Sun | Oct 24, 2021

Cooking with Jahdon

Reggae artiste shares four healthy ‘one-pot’ rice recipes

Published:Thursday | September 23, 2021 | 12:09 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer - -
Reggae artiste Jahdon has adopted a vegan lifestyle and finds himself experimenting a lot with wild rice and quinoa.
Reggae artiste Jahdon has adopted a vegan lifestyle and finds himself experimenting a lot with wild rice and quinoa.
Ackee-seasoned wild rice.
Ackee-seasoned wild rice.
The wild rice and quinoa each absorb flavours differently, but blend so well with Jamaica’s national fruit.
The wild rice and quinoa each absorb flavours differently, but blend so well with Jamaica’s national fruit.
Whether you’re having it alone or with roasted fish, the ackee-seasoned wild rice is a versatile dish.
Whether you’re having it alone or with roasted fish, the ackee-seasoned wild rice is a versatile dish.
Chopped seasonings and vegetables create a colourful palette.
Chopped seasonings and vegetables create a colourful palette.
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Rice is much more than a vehicle for gungo peas and red kidney beans. Its boundless versatility absorbs flavours, transforming it into a delicious meal by itself or a side dish that can elevate any type of cuisine. Think beyond fried rice and go for more healthier options, says reggae recording artiste Jahdon. He has been experimenting with different kinds of grains that include brown rice, wild rice and quinoa.

“These grains are very nutritious and have numerous health benefits; high in fibre and vitamins that [are] good for cleansing the body. I stopped consuming meat from in high school, but still included fish in my diet; it was from then I start [to] explore what I could cook,” Jahdon told Food.

He started a series on his YouTube channel called ‘Cooking With Jahdon’, where he walks viewers through the steps of creating quick and easy vegan meals. Jahdon’s speciality is creating one-pot rice recipes, and although wild rice technically isn’t rice, but a seed from an aquatic grass species, it is growing in popularity as a substitute.

He said, “I make one of the best seasoned wild rice dishes using Jamaica’s national fruit, the ackee. We mix that with the quinoa, cooking everything in one, and you have a simple, satisfying, tasty vegan meal the whole family will love. Some may not be strictly one-pot recipes because of the steps, but they are all easy.”

Below are the four healthy rice recipes Jahdon recommends. Give it a try and don’t be afraid to get creative.

ACKEE-SEASONED WILD RICE

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Chickpeas

1 cup wild rice

1 cup quinoa, steamed like regular rice in water with a little grapeseed oil

2 tomatoes

2 cups coconut milk

Coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

Cut string beans

1 sweet pepper

1 Scotch bonnet pepper

Pimento seeds

Natural herbs and seasoning

Scallion

DIRECTIONS

1. Get chickpeas and put them in water to soak (canned chickpeas is also an option).

2. Soak the wild rice for two to three hours in water or pressure for a half-hour (to help shorten the cooking time).

3. Blend the coconut.

4. Put on the chickpeas, quinoa and wild rice with coconut milk. Let it cook for 45 minutes or until wild rice starts to burst.

5. Clean, wash and then set ackee to boil.

6. Chop the onion, tomatoes, natural herbs, seasonings, Scotch bonnet pepper and scallion.

7. Heat the coconut oil (or grapeseed oil) and fry the seasonings.

8. Throw in the cooked ackee for one to three minutes, and then add the wild rice and chickpeas and stir that in one pot.

CAJUN CREOLE RICE (pairs well with brown stew fish)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil or grapeseed oil

1 yellow or purple onion

2 stalks of celery

1 green sweet pepper (seeded and diced)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup uncooked brown rice

2 cups vegetable broth

Salt and pepper

1 cap or cup of red kidney beans

DIRECTIONS

1. Sauté the vegetable medley of chopped onion, celery and bell pepper in grapeseed oil for up to five minutes or until soft. These vegetables are collectively known for Cajun-style cuisine, as they provide distinct flavours.

2. Add the blend of Cajun spices and allow them to release aroma.

3. Add the rice, beans and vegetable broth.

4. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, then reduce heat to low and cover — cook for 20 minutes.

MUSHROOM-SEASONED WILD RICE

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Chickpeas

1 cup of wild rice

2 cups of coconut milk

3 medium-sized mushrooms

1 teaspoon of turmeric

Chopped onions, tomatoes, jalapeños and scallion

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook chickpeas in water, with a little salt.

2. Cook the wild rice by itself in coconut milk.

3. Prepare the vegetables and seasonings, chopped into small pieces.

4. Fry mushroom slices as dry as possible.

5. Add a little turmeric to the oil.

6. Transfer mushrooms into wild rice and coconut milk.

7. Throw in the fresh seasonings and chickpeas.

8. Combine all by stirring and allow to steam until coconut cream rises to the top of the rice and there is no sign of liquid.

GREENS-SEASONED RICE

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup chopped callaloo

1 cup pak choy

1 cup parsley

½ cup cilantro

Chopped onions and two garlic cloves, minced

2 cups of rice (any of your choice)

4 cups water

Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Purée the parsley, cilantro, onions and garlic cloves with water.

2. Pour a decent amount of oil into a saucepan.

3. Put rice in the pan, spread an even layer and allow it to brown lightly.

4. Cook callaloo and pak choy.

5. Add the purée to the rice and stir evenly.

6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot.

7. Cook for about 15 minutes.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com