A few months ago, I went with my family to the beautiful island of Jamaica. We visited all the beautiful waterfalls, and even swam with the stingrays in Stingray City! After some major convincing from our tour guide, I even held a stingray (and it bit me, I might add, but still… a once in a lifetime opportunity to be bitten by a stingray I suppose, lol).
I think it is a rule in my family that while on any trip, you just have to try to eat like the locals! So while in Jamaica, my dad had some amazing jerk chicken… the island specialty. You may think, well how do I know it was amazing? Well, of course I didn’t try the chicken, but the veggies that were smothered in their classic Jamaican jerk marinade were absolutely mouth-watering delicious.
Sitting at the pool the other day my mind drifted back to the islands, so I decided to recreate the island “Jamaican Jerk Chicken” specialty (with a veggie girl twist, of course). Hope you enjoy :)
- 8 oz. package of vegan “chicken” pieces
(any type of unbreaded, meat substitute)
- 8 oz. package portobello mushrooms
- 1 cup pineapples
- ½ red bell pepper
- ½ yellow bell pepper
- ½ orange bell pepper
- ½ purple onion
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers (if you can't find these at your local grocery store, you can substitute jalapeños)
- 1 bunch of green onion
- ¼ cup bragg's liquid aminos
- 1 tbsp. allspice
- 1 tbsp. thyme leaves
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- salt & pepper to taste
- Begin by using a fork to punch holes in the “chicken” pieces, which will allow the pieces to absorb the marinade. Place in a large, shallow dish.
- Chop the pineapple, peppers, mushrooms and onions* into bite-sized pieces to fit on the skewers and add to the “chicken.”
- Place all marinade ingredients* into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- Pour the marinade over the “chicken” and vegetables.
- Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least an hour (for a deeper flavor, let set overnight).
- Place the chicken, pineapple and veggies on wet skewers.
- Either grill or broil in the oven. When the grill is hot, brush with oil and place each skewer on the grill and baste with more marinade. Depending on your grill, it should only take about 3 minutes per side. If using the oven, broil until the edges of the vegetables are crispy and begin to blacken.
*When chopping the scotch bonnet peppers, make sure to wash your hands afterward. You can decrease the heat of the peppers by taking out the seeds or reducing the number of peppers you use. On the other hand, if you like it HOT, spice it up by keeping the seeds in the peppers.