Friday, July 30, 2010


When I saw the name of this recipe I thought that it sounded Caribbean and wondered what Calico had to do with it. Sure enough, I found out that Calico Jack Rackham was a famous English pirate who patrolled the Caribbean Sea between 1718-1720. The name calico comes from the type of clothing he wore which was linen with calico patterns of brown, white and black.

This recipe originally called for bacon, whipping cream, and eggs. I eliminated all and replaced the cream and eggs with creamed corn. I also cut the recipe in half, which was good for two of us, but original measurements are listed here.

Makes about 16

1 tbs vegetable oil
1 16 oz bag frozen corn, thawed, drained
1/2 cup sliced pimientos, well drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (one third of 1/4 cup
if you use dried parsley)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Generous pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 to 1/3 cup cream corn (add to mixture
a little at a time to desired consistency.
Mixture should go into skillet without

I cooked this recipe twice and used a non-stick
pan and a stainless steel pan. I don't think it
matters which is used as long as the oil is hot
so that it starts browning the pancakes right away.

Mix corn kernels, pimientos and next 8 ingredients.
Mix in creamed corn, then flour and baking powder.
Mixture might look a little watery, if so you can add
a bit more flour. It will not have a heavy floury
consistency, but the flour will hold it together.

Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil
Working in batches, spoon batter into skillet by
1/4 cupfuls; spread with back of spoon to form
3" pancakes. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes
each side. Add tiny amount of oil as needed.

Recipe from Bon Appetit, 1999 by
Jim Fobel


First of all let me say that I thought "shucked" meant removing the kernels from the cob, so that's what I did and happily so. But it means to just remove the husks from the corn. I am sure the recipe would be great with just pieces of corn on the cob, but I really preferred the kernels as part of the bake. Removing the kernels is easy as long as you have a sharp knife (Stand the cob straight up)
All that said, I loved this dish. I thought it was going to be just baked veggies but the mixing of the tomato juices with the onions and spices was heavenly. A very easy recipe too.

Serves 4-6

2 tbs olive oil
2-1/2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
4 ears fresh corn, shucked and halved
1 lb plum tomatoes, cut in half*
12 oz small thin-skinned potatoes, cut in
quarters, unpeeled
2 medium onions, cut in thin wedges

Preheat oven to 450. In a small bowl mix oil, cumin,
salt, sugar, thyme, black pepper and red pepper until

Place corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions in a
non-reactive 15 x 10 roasting pan.

Pour the oil mixture over the vegetables; toss gently
to coat.

Cover pan with foil. Bake, stirring once or twice
until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Recipe from Southern Supersweet Corn via an old
newspaper recipe.

*the only tomatoes I use are vine ripe tomatoes and
I always put them in a brown bag as soon as I get
home from shopping. They ALWAYS taste like tomatoes
unlike all other tomatoes from supermarkets. They
are more expensive, but well worth it. If recipe
says cut in half, I quarter them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Cold rice salads never appealed to me, so I never tried them. This recipe has changed my mind. I have just one thing to say about this recipe: FABULOUS!

Since I cooked this a couple of hours before dinner, I put the rice and beans (separately) in the freezer to cool down quickly. Do not let it freeze.

Serves 6

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs Dijon Mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp minced garlic

2-1/2 cups cooked white or white basamati rice
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
(Don't skimp on the scallions)
Lettuce leaves (optional)

Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, cumin and garlic in
medium bowl until well blended. Season with salt
and pepper.

Combine rice, beans, peppers and onions in large
bowl. Toss salad with enough dressing to moisten
(I used entire dressing). Season with salt and pepper.

Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Line large serving bowl with lettuce, if desired, which
I did not.

Recipe from Bon Appetit July 1997

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I've always seen this vegetable in the supermarket as chayote, but I have never experienced it until now. It is a very bland tasting vegetable from the squash family and does need lots of seasoning. It originated with the Aztecs in Mexico. Other names are vegetable pear, and (French) Christophene. It can be smooth or prickly. It can be eaten raw, fried, grilled, or stuffed and baked. Keeps in fridge for a few days. Do not buy if wrinkled.

I think the cho-chos need a bit of tabasco while eating or sauce from my other recipe, Xamaca Tofu.

3 cho-chos
1 medium onoin, chopped
1/8 tsp hot pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
(I used red bell pepper)
1 tbs veg oil
1 cup bread crumbs or rice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 1/3 of 1/2 cup
if using dried parsley
Recipe called for yogurt, but I eliminated it.

Preheat oven to 350

Cut cho-chos in half lengthwise and remove

Boil the cho-chos in salted water for about
25 minutes or until cooked (don't overcook)

Mash the cho-cho insides, add to the sauteed
onion and peppers, and mix with the remaining

Place a portion of stuffing in each cho-cho shell.

Bake until the stuffing is light brown, about 20

Recipe from Delicious Jamaica! Vegetarian Cuisine
by Yvonne McCalla Sobers


After slavery ended in Jamaica (1838)indentured laborers from India and China were brought to Jamaica and with them came their fruits and vegetables and their way of cooking. While this recipe is similar to the fried rice we are used to in the states, it is different and would go better with Jamaican food, rather than typical Chinese fried rice. I think it is better.

Serves 6

2 tbs veg oil
2 whole cloves garlic
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1/2 cup sweet peppers, chopped (I used regualr
red bell pepper)
1/4 cup carrots, coarsely grated
4 cups cold, cooked rice (I always use white basamati
rice because it is easier to digest and I prefer the
1 cup of bean sprouts (I used alfalfa sprouts)
2 scallions, chopped
1-2 tbs Tamari (or more to your taste)
2-3 tsp Pickapeppa Sauce*
Bit of parsley, chopped or dried

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan with a cover, and fry
the whole cloves of garlic until they are brown. Remove
the garlic.

Saute the onions and chopped garlic in leftover oil until
the onion is transparent. Then add the celery, sweet
peppers, and carrots, and saute another 2 minutes.

Add the cooked rice, continue to stir-fry for another
3 minutes, and then add the bean sprouts and scallions.

Add the tamari and pickapeppa sauce, and mix well for
another minute. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.

Recipe from Delicious Jamaica! Vegetarian Cuisine by
Yvonne McCalla Sobers

*I've had mine for a while, but it probably is available
at Publix, Whole Foods, or Jamaican grocers.


I love cabbage and this recipe puts a whole new spin on it. It tastes like an entirely different vegetable. Steamed cabbage is one of the fastest Jamaican dishes to prepare.

1 medium cabbage
2 tbs margarine (I don't like cooking with soy butter. I
used 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs veg oil)
1 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped and seeds removed
(other hot peppers can be used)
2 sprigs thyme (I used 1/2 tsp dried)
1 crushed garlic, chopped or 2 tsp garlic powder
2 or 3 small slices of green pepper (optional)
1 medium chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup water

Slice cabbage leaves into pieces

Saute onion, garlic, pepper, thyme in oil

Add cabbage and water.

Cover and cook until tender.

Add Scotch Bonnet Pepper

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Simmer for a bit and serve.

Recipe from

Thursday, July 22, 2010


The Tainos, or Arawak Indians, are the original inhabitants of Jamaica. Xaymaca is the Taino word from which Jamaica is derived.

The recipe is actually called Barbeque Tofu, but it is nothing like a barbeque sauce. It's much better: thinner, but more flavorful. It was so good I was practically eating it with a spoon. It's easy too.

Serves 4

1 lb firm tofu
1 tbs vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/4 tsp hot pepper, seeded and chopped
(I used little 3" red peppers from Sedanos which
freeze beautifully. All hot peppers do)
1/4 tsp thyme*
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs tomato concentrate (paste)**
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice***
1 tbs lime juice (or lemon)
(I think lime is better for this recipe)
1/2 tsp powdered ginger or 1/2" gingerroot,
crushed or grated
1 tbs prepared mustard (I used French's yellow)
4 pimento grains (I used a tad of allspice which is what
pimento grains are)

Preheat oven to 350

Slice tofu into 1/4" slices, lightly fry, and set aside

Saute the onions, garlic, and hot pepper in the remaining oil,
and blend with all the other ingredients until smooth.

Arrange the tofu slices in a baking dish, pour the sauce over
the tofu, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Recipe from Delicious Jamaica! Vegetarian Cuisine by
Yvonne McCalla Sobers

*dried thyme
**Purchase tomato paste in a tube. No waste.
***I used canned Pineapple Slices in pineapple juice,
used the juice for recipe and enjoyed the pineapple.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I first discovered white balsamic vinegar with this recipe, and I haven't stopped using it in my salads since. It is not as rich as red balsamic vinegar and is sweeter. I love it.

2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup of walnut oil (this is a light oil compared to
olive oil)

Blend first 4 ingredients then whisk in walnut oil.

Toss with torn romaine lettuce.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I have read that we shouldn't eat fruits and vegetables at the same time, but it is the latest thing in salads and it certainly tastes delicious. This salad is crunchy, refreshing, a bit tangy and sweet at the same time, and the cumin gives it an interesting flavor.

I am trying to ease my way into raw foods as part of my diet, so I think this is a good start. It's really a meal in itself and I think it will do well as a leftover, without the lettuce. I ate the apples, radishes, raisins, etc. and they were like a vegan cerviche.

Shallots last a long time and is a great alternative to onion. And not much is needed for great flavor.
Oils last a long time if kept in the fridge.

1/2 cup walnut halves (2 cups)
1 tbs minced shallot
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest*
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar**
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs canola oil
2 tbs walnut oil (see Walnut Oil salad dressing on blog)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of shredded romaine lettuce (I added extra because
I did not use frisee-see below)
4 large radishes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
(1 cup)
1 cup thinly sliced celery (sliced 1/4" x 1-1/2")
1 small head of frisee lettuce, chopped (I just used romaine.
Frisee is hard to find but it is delicious. Ibought it at Fresh Market
and Whole Foods previously)
1/4 cup golden raisins (dark raisins would be too sweet)
1 Fuji apple - peeled, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise.

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350. Spread walnuts in a pie plate
and toast for about 8 mins, until golden and fragrant. Let cool, then
break into pieces.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the shallot and lemon
zest with the lemon juice and vinegar. Whisk in the canola and
walnut oils and the cumin. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the romaine to the bowl along with the toasted walnuts, radishes,
celery, raisins, and apple. (I let the veggie marinate a little bit then
added the romaine last)

Toss well and serve.

Recipe from Food and Wine November 2009

*Lemon zest is grated lemon peel
**White wine vinegar can be purchase at Publix. It is very
expensive at health food stores.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


In Jamaica, potato salads are popular for festive occasions. This recipe is best enjoyed at room temperature for two reasons: 1) the marinade warms and spreads 2) it's too cold to chew if right out of the fridge. When I first saw this recipe I thought it might taste like Whole Foods' Vegan Spring Potato Salad, but no way does it. It is much better.

Serves 6

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 small clove garlic
4 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and cubed
1 cup celery, chopped into 1/4" pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1 green pepper, slivered
1/4 tsp hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped
(I eliminated the hot pepper because I had kids over)
2 tbs fresh parsley, minced
2 scallions, finely chopped

Blend the oil, vinegar, salt, oregano, mustard powder,
and garlic until smooth.

Pour over the hot potatoes, and marinate for at least
one hour, or until potatoes are cool. (Do not try to
bypass the marinating process - really makes a
difference. I forgot about the one hour time and left
it in fridge for several hours. Delicious!)

Add the rest of the vegetables and the seasonings to the
marinated potatoes.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours, then serve. (I elimated
this step as I left it in the fridge for several hours)

Recipe from Delicious Jamaica! Vegetarian Cuisine


No matter what I do with carrots they never seem to be delicious to me. This recipe has done it for me. Simple and quick, you will love this and so will children. If you don't like cumin, try this recipe anyway. The cumin is not prominent, but adds a really nice taste to the carrots.

A good investment: A Convection oven. They come in all prices. I bought one for $50 at Costco. I love it. Uses less energy and cooks a bit quicker than a regular oven.

Serves 6
Time: 30-40 mins

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 medium to large carrots, peeled, cut on diagonal into
1/2" thick pieces
2 tbs olive oil
1-1/2 tsps cumin seeds
2 tsps coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray large rimmed baking
sheet with nonstick spray.

Combine carrots and all remaining ingredients in large bowl.
Toss to coat.

Spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet.

Roast carrots until tender and lightly caramelized, turning
over once. Do not overcook.

Recipe from Bon Appetit February 2010