us in bringing the world together through food.”

The cookbook has recipes from Marley’s childhood, which is traditional Jamaican food and ital cuisine — food that adheres to the Rastafarian diet and beliefs.

“Traditional Jamaican food is very flavorful — it’s healthy and good fat, but sometimes it can be a little greasy,” said Marley. “Ital is less greasy, less salt, and we use garlic and onions to cook it — it has more healthy benefits.”

Marley gained the idea for the cookbook after sharing a photo of some food he cooked with a friend, and wanted to share the recipes he made with his family. The cookbook predominately features several recipes that are vegan and vegetarian, but also includes meat and fish recipes, some of which are fusions of Jamaican cuisine, and his wife’s Israeli and Iranian background — food Marley promises that anyone can enjoy even if they are not Jamaican.

Cooking with Ziggy: Marley grew up eating traditional Jamaican food, as well as the ital cuisine which suits his Rastafari beliefs. The cookbook will feature mostly vegan and vegetarian recipes Marley cooks with his family.
Gregory Bojorquez

“It’s balanced and it’s not strictly your typical Jamaican food — it has Mediterranean in there, and there are recipes that will fit anyone’s plate.”

Everything from salad to soups, to pancakes to jerk chicken recipes are in the book, dishes Marley considers healthy and made up along the way.

“My favorite recipe is the coconut dream fish, because when I was making it, I was making it up as I cooked,” said Marley. “It’s a very innovative thing to do when you’re cooking. When we were trying to recreate it for the book, we had people trying to figure out the measurements.”

But even as the cookbook will attract fans of healthy-eating, there are no calorie information. Marley said that physical activity is an important aspect to wellness as much as healthy eating.

“I don’t count calories because I’m active,” said Marley. “You burn calories everyday, and you have to choose your food choices wisely. If you’re eating healthy and checking your portions, you don’t have to count it.”

Marley said the recipes are broken down based on times of the day — rise, all day, midday, evening. With these time frames, he said, it helps him eat less and incorporate more fruit and vegetables.

“In modern times, people think of a full plate of food as a meal,” said Marley, “But a meal can be handful of nuts.”

A family affair: From left, Karen Marley, Abraham Marley, Gideon Marley, Orly Marley, Ziggy Marley, and Judah Marley.
Ryan Robert Miller

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.