Happy Friday! The sun was shining in the mountains today so I went for a hike with Bowie & a couple friends after work. It was wonderful. All this sunshine makes me think of beachy vacations, so it seemed perfect to share this recipe tonight. My parents have the best neighbor ever in Connecticut, her name is Debbie, and she’s from Jamaica! She recently mailed us a bottle of her favorite authentic jerk sauce from Jamaica! We were so excited. I made veggies, tofu & rice to enjoy with the sauce, and it was delicious! It was, however, soooooooooooooo flipping spicy!!! So you may want to test-taste your sauce first to know what you’re getting yourself into : ) Also, I had fresh chopped pineapple in my fridge the entire time I made and ate this meal and I was so excited (and dying from heat) that I forgot to use it! So I would definitely add some cool, sweet, refreshing pineapple to this dish if you’d like, either sauteed with the veggies, or just as a fresh topping.
Jamaican Jerk sauce
1 block extra firm tofu; drained & pressed
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS earth balance vegan butter
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup rice
2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
sprinkle black pepper
1 TBS EVOO
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pepper any color or combination
2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and get started prepping the tofu. Once it’s been drained & pressed to remove most of the moisture, slice about 1/2 inch thick, and place on a baking sheet covered in foil. Put the vegetable oil in a small bowl, and have the jerk sauce on deck. With your hands (I found it easiest this way) spread a little oil and jerk sauce on each piece of tofu, then flip & repeat on each side. Set in the oven and bake for an hour.
When the tofu is done, it will be golden in color, slightly crispy and have a firm texture.
Next up: the rice. In a small pot, add the earth balance and start to melt on medium heat. Add in the ginger, 1 clove of garlic and cinnamon and saute for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the rice and saute a few more minutes. Add the water or broth, sugar, salt & pepper and cook/simmer according to rice package directions, or until liquid is absorbed.
Last step: the veggies. Chop all your veggies and start by heating up the EVOO in a large skillet. Start with the onions & garlic, and saute a couple minutes then add in the carrots, celery and a spoonful of jerk sauce. Cook for a couple minutes more then add in the rest of your veggies, and a couple more spoonfuls of jerk sauce – taste as you go (I did not, holy mouth on FIRE).
When everything is done and spicy as hell, pile your rice down first, then add a scoop of veggies, top with some tofu slices and sprinkle on some fresh cilantro. Close your eyes and imagine you are in Jamaica eating this delicious meal!!!!!
Although we’re not in Jamaica, Bowie thinks the view here isn’t so bad….