– Vegan and Gluten Free –
Last week was my Birthday and I was so grateful that the sun was shining and it was the hottest day so far this year. I didn’t expect it to be anything special this year because of the lock-down but I was wrong, I had the best day! Paul and the boys spoiled me, not just with presents but with a day filled with love and laughter.
I also got some lovely gifts from my parents in Spain including a fab apron saying ‘animals are not ingredients’, and great gifts from other family and friends. I got a few new vegan recipe books which I spent my Birthday afternoon reading through in the sunshine. One in particular that I enjoyed reading is The Global Vegan – I highly recommend this recipe book if you like World foods. One of the books had a couple of Jamaican recipes in which I am going to try later this week, but in the meantime it gave me a craving for some Jamaican flavours.
After some Caribbean inspiration, I decided to make a vegetable stew for lunch yesterday, a little like the hearty vegetable stew that I made last time, but with a Jamaican twist with the use of some different spices and flavours. I used cinnamon, star anise and ground allspice, and added some chillies for heat and coconut milk. The results were wonderful and are definitely my new favourite flavours for stew.
I have written the recipe with the vegetables I used, but you can use any vegetables in this dish – just make sure you have a large stockpot. The good thing about vegetable stew, it is so adaptable and you can use up any veg from your fridge / freezer. If you use frozen peas, I recommend adding them towards the end of cooking so they still pop in your mouth when you eat them.
I enjoy this stew on it’s own and Paul enjoyed it with crusty bread to mop up the sauce. I am sure you will like it, and it is easy to make and very moreish.
Jamaican Vegetable Stew
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 inch piece ginger grated
- 3 birdeye chillies diced
- VEGETABLES FOR GUIDANCE ONLY – YOU CAN USE ANY PREFERRED VEGETABLES
- 3 sticks celery chopped into chunks
- 3 carrots cut into chunks
- 1 medium bell pepper sliced
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 4 white potatoes peeled and chopped into large pieces
- handful cauliflower and broccoli broken into pieces
- 1 cup green beans
- 150 grams chestnut mushrooms left whole
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp tomato puree / paste
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder (if you want to add more heat – optional)
- 400 gram tin kidney beans drained
- 400 gram tin coconut milk
- vegan stock – enough to just cover the vegetables in the pan
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in large stockpot.
- Add the star anise, cinnamon, onion and bay leaves and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger and chillies to the pan and continue frying for 2 minutes.
- Add your hard vegetables first – if using as above – celery, carrots, pepper and white potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes stirring regularly.
- Add the rest of the vegetables except the peas along with the spices, tomato puree, kidney beans, coconut milk and enough stock to just cover the vegetables.
- Simmer over a low heat with the lid slightly ajar for 15 minutes (until the potatoes are cooked).
- Stir in the peas and lime juice and cook for 2 minutes then season with salt and pepper and serve.