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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Caribbean Rice & Peas (with sausage or vegan option)


This was the perfect way to prepare those spicy jerk chicken sausages I bought, but since I am not likely to drive out to Medium Rare again any time soon to buy more of these pricey babies, I think I may make Dreena Burton's amazing looking recipe for jerk chickpeas in place of the sausage next time.  Whether you choose meat or vegan protein, you will love this delicious dish! 

It may not be traditional to add kale to Caribbean rice & peas, but it certainly boosts the nutrition and is really yummy.

1.5 lbs jerk chicken or other spicy sausage, sliced (or 1 recipe jerk chickeas)*
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 large bunch kale, leaves torn into bite sized pieces, tough stems removed
1 can light coconut milk

1.5 cups long grain brown rice, cooked

Saute sausage in a large pan or skillet over medium heat until partially cooked.  Add onion, garlic, thyme, salt and vinegar.  Cook until onion softens.  Add peas and kale (a few handfuls at a time), and pour in coconut milk.  Simmer until peas and kale are cooked, to taste (I like them to still be vibrant green).  Stir in rice and turn heat down to low.  Stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Serves 4-6.

I thought these sausages had the perfect amount of heat and were moist and flavourful, albeit a wee bit salty.  I think I am inspired to try making a jerk-spiced version of my veggie meat!

*If you're in a hurry, I am sure you could simply drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and add it in and this would still be delicious.  But perhaps add a 1/4 tsp ground allspice, and crushed red chili flakes, to taste to bump up the flavour.