As I mentioned earlier this year, I eat more meat-substitutes than I did when I first went vegan. Eating more meat substitutes has added more variety to my meals and gives me something to look forward to. And I love how even when surrounded by non-vegans, folks wants to try my vegan food. So, I'm finding it isn't just fun for me, but it is encouraging others to give vegan meals a taste.
There is likely nothing conventional or traditional about this recipe. I do not know much about Jamaican cuisine, but I do know that last Friday was a long day. I had a banana for breakfast and drank coffee and matcha into the afternoon, neglecting lunch. Highly caffeinated, my appetite low, I needed nourishment. I grocery shopped after working all day, and returned home to find that my Atlas Monroe order had been delivered. I decided to cook with my heart, and this is what I came up with.
- 1 package Atlas Monroe Vegan "Jerk" Chicken
- 8 cups Vegan Beef broth
- 1 lb Potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 cup Carrots, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 cup Onion, diced
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
- 15 oz or 1 can Sweet corn
- 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
- 6 cloves Garlic, minced
- Few handfuls Baby kale, spinach, chard, arugula, etc.
1. Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add vegan beef bouillon cubes or concentrate per directions or to taste.
2. Once bouillon is dissolved, add potatoes and carrots. Allow to boil until fork-tender, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
3. Add Brussels sprouts, onion and garlic and cook around five minutes more or until tender, stirring occasionally.
4. Then, add mushrooms and corn, stirring every so often until tender.
5. Once everything is tender, add the Atlas Monroe Vegan “Jerk” Chicken and stir in the baby power greens blend last. Cook a few minutes more until heated through and greens are wilted, then serve piping hot.
Things to note:
You will notice that there are no seasonings in this stew. The vegan jerk chicken comes coated in a thick spice rub, and the flavors pack a pungent, powerful punch. No additional spices are needed, not even salt!
I personally enjoy extra brothy soups. But if you don’t, cut back the amount of broth. Just be mindful that some broth will cook off. Similarly, if you don’t like some of these vegetables, omit and add what you do like. I can’t emphasize enough that there are no rules.
Atlas Monroe ships everything frozen, using dry ice to maintain temperature. And since it is vegan, we don’t need to worry about anything spoiling. My package was a bit thawed by the time I arrived home, which enabled me to cook immediately. Normally, however, I would have needed to thaw in the refrigerator first. When you purchase from Atlas Monroe, they provide a card with instructions for reheating each different product.
Additionally, they DO NOT PLAY with the heat. This “jerk chicken” has the kind of heat that builds. On bite number one and two, it’s like, “Oh, this is fine.” Eventually though, my brows were sweating. I both didn’t want to stop eating, but couldn’t stand to continue eating. I cut up some ripe mango and avocado to balance the heat a bit, which I recommend if you find this meal too hot. Or, you can also whip up a garlic aioli to stir into the broth or sprinkle brown sugar over your bowl of stew to cut the heat. Again, unsure how “traditional” such recommendations are, but in my kitchen the only rule is “vegan.”
What do you think, will you give Atlas Monroe a try?!
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Photo: R. Coker