Lately, I’ve been craving jerk spices like crazy, so I came up with a brilliant plan: Create a thick veggie stew and season it with my favourite jerk sauce (President’s Choice MEMORIES OF Montego Bay Fiery Jerk Sauce…I don’t know why I’m so addicted to it!) I’ll have healthy meals that satisfy my cravings all week…and I’m a huge Steve Martin fan.
I started out by roasting a tray of veggies: sweet potato, parsnips, a giant portobello mushroom cap and a head of cauliflower (drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt) at 375 degrees until they were golden, but not overdone. You can really use any veggies that you like.
Next, I chopped about 20 small brown mushrooms into small, irregular chunks.
You could also use a food processor, if you like. I went with chopping to get “bigger” small chunks. My logic.
In a giant pot, I sauteed the mushroom bits in olive oil over medium-high heat until they started to get all golden and caramelized. While doing that, I threw a giant carrot (why are all of the veggies giant right now?), 4 stalks of celery, some garlic and an onion into my food processor and blitzed them to a puree. Yes, I chopped the mushrooms and food processor the other stuff. Again, my logic.
Once the mushrooms were nice and caramelized, I dumped the veggie puree into the pot and cooked that down again for about 5-7 minutes (just until it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot) and then deglazed the pot with ½ cup of vermouth. I like throwing booze into anything possible. You can leave it out if you like. Once the vermouth cooked down, I added:
- A can of diced tomatoes. I use fire roasted because my Mom is amazing and gets them for me from the States. You can use regular ones and just be jealous.
- 6 cups of water
- About 2 cups of chickpeas. I used some that I had cooked earlier in the week. You can always use a can or two, depending on your love of chickpeas.
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch mixed in some cold water (I wanted a nice thick stew!)
…and then, almost HALF A BOTTLE OF OF CRAZY, SPICY JERK SAUCE. Oops.
I had intended to add it in small doses to see how much the stew needed and then, blorp, half the bottle goes in. I had now committed to a very spicy, very jerk-ey stew. OK. I was not going to turn back now.
I let the stew simmer for about 20 minutes before daring to taste it. Luckily, it was not too crazy spicy. I then added:
- All of the roasted veggies
- About of cup of frozen, chopped kale
- About a cup of frozen peas (I love frozen veggies!)
- Salt to taste.
A little more simmering and the stew turned out brilliantly! As is, it’s completely vegan, but I dolloped some Greek yogurt in when serving because I love how it contrasts with the jerk.
Enjoy my brilliance!