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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian diet including:better health, animal welfare, food safety, public health, frugal living, food and water security and the immense contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change.

In order to mitigate and adapt to climate change we will all have to make some adjustments to our lifestyles. We can wait until the changes are forced upon us or make the adjustments on our own terms and become part of the solution. We now know that livestock production is one of the greatest contributors to climate change, land degradation and water pollution; by reducing or eliminating meat consumption we become one of those leading the way to a safer, healthier future.

Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution-oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health. Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis. Armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney (Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat. We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle music!

Tonight join me on a virtual taste trip to Jamaica, just because we all need to get away to a beautiful warm beach sometime and there's no easier and greener way to get there than to prepare a lovely island feast and let your taste buds transport you.

Fiery Jamaican soup guaranteed to warm you up. Serves 3-4 as entree with some crunchy bread.

3 cups vegetable broth
1 large can Bean Medley, rinsed (if can't find medley use kidney, white or favorite bean)
1 large onion diced
1 potato
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
8 cups Jamaican callaloo or use collards, mustard greens or even kale
1/4 cup parsley leaves with stems
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper or any fresh hot pepper
1 diced sweet potato
2 scallions (spring / green onions)
1 tablespoon thyme

Start by prepping the ingredients ... wash, chop and dice. The sweet potato is peeled and diced as you would any regular potato and try to cube them in the same sizes. Remember to wear gloves when handling the scotch bonnet pepper, wash your hands with soap and do not include any of the seeds. That’s where the real fire is when it comes to such lethal peppers.

Heat the oil in a heavy soup pot on medium heat, then add the diced onion, garlic, parsley, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper. Turn the heat down to low and let that gently cook for about 3-5 minutes. We’re creating a lovely base for the soup at this point.

Wash, drain and trim the callaloo (cut into smaller pieces) ... feel free to use any tender stems if you wish. Tough stems will not cook down and will give the soup a woody texture. Now add all the chopped callaloo to the pot and give it a good stir. It will wilt down as it cooks.

Add the cubed potatoes and all the other ingredients to the pot. Bring that up to a boil and reduce with the cover slightly ajar to a rolling boil for about 20-25 minutes.

Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. The vegetables will still have their shape; if you want to thicken it up a bit use a whisk to break things down a little so it will thicken up.

You will definitely feel a soft, warm island breeze as you serve this sweet and savory curry. Serves 4

    3 tbsp vegetable oil
    2 lb. squash or pumpkin peeled, deseeded & chopped into 2 cm cubes
    1 plantain peeled & sliced into diagonal 1cm coins
    1 large onion chopped
    1 red pepper deseeded & chopped into rough squares
    1 large tomato chopped
    2 or 3 cloves garlic chopped
    1 scotch bonnet chilli chopped (You can use any fresh chilli)
    1 tbsp ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
    1/2 tbsp curry paste (whatever you have)
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp dried oregano
    3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
    2 bay leaves
    a pinch of ground cloves
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    the zest of 1/2 lime
    2 cups vegetable stock (you may want to use more)
    1/2 tin coconut milk about 1 cup ( You can use more if you like)
    lime juice to taste 1/2 to 1 whole lime
    a handful of fresh coriander chopped plus extra for garnish
    salt & black pepper

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan add the onion and saute for 2 minutes over a medium heat until softened then add the garlic, ginger and chili. Add the sliced plantain and fry for a minute. Add the curry paste, tomato paste and the rest of the herbs and spices, apart from the lime juice and fresh coriander, stirring constantly. Then add the squash, red pepper and fresh tomato and pour over the stock and coconut milk, Turn up the heat and bring to the boil seasoning generously with salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally.

By now your curry should be ready, the squash cooked and the plantain kind of melted into the sauce. Add the lime juice and fresh coriander and taste for seasoning. You may need more salt or you might want to add more veg stock if you like it more liquidy. Serve the curry garnished with fresh coriander, lime wedges and the warm, folded rotis on the side.

Roti Bread Recipe
Makes 8  

    5oo gr (about 1 lb.) plain flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    6 oz. butter diced or use vegan butter
    about 6 oz. water
    veg oil for frying

Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt in to a large bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it into the flour mixture with you fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs (you can do this in a food processor on slow). Slowly add the water bit by bit and mix together with you hands to form a ball of dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 2 or 3 minutes then put it in a bowl covered with a clean tea towel and leave it for about 30 minutes.

While the curry is cooking, go back to you roti dough, knead it again and cut it into quarters, then into eighths and roll them into balls. Flour the work surface and the rolling pin and start rolling out your rotis as thinly as possible (really thin). They don’t have to be a perfect circle that’s part of the charm. Make a pile of rotis flouring well in between each one so they don’t stick together.

Brush a large frying pan with oil, heat it up until hot and cook the rotis for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. They should bubble up and brown slightly. Brush the pan with oil in between each one. Cover the cooked rotis with a tea towel while you cook the rest.

Quick and easy taste of the Caribbean. Marinating onions in lime juice for just 15 minutes develops the flavors of a quick-stir fruit salsa.

    ½ cup chopped white onion, plus ⅓ cup minced white onion, divided
    1 Tbs. lime juice
    ¼ tsp. salt
    3 medium kiwifruit, peeled and diced or use mango, pineapple, peach etc.
    ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
    1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeno chile
    3 dried New Mexico chiles, seeded and cut into small pieces
    2 tsp. olive oil
    1 15-oz. can black beans, drained, liquid reserved
    4 tostada shells
    1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or use vegan yogurt

1. Toss together chopped onion, lime juice and salt in bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in kiwifruit, cilantro and jalapeño.

2. Grind dried chiles to fine particles (like sugar) in spice mill or coffee grinder; set aside.

3. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add minced onion, cover and cook 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add beans, ½ cup reserved bean liquid, and 2½ tsp. ground chiles. Mash beans, leaving some whole for texture. Cook 5 minutes, or until mixture is thickened, but moist, stirring often.

4. Place 1 tostada shell on each plate. Divide bean mixture among tostadas, leaving ½-inch border. Top each with 1/4 cup yogurt and 1/4 cup salsa; dust with ground chiles. Serve with remaining salsa.

Hand pies are everywhere in Jamaica; whether savory or sweet they are a delicious portable meal to be carried around as you catch the sights. Thanks Vegetarian Times!
Try these savory turnovers filled with drained Callaloo

    3 cups flour
    1 Tbs. curry powder
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    4 oz. vegan margarine, cut into pieces

    1 Tbs. canola oil
    1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
    3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
    1 8-oz. pkg. tempeh, crumbled
    2 tsp. curry powder
    2 tsp. chili powder
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    1 tsp. dried thyme
    1/2 tsp. ground allspice, optional
    1/4 cup dark rum, optional
    1/2 cup chopped green onions

To make crust: Combine flour, curry powder, salt and baking powder in food processor. Add margarine, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3/4 cup cold water; process until dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.

To make Filling: Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add tempeh, curry powder, chili powder, oregano, thyme, allspice, if desired, and 1 1/2 cups water. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in rum, if desired, and cook until liquid has evaporated. Cool, then stir in green onions.

Preheat oven to 400°F, and coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 6-inch circles. Brush edges of circles with water, and place 1 1/2 Tbs. filling in centers. Fold circles in half, crimping edges with fork tines to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.

Now you can always be prepared for a virtual island getaway by having your own homemade Jerk seasoning at hand.

    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    2 to 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons onion powder
    2 teaspoons dried thyme
    2 teaspoons dried parsley
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Be transported to a sunny Caribbean beach with this flavorful chili using homemade Jerk seasoning.

    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 ribs celery, diced
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1 onion, diced
    2 rounded teaspoonfuls Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (recipe above)
    ¾ cup coconut milk
    3 tablespoons tomato paste
    1-2 tablespoons lime juice, to taste
    3 (14 oz.) cans beans, drained and rinsed (use your fave beans, I like small red here) or use mix
    Water, to cover
    1 mango, peeled and diced
    ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat.

Saute garlic, celery, onion and bell pepper about 3 minutes until they begin to soften.

Add Jamaican Jerk seasoning, starting with a bit at a time.

Add coconut milk, tomato paste, rinsed beans and lime juice. Stir to combine well.

Taste for seasoning and add more Jerk if necessary. Remember: It’s easier to add heat than take it away!

Cover pot, reduce heat to minimum and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add in half of the diced mango and half of the minced cilantro. Stir to combine. Replace cover and let simmer another 10 minutes.

Serve over rice with fresh mango and cilantro to garnish.

I had to add these because I have no will power and Vegetarian Times does know how to do desserts ... yummy!


    2 cups vegan vanilla wafer cookies
    1 Tbs. canola oil
    1 Tbs. unsweetened almond milk

Coconut Layer

    1 12-oz pkg. extra-firm silken tofu, drained
    1 ripe medium banana
    ½ cup low-fat coconut milk
    ⅔ cup sugar
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    2 Tbs. coconut oil
    2 Tbs. cornstarch
    1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
    ½ tsp. sea salt
    1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


    2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
    ¼ cup sugar
    2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
    1 Tbs. cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

2. To prepare crust: Pulse cookies into crumbs in food processor. Transfer to bowl, and mix in canola oil and almond milk. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 8 minutes, then cool.

3. To make coconut layer: Blend tofu, banana, coconut milk, sugar, lemon juice, coconut oil, cornstarch, vanilla and salt in blender until very smooth, occasionally scraping down sides with rubber spatula. Transfer to bowl, and fold in shredded coconut. Pour over crust in pan. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until top is lightly puffed and edges pull away from pan. Cool on wire rack.

4. To make topping: Bring pineapple, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes. Pour mixture over coconut layer.

5. Cool until topping is no longer steaming and baking pan is cool to touch. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 3 hours. Slice into 12 bars with thin metal spatula dipped in water.

"She's Leaving Home," The Beatles:

"Home (When Shadows Fall)," Paul McCartney:

What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle music here!

Originally posted to Meatless Advocates Meetup on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  VL - those pina colada bars look awesome. (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks for sharing.

    "The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope." -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardi

    by Frank In WA on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:27:25 PM PST

  •  Can you get Callalou in FL? In Trinadad, they (8+ / 0-)

    had a wonderful Callalou soup.  The Indian fusion food there was fantastic!  We were there during the pan competition - what an amazing wall of sound!  And the street food - big vats of corn on the cob (cooked I think with callalou or some herb) , ginger beer, spicy delicious garbanzos on little roti and a great fish roti thingy.

    Good thing I just shoved a vegetarian Chipotle bowl down my devilish gullet, or I would be very hungry now!

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:13:43 PM PST

    •  my market has it canned but I've never seen it (4+ / 0-)

      fresh. Probably just don't shop in the right places. I did have it in Jamaica and think it's very similar to collards.  The recipe in the calaloo link above uses a combo of collards and spinach and I've tried it and it is difficult for me to tell it's not the real thing.  Now you've reminded me of Ginger beer...I love it and my market does carry it...have to get some next shopping trip. Great with these recipes! :)

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:51:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you VL. (9+ / 0-)

    Right now I'm making a dish from last week's recipes.  I finally took the plunge and I've been meat free for a week.  I don't miss it because I've built up a list of yummy and filling veggie and fruit recipes over the last six months that are organic, non-GMO, non-processed foods. Now I'm working on reducing dairy in my diet.

  •  today's dinner (8+ / 0-)

    was methi dal with a dosa.  Yummy.

    Those black bean tostadas look amazing.

  •  How fun! (5+ / 0-)

    I just ordered a bunch of allspice (whole and ground) because I felt like making Jamaican food. I'm planning to jerk everything.  :)

    So cool that you chose to write about it today. Happy Monday.

    "Broccoli could take down a government. Broccoli is revolutionary." --Kris Carr

    by rb137 on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:44:38 PM PST

  •  yummy. luscious. inspiring (6+ / 0-)

    and so wonderful to check my email and see notice of your Monday post this afternoon.

    VL, as usual thank you ...

    RIP Nelson Mandela

    by boatsie on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:47:18 PM PST

  •  ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, greenearth, slowbutsure

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 04:55:45 PM PST

  •  Hmm... I like collards, but they are about 25 (6+ / 0-)

    minutes tougher than spinach, and I like well-cooked but not over cooked greens.  My favorite is beet greens - just delicious.  Cooked spinach is squeaky on my teeth - I think I read somewhere that they developed a spinach to last longer; the squeaky as a side effect.

    My southeren ba-bro cooked collards outside for several hours with ham hocks and they were totally tasteless and the pot was disgusting to clean.  The collards needed hot sauce to be edible; I was, of course, polite and ate them anyway.

    My recipe for collards:  Cook one diced red onion with 1 T olive oil and 1 t sugar for about 15 minutes over medium heat.  Add about 1 c water and one bunch collards, cleaned and cut up the size you like them and steam for 30 minutes.

    NEVER go to pick up your kids from a class and forget to turn the collards down to a simmer.  Your house will stink for days!

    Kidlet has a scar on her retina from a fungus prevalent on the south-east coast; greens are a good way to prevent further damage.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:19:55 PM PST

  •  Very exotic recipes! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, greenearth, slowbutsure

    Thank you.  Though I love the Beatles, I have to say these two selections are a little dreary and dismal, IMO.  I like the cheery and cheeky ones better.  

  •  I'm off today & tomorrow (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, greenearth, slowbutsure

    I don't have to cook much. We're having a food day at work on Wednesday, and people love my queso so I'm taking that, though it is really unhealthy.

    I may take frozen meals for lunch Thursday & Friday. Or buy pre-made salads.

  •  Hot stuff! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, greenearth, slowbutsure

    Thanks, VL.

  •  Thanks for the Callaloo recipe! Have been (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, VL Baker, slowbutsure

    wondering about that particular dish ever since I read Anne Weale's wonderful novel, Sullivan's Reef, many years ago.  In it, Charlotte packs a thermos of Callaloo along with home-made bread for a picnic, gets into the dinghy, rows to the Reef, and shares her picnic on the beach with a very handsome guy named...oh, well, you get the idea.

    Saturday is Vegetarian Night at our house. I find vegetarian food involves a lot more peeling, chopping, mixing, and whatnotting than shoving two chicken breasts in the oven and steaming some vegetables to go with them. Vegetarian food is good, though. I have a soup that I adore and a lentil stew that is out of this world. Only trouble is, the  lentil stew makes a lot even when I halve the ingredients, and there are just two of us.

    Got to say those Pina Colada bars look delicious!

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 07:39:14 PM PST

  •  Chickpea Sandwich Spread (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, VL Baker, GDbot, slowbutsure

    I just tried a new recipe tonight, and it was amazing!

    1 can chickpeas, mashed in a bowl with a fork
    2-3 TBSP Veganaise
    Diced red onion to taste (I love red onion and used about 1/3 cup)
    Dash of lemon juice
    Dill weed to taste
    Salt to taste

    The texture is amazing. The flavor fresh. It tastes and feels like shredded chicken salad and is 100% vegan. Serve it on bread, tortillas, flatbread, whatever.

    Next time I'm going to try to make a Waldorf chickpea salad. I'll use apple, almonds, dried cranberry and onion with the mashed chickpeas and Veganaise.

  •  just made this veggie sop tonight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, greenearth, VL Baker, slowbutsure

    Chinese Hot and Sour Soup!

    prep as you go, this take ~30-45min total

    4c Vegetable Broth
    1 Can of Bamboo shoots (slicked or shredded)
    1 Can water chestnuts (can leave out)
    ~1c sliced mushrooms (use more if you want, i used shitake)
    ~1-2c greens (i used gai lan leaves - can use the stalks for juicing)
    1 egg beaten (i used it, completely optional)
    however much thinly sliced tofu you want.  i used 1lb extra firm tofu

    - sauce -
    2T soy sauce
    3T rice vinegar
    2T xiaoxing wine (can leave out if you want, or replace with 1T sherry - i think it adds a richer tase)

    - thickener -
    3T corn starch with 2T water, thoroughly mixed

    - garnish -
    chopped green onions/scallions
    sesame oil
    garlic chili sauce (OPTIONAL - i like sambal oelek)

    on one burner, blanch your greens.  gai lan turns the water green.  you can reserve the "broth" for other uses.  my wife likes to drink it warm.

    in a soup pot, pour in the broth, add water to your preference, i added 2C, but use at least 1C to counter evaporation.  bring to a boil a and then add sliced mushrooms, drain and rinse bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and add those in.  boil 5 min, then add tofu.  boil 1 min then add sauce and, if using, slowly drizzle in the egg while stirring to make egg drop.  bring to a boil, and add in the greens.  once all of the ingredients are cooked through, you are done.

  •  Cauliflower Korma (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, VL Baker, slowbutsure

    Awesome dinner tonight - Cauliflower Korma with Basmati rice and spice-stuffed baby eggplant.

    Here's the recipe for the Cauliflower.

    Cauliflower  - 1 bunch
Onion   - 1 

    Carrot   - 2
Green Chili  - 3
Ginger   - 1 Small piece
Red Chili powder - 1½ tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
Coconut Milk  -  1 cup
Salt   - As required
Water   - 1 cup
Coconut Oil  - 3 tsp 

    Wash the Cauliflower and cut into Florets. Chop onion, dice ginger and green chili. Dice carrots.

    In a pan add coconut oil and heat. Fry onion until slightly browned. Add cauliflower, carrot, ginger, green chili, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and water. 

    Cover the pan and allow it to cook about 15 minutes or until desired tenderness has been achieved.

    Uncover and add coconut milk, bring to boil briefly then simmer on very low flame for 2 or 3 minutes. 

  •  Thanks for the recipes. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VL Baker, slowbutsure

    It sucks that this thread has a little more than 1/3 the posts of the front page diary about an HBO TV show.

    I guess that's just the way it is, was, and likely always will be with humans. Livestock production and processing is beyond description for those not familiar with it.

    And that's the way they want. Meat just tastes so damn good! People don't want to know how it comes to be neatly packaged in styrofoam with a tampon under it to absorb the blood. Several states have recently passed laws to treat animal welfare activists more like terrorists.

    Acceptance of the world as it is plus working to change it (without attachment to the results of one's efforts) is apparently, just like all the Indian mystics teach, the only solution.

    Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

    by FrY10cK on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 03:57:06 AM PST

  •  It's true that grain-fed livestock is inefficient. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But, it is unlikely livestock would disappear or people would stop eating meat just because they wanted to save grain. They could always have grass-fed cattle and similar natural feedstocks for other animals. Rising grain prices may, in fact, shift people toward using more natural foods for livestock. But, as far as the question of hunger, that is a totally different issue than food production. For most of the last century, food production, including grain, meat, dairy, etc. has easily exceeded the amount required to feed every person on the planet and even to make them all fat. Yet, people have continued to starve. The problem of hunger is about inequality of power and resources. Warfare, greed, ethnic and political conflict: These things cause the people who need food to often not be able to get it. So, hunger is really about maldistribution of food rather than lack of production of food (or even the diversion of food to livestock). If people in one part of the world were to change livestock feeding patterns, that is unlikely to help the people of Somali, Sudan, or the Central African Republic, where people are suffering under chaotic regimes.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 at 08:08:05 AM PST

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