cuban black beans & rice

Using dried beans is the most authentic way to prepare this dish, but to save time, we’ve substituted canned beans.

2-3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 cups vegetable broth
2 14-oz. cans black beans
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. raw sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. dry white wine

Sautè onion and green pepper in oil until onion is transparent, about 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and stir for one minute. Add broth and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients except wine, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add wine and remove bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked rice.

jamaican jerk tofu

Want to impress your friends with Jamaican fare for your next vegan dinner party, or just spice up your Saturday night supper? Try this full-flavored recipe that bumps up the flavor of tofu to “Irie, Mon!” Hot and spicy (but not too hot), this marinade/sauce can be adapted to the tongue-smoking level by adding Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers instead of the milder jalapeño.

Try serving jerk tofu with baked yams topped with toasted pecans and maybe that Caribbean staple, rice and beans (we’ve posted a recipe for gallo pinto from Costa Rica). Jamaican Red Stripe beer adds a refreshing, authentic touch.

This recipe makes enough marinade to cover two blocks of tofu, which serves four people. Divide in half if using one block of tofu.

6 green onions, sliced thinly (discard top 1/3 of green ends)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbs. vegan brown sugar
1-2 blocks extra firm tofu

1. In a large bowl, mix the first nine ingredients, including olive oil. In a smaller bowl, combine spices and brown sugar. Add to liquid mix and stir. If using one block of tofu, spray an 8 x 8 pan with oil. Slice tofu into three slices from its narrow end. Place in pan and pour HALF of marinade over tofu. For two blocks of tofu, use a 9 x 13 pan, and pour ALL the marinade over tofu.

2. Let stand for 15 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

caribbean vegetable stew

Colorful and loaded with vitamins, this Caribbean stew reveals its African origins by the addition of yams, okra, and peanuts. It’s a flavorful blend of textures that pleases the palate. Try this dish served with slices of crusty bread and a crunchy salad — and maybe a colorful drink with a little umbrella in it.

1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 cups chopped cabbage
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. fresh ginger root, grated
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth plus 1 can water
3 small or 2 large yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 10-ounce package frozen, sliced okra
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
Chopped peanuts for garnish
Cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

1. In a large stewpot, sautè the onions in olive oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the next five ingredients, including yams. Add water if necessary to cover vegetables. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 6-10 minutes, until yams are barely tender.

3. Add salt, tomatoes, okra, and lime juice. Simmer about 15 minutes, and then stir in cilantro.

4. Transfer the stew into a decorative serving dish, if desired. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and a few sprigs of cilantro before serving.

watermelon ginger lime slushy

ginger syrup:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
4″ piece ginger

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Allow syrup to cool before using. Store extra ginger syrup in the refrigerator so that you can make a slushy on a moment’s notice!

10 ice cubes
3 cups watermelon, seeded and chopped
3 Tbs. lime juice (preferable freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup ginger syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!