3 ways to add a bit more jerk to your life

Jerk Mac and Cheese. Get ready for the Jamaica Jerk Festival on November 8th, 2015. Markham Park Sunrise

Tired of your everyday jerk chicken or pork? Wait, no! Who could ever get tired of spicy jerk combined with juicy, fatty meat? But that doesn’t mean jerk is for meat-lovers only. Jerk can be just as delicious with fruits, veggies, and even desserts! Check out these three unexpected ways to add more jerk to your life.

Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos

Ingredients

1 14 oz. can young green jackfruit, drained and hand-shredded

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons jerk marinad

10 corn tortillas, warmed

2 cups shredded cabbage

½ bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly

2 green onions, minced

¼ cup cilantro, minced

¾ cup coconut milk from can

1½ teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add shredded jackfruit. Stir to heat through, then stir in jerk marinade. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the jackfruit gets slightly browned. For the creamy slaw, in a bowl toss shredded cabbage, sweet pepper, green onion and cilantro. In another bowl combine coconut milk, thyme and lime juice. Whisk and pour over shredded cabbage mixture. Toss well and let sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld. Divide the shredded jackfruit mixture among 10 warmed corn tortillas. Top with coleslaw and garnish with cilantro. Squeeze lime and enjoy!

 

Grilled Jerk Fruit Salad

 Ingredients

4 slices fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cut 1/2-inch thick

1 mango, peeled & sliced into 1/4-inch slices

4 slices peeled papayas, cut 1/2-inch thick

1 peach, unpeeled & quartered

1⁄2 tablespoon jerk seasoning paste

1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 small just-ripe banana, thickly sliced

Directions

Lightly schmear pineapple, mango, papaya and peach with the jerk seasoning. Grill both sides until heated through with nice grill marks. Let cool slightly, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir in rest of fruit gently.

Optional: Combine with yogurt, lime zest and juice, sugar and salt to taste.

Jerk Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups fat-free milk

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 cup multigrain dry penne pasta

1 tbs. dry Jerk seasoning blend

1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced

1 green onion, chopped

Instructions

Cook pasta in large pot per package directions. Drain and set aside. In a small skillet, sauté habanero pepper and some of the green onion until soft. In the same large pot you cooked the pasta in, melt butter and whisk in flour constantly, for about two minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking until incorporated. Continue to whisk until sauce thickens (about five minutes). Remove pot from heat and stir in jerk spice. Adjust seasonings to taste, then stir in cheese until melted. Add cooked pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Load mac and cheese into greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for twenty minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes. Garnish with remaining green onion.

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