A vegetarian Caribbean feast for Caribbean Food Week 2015

When Grace Foods asked me if I'd like to create a recipe using some of their Caribbean products to mark Caribbean Food Week I jumped at the chance. Feeding my family with food from different cultures and exposing the children to different tastes and flavours is really important to me. 

Vegetarian Caribbean recipes

The products I received were a tin of callaloo, some jerk marinade, some chicken fry spices (which are actually vegetarian), a tin of coconut water and a jar of Encona hot Creole pepper sauce. In case you're not familiar with it, callaloo is a green vegetable, very similar to spinach.

Although I'm the only vegetarian member of our family, I decided that this was a good opportunity to create a mainly veggie meal for our family, using flavours that we might not usually eat. I made jerk tofu with callaloo, rice and peas and roasted sweet potatoes.

I also made some oven-baked jerk chicken for my husband and the kids using the jerk marinade from Grace Foods. Luckily, I tasted a little of the marinade first and realised how fiery it was! I used a very small piece on one of the chicken breasts - for the kids - and smothered the other - for my husband.

It turned out to be a really versatile meal.  We all loved the rice and peas. Baby S loved the sweet potato. R & R loved the jerk chicken. My husband and I loved the jerk tofu and callaloo - as well as the rice and sweet potato. I didn't give baby S any of the food with jerk marinade on as it contains salt and I'm not sure whether he's ready for chilli yet - he's only 7 months old after all. We all really enjoyed eating something different and I'll definitely be making a meal like this again.

The coconut water drink was a bit too sweet for my taste. The kids enjoyed having the chance to try a drink in a can! My husband has been enjoying the hot pepper sauce, and even added it to the jerk chicken and tofu - which were plenty hot enough for the rest of us!

Here are the recipes for this vegetarian Caribbean meal if you'd like to give it a try.

Jerk tofu and callaloo
Sunflower oil, for greasing
400g block of tofu, cut into 1 inch squares
1 tbsp Dunn's River jerk marinade
1 x 540g tin of callaloo, rinsed (to remove salt)

Lightly grease a roasting dish with sunflower oil. Add the tofu and the marinade. Stir well so that all the tofu is coated. Leave for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway. Add a little more oil if it starts to look dry. Stir though the callaloo and put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to heat through.

Sweet potatoes
1kg sweet potatoes
2 tbsp allspice
Chilli, optional, to taste.
2 tbsp sunflower oil

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel and chop the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces. I left a couple of pieces much bigger so Baby S would find it easier to pick them up. Place all the ingredients together in a large roasting dish, mix well and roast for around 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.

Rice and peas
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground allspice
200g basmati rice
400g can of coconut milk
300ml water
2 tins of kidney beans (or similar, I used 1 tin of kidney beans and one of borlotti beans)

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, stir well and cook until the onion is soft. Stir in the thyme, garlic and allspice and cook for a further minute. Add the rice, coconut milk and water. Stir, then bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Stir in the beans, then cover and leave for 5 minutes.

FInd out more about Caribbean Food Week on Twitter or Facebook.

We were sent these products by Grace Foods in order to give our opinion on them and to create a recipe for Caribbean Food Week. We didn't receive any payment for this post.

I am linking this post up to the following blog challenges:

Extra Veg blog hosted this month by Jen's Food and started by Fuss Free Flavours and  Utterly Scrummy.

Meat Free Mondays over at Tinned Tomatoes.