Inspired by my recent travels to the Caribbean and the desire to use some of the jerk spice that I purchased on my trip, I cooked up a delicious concoction of brown rice, beans, and spices in my kitchen. This recipe is packed full of flavor and you can make it as spicy as you’d like (or less spicy, if you so desire). It’s vegan, it’s super healthy, and there’s really no reason not to whip up this one for dinner tonight. You can bring a taste of the tropics to your own home. Plus, I found that the cooked spices made my whole apartment smell amazing, and that’s always a good thing.
An important part of the recipe is the dry jerk seasoning mix. I purchased some homemade jerk spice from a stall in St. Maarten. If you can’t find any at the store, you can easily make a batch of your own by searching out a recipe to your liking on Google, or you can try this one out. I haven’t tried making my own, so you’ll have to let me know if you have a favorite jerk seasoning recipe.
Vegan Caribbean Beans and Rice Recipe
1/2 white onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 tbsp ginger root, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp jerk spice
2 tbsp ketchup
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 can (15oz) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1. Drizzle olive oil into the bottom of a sauce pan and heat on medium. Add the onions, celery, ginger, thyme, hot sauce, and jerk spice to the pan, heat for 5 minutes until the onions and celery are soft.
2. Add the ketchup, turmeric, rice and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to low and simmer until the rice is cooked, 40-50 minutes. You might need to add more broth if the liquid gets soaked into the rice and the rice isn’t fully cooked.
3. When the rice is nearly fully cooked, add the kale and the black-eyed peas and cook for a few more minutes. Serve and enjoy!