My first stopover to the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis was one of my favourite themed meals to date so I was very happy to have the opportunity to delve into some more Caribbean cooking when Grenada was drawn. After searching around for a bit I found a decent list of recipes for Grenada and decided to make jerk tofu and rice and beans.
I was introduced to jerk tofu during recipe testing for Terry Hope Romero's soon to be released Vegan Eats World which the man and I adored. The marinade I made for this tofu was completely different to Terry's as it didn't require the use of a Jamaican curry powder although it did include some of the spices that would be included in this type of curry powder. The amount of marinade I used could have been halved (or the tofu doubled) as there was more than enough for the job. The heat in this jerk marinade came from the pickled jalapenos which I scaled back a fraction as I opted to measure the required quarter of a cup in slices rather than finely diced. The tofu was still rather spicy so I would recommend cutting back on this if you don't enjoy a lot of spice.
My first impression of the red beans and rice recipe was that it was going to be beans and rice cooked together and it was only later that I realised it was actually a bean stew served on rice. The original recipe listed smoked sausage in the ingredients, with a little more time up my sleeve I would have made a batch of chorizo sausages from Viva Vegan as a substitute. I had an unopened jar of Cajun seasoning in the pantry which I bought ages ago for a recipe that I never ended up making so it was good to put this new spice blend to use at last. The beans weren't anywhere near as spicy as the tofu even though they still had a pleasant amount of heat.
This was a fantastic dinner packed full of protein, the only downfall was not capturing a decent photo that did the meal justice!
Grenada jerk tofu (Adapted from this recipe)
350g firm tofu, drained and pressed (use more tofu if you like, there is ample marinade for it)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
8 spring onions (scallions), roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup pickled jalapeno slices (use less for a milder version)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200C.
Cut the tofu into long thin sticks or other desired shape. Place the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend/process until it becomes a smooth paste. Pour the marinade into a baking dish then add the pieces of tofu and flip each piece to ensure they are all evenly coated with the marinade.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then flip the tofu pieces over. Allow the tofu to cook for a further 20 minutes.
Grenada red beans and rice (Adapted from this recipe)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 x 400g tins red kidney beans (don't drain)
1 cup vegan chicken stock
1 teaspoon Cajun (or Creole) seasoning
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
cooked rice, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a deep sided frying pan over low-medium heat and fry the onions for 10 minutes or until starting to brown. Stir through the garlic for a minute then add the kidney beans with their tinned juices, stock, Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with cooked rice.
Did you know?
Grenada is also known as the spice island of the Caribbean. Grenada is one the largest exporters of nutmeg in the world, nutmeg replaced sugar as the main crop after the British took the island from France in 1783.
Do you want to know where else I've been this month? Click here for the round up.