High Protein Caribbean Bowl
Yes yes yes I know I said not all the bowls I will be making in collaboration with my friends at the @trainingpad will be made with grilled chicken. I did not lie I promise. This is the last grilled chicken bowl. The other two will have something other than chicken. But I had to share this recipe for jerk chicken since I last made it using Dennis Prescott’s recipe from Eat Delicious that we did last month for rainy day bites cookbook club. It was fabulous untouched but I wanted to further ‘caribbeanise’ it or ‘Trinify’ it. I did and it was fabulous.
Why did I decide to do that to a perfectly good recipe? Well I had leftovers the day after I grilled the chicken and made burgers out of them, and had my Jamaican friend over for lunch and she told me they were very close to authentic Jamaican jerk but missing something. We deduced it was green seasoning and pimientos or allspice berries which are very prominent in Jamaican dishes.
So I marinated the chicken in green seasoning, a very typical seasoning that I season all meats with when I’m cooking anything Trini-style. It’s absolutely fabulous and if you don’t make it fresh just grab an inexpensive bottle of it in the ethnic section of your nearest grocery store like No Frills for my Toronto people. At least that is where I remember them being but things could very well have changed since 5 years ago when I was still living in Canada. It’s super simple to make if you don’t get the bottled stuff though.
When I made it for the cook book club it was for a burger as you can see from some pics of the shoot we did for it on IG and it’s absolutely delicious in burger form but I thought it would also be great as a full meal with Caribbean style rice and peas. My take on rice and peas has even more protein (high already from the peas)because I made it with quinoa. My husband said he preferred it over rice so it’s a winner over here. I used pigeon peas in the recipe but you can definitely sub in black beans or red beans too.
Pineapple chow or salsa is one of my favourites and thought it would add a bit of natural sweetness to the dish plus it tastes fabulous and you will love it not to mention the vitamin C boost it provides. I added avocado for some good fat and extra nutrients. Put it all together and you have a bit of a Caribbean dream! Now all you need is the palm trees and sandy beach! Hope you enjoy this bowl of sunshine! It comes together in under 30 minutes and is chalk full of protein and nutrients and also some spice and sweetness!
4 chicken breasts (cleaned well with lime and salt — the Caribbean way)
2 tbsp green seasoning fresh or the stuff in the bottle (optional- but a must to Trinify) for the marinade
The Jerk Rub
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
A small pinch of nutmeg
A small pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp of pimientos or allspice berries ground in a mortar and pestle (I have made with or without and it’s great either way - don’t stress if you can’t get your hands on some)
2 tbsp coconut oil or EVOO
Combine the dry rub ingredients and in a small bowl and set aside
Massage the chicken breasts with the oil green seasoning and marinate for at least one hour but best overnight. Once ready to grill remove chicken from seasoning, and then rub each piece with the dry rub.
Heat the grill to medium or pan sear on medium high heat until they are cooked through and lightly charred on each side. Remove from heat and plate and tent with foil and let them rest for a few minutes and then slice and serve.
Caribbean style ‘rice’ and peas using quinoa and pigeon peas
- 1 can of coconut milk or approx. 1 cup (can use powdered too)
- 2 cups of quinoa - any colour
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 2 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups of water or broth (some people also use the liquid from the canned peas but that’s optional)
- 1 can or approx. 1 cup of pigeon peas or beans of choice (must be pre-cooked if using dried peas or beans)
- Heat up oil to medium high in a medium sauce pan
- Add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until onion is soft
- Add in your quinoa and sauté for a minute and then add peas and sauté for another minute
- Now add in the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil and season generously with salt
- Once to a boil turn heat to low, put the lid on the pot and let simmer gently for approx. 15 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
- Once done remove from heat, fluff and serve
- 1 small pineapple peeled, cored and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 clove of garlic or more (depending on how powerful you want the garlic) chopped finely
- 2-3 tbsp of chadon beni chopped finely (or cilantro)
- 2-3 tbsp lime juice or white vinegar
- ¼ tsp or more of pepper sauce (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toss all ingredients together and test and adjust for salt and pepper, pepper sauce, and lime juice according to taste. Serve right away or let the fruit hang out for a bit to really soak in the flavours. I usually have no self control and eat it all in one sitting!!