Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Vegan Christmas Dishes

Published:Thursday | December 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

It's the right time to eat, drink and be merry. So, as we prepare for our grand festive feasts, let's not limit the scrumptious delights to just meats.

Vegetarians and food enthusiasts can look forward to a wide array of enticing meat-free, diary-free and gluten-free dishes this Christmas, experiencing similar bursts of flavour with a splash of healthy.

Food sought expertise from Chef Ricardo Esson of Paradise Catering and Decor Limited in highlighting all things good that are good for you.

With more than 10 years' experience under his belt, Chef Esson began his culinary experiment by using his hands to make fashion. "I used to love taking the things I had at home to create dishes and they always tasted good," he said.

He put his skills to the test at The Gleaner Company recently and the reviews from the staff confirmed his confidence. With tasty treats to choose from, many expressed joy in rich flavours, and were surprised that they were all vegetarian based.

Personally, the barbecue jerk breadfruit with ham was my favourite. The roasted breadfruit with the inside removed is diced and placed on toothpicks with ham, sweet and Scotch bonnet pepper (kebab), then placed outside the empty breadfruit skin and garnished with cinnamon spices, vegetables and glazed with barbecue sauce.

The bammy veggie-chunks pizza is your best bet to whet your appetite. Chef Esson explained the bammy is placed in the oven in water until baked, then garnished with vegetables and with the option of glazing with a sauce of your choice.

And the traditional Christmas drink and rice and peas is combined to create the sorrel gungo rice is definitely a must try.

Paradise Catering and Decor Limited does on and off-venue catering, but if you decide on a DIY, Chef Esson shared one of his popular homemade vegan recipes.

Diced green banana

11/2 teaspoons paradise jerk seasoning

1lb dried penne pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 medium onion diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup half and half

1/2 cup light sour cream

Method

1. Toss banana with 11/2 teaspoons of paradise jerk seasoning.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Then drip-drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add and stir diced peppers, onion and garlic. Cook for three minutes. Add sliced banana. Continue cooking for about three minutes until banana is fully cooked.

4. Reduce heat and stir in half-and-half sour cream and the remaining tablespoon of jerk seasoning. Cook for about five minutes more until the sauce thickens slightly. Then add well-drained pasta. Toss thoroughly while reducing. Allow meal to simmer for five minutes. Then serve.

Paradise Catering & Decor Limited,

Tel: (876) 573-0374 or 325-5101

Email: paradisecateringdecor@gmail.comRicardo.esson@yahoo.com

n Share original recipes for Christmas with me at

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com