Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Caribbean Night

Tonight's meal plan started with the Jerk Seitan from Vegan With a Vengeance. This is a fantastic recipe that gets its heat from cayenne pepper instead of scotch bonnet peppers, so you can easily adjust the heat level (we kept it pretty low for the kids). Since cold weather never keeps me from the BBQ, I grilled the seitan for a wonderfuly smoky flavour. But what to serve with the seitan? I searched a few Caribbean food recipes online, made several modifications, and served up these dishes.

Sweetcorn Soup
This is delicious and creamy and filled with with pumpkiny goodness.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, diced
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 red potatoes, diced
- 2 yellow potatoes, diced
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of 2 limes

1. Saute red onion and celery in a large stockpot until translucent. Add in green onions, pumpkin, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes and cook for 5 mins.
2. Add in coconut milk and water. Add thyme, cayenne, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes (until veggies are tender).
3. Before serving, stir in lime juice.

Rice and Beans
This is supposed to be made with kidney beans, but I did not have any on hand. The Black beans worked just fine.
- 1 can kidney (or black) beans, rinsed
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2+ cups water
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups long grain rice

1. Put coconut milk in a saucepan and enough water to make 4 cups. Add thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
2. Add in rice and beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 mins, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. I recommend stirring every now and then--the coconut milk had a bad habit of sticking to the bottom of the pot.