Tag Archives: vegan

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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Helpful Tips For Making Your Meatless Mondays Extra Special

roastedvegetables

Meatless Mondays are increasing in popularity across the globe.  Typically, even though it’s the second day of the week, Monday tends to be the day when most persons seek to implement positive changes to their lifestyle.  So, what better Day to start enjoying the benefits of a meat-free diet than on Monday?

But just what can you do on a Meatless Monday to make it fun and to ensure that the positive effects of it are lasting?

Here’s some helpful tips that will make your Meatless Mondays extra special:

1.  Plan ahead – You’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy by doing this.  Set a menu, from Breakfast to Dinner, and start pulling together a list to shop around for the items.

2.  Have a Variety – Don’t confine yourself to just salads.  Vegan recipes are aplenty, from Vegan soups to Veggie Burgers, Veggie Sandwiches, Vegetable Pilafs and more.  And for your Vegan Desserts?  The choices are endless: choose from Vegan Ice-creams, Vegan Cheesecakes and so much more.  Meatless Mondays are not just about abstaining from meat for a day, but, enjoying the wide and delicious variety found in non-meat fare like your fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.

3.  Make it a group event – Invite friends and family to bring a Vegan dish and have a Vegan Lime/Vegan Party.  That way you’re not alone and you can enjoy sharing funny stories of your Vegan adventures or misadventures in the kitchen.  You’ll be surprised to find that some of your family and friends are also trying to make healthier decisions when it comes to eating.  When it’s done in a special circle of friends or family you’ll also get the support and encouragement needed to make better lifestyle choices.  And, everyone, including you, will be looking forward to the next Meatless Monday.

4. Give it a theme – “Caribbean Vegan Monday” or “Mediterranean Meatless Monday”.  Take your pick.  Themes help take Meatless Mondays from bland and boring to fun and exciting and help guide your menu choices.  It also helps you to save on your food bill since you can use some of the same ingredients on your themed shopping list to come up with a variety of dishes.

Vegan Soursop Pineapple and Coconut Punch

soursop punch
Soursop Pineapple and Coconut Punch

Punches are a significant part of Trinidadian eating culture.  Peanut, Linseed and Soursop are among the top favorites.  Rich, creamy and so satisfying, some punches can even serve as a meal.

Although punches are generally made with dairy products such as milk and sweetened condensed milk, healthier non-dairy substitutions can be made that are equally rich, creamy and satisfying.  These can range from non-dairy creamers such as Oatly to ready-made natural coconut milks such as KARA**.

I’ve experimented with various Vegan punch versions and met with much success.  This very week, I took a stab at one that I had never made before.

I hadn’t had Soursop in a while and when I went to the market I decided to pick one up.  Most times when I had Soursop it was because someone brought the fruit for me so I wasn’t sure of the pricing.  When I went to the cashier ‘Mr. Soursop’ cost me about $43TT and weighed almost 4lbs!

I still decided to pick it up, blocking the price I paid from my mind.  On reaching home I was craving something fruity to drink.  So, I had Pineapple juice and Coconut Milk (which I almost always try to have at hand) and thought it would be interesting if I blended all three.

After my first attempt, I was hooked.  With the second attempt (photo shown above) I decided to add some fresh squeezed lime juice to give it that extra bit of fresh citrusy taste.

Finally, a Soursop Pineapple and Coconut Punch was born.

Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients

2 cups de-seeded Soursop pulp (chilled)

1 ¼ cups unsweetened Pineapple juice (chilled)

200ml Coconut milk

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed Lime juice

METHOD

– In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend together until smooth

– Pour into serving glasses

– Serve and enjoy!

** When using KARA, be sure to use the prepared boxed version and not the dried version.  The dried version found in the packets contains caseinate which is a milk derivate.

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

How to Make Vegan Ice-cream Without an Ice-cream Maker or Food Processor

Gradually, I gave up all dairy and ultimately had to give up on ice-cream as well, or so I thought.  I decided to try making ice-cream with soy milk, almond milk, etc and along with much prayer I found much success.

As time progressed, I discovered an easier way to make ice-cream without using a food processor or ice-cream maker or blender.

So, just how to make ice-cream without a food processor or ice-cream maker?

Take your pick of

Super Rich Chocolate Ice-cream 

vegan ice-cream - Chocolate

OR

Rich Creamy Peanut Butter and Ginger Ice-cream

and discover how.

And yes, they are all Vegan!!!

Enjoy!

Rich Creamy Peanut Butter and Ginger Ice-cream – Vegan

vegan ice-cream - Peanut butter and Ginger

Here’s another one of my Vegan ice-cream recipes that you can make without an ice-cream maker, food processor or blender.

For my Rich Creamy Peanut Butter and Ginger Ice-cream recipe, you’ll need:

 

Ingredients

250ml of cream alternative

2 pinches of salt

5 Tablespoons peanut butter

2 Tablespoons Agave Syrup

1 packet dried Ginger Tea (sweetened/sugar added)

METHOD

– In a microwaveable bowl add 5 Tablespoons peanut butter and heat for 30 seconds**.  Peanut butter should be warm (not hot) and slightly runny.

– In a medium sized bowl add 250 ml of cream alternative, 2 pinches of salt, softened peanut butter, 2 Tablespoons Agave Syrup, and 1 packet dried Ginger Tea

– Using a wire whisk, whisk together for 1 to 3 minutes

– Pour into airtight container

– Cover container tightly with plastic wrap before putting on container lid

– Freeze overnight

** As microwaves and wattages vary, please make proper adjustments with regard to the timing as the wattage on my microwave is 1300w.

Vegan Super Rich Chocolate Ice-cream

vegan ice-cream - Chocolate

Chocolate and Ice-cream?  Who doesn’t love it?

Here’s my super rich chocolate ice-cream recipe.  It’s Vegan and you don’t need a food processor or ice-cream maker or blender.

For this Super Rich Chocolate Ice-cream recipe, you’ll need:

 

Ingredients

250ml of cream alternative

1 pinch of salt

1 cup sweetened cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup

METHOD

– In a medium sized bowl add 250 ml of cream alternative, 1 pinch of salt, 1 cup sweetened cocoa powder, and 1 Tablespoon agave syrup

– Using a wire whisk, whisk together for 1 to 3 minutes

– Pour into airtight container

– Cover container tightly with plastic wrap before putting on container lid

– Freeze overnight