In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Delicious and Nutritious Vegan Callaloo.

I know there will be a few who will want to take me apart for using somewhat unconventional ingredients (keep in mind I’m based outside the Caribbean) and the fact they didn’t see any crab or salted meats used in the making of the Callaloo. With that last part in mind, here’s proof you’re not dealing with a Vikey Vai recipe… Crayfish Callaloo, Smoked Turkey Callaloo, Lobster Callaloo, Shrimp Callaloo, Salted Pigtail Callaloo and the classic Crab Callaloo!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (sliced)
6-8 loves garlic (smashed)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1/2 lb diced pumpkin
1/3 lb diced sweet potato
3/4 lb Okra (trimmed/chopped)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb spinach (rough chopped)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons veg stock powder
6-8 cups water (adjust)

Notes! Please follow along with the video below as much more about the recipe is explained within. Yes, the recipe is a bit unconventional as I wanted to show how easy it would be to replicate the flavors of a traditional callaloo, without traditional ingredients.

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil on a medium flame, then add the onion, garlic and black pepper. Turn the heat down to low and after 3 minutes, add the green seasoning. Cook for a further 2 minutes on low.

Add the pumpkin (or butternut squash) along with the sweet potato and stir well. Top with the salt and continue cooking on low for 2-3 minutes. The sweet potato and pumpkin may seem strange for traditionalists, but you need to trust me. Besides the lovely sweet undertone they will add, they will also assist in giving the finished Callaloo a lovely texture.

Mix in the okra (say ochro) and spinach. In the video I discussed the best okra, and spinach to use if you’re like me and cannot source baby dasheen bush (taro) leaves. If you find that the spinach is piling up, in a few minutes it will wilt and you can keep adding more.

Top with the vegetable stock powder, Scotch Bonnet pepper (optional), coconut milk and water (start with 7 cups and add more if necessary). Should you have pimento (aka seasoning peppers), add 3 chopped.

Bring to a boil, so you’ll need to turn the heat up.

As it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for between 1 hour and 15 minutes to 90 minutes.

If you prefer to use liquid vegetable stock instead of the powder, replace the water with it. Be mindful though, that most stock will have a high sodium content.

Stir every 10-15 minutes and add more water should you find that it’s needed (overly thick).

Once everything has broken down, it’s time to use your swizzle stick (see image above or the video) and work it until it’s the consistency you want. If using a stick blender, please pulse or you will end up with a frothy callaloo.. you don’t want that.

Taste and adjust the salt to your liking and get ready to enjoy the most delicious vegan / vegetarian callaloo you’ve ever had. As a soup or a side to rice and Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken (not for vegans), you can thank me after dinner! Make sure you have boiled plantain and a side salad, even if it’s just sliced cucumber. Freeze the leftovers!

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