Thursday, March 17, 2011

Caribbean Vegetables

My fiance took off to the sunny climate of Florida today.  Not to be outdone, I decided to welcome a little Caribbean flavor into my kitchen with this recipe.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup vegan chicken broth (such as Imagine)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 and 1/4 cups chopped zucchini
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sweet potato and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, cilantro, ginger, parsley, coriander, allspice, salt, and black pepper; cook for 15 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender.  Add the zucchini and cook a final 2 minutes.

Try serving this dish with the bbq pulled chicken shreds from Gardein - the sweet barbecue sauce reminded me of jerk-seasoned meat, popular in Caribbean cuisine.

To round out the meal I added a second side dish of buttermilk mashed potatoes: place 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice in a measuring cup and add plain non-dairy milk to equal 1/2 cup, stirring with a whisk - voila!  Vegan buttermilk.  Meanwhile, place 1 and 1/2 pounds peeled and chopped baking potato and 2 minced garlic cloves in a Dutch oven.  Cover with water and bring to a boil, then cook for 15 minutes.  Drain, and return the potato to the pan.  Add the buttermilk, 1/4 cup vegan sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mash with a potato masher until smooth.  Cook for a final minute over medium heat, stirring constantly, to heat all the way through.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (about 1 cup), Calories 187

Tasting Notes:
It's not that the taste of these vegetables was bad - they were, in fact, quite good - but the overall result was a little disappointing, since it was not what I expected.  It didn't, at the end of the day, feel very Caribbean.  I would add some fresh-squeezed lime juice, more spices, and canned black beans to the dish (in which case it could stand alone as a vegan entree), and would have liked for it to be saucier.  The ginger and coriander flavors were lovely, but the allspice got lost.


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