Go vegan, Caribbean style

Medical experts say a vegan diet can reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes. But who wants to give up their favorite Caribbean goodies? Find the best of both worlds with these classic recipes.

Vegan Patties

Vegan Chef Shernell Cooke has the perfect vegan version of this favorite snack. A touch of jerk spice makes this a guilty-free bite.

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3 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups of equal parts mixed vegan margarine and vegan shortening, PLUS 2 heaping ice cold tbsps.

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup ice-cold water PLUS 1 tablespoon if needed for dough


1 tablespoon oil to sauté

1 medium onion minced finely

3 green onions minced finely

3 cloves garlic minced finely

1 1/2 cup tvp mince hydrated or frozen mince or seitan mince

2 tablespoon Jerk seasoning

1/2 Scotch Bonnet minced finely, optional

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 heaping teaspoon curry powder

Pinch of allspice and black pepper

1 tablespoon of ketchup or tomato sauce

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

3 tablespoon water

1 heaping tablespoon fine to medium breadcrumb

2 tablespoons soy cream to brush tops of pastry

For dough, rub in the fat to the flour so it resembles medium breadcrumbs and add turmeric, curry and salt. Slowly add water to form two balls, but don’t overwork. For filling, heat oil on stove and add green onion, onion garlic, protein mince and seasonings. Add all other ingredients and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Adjust for salt and heat. Put aside to cool. Then cut pastry into 6 pieces and roll to 5 inch circles. Fill with mixture and fold, sealing with fork. Bake for 25 minutes at 200 C/400 F. Brush with soy creamer 15 minutes after going into the oven.


Banana Milk

Felix Padilla of SimplyTriniCooking.com swears by the morning booster, whether on its own or mixed in with your favorite breakfast cereal.


3 cups coconut water, cane juice or coconut milk

4 ripe bananas

8 pitted dates soaked in 1 cup of water (overnight)

Put peeling bananas, dates and liquid in blender and blend until smooth. To add flavor, use water from soaked dates.


Corn Soup

Angela from CookLikeAJamaican.com loves this healthy version of a classic Saturday soup, extra delectable thanks to sweet corn.


1 tbsp. cooking oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk celery, diced

10 cups water

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 large vegetable bouillon cubes

1 cup dry yellow split peas

3 cups Jamaican pumpkin cubed

2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)

3 Red medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 cobs fresh corn (or 4 cups frozen kernels)

3 carrots, diced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt, or to taste

1 scotch bonnet pepper, whole (optional)

Sauté onion, garlic and celery in cooking oil until onion is transparent. Add water, coconut milk, bouillon, split peas and 2 cups of pumpkin to pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook until split peas are soft. Meanwhile, cut 2 cobs of corn into 1/2-inch “wheels” and shave kernels off remaining 2 cobs; set aside. Once split peas are soft, use hand blender to puree broth until smooth. Add the remaining pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, corn, ginger and thyme and simmer on medium for about 20 minutes, or until carrots and potatoes are soft. Stir in the remaining seasonings. If using, place the scotch bonnet pepper on top. Simmer soup for about 5 to 10 more minutes to blend flavors. Discard scotch bonnet pepper.


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