Category Archives: Vegan Meals

Simple Trini Vegan Oil Down – Limited ingredients version

Oil Down
simple Trini vegan oil down

As a child, whenever my grandmother would cook Oil down, my mother would end up having to cook something different for me to eat.  At the time I couldn’t understand all the provision being muddled together in a pot as opposed to being separately cooked and being able to pick and choose which ones you wanted on your plate.

It was only as I got older and dared to be adventurous in the food arena that I really appreciated this dish.  I was volunteering at a Health Fair, about four years back, and when lunch time came around Oil down was on the menu (Vegan of course).  So, I decided to try this dish once more.  I was smitten by the flavors: the rich creamy coconut coming through, the hint of local seasonings, and the perfectly cooked ground provision (cassava, dasheen, etc). 

Since then, whenever it was cooked at home, I had no qualms eating it whatsoever.

So it came as no surprise that I had a craving for it yesterday.  Even though I didn’t have all of the main ground provision ingredients, I didn’t let that stop me since I still had cassava, carrots, fresh local seasonings and coconut milk of course!  I also threw in some red beans for my protein.

I started by getting the red beans on to boil.  The red beans I used were the dried version that I soaked overnight and the following day I stored them in the freezer so they really came in handy for this dish.

While the beans were cooking for the first 10-15 minutes, I had the carrots steaming as I really didn’t want them to be too soft in the Oil down.

Afterward, I added some Trini seasonings (local celery, chive, etc), coconut milk and sea salt.  When this came back to a boil I added the cassava and cooked until tender.  Just before I took the pot off I added some more celery, chive, dried ginger, onion powder, and salt.  I tossed in the carrots and the dish was done and ready to be served.

Here’s the recipe which I hope  you will enjoy:

You’ll need:

2 lbs frozen cassava (you can used the frozen logs or the frozen cubes)

2 cups red beans**

3 carrots

14 oz coconut milk

2 1/2 cups of water

4 teaspoons dried ginger

2 stalks local celery, minced

2 stalks chive, minced

3 teaspoons granulated onion powder

6 cloves garlic, smashed

2 pimento peppers, seeded and sliced

Sea Salt to taste

METHOD:

– Steam carrots to desired texture and set aside

– In a pot, bring to boil 2 cups of water and 2 cups of red beans**.  Let this cook for about 10-15 minutes*

– Next, add the coconut milk and half of the dried ginger, celery, chive, onion powder, garlic, pimento peppers and a little sea salt.  Bring to boil

– Carefully add frozen cassava logs or cubes and cook until tender

– When desired tenderness is reached add in remainder of seasonings, 1/2 cup of water and carrots

– Take off heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes

– Serve and enjoy

** Fresh red beans are not only more flavorful than their tinned/canned companions but they also have a lot less sodium.  If you don’t have access to fresh red beans then purchase a pack of the dried version instead.  Want to know how to prepare dried red beans for easy cooking? Click here

* I like my beans with some texture so  I didn’t use a pressure cooker for them or cook them for too long

TIP: If the mixture is too thick you can add a little extra water until desired consistency is reached

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Roasted Vegetable Salad for your Meatless Mondays

Roasting vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and beautiful flavor.  Add that to a fresh bed of lettuce or spinach and you have the best of both worlds.  Here’s a great warm, roasted vegetable salad for your Meatless Mondays.  

Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups chopped Broccoli

1 medium sized Eggplant/Melongene/Aubergine, chopped

1 Carrot**, chopped

1 Onion, chopped

7 cloves of Garlic, peeled

2 Pimento Peppers, sliced

1 Large Red Bell Pepper, chopped

2 Medium sized Tomatoes, chopped (Optional – I just love tomatoes, I’ll add it to almost anything)

1 TBSP chopped local celery (Optional)

1 teaspoon dried Herbs De Provence

2 teaspoons Granulated Onion powder (looks like tiny salt granules)

2 TBSP Olive Oil

Sea Salt to taste

Your choice of Lettuce or Spinach or both (washed and drained)

 

METHOD:

1.  Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit

2.  In a large bowl, combine chopped broccoli, eggplant, carrot, onion, garlic, pimento peppers, red bell pepper, tomatoes and local celery.  Mix well.

3. Next, add dried Herbs De Provence, granulated onion powder and olive oil.  Mix well.

4. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  If your pan has a tendency to burn the food you can line it with foil and then spray with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Empty seasoned vegetables onto baking sheet and spread evenly.

Chopped and seasoned mixed vegetables ready for roasting
Chopped and seasoned mixed vegetables ready for roasting

 

 

 

 

 

6. Roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-35mins.

7. When finished roasting, carefully remove from oven and set aside.

mixed vegetables after roasting
mixed vegetables after roasting

 

 

 

 

 

8. On a serving plate add lettuce or spinach or a mixture of both.  Top off with roasted vegetables.

Serve and enjoy.

**TIP: As the carrots are the hardest and take the longest in roasting, chop these smaller.

Meatless Mondays Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burger

ground split pea and oat vegetable burgers
Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burgers

Here’s an easy recipe for your next Meatless Monday.  It’s soft and tender on the inside with a gentle crunch on the outside.

For this Meatless Mondays Split Pea Oat Vegetable burger recipe, you’ll need:

Ingredients

7 TBSPs dry quick oats

16 TBSPs or 1 cup of hot water just boiled

1 TBSP local celery, minced

1 ½ TBSPS chive, minced

2 TBSPs carrots or pumpkin, minced

1 TBSP olive oil

5 TBSPs ground split pea powder

3 TBSPs ground flax seed

1 teaspoon granulated onion powder (looks like tiny salt granules)

1 sprig of fresh thyme, de-leafed

Sea salt to taste

 

METHOD:

– In a large mixing bowl, stir together quick oats and just boiled water for 1 minute

– Next, add celery, chive, carrots or pumpkin, fresh thyme and olive oil.  Mix well.

– Now add ground split pea powder, onion powder, ground flax seed and sea salt.  Mix well.

veggie patty wet mixture
veggie patty wet mixture

 

 

 

 

 

– Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray

– Take a little more than a golf ball sized amount with hands and shape into a ball.

veggie patty a little more than a golf ball sized amout
veggie patty a little more than a golf ball sized amout

 

 

 

 

 

– Press gently, but firmly, to flatten into a patty a little more than 1/4 inch in thickness and place on baking sheet.  Repeat until all of your batter is used up.  Makes about 8 – 10 patties.

veggie patties ready for baking
veggie patties ready for baking

 

 

 

 

 

– Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

– Carefully remove from oven after 25 minutes and flip each patty over. (Caution! Contents will be hot so handle with care)

veggie patty after first bake
veggie patty after first bake

 

 

 

 

 

– Put back in oven and continue to bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

– Carefully, remove from oven.  Patties should like the photo below.

Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable patties after final bake
Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable patties after final bake

 

 

 

 

– Place on a serving plate, serve and enjoy!

Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burger patty - Serve and enjoy!
Ground Split Pea and Oat Vegetable Burger patty – Serve and enjoy!

Crispy Golden Roasted Potato Rounds

Here’s a healthier version for those wishing to get their crispy potato fix.  It has much less salt than the deep fried version popular at fast food outlets.

The potatoes are parboiled, then roasted to give it that crispiness on the outside while remaining soft and tender on the inside.

Try my Crispy Golden Roasted Potato Rounds recipe:

Ingredients

2 Large potatoes, washed (leave skins on)

1 teaspoon dried Herbs De Provence

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Non-stick Cooking Spray

Water for boiling

METHOD:

– Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

– Pot a large pot of unsalted water on to boil

– Slice potatoes into rounds about 1/4 inch thick

raw potato rounds
raw potato round slices

– Place in boiling water, cover and let cook for no more than 5 minutes.  After cooking, potatoes should be soft around the edges but firm in the middle

 

parboiled potatoes
parboiled potatoes

– Strain potatoes

 

– In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, dried Herbs de Provence, onion powder and olive oil.  Carefully toss together until potatoes are evenly coated and a starchy coating begins to appear on the faces

seasoned parboiled potatoes
seasoned parboiled potatoes

– Next, sprinkle salt over mixture and toss again to ensure even distribution

 

– On a large baking sheet, spray non-stick cooking spray

– Evenly spread potatoes, face side down, on baking sheet

potatoes ready for roasting
seasoned parboiled potatoes, ready for roasting!

– Roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes

– Carefully remove from oven.  Potatoes should look like this:

potatoes - first roast
potatoes – first roast!

– Carefully flip each potato round over

– Put back in oven and continue baking for 30  minutes.

– Potatoes should now appear golden brown in color

– Carefully remove from oven and place in serving dish/tray.

– Serve and enjoy!

Spinach Beet and Pomegranate Citrus Salad

This salad is jam packed with nutrients such as Vitamins A, C, Band Folate.  These nutrients are responsible for promoting healthy eyesight, immune function, and skin health.

You can also get a healthy dose of dietary fiber from this great tasting salad.

Here’s my Spinach Beet and Pomegranate Citrus Salad recipe

Ingredients

4 cups spinach (washed, drained)

3 Tablespoons fresh Pomegranate seeds (click here for how to De-seed a Pomegranate)

1/2 cup freshly squeezed Grapefruit juice

1 teaspoon Agave syrup

1 small Beet

1 Tablespoon Sunflower seeds

METHOD

– Place a pot of water on to boil

– Wash and peel beet

whole beet
Beet (whole)

– Cut in half, lengthways.  Take one half and cut into slices about a 1/4 inch thick.  Repeat with the other half

preparing to slice the beet
preparing to slice the beets
sliced beets
sliced beets

– Place beet slices in a colander and place over pot of boiling water.  Cover and steam beet slices for 10 minutes

beets in collander
beets in colander

– Set aside to cool

– In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup freshly sqeezed grapefruit juice and 1 teaspoon Agave syrup.  Mix well and set aside

– Wash and drain spinach

– Line a serving dish with washed and drained spinach.

layered spinach
layered spinach

– Drizzle 3 Tablespoons of citrus dressing on the layered spinach

– Next, spread beet slices on top of spinach layer

– Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons Pomegranate seeds and 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds on top of spinach and beet

– Drizzle another Tablespoon of citrus dressing on the salad

– Serve and enjoy!

completed beet pomegranate citrus salad
completed Beet Pomegranate and Citrus salad

TIP: Remainder of Citrus dressing can be refrigerated or drizzled on top of individual salad portions.

Vegan Roasted Pumpkin Soup

roasted pumpkin soupYears ago I never would have thought that I would be eating pumpkin this way today and loving it.

Pumpkin was something that I grew to love in different ways: Pumpkin choka with Sada Roti, roasted with vegetables, and many other dishes.

In this roasted pumpkin soup you will savor the natural sweetness of the pumpkin that’s coaxed out by the roasting and gently enhanced by spices.

And, as with all my recipes, this roasted pumpkin soup is Vegan.  Try my Roasted Pumpkin Soup recipe, you’ll love it!

How to roast the Pumpkin?  See below

ROASTING THE PUMPKIN

Ingredients:

1 cut of pumpkin about 1 kg in weight (seeded).  For ease of roasting, you’ll want to look for a square or rectangular shaped cut.

¼ teaspoon salt

METHOD:

– Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit

– Line a baking pan with foil and spray foil with non-stick spray

– Sprinkle the open face side of the pumpkin with salt and lay face down (skin side up) on the greased foil in the baking pan

– Roast for 1 hour

– Carefully remove from oven and make several pricks on the exposed skin side with a fork

– Put back in the oven and continue to cook for 1 more hour

– Carefully remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  You will be using all of the roasted pumpkin (except the skin) for the soup.

MAKING THE ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients

– Roasted pumpkin pulp (see recipe above – yields roughly about 2 and ¼ cups)

– 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

– 250ml cream alternative

– 2 medium onions (roughly chopped)

– 1 carrot (roughly chopped)

– 1 medium sweet potato (peeled and chopped)

– ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek seeds or Mathee (these can be bitter so use sparingly)

– 1 dried Bay leaf

– Water in the following quantities:
– 2 Tablespoons water

– 2 cups water

– 1 cup water

METHOD:

– In a pot, sauté 2 medium onions (roughly chopped), 1 medium carrot (roughly chopped) and 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (a.k.a mathee seeds) in 2 Tablespoons water stirring occasionally.

– When all the liquid has evaporated, add 2 cups water, 1 cup sweet potato (chopped) and 1 dried Bay leaf

– Cover and cook for 15 minutes

– Next, carefully scoop out pumpkin and add to soup mixture along with 1 cup of water.  It’s okay to add some of the pumpkin that has charred (not burnt) edges as these add great flavour to the soup.  Stir well.

– Let cook for 5 minutes

– Next, add 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, and 250ml of cream alternative. Give a quick stir, cover and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.

– Take off heat

– Carefully remove bay leaf and add soup mixture to blender or food processor. CAUTION: Contents would be hot. Use care.

– Puree until smooth

– Carefully empty contents into serving dish

– Serve and enjoy