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Caribbean Vegan: a GIVEAWAY


Caribbean Vegan“Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free – Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion”

If reading food-related blog and websites is part of your regular routine then you should already know by now about veganism and how it differs from vegetarianism. From wikipedia:

“Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.Vegans endeavor to never consume or use any animal products of any type. The most common reasons for becoming, or remaining, vegan are moral conviction concerning animal rights or welfare, health, environmental concerns, and spiritual or religious concerns…”

Vegetarians on the other hand, adhere to a meat-free diet, but may eat foods from animals such as eggs, dairy or honey. There are some people who call themselves vegetarian and say they eat fish. Or chicken. I’ll leave that one alone :-)

Me, I am not actually vegetarian. But being Muslim (for me) means that I try to eat only halaal (or permissible) food. This means that I don’t eat meat of the pig or alcohol. I eat meat, but it must be halaal,* which means that the animal is slaughtered in a particular way with a prayer. What this also means that, since I didn’t grow up in a Muslim country, is that I grew up reading food labels and being very conscious of ingredients in my food. Also, when I travel to places where halaal meats are not available, I tend to be (what Lilandra termed) a pseudo-pesco-ovo-lacto-vegetarian. Sometimes, I have even been an actual vegetarian, albeit for brief periods.

So, of course I was excited when I first encountered Taymer Mason’s blog, Caribbean Vegan and then later that she was working on a cookbook with real Caribbean food. Real Caribbean food that happens to be vegan. Caribbean Vegan is wonderful collection of recipes and information, with gorgeous photography from Cynthia Nelson of Tastes Like Home. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to want to make Bajan conkies, or coconut turnovers, macaroni pie, traditional peas and beans. She’s even managed to convert the Bajan fishcake into a vegan dish. There are 125 recipes but that’s not all. There is much Caribbean cooking information and guidance, including kitchen-necessities like our green seasonings so you can be assured this is REAL Caribbean cooking.

People may think veganism is exotic or bizarre but many foods we normally eat are already vegan. Or can be easily “veganised”. I looked through my Recipe page and found 9 recipes that are already vegan (not counting condiments) and a few more vegetarian dishes where the dairy element could easily be replaced with a vegan-friendly substitute. Many of these might be foods with loose or direct origins in India, but are part of every day Trini (and Caribbean) life. Here are a few of my vegan recipes to get you thinking –

Aloo Pies Fried and GoldenAloo Pie– well-seasoned potato stuffed into dough and fried – Trini street food served with chutney or channa Baiganis for Ramadan!Baigani – Sliced eggplant, dipped in a seasoned thick yellow split pea batter and deep fried. Serve with some spicy mango or tamarind chutney. Black-eye Peas Googni – boiled peas, sautéed with onions, garlic, cumin (geera) etc Use your favourite legume, whether channa (chick peas) or pigeon peas etc.
Dhal, Trini-style - enjoy.Dhal, trini-style – spicy boiled and chunkayed yellow split peas, served in liquid form to accompany rice, roti or as a soup Fry Aloo Done! close up!Fry Aloo – Trini dish, usually eaten with sada roti – thinly sliced aloo (potato) sautéed with onions and garlic until the edges are brown and crispy The Trini Doubles
Doubles – thin fried rounds wrapped around soft curried channa, eaten with pepper sauce and hot chutneys.
Eid ul Fitr - Falafel
Falafel – crunchy fried channa and lentil fritter, that well-known Middle Eastern treat
Kachorie - insidesKachourie, Trini-style – ground split peas, seasoned and deep fried to crispy goodness, served with spicy chutney Paratha - bussing itParatha (Buss up Shut) Trini-style – roti, flaky light and layered flat bread cooked on a tawah and then bussed-up, or pulled apart

So, check out Caribbean Vegan (Amazon link) for some wonderful recipes and information. But for now, and until Wednesday 8th December 2010, you have an opportunity to win a free copy of Caribbean Vegan right here! Yup. All you have to do is leave a comment here (or on my Facebook page) naming a favourite food item that is vegan. Imaginary points are added if you just realised you’ve been enjoying a vegan dish all this time.

I’ll announce the winner (random selection) on Thursday 9th December 2010 and will contact you to get mailing information for the publisher, The Experiment, to send you your free copy.

Edit (2 December 2010): Disclaimer! I should add that I only received a copy of the book for review, with no conditions attached. So, other than knowing Taymer through her blog I have no affiliations and whatnot.

Also, my family (Lilandra and Trinimom) aren’t part of the competition :-) for fairness and transparency. But they also enjoy vegan dishes!


Muslims are also permitted to eat food “of people of the Book”, which refers to Jews and Christians. Since it’s only Jews who have prescribed and certified foods that I can recognise, I also eat kosher (once it’s alcohol-free of course – kosher does not include pork)

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33 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. It can’t be anything but plain simple channa roti (well, simple… but not so simple to make, so we usually buy!). I think if I was in Trinidad, I would probably be eating doubles by the bucketload!

    Its amazing how much Trini food is vegan. Its a good place for vegans to go!

    1. Ayesha on December 1st, 2010 at 8:43 pm
  2. that was quick :) I am partial to a channa roti myself, but with PUMPKIN! love the balance.

    2. Chennette on December 1st, 2010 at 8:46 pm
  3. I used to get this pumpkin walnut chocolate chip cookie in Rao’s in Amherst.
    I think they said it was vegan. I *loved* it.

    so…how about carob? (I know I used to get *interesting* cookies in earthfoods)

    aside from that googni and channa

    3. Lilandra on December 1st, 2010 at 11:31 pm
  4. My lentil and rice seasoned with garlic and green seasonings cooked together in olive oil and chunkayed with fried onions and pinenuts when it is finished cooking. Sometimes bulgur wheat is used to replace the rice or added as well to the pot. This was made by my Syrian father and we loved it and of course learnbt to make it as well.
    It is called jeddra or umjaddrah and has been referred to as a poor man’s food.

    6. trinimom on December 2nd, 2010 at 7:33 am
  5. I LOVE Pad Thai!!! With tofu, carrots, mushrooms and green beans added in the noodles! My husband makes it so good. That’s right, you read right, husband! (And he eats meat:-( )
    Chennette: I don’t think I have had a good pad thai – but that’s just from lack of opportunity!

    8. Gina on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am
  6. Great write-up. I don’t know how to pick what my favorite vegan food is, but I’d have to say that avocado is a strong contender. There’s plenty to do with them, but I could eat guacamole every day.
    Chennette: Isn’t avocado great? It’s like nature’s butter.

    9. Candy Beans on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:33 am
  7. I’ve always loved beans and rice.

    10. Lee Ann on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am
  8. Cake from the Chicago Diner. I’ve been enjoying it years before I was vegan. So very good!

    11. mtbVegan on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am
  9. FINALLY!!!!!!!! A vegan cookbook on Caribbean food! I’ve been waiting for this forever!!!

    12. Andrea Espinoza on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:45 am
  10. Wow, I love your blog! Taymer directed me over here and it’s beautiful. One of my favorite food items is a simple bean salad. I love that I can dress it up with any spices I’m craving, and it’s so filling!
    Chennette: Thanks so much Beth :-) My other sister would be a supported of bean salads – if she makes her way here! I tend to prefer beans stewed or the boil-and-fry method.

    13. Beth on December 2nd, 2010 at 12:37 pm
  11. One of my favorite things is butternut squash soup. I just cut up and cook a squash, add coconut milk and some red hot seasonings, put it in the blender and I’m in heaven.

    14. Laurel on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:26 pm
  12. my current favorite is marinated portobello sandwiches
    Chennette: love when this done well and served with crusty bread!

    15. nik on December 2nd, 2010 at 3:28 pm
  13. Vegan rutabaga casserole (plant based milk instead of cow’s milk).

    Or if I have to choose something that is automaticly vegan, I choose eggplant and mushroom cannelloni.

    16. tofuhead on December 2nd, 2010 at 5:52 pm
  14. Choka! Any variety will do…eggplant, tomato, pepper. And it goes with just about anything.
    Chennette: especially with the equally vegan sada roti or fry bake!

    17. Abigail Blake on December 2nd, 2010 at 8:59 pm
  15. i like stew beans
    and avocado
    and fry aloo

    and i not competing for the book
    I know :-) I just want to make sure other people know!

    18. Lilandra on December 2nd, 2010 at 10:54 pm
  16. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, so soft pretzels have been my favorite food for forever. :)

    19. ellie on December 2nd, 2010 at 11:16 pm
  17. I love the vegan versions of Mac & Cheese I’ve had throughout the years — especially those sporting a breadcrumb top!

    20. Domingo on December 3rd, 2010 at 4:15 am
  18. I’m a vegetarian so a lot of the food’s that i eat are already vegan but i love hummus and i also really like pumpkin soup.

    21. Cammy on December 3rd, 2010 at 3:35 pm
  19. I love jaddra, hummus, aloo choka and I love , love rice and dhal and bahgii with pieces of amchar or kuchela on the side and the dhal must be chonkayed with bird pepper and whole grain geera as well as garlic.
    I am not competing for any book …..

    22. trinimom on December 4th, 2010 at 6:54 am
  20. Chana masala is my favorite food of the moment that is vegan! I know that there are many variations to the dish that may affect the way one tastes compared to another, but the recipe of the chana masala I’ve been eating recently is phenomenal.
    Chennette: I’m a big channa fan – almost anyway possible!

    23. Ruthe on December 5th, 2010 at 1:25 am
  21. I am vegan and I enjoy a lot of vegan foods. If I was to pick a vegan food item, I would say a vegan jerky, vegan marshmallows, vegan chocolate raspberry cake, vegan ice cream and vegan blue cheese from one specific company.

    24. Elisabeth on December 5th, 2010 at 1:29 am
  22. i love kabocha squash with a miso-tahini sauce over brown rice!

    25. Natalie @ cinnamon bums on December 5th, 2010 at 1:18 pm
  23. Dhal, rice and bhagi! Its my favorite of all time… ever! :-)
    Chennette: I also love this. Needs nothing more to a meal! (P.S. Remember “As the Bhagi Boils”?)

    26. Tamarind Ball on December 5th, 2010 at 3:31 pm
  24. Oh… this is not an entrant, I look forward to buying my owncopy of the publication! :-)
    Chennette: so noted :-)

    27. Tamarind Ball on December 5th, 2010 at 3:52 pm
  25. My favorite vegan food would probably be the chickpea cutlets from veganomicon, i make them like once a week because their so quick to make and they taste great too.

    28. Meisha on December 5th, 2010 at 5:58 pm
  26. My favorite food item that is vegan is chocolate almond milk. :) I used to love chocolate soy milk but our relationship had a falling out and I found almond to be aaaaaaaahmazing! I found a new favorite dish this week: mujadara. Not so great with chocolate milk but very comforting. :)
    Chennette: Yes – almond milk has replaced my soy milk thing :-) As you can see from previous comments, my Mom is a big fan of mujadara as a childhood dish so I’m all for that too!

    29. Jessica L on December 5th, 2010 at 8:20 pm
  27. i love bread. it’s so good and goes with just about everything–best when dipped in soup!

    30. Nichole on December 5th, 2010 at 11:22 pm
  28. Can’t wait till Caribbean Vegan hits the bookstores. I’ve been looking for a long time for a book like this that is authentically Caribbean. All of my foreign-based vegan friends have fallen in love with my coo-coo and callaloo. Saheena with a nice tangy and sweet tamarind dip is just so delectable- it’s one of my faves. I’d love to share some more creative vegan-style Trini favourites with my foreign pals. Great work Chennette! It’s been a long time coming!
    Chennette: Hi Michelle – unfortunately I can’t take credit for the book, just the promotion :-) I understand it is in stores already so you can take a look! But you’re entered for the giveaway!

    31. Michelle Ash on December 7th, 2010 at 1:15 am
  29. ok missess Chennette…do you need my home address now or later? I can’t beleive i reading all this talk bout Caribbean vegan/vegetarian food and no mention was made whatsoever of the ever vital ITAL – or do i sense some partiality here :) You just made me realize that for a good portion of my younger years, being around so many ‘nattys’, i was eating vegan/vegetarian for all those those years and i didn’t even know it. I always knew the Babylon system was a fraud. Now that i overstand…once again…. shukran missess Chennette.

    32. Umar on December 7th, 2010 at 11:53 am
  30. assalamu ‘alaikum Umar – actually I was going to put in Ital cooking, but in researching realised that different Rastafarians may follow different rules so wasn’t sure if referring to Ital would really be “vegetarian”. Maybe I should update and make that clarification.

    33. Chennette on December 7th, 2010 at 12:04 pm
  31. i love aloo gobi, as long as it’s made without ghee of course :)

    34. blair on December 7th, 2010 at 8:32 pm
  32. Breadfruit boiled down in coconut milk with a hot congo pepper, plenty garlic and bandaniya(shadowbeni),well seasoned with salt and black pepper is one of the best thing to eat on a rainy night with a hot cup of homemade chocolate sweetened with brown sugar ( no milk added).

    35. trinimom on December 8th, 2010 at 8:01 am
  33. Nice to see all the buzz about Taymer’s book

    36. wizzy on December 8th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] more from the original source: Caribbean Vegan: a GIVEAWAY — Lifespan of a Chennette ← Can sombody please give me some vegan recipes and/or foods […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Vegan Cooking, NY DHQ Competition. NY DHQ Competition said: Caribbean Vegan: a GIVEAWAY — Lifespan of a Chennette: So, of course I was excited when I first encountered Taym… http://bit.ly/ep6G9A […]

  3. […] Chennette.net is offering my book as a giveaway as well and her competition ends on the 9th of December and what she wants to know as she is not writing to a vegan audience is what vegan meal you already eat at home. Chenmette went into details to what a vegan is and it is a good read for the confused and she also showed some of her vegan dishes she consumes on a regular basis. Chennette runs a Caribbean food blog and she travels a lot so she really knows her food and I am waiting to see what she thinks of the book because my Caribbean audience is who I want to really give me that validation but it does not mean my wider audience is not worthy because they are. Anyways I am rambling get on these sites and enter and bookmark them. […]

  4. […] People. We have a winner. Courtesy the lovely List Randomizer at random.org, Natalie is the lucky winner of a copy of Caribbean Vegan. I’ll be emailing you Natalie to get your mailing info for the publishers, but […]