How To Cook Easy And Quick Vegetarian And Vegan Caribbean Food At Home

Have you ever tried Caribbean food? It’s vibrant, colourful and bursting with flavours. The combination of sweet and piquant, the mild fruity flavours and the aromatic hot sauces are a special fusion of a multicultural history. African, Latin-American, Spanish, Creole and some other cuisines are all blended into Caribbean flavours. I absolutely love it, however, it is traditionally heavily meat based. But with a little twists here and there, you can cook great vegetarian or vegan Caribbean style food at home.

If you are in London during the annual Caribbean Food Week (21-28 of August 2017), then make sure you visit the Caribbean Food Festival in Brixton (Windrush Square, 25-26 August 2017). There will be lots of Caribbean street food stalls and drinks, food tasting, cookery demonstrations, music, and more.
Grace Foods is the main sponsor behind the festival and they are also UK’s number 1 Caribbean food and drink company.

I have received this fantastic hamper from them and prepared some delicious vegetarian dishes Caribbean dishes. It’s very easy with their authentic Caribbean spices and flavouring sauces. Anyone can do it in their own kitchen.

Caribbean Style Vegetable Stew
vegetarian and vegan

Yield: 4 people

Ingredients:

300g butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
400g canned peas and beans
1 handful of freshly chopped coriander
1 spring of fresh thyme
400g canned chopped tomato
2 tbsp of Caribbean jerk seasoning sauce
1/2 of a vegetable stock, crumbled
1,5 tsp of coconut sugar
3 tbsp of olive or coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Sautee the onion on the oil for a few minutes in a large cooking dish, like casserole pan. Add all the vegetables and on low heat soften them for 15 minutes. Add the canned tomato, the canned beans and peas along with all the seasoning. Cover it and on low heat cook it for 30 minutes. Stir it occasionally. It’s ready when the butternut squash is al dente.
Goes very well with coconut rice.

Coconut Rice
vegetarian and vegan

Coconut rice is very simple and easy to make. All you need is for 4 people:

400g basmati rice
400ml canned coconut milk
100ml water
Salt and pepper or stock to taste

Wash the rice (always wash the rice, I normally wash and drain three times). Place it in a saucepan, pour over the coconut milk, add the flavouring and the water and cover the pan. Bring it to boil, set the heat back to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

The next one is quite an unusual dish. Ackee is a Jamaican fruit traditionally paired with salted fish. The fruit itself has very neutral taste. In colour and in texture it resembles scrambled eggs. If it’s preserved in salty water, then almost in taste too. It has a very delicate texture. I used it for a spicy sir fry.

Stir Fry With Ackee Fruit
vegetarian and vegan

Yield: 4 people

Ingredients:

100g fine green beans trimmed and halved
1 large Romero pepper, chopped
1 can of Ackee (540g)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 spring of thyme
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
A splash of West Indian hot pepper sauce

Method:

In a large skillet or wok dish, soften the yellow onion, the garlic and the ginger for a few minutes. Add all the vegetables, the seasoning and the spices. Fry them for 15 minutes. Drain the Ackee and when the stir fry is ready add it to the skillet and very carefully, avoiding mashing the Ackee fold it in. Serve immediately.

Prawn And Mango Skewers
pescetarian

These are great as starters or perfect as party food.
You’ll need 3 raw prawns and 2 fresh mango chunks (or as many as you want) on a screwer.
I used my cast iron grill skillet, with a splash of olive oil. Seasoned it with Barbecue Jerk Sauce.

The Barbecue Jerk Sauce also doubled to make some spicy corn cobs.

One Messy Mama

Mummy in a Tutu

29 Comments

  1. We visited Turtle Bay – a Caribbean restaurant – a few weeks ago. My OH is veggie and I thought he might struggle to find something but I was so wrong! Veggie Caribbean food is the best! Will have to hunt down ackee fruit and give some of these recipes a try.

    • Yes, it is! It’a little bit like Thai food: freshly al dente cooked veggies go well with the spices.

  2. Ah what a feast! I love Caribbean food, I’ll definitely be saving this one for the future. Really interesting to hear about Caribbean Food Week, I’ve always given my boys foods from around the world but I’ve not yet tried this. Well written, love it.

  3. I’ve enjoyed cooking with butternut squash recently, aren’t they lovely at this time of year?
    I’m definitely going to give your Caribbean vegetable stew a try! I’ve not come across a couple of the ingredients before, coconut sugar and Caribbean jerk seasoning sauce, I’m hoping they won’t be too difficult to find xx

    • You can swap coconut sugar for demerara, it won’t make a difference. I think the Jerk sauce is available at big supermarkets too. x

  4. I’ve never heard of ackee! So unusual. I do love scrambled eggs though so this sounds like a lovely recipe to try. I’ve never eaten Caribbean.
    I always try to plan my meals but end up having the same dinners every night. Spicy baby corn cobs look yummy too. Think I’ll be incorporating some of these into our weekly meal plan to mix things up x
    Lu Lovely recently posted…Eco Friendly Paint – Why Pay MoreMy Profile

    • Me too! It’s sometimes challenging- like trying to create vegetarian meals, but not impossible.

    • It’s predominantly heavy in meat dishes, but you can swap meat for lots of veggies in many dishes.

  5. Since going vegetarian earlier this year i have been trying out lots of different cuisines (mainly Mexican) but not any Caribbean food yet. Your recipes sound wonderful so i will definitely be trying them out 🙂 x

    • Thanks Amy. I believe a lot of originally meat based recipes can be turned into vegetarian meals by swapping ingredients.

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