Please remember to save your favourite recipe before the blog is deleted. I would like to bump it up a bit to a month because I think that would give people enough time to copy and paste their favourites.
Again thanks for the emails and the messages….to be honest I was not looking to be a boo hoo cry baby victim. I am over those things! I just thought that you all deserved to know what was part of my root for not completing Vegan Francaise and why I was not really posting anymore. I wasn’t lazy, I just was turned off from everything and I kept it in for many years and that is not good. I should have been honest from the get go esp. since I annouced was writing this French book.
As for self publishing, one needs funds to undertake that. I have even seen some cookbook authors turning to kickstarter for that. I do not have the funds to take on this task right now due to losing my job last year and also hardly being compensated for my work in culinary arts.
Publishers take risks with talent and it is about numbers and market research. If they think that black people can only be limited to certain topics that is very sad( politically incorrect and borderline racist) but, it is their money at the end of the day. It is the market that has to change and peoples attitudes towards vegans of colour.
I do hope that one day that persons of colour whatever heritage they have would not be limited by these imaginary culture barriers that the world has put around us. My brief writing career started out with a salute to my culture but we do not always have to write about soul food, comfort food or Caribbean food. We can write other things and our voices are so unique and should not be dismissed because people will not understand. They will one day and it can start today. While my story of assimilation of French culture was different from the romantised stories of others Anglophones who have gone there and spent a year eating baguettes and riding their bicycle through Paris; it was a unique voice that would have brought fourth a new perspective on French food and food culture told from a different point of view to my big banquet dinners at my house with French guests to my summers driving around Brittany finding the best galette in the world cooked by a woman who was ready to deliver her baby in a small tourist town.
That passion died and I am sorry.
I am ready to start a new chapter and while there was more behind my smile I want to say there was a lesson learnt and there was growth, even if it may be latent. From the unscrupulous talent promoting company that I stupidly trusted ,to trying at something and not reaping benefits after many years. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
This is life and this is beautiful and I am optimistically looking fwd to the future.
If you need to keep a recipe from the blog save it now because this blog will be deleted.
This is a note I wrote to the facebook followers because everyone seems to be on there now soo…it was fitting….this is just a rough collection of my thoughts to why I am closing down there for good.
Happy New Year to everyone! This has been long overdue and I kept pushing back this day in my mind but now I am ready.
Today I officially ended my career in culinary arts. I will not be blogging again or posting here anymore for many reasons that I would touch on in this note. This blog will remain open for the next two months and then it would be closed forever. In short this page will be closed.
I got to know many of you for the past four years and this space felt like family. Some of you reached out to me outside of this place and I am friends with some of you. Last year I made a decision to write my second book just because I didn’t want to be a one book wonder and I knew that I had matured as a self taught chef and I wanted to share that with the work with the world. A lot had changed since I published Caribbean Vegan. I now had to look for a literary agent; I had to show I had a following of x numbers of facebook followers. While I couldn’t knock what now became the norm I was a bit hesitant to continue. Writing had become a popularity contest to the point that I wondered if, people just loved me and my food tasted like cardboard with salt, would a publisher publish my shit in a heartbeat. I am not sure I am ready to write a book on those terms. I would like to be published for my work not for my social networking skills. I think this new way of gauging success can prevent a lot of great works from being published.
After I wrote Caribbean Vegan I immediately penned Vegan Française which was a salute to French food but made vegan. I am French by marriage and Barbadian by birth. I spent a lot of time in France and I live in a French colony. I am surrounded by high end French restaurants and expats. Everyday my partner came home to taste his favourite French treats before he went vegan and sometimes I would fail at it, and it would take many tries to get it right because my partner at that time would have not let me put something out there that wasn’t a match to the authentic recipes of France. When I presented this work to be published I was told that it was written in the same style as Caribbean Vegan, maybe it would be best that my French partner ( a non cook) write the book with me, and I was not the right person to write this book and that the public wouldn’t understand. Understand what a black person from the Caribbean writing about French food? I do not know…maybe I am reaching. Stupidly I took this news personally and I buried the book away forever never to see the light again because it was shameful and it mocked me a bit every time I looked at the galettes, the poire belle Hélène and the vegan boudin blanc food stained recipes on my work table. I was too weak at that time to deal with disappointment after coming off of that high from Caribbean Vegan. I regret not trying elsewhere to be published but remember I was afraid of that judgment. I did not want another white person speak to me like if I was delirious for wanting to write about French food. I could not go through that again…sorry. This was one of the first times that I didn’t see something through and I resented myself for it.
My third book I started last year was really promising…it was a food journey but I did not have that same passion that I had for Caribbean Vegan even if the recipes were better. Currently, like Vegan Française this project was put on ice……what was wrong with me? Some people said it was what was happening in my personal life, some said I was lazy and some said I was inconsistent. People say a lot of things. When I wrote Caribbean Vegan it was a book in my head before and all I was did was regurgitate it on paper. The creative process a long winding road. I will not promise that this book will see the light of day but I am cautiously optimistic that I will be motivated to complete this work sometime in the future when the time is right.
I never thought I would have met such a bunch of supportive people when I went vegan, started a blog and wrote a book. Your comments, emails and likes did not go un noticed. I met some of your in real life and I remember each and every conversation I had with you. I didn’t expect this. I want to take this time to thank the Toronto Vegetarian Festival for inviting me two years in a row for the mere fact it brought some of you closer to me and got to see ‘the support.’ I will not forget your faces in the audience smiling at me and cheering me on when the nerves caught me because I was so overwhelmed by the crowd. I will not forget the natural hair ladies that asked me about my hair more than anything. I enjoyed it but it is time to stop because it is not fun anymore. I grumble when I cook, it has become a chore and while it has attracted all of you supportive people it attracted some not so nice ones as well.
Things for me got so bad to the point that I bit my lip when I saw a copy of my book and all I could see were those negative things that came out of it and the toxic people and severed friendships. So much has happened over one little pink book. Things I will not share but it seems to be a tissue box of events that I just want to stop.
I do not consider myself a successful vegan cookbook author like the others but regardless of big or small success there will be people who want to get what little they can out of you. One is never too old to be exploited or tricked. I found myself consenting to things blindly (in the name of my book and a few fake smiles) and jumping into silly situations that by the time I was able to think and ask the questions I was too far in. This caused conflict in these situations and caused me a lot of pain. It also attracted a lot of uncomfortable friendships. I attracted this preachy vegan whose constant monologues I couldn’t take anymore. It was an uncomfortable friendship to start with but I ended up tolerating that person because they were vegan! I got tired asking restaurants if they used ghee, if there was Worcestershire sauce in their gravy….to be honest with everyone I do not check anymore. I just don’t want my meal to have meat in it! I got tired being that person in the restaurant quizzing the waiter on the molecular make up of the dish…I couldn’t go out anymore and be that person and ate lots of contaminated food in the last four years due to life due to lies. The waiter said yes but my palette said “you are lying”. If you do not want to eat contaminated food I think you should not go out in non vegan restaurants. There is meat all in the kitchen like….there is meat right next to that stirfry…there was meat in that pot…there may be meat in the stir fry.
I found that my book overshadowed everything about me, my professional degree and my other talents. I found that I wasn’t seen to do anything but cook to the point that when I was speaking about looking for jobs with friends they told me to look at restaurants! People assumed that was what I wanted because I posted pretty pictures of food online. My goodness I am microbiologist and a food technologist. I write other things than recipes and I paint…but no one even if they knew saw that, it was “cook this cook that recipe this recipe that”. By the way I do not have the recipe bank that I do not want to share. I just don’t keep recipes in my computer like that or even write down stuff when I cook. Let me get that out there so if you want a recipe for a good stew…chances are I can only point you to the document source of recipes from me, my book. See how it became a chore? Taymer= cook. Hmm ….and while that was okay I felt restless after four years doing something that basically reaped little profit. Doing something and you are paid pennies to the point that you feel like punching a wall because your back aches you feet hurt and your efforts are reduced to bus fare. I couldn’t make a career out of this; I didn’t have the skill to and the will to. After four years of trying, and four years of not seeing anything come to light I am ready to move on to better things. Maybe I will retrain, maybe I will continue writing, maybe I will find a job as a microbiologist somewhere…. I am at a beautiful crossroads with the world at my fingertips and I hope that one day I enjoy cooking again.
In short I felt that every time I started to do things outside of cooking something came up and kept distracting me from developing my other talents and sadly none of these ventures brought any money. Everyone wanted something done and it was in the name of exposure. The only time I really made any money was when I ran my own catering company. At the ripe age of 30 I would admit publicly that if I didn’t have a safety net I would have ended my romanticized unprofitable career a long time ago.
While my book took me places I would not have imagined I think it is time to stop piggy backing on a book and get back to reality and do new things with my life and take on new adventures. I see my book as a classic cook book that whenever you want Caribbean food vegan you would go back to over and over and I am so thankful for the support from all of you. My book will always be a part of me. My new journey will be solitary and while I may be in the media again with other ventures I will still be me. Thank you a million times.
This blog will be no longer available in two months.
A quick post from Canada just letting you know that yours truly will be at the Toronto Vegetarian Festival this year again.
My Demo TimesI will be doing Vegan Gourmet Food on Saturday at the Lakeside Centre at 4 pm and I will be having a session on Caribbean Street Foods on Sunday at 6 pm. This year I am throwing in a modest non sponsored giveaway from yours truly just to give back to those who came out to support.
Do come out to support this festival. It is the biggest of its kind in North America, this year they have more chefs, more exhibitors and more of everything. There will be lost of free samples a beautiful world style restaurant with lots of great plant based food to try…should i say more?
On Saturday time will be limited but I will make an hour after my demo to chat with those who want to talk.
Canada has been good as usual…the weather has been lovely..I took up outdoor jogging while I was here because I didnt want the hassle to find a gym. I have not eaten at any vegan restaurants yet but I will have an update for you on vegan eats from the festival itself.
I have been eating a lot of organic vegetables and I have been topping my salads with Gardien products.
Here I have my signature kale salad with cranberries and the Buffalo Wings. These are really good and you can make them spicy by squirting some hot sauce in the sauce packet. They char well and they hold on to the sauce good too. Their texture reminds me of chicken breast and they can be customizable or eaten as is.I liked the orange chicken but you must consume it right away or the sauce will soak into the veggie chicken and it is not so nice after that. I liked the light citrus flavour and this works well on rice or noodle based dishes.
The next time I will be writing is to review the Toronto Vegetarian Festival so keep your eyes locked right here and those in North America enjoy your last days of summer.
I recently realised that it was the middle of summer and was not cooking much or even making recipes for my new book. It does not mean that I have not been writing the new book because I have, and within a few weeks I should be probably passing off something to an agent. More deets soon as more information comes my way.
Within the last couple of months I have turned into a “gym- geek” /”gym- freak” . I decided a few months ago that I did not like what I saw and I had the will to change it. I work out constantly and I hope to take my body to a place it has never been before. What does that have to do with this blog ???/…well…everything.. I wanted to share with you what I have been eating and drinking and, I will be doing that in the next couple of post. I will also reveal my new body then with before an after photos. No I am not looking for an exclusive on Doctor Oz but of all the so called journeys I have been on this is the most significant because I am doing it for me for the first time . Ok enough of that melodrama..lets get to this Sugar- free, almost fat free, dairy free ice cream. Before I get to the recipe here are some uses for Protein Ice cream.
1. A breakup: consume this ice cream through the tears but, the plus is you won’t gain weight. If you see your ex again you would have some sense of triumph.” Yeah I ate that ice cream but I still look great, take that”
2. After being fired from a boss that was intimidated by you because you had a degree and he did not. While you start to think of where you will be sending out CV’s next the comfort of this protein ice cream will pacify you without the guilt.
3. Finally for that night when you missed the sleep train and you watched a slew of Netflix movies and someone in one of those movies was eating junk and you wanted to do it too. Well grab a big bowl of protein ice cream and it is just a OK!
I use Nitrofusion protein. No this is not a sponsored ad, but I hope they would see it to be honest lol. I like this protein because it is soy free and it has 25 g of protein per scoop and it is vegan of course. Here is a photo of it.
For sweets I only use stevia but if I really want that luxury sweet taste to the ice cream I use a tablespoon of agave nectar and then pump up the sweeteness with a pack of stevia…no no I am not a health nut but there is no way I am going to let my good hard work go down the drain just because I want some icecream.
So the recipe is easy….
2 cups of non dairy milk
1 1/2 scoop protein powder
pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
sweetener of your choice
2 tsp xanthan gum
Add everything except the gum to the blender and blend until well mix. Add in the xanthan gum and blend under the mixture is thick and creamy.
At this stage you can freeze by placing the mixture in a container and going back to it after 2 hours and breaking the ice crystals with a spoon and repeating the process again OR you can put the mixture in an icecream maker and enjoy.
Now before I get to the technical pros and cons of this type of ice cream I must tell you that if you do not do some add ins this ice cream can taste very health nutty but still decent enough to fix your cravings.
Possible add ins in this recipe ( will change the profile of it being fat free) include 1/4 cup pecans, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 tbs agave nectar, cocoa powder if using chocolate protein powder and a tsp of instant coffee if using chocolate protein powder. This recipe is forgiving so go ahead and customize it to suit your needs.
Technical Cons of Protein Ice cream
1. the slight banana taste, if you hate banana on its own like me you may not like the slight banana flavour.
2. the slight heavy mouth feel from the protein powder especially if you are eating this as soft serve and not in hard scoops.
3. Being that it is fat free it freezes rock solid and you have to thaw for a few minutes before attempting to scoop
1.You can a lot of it without feeling guilty
2.It can be used as a post workout substitute for a shake
3. It is a new and exciting way to consume protein powder
Here, my add ins were peanut butter and pecans. It was further dressed with agave nectar, bananas, chopped peanuts and melted pure dark chocolate.
Here I added in 2 tbs cocoa powder, 1 tbs agave and a heaping tsp of coffee to enhance the chocolate flavour.
Ok now to drinks…
Now most Caribbean people like “juice” with their meals because of the types of flavours that are in our food juice goes well with the dishes. Juice is bad news for me since want to have a lean body so i resort to just water and on special ocassions, I pick a coconut from my tree and drink the water…OR, I turn to Crystal Light when things get really bad.
Recently, I have been making a lot of drinks at home that would we welcomed by someone who does not consume sugar.
I present the Lime Kiss/ Lime Ginger Kiss/ Lime Strawberry Kiss
2 limes juiced
1 cup ice
1 cup water
5 mint leaves
1 tbs agave nectar
1 small pack of stevia
Method blend well and serve immediately.
For the Ginger Kiss add 2×2 inch of ginger to the recipe
For the strawberry Kiss add two strawberries to the recipe
I just wanted to introduce you to the Shangobrand. They specialize in serving the vegan community with shirts with upbeat slogans and themes and their Vegan Farmer shirt is really cool. I love the font, the colours, everything. No they didn’t give me a shirt I just like to connect with brands that I would wear myself. The Vegan Farmer shirt connects people and being proud of preferring plants and growing them. Check them out!
I will be in TDOT…do people still say that for the 29th Annual Vegetarian Festival. In my next blog post I will divulge all of the juicy news about it. Until then……
Sitting in my small student bedroom at home in Barbados I sighed. It was that time of the month and even if I wanted to shake it I was craving chocolate and lots of it. Never having a permanent sweet tooth I looked out of the airless window. The summers were getting hotter in Barbados and my sweat was sandy and I felt eternally parched.
That is when I saw him/ it. A small van cranking out an unfamiliar melody. This wasn’t the BICO truck. Who was he/ it. A smooth dark face with big eyes,straight nose and hair plait back in cornrow, held back with a stocking drove the mini van. “Is he selling ice cream?” I asked my mother who lazily lounged in the house. ” How should I know Taymer I never saw that van before!” He was parked about 100 metres from my house which was strange because there was no sight of children. Maybe he saw when I peered through the wooden louvers, maybe he knew I was craving a sweet chocolate treat, maybe he just had to stop.
“What you selling?” “Magnums” he exhaled looking disinterested. “How much?” “Three fifty”
After the money was exchanged from my now sweaty palm I went inside and tore off the metallic wrapping and sat on my bed with my mother eagerly looking on. I bit in the hard chocolate segment fell on the ground and almost immediately started to melt under the hot Bajan summer. The chocolate coating was sugary sweet and rich and the ice cream in the middle was just as rich.
When I see magnums displayed in freezers all over the world secretly I feel for a split second to give up my veganism for that few minutes of that pleasure I first had on that hot Bajan summer back in the 90′s. I never succumbed to this temptation of perfection in foil wrapping but I ended my cravings this summer with four versions of my favourite ice cream bar. Yep I love them so much I made four different kinds and now you can make them.
Vegan Chocolate Dipped Ice cream Bar Version 1
Makes approximately 10 ice cream pops
This version uses a 3/4 fat vegan ice cream recipe with vanilla extract that turns the cream slightly off- white. The ice cream is frozen in a rectangular Tupperware contained and sliced. The ice cream slices are then dipped in a hot chocolate topping and frozen three times to achieve an ultra thick shell. An optional caramel drizzle is added and then the bars undergo further freezing.
Ice cream section
1 1/2 cup soy- milk/ non dairy milk
1 cup soy creamer/ non dairy creamer
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup neutral oil/ canola/ g rapeseed
pinch of salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar (i do not like the flavour of white sugar, I am Bajan so…)
1 tsp of brown sugar mixed in with 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsb arrowroot powder mixed in with 2 tbs non dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Add soy milk, creamer, butter, oil, salt and sugar to a pot and bring it to a gentle simmer.
Slowly sprinkle in the gum and sugar mixture stirring the mixture. Increase heat and when the custard begins to bubble take the pot off the heat and add the well mixed arrowroot milk mixture. Slowly drizzle in the arrowroot mixture gently stirring.
Cool for a minimum of three hours
No Ice cream Maker ( Bummer, buy one! just kidding)
Place the container with the chilled mixture in the freezer. After three hours take out the ice cream and break the ice crystals. Stir vigorously until you are left with a frozen cream. Place back in the freezer. After two hours do the same thing again. After two hours repeat. Transfer into a rectangular or square plastic container and freeze overnight.
Ice cream Maker ( Yes I agree, great investment)
Follow the directions on the ice cream maker and churn until done.
Transfer into a rectangular or square plastic container and freeze overnight.
Cut the ice cream in squares, mine measured 2.5 x 2.5 inches. Stick the Popsicle sticks inside and set aside on a line tray in the freezer.
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup slightly baked slivered almonds, optional
Clear your kitchen counter and freezer or any junk …this can get messy and you want decent looking pops.Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for two mins. Stir well until the mixture is hot and loose (that sounds like an insult).
Dip the naked frozen pops in the hot and loose chocolate. Immediately transfer them on the line tray in the freezer.
Freeze for a minimum of two hours before giving them to people because you won’t eat all of them right?!
I gave most of these to the workmen outside because I follow the rule when you make sweet share.
Thank you all for your comments. I have read them all and I will reply in a few days. Thanks for waiting for me when I didn’t think I would come back, listening to my rants about recipe thieves who are still thriving, for the times I was lazy and just wanted to take photos with no recipe.
I now know why I never closed down this blog, how could I? It was the first place I shared my creativity with the world.
After Caribbean Vegan, life happened and, I wanted to get some professional and creative experiences outside of this blog.
I spent the last two years working in an airline catering facility as the HACCP Manager. I learnt a lot, more so about people. I got to hone in on my cooking skills and had the opportunity to cook for many private jets that landed on this escape island. Some of these invisible clients were vegan. I was able to extend myself in many ways that I couldn’t do at home.
I left that job seeking a new life experience and I decided to go into hair and beauty. Natural hair in persons of an African decent had become a hot topic to a point that it has now become a movement. I found that the only experiences that I was seeing in the mainstream media were that of black Americans or as they call themselves African American. I decided to form a Caribbean natural hair group with another young lady I met on the island and Don’t Break the Comb was founded back in 2012. It only started to pick up its momentum in May 2013. We went on to a successful hair workshop showing women on the island how to make their own hair products at home. I then began to dabble in creating my own natural hair line for Don’t Break the Comb. Currently this is an ongoing project and a work in progress with a lot of personal rewards like using ingredients that are found in the Caribbean. I am anxious about the end result of this project.
I wanted more, and even with Don’t Break the Comb building a strong following I wanted to cook again. I grew so much from Caribbean Vegan days with my new French status I was fusing my two worlds together in the kitchen and I was having these great food moments. I couldn’t share them with the world because I had suspended blogging and like that horse you fell from that you are hesitant to get back on, I was unsure on how my experience would be blogging three years later.
I later opened a small catering company called The Box Gourmet specializing in vegan catering. My first job I had three jobs on the same day. I had underestimated the planning and precision that goes into catering. With one friend in tow and two kitchens we worked feverishly during the day to cater to 300 plus people on the island. At my final gig for the night people asked my staff who was behind the catering. Someone called for me in the back and I spent the rest of the night pouring wine and talking about my Caribbean falafel to the attendees. I felt at peace with my new venture. Here is a crappy phone cam shot with my two friends that were serving that night for me.
I procrastinated until I came back here.
I don’t believe in one hit wonders…there is a special place in my heart for one hit wonders. A sadness that comes because I know there is so much more creativity where those one hit wonders came from. Like me I knew I had so much more in me post- Caribbean Vegan but, I was not creatively ready to show the world.
I turned 30 this year….
I live by the sea now…my property has coconut and banana trees. There is a healthy tuft of lemon grass on the wall and a small herb garden. Looking at the sea creates a changing landscape that moves with me.
I am decorating the apartment attached to my house and preparing it for potential short stay visitors for the next tourist season. You see you can come here to St. Martin to my little bed and breakfast overlooking the ocean with food cooked by me. Yes that is right a Vegan B&B in St. Martin French West Indies!
I am aggressively writing a new book which will show my personal and culinary growth. I have a team of testers working on my recipes and I spend my day at home writing to you.
Here is a recipe from my new book but it has a story…..
Coconut Coleslaw and the Honest Plate of Food
Back in 2011 I was invited to do a vegan cooking workshop in Dominica, a small island just north of Guadeloupe. Approaching Dominica by plane is an awakening experience that had been hypnotized by the islands cool tropical forest charm.
The organizer of the workshop asked me to meet her in downtown Roseau. When I arrived the humidity and pitter patter of the sleepy town awoke me. It was a Caribbean city stuck in time, a time where all we wanted to do was to get what was needed for the day from the city and head back home. I was witnessing a period before my time that my birth country did not show anymore. I was intrigued.
She asked me to meet her in an ital restaurant that was her favourite on the island. I arrived with my documents in tow to an open style shack styled restaurant. The ice gold and green colours could not be missed but this was different. It was charming and unforgettable to the few photos of famous Rastafarians the owner had on display to the kind words from past visitors.
The owner was a young brown skin Rastafarian with a pair of honest eyes. He wore a garb with tribal print with the predominate colours of orange, blue, and red with a slice of green. The shelves of the kitchen carried the same material he wore. These shelves housed cracked coconut shells with the flesh still in tact and the other carried mangoes and limes.
The owner fanned a big boiling pot with a stem of bay leaf. The combination of the bay leaf, garlic, cilantro and coconut milk created a unique motor of flavour that was special. At that time in that place I have having a unique moment that could never be replicated anywhere. Small beads of sweat crept around the owner’s curly exposed hairline and he reassured me that my lunch partner was on her way.
The afternoon crowd started to arrive. I knew they were regulars because they came up to the kitchen table and conversed softly with the owner. Sometimes a laugh erupted and one man shifted in his seat. There was no rush from the clients even if the owner started to fan his big pot more aggressively. Again the melody of scent erupted from his pot and I too started to shift in my seat and became hungry.
A middle aged British expat walked in the restaurant looking like a forever tourist with a white pants and sandals. She gave me an elastic smile exposing her long white teeth and her blue green eyes lit up. She glanced at me in the next five minutes “first time here love?” With an easy smile I said “yes it is”. “You will love it I come here almost everyday day, Deschamps is fantastic you will love the food”. She turned her attention back to the other two regulars in their seats.
The first plate started to arrive to the man in a ‘shirt jack’ and sensible shoes. I didn’t want to pry but I was curious to see what was on the plate. There seem to be skeleton of a menu but quickly I learnt that there was no menu there was just food and you ate what was prepared that day.
Soon my lunch partner arrived frazzled from the humidity and her responsibilities. Our lunch plates landed like an on time transatlantic jet and this is what was presented to me….
This plate of honest food was not pretentious and for the first time I tasted the flavour of the starchy root vegetables, what we call ground provisions. In past preparations these root vegetables were always married off with Creole sauces a bit too early. I never got to taste them naked. A crispy fried dough and pea mixture was reminiscent of fried fish complemented this plate as these roots are only served with fish traditionally. What I really fell in love with the white creamy salad on the side of this plate. This was the Rastafarians answer to the heavy tiresome coleslaw recipes that had penetrated the region in the late 80’s. When we look at the coconut it can play many roles. It can play a nutty role in sweet preparations and it can take on a self dressing making vegetable in salads. When the milk from the fresh coconut is mixed with acid and garlic and agitated what you get is a savory dressing reminiscent of mayonnaise naturally.
I forgot I was eating coconut that day. It was so masterfully disguised in a role that it was destined to play. I was bewitched by coconut coleslaw and here is my humble interpretation of that honest dish that was presented to me on that humid afternoon in Roseau Dominica.
1 cup of fresh finely grated coconut (packaged coconut will not do.you need that milk )
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1 small onion grated (so it is like pulp)
1 clove of garlic finely grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt to taste or more
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro or minced cilantro and parsley
1 tsp lime/ lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar or brown sugar
1/4 tsp minced Scotch Bonnets/ habeneros optional
Mix all ingredients well for 5 minutes until the milk starts to leech from the coconut. Set aside on tabletop. Chill lightly before serving.
This can be used on its own or as a burger topping.
I am back from a long hiatus.
I have not been cooking much since I took off from the last post due to the lack of inspiration. I finally got back into the kitchen last week and started to work on my new book that is a departure from my first book Caribbean Vegan.
The new book is not vegan, it is not vegetarian and it is not omnivorous.
What is its is a celebration of fruits and vegetables of the region with modern takes and a bit of molecular cooking.
Imagine scotch bonnet caviar, breadfruit pasta, sugar apple wine…..yes see where I am going?
In the new book you wont find
1. seitan, tempeh tofu or any fake veggie meats.
2. fried flour
You will find
1. loads of new things to do with Caribbean fruits and veg
2. Recipes for homemade wines and spirits
3. Recipes for bottled sauces and marinades
Here is a breadfruit cake recipe I have been working on….I may change it slightly for the book but so far breadfruit is showing some surprising properties that have not been explored in the region. This cake was the spongiest vegan cake I ever tasted. The flavour was new but still familiar and the pieces of breadfruit took on a nutty flavour when baked in the batter.
½ cup of vegetable Shortening
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup of cooked lumpy mashed breadfruit (mash with a little non dairy milk)
1 cup vegan butter milk made with 1 cup non dairy milk and a tablespoon of vinegar
2 cups of flour (1 cup cake flour and 1 cup all purpose flour)
2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 scant tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black strap molasses
1 ½ tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1/8 cup agave nectar, optional
Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C
Cream fat and sugar together until most of the crystals have dissolved. It is OK if you do not get all dissolved. Add cooled lumpy breadfruit to the mixture and mix well. Stir in vegan butter milk and set aside.
Mix flours, baking powder, salt, molasses and spices.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well and fast. You should start to see some air bubbles in the mixture. Stir in agave nectar and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked.
Here are some fritters that I made when I was working with cooked mashed breadfruit. These were the fluffiest fritters I ever ate but alas I want to limit the fried foods in the book…who knows I may change my mind.
1.Well as inactive as I was. I was happy to be invited to Toronto this year to take part in the 28th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival.
I am really honoured as this is the 2nd time I had been invited to an international event.
I spent summers in Canada as a child and teenager so going back there will be very good.
My demo will be on Saturday the 7th of September at 2 pm
Click here for more information.
My demo will focus on Caribbean Root Vegetables and the fundamentals of Caribbean cuisine.
2. I will also be a speaker and vendor at the 1st
from August 31st to September 2nd 2012.
I never sold food before but I have an exciting menu planned…I will update you on that late.
Click here to go on their Facebook page.
I must say I am happy to see this type of movement in St. Martin and I hope to make a difference and bring awareness to meat free eating.