Gluten-Free Fried Dumplings (aka Johnnycakes, Bakes)

Look what I made you guys!!!!  I’ve always loved having Jamaica’s national dish (ackee and saltfish) for breakfast, but I missed having fried dumplings.

Well, I’m happy to report that I went into my kitchen and I was successful in creating a fried dumpling recipe.  I’m just so happy about this discovery!

Fried Dumplings.jpg

Here’s how I made them:


I’m in the process of creating an even simpler recipe with less flours.  In the meanwhile, let me know how it goes for you!

Jerk Shepherd’s Pie (Topped with a Potato, Cauliflower and White Bean Mash) (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Tonight’s dinner — Jerk Shepard’s Pie.  Everything tastes better jerked. 🙂

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The topping here can be modified in a number of ways: for instance, omit the potatoes and use more cauliflower and beans to make it low-glycemic or use sweet potatoes instead of Russet or Yukon Gold.  I personally included the potatoes because 1) I LOVE potatoes and 2) without the potatoes, the cauliflower and beans either taste more granular or taste like a puree (in my.

It’s a little bit of work,  but when you are listening to Bruno Mars reggae covers (like Marry You and It Will Rain) the time passes quite quickly.

Hope you have fun making this.  I know I did!!


2 cups brown and/or green lentils

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup vegan Worstcheshire sauce

1 tbsp dried thyme

1/4 cup chopped onion (optional)

3 stalks celery (chopped)

1/4 cup (or 3 tbsp) dry Jerk seasoning

2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables (corn, green peas, green beans, carrots — I used PC’s Frozen Vegetable Medley to make things simpler)

“Potato” Mash

1 head of cauliflower

4 -5 Yukon gold potatoes

1 can of white kidney beans, Great Northern beans or white small pearl beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)

1/2 cup almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)

2 tbsp vegan butter (optional)

Salt (to taste)

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the lentils according to package directions.  This should take around 30-40 mins.  While the lentils are cooking, you can work on cooking the potatoes and cauliflower (see step 4).  Once cooked, stir in all of the other ingredients (if you used the PC frozen vegetables, you may want to break up the green beans and baby carrots into smaller pieces).
  3. In a large baking dish, spread your lentil filling.
  4. Cook your potatoes until tender.  Steam the head of cauliflower until soft.
  5. Combine the cauliflower, Yukon gold potatoes and beans in a bowl.  Add the other ingredients.  Mash them with a potato masher or immersion blender.
  6. Top the lentil filling with the cauliflower, potato, white bean mash.
  7. Bake for 30 mins or under the mash turns crusty and the edges are brown and bubbly. Serve hot.

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The Porridge Series: Jamaican Oats Porridge with Coconut Condensed “Milk” (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I’ve been experimenting with different ways of making porridge, and I think I’m finally ready to share my recipes with you.  I present you with my “Porridge Series.”  Over the next few weeks or so, I will unveil a new porridge recipe.

Jamaicans typically use the British appellation “porridge” when describing oatmeal, and so I’ve grown up calling it “porridge” and not oatmeal, always having to explain to the kids at school that, yes, despite the name, I did, in fact, have oatmeal for breakfast.

Can I just take a moment and tell you how much I love porridge?  I love oats porridge.  I really do.  I can eat it morning, noon or night, warm or cold, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I’m told that my maternal grandfather was the same way.  He made a living as a farmhand working the land.   It is understandable that people working on farms would love this meal because it holds you down and gives you much-needed energy for the long, hot day.

Oats porridge can be eaten in a variety of ways.  My parents would often eat their porridge with Jamaican water crackers, condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.  When I was younger, I got into the weird habit of mixing broken pieces of Premium Plus crackers in my porridge.  I encourage you to find your own way of enjoying this satiating and sustaining breakfast.  Below is the gluten-free, vegan version.

1 cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if needed)

2 ½ cups water

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup coconut condensed milk (see below) (optional)

½ cup non-dairy milk

¼ cup coconut or soy creamer (optional, but it would add to the creaminess of the porridge)

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp chia seeds and/or flaxmeal (optional)

Handful of nuts (walnuts, slivered almonds) (optional)

  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring salt and water to a boil. Stir in oats, and cook on medium for 6-8 minutes until oats are fully cooked and the water has been absorbed.
  2. Add the coconut condensed milk, non-dairy milk, creamer, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and stir. The porridge should be creamy and thick, not runny or thin.  However, it’s your porridge, so the consistency is up to you.
  3. Serve hot, and add nuts, seeds and flaxmeal if desired (these add-ins are non-traditional, but they do boost the nutrient profile of the porridge). As the porridge cools, it may become thicker.  Use the non-dairy milk to thin the porridge if and as you see fit.

Coconut Condensed Milk

Pronounced by Jamaicans as “CON-dense” (not “kənˈdenst”)

3 cups coconut milk (or another non-dairy milk of your choice)

½ cup maple syrup

½ tsp vanilla.

In a bowl, mix the ingredients together.

Put the mixed ingredients in a pot and put on stove. Stir constantly on medium heat until the liquid has reduced to at least half.  You should have about a cup of liquid left.

Keep the condensed milk in the fridge.

Tip: Want to make this sugar free?  Try experimenting with other sweeteners such as applesauce, apple butter or stevia.  You can even use maple syrup.

Tip: Try adding 2 tsp rose water, or a 1 tsp of cloves, allspice, ginger, or some nuts and seeds (walnuts, pistachios, slivered almonds or pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds etc.), or dried fruit, or fresh fruit.  Omit the nuts if you are allergic to them.

Tip: I strongly recommend using freshly ground spices, and especially freshly ground nutmeg, in this recipe.  That’s how the porridge is traditionally made.  The nutmeg really makes or breaks this porridge, so do grind it (using a coffee grinder, spice grinder or small nutmeg grinder) over your porridge towards the end of cooking.

“Trying a Ting”: Turn this recipe into an “overnight oats” meal!  In a bowl, mix all of the above ingredients, cover, and leave it in the fridge overnight.  The next morning, your porridge will be ready and good to go!  You can eat it just like that, fresh out of the fridge.  I prefer eating my porridge warm though.  The good thing with this method is that the cooking time is drastically reduced if you do decide to warm your overnight oats.

“Trying a Ting”: Although not traditionally used, modify this recipe by substituting the rolled oats for steel cut oats for a protein and fiber boost.  Just follow the package cooking directions of your steel cut oats, and then add in the milk, creamer, sugar and spices.