It is crazy that here in the UK we’re about six weeks into this lockdown. At the start of it many people found it difficult to locate essentials like flour, eggs and sugar in the supermarket. There was so much fear and panic in the atmosphere surrounding COVID-19 it made people move mad. Things have somewhat calmed down now and the panic buying has sizzled out. We thank God!
Luckily I wasn’t impacted much because at home we buy in bulk and have been doing so for years. Although I did struggle to get hold of Chocolate Covered Oreos and Vanilla Yoghurt for my Granola bowl for a while. But luckily for me that didn’t last very long.
Anyway since the lockdown my family and I are cooking practical meals. When I mean practical I mean meals that are quick to make and can stretch for a day or two. After all we’re in the middle of a lockdown and things can change quickly. So it makes much more sense for us to cook strategically throughout the week.
I thought it would be a good idea to share with you a list of quick Caribbean meals perfect for quarantine. This list includes some of personal favorite quick meals. Most of which are relatively cheap to make, can be cooked under in an hour and can last for a few days depending on how much you cook.
JWV Caribbean Quick Meal Recommendations
Mackerel (aka Dutty Gal) & Rice or Dumplings
If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me express my love for Mackerel. It’s my favorite go to meal because it can be prepared so quickly and it tasted so damn good. One of the things I love about Mackerel is that it can be eaten with many different things e.g. fried or boil Dumplings, Potato, Yam, Green Banana, Fresh Veg or Plantains.
JWV Recommendations: Mackerel served with Fried Dumplings & Plantains (click here for the tutorial) and a few slice of Pear (Avocado)
Corned Beef & Rice
I couldn’t make a list of Caribbean quick meals without mentioning Corned Beef. In fact if this wasn’t on the list I deserved for my Caribbean card to be revoked. Just like Mackerel you can practically eat Corned beef (click here for the tutorial) with most things like Rice, Potato, Cabbage, Sweetcorn etc.
JWV Recommendations: Cook the Corned beef down with sweetcorn and serve it with White Rice and Steamed Cabbage.
Cornmeal Porridge (click here for the tutorial) is usually eaten for breakfast but in times like this you can definitely eat it whenever you fancy. I’m not a big fan of Cornmeal porridge but I do eat it from time to time if I’m feeling for it. I love the sweetness of the porridge and the fact that it leaves me full after one bowl.
JWV Recommendations: Cornmeal Porridge with Jamaican crackers or a fat slice of Jamaican Hard dough bread.
There is no way I could put this list together without adding a few curry dishes. First up is Curry Prawns (click here for tutorial) which is a personal fave of mines because I love me Seafood and Curry dishes. Like the others I’ve already mentioned Curry Prawns can be prepared in the blink of an eye.
JWV Recommendations: Curry Prawns served up with boiled Potatoes or White Rice.
Channa & Aloo (Chickpea & Potatoes)
Channa and Aloo is basically a fancy name for Chickpeas and Potatoes cooked in Curry (click here for tutorial). Another one of my go to meals because it’s so spicy and it can be eaten on its own or with Roti, Rice, Nann Bread or steamed greens.
JWV Recommendations: Channa & Aloo tasted better with some Buss up shot (Roti) but if you cant find any flour to make Roti’s White Rice will have to do.
I love love love me some Patties (click here for tutorial) especially fresh made ones from the West Indian bakery. But did you do know that you can make them yourself and they can taste just as good. My mum made a fresh batch of Beef Patties for dinner last week and I lost my mind because they were so flaky and bursting with flavour.
JWV Recommendations: Make yourself a batch either a Beef, Lamb, Veg or Chicken serve it with fresh salad and homemade fries.
Guyanese Style Cook Up Rice
This right here is a Guyanese quick meal that I’ve grown to love and appreciate over the years. Cook-up rice (click here for tutorial) is a traditional Guyanese recipe and it’s also a one pot special. The meal is to be cooked at the end of the week with left over meat, rice, peas or beans of your choice. If you’re a rice lover then this dish is definitely for you.
JWV Recommendations: Cook-up rice with Chicken served with Coleslaw and a few fried Plantins if you’re feeling fancy.
Saltfish & Cabbage
Here is another quick meal that you can never go wrong with. It’s tasty, filling and of course takes less than an hour to throw together. Saltfish doesn’t have to be cooked with Cabbage either as it can be eaten with a variety of foods. But if you’re keen on Cabbage check out this tutorial.
JWV Recommendations: Ditch the Cabbage and pair the Saltfish with Callaloo or trade that in for Fried Bakes Or Boiled Dumplings and Green Banana.
Growing up we always had Soup on a Saturday and till this day I don’t exactly know why. But what I did know was I hated it, Growing up I would only eat the meat and dumplings and leave the rest. Thank God for wisdom because I love Satdeh Soup now. What I love the most about it is you can really freestyle with it. By the way Satdeh soup doesn’t have to be cooked on a Saturday you can literally have it any time during the week.
JWV Recommendations: Lamb Neck Soup, Red Pea Soup, Chicken Soup, Ital Soup or Beef Soup
Brown Stew Chicken
The second proper meal I learned to cook was Brown Stew Chicken and I can still remember what my first pot tasted like 18 years later. You can never ever go wrong with a pot of Brown Stew Chicken. As with most of the quick meals I’ve mentioned above this dish can be eaten with so many different things. It just depends on what your’e feeling for.
JWV Recommendations:Brown Stew Chicken with Butter Beans, Spinners, Black Eye Peas, Home made Coleslaw and Fresh Salad.
For my Vegans & Plant based crew
I know that not everyone eats meats like me but don’t worry I haven’t forgotten you. If you’re Vegan or plant based and still want to try some Caribbean dishes please check out these Youtube channels below 🙂
- The Vegan Jamaican
- Rachel Ama
- Original Flava (Vegan & Plant based friendly recipes available)
- Unconditioned Vegan
- Caribbean Pot
I hope you try out some of these Caribbean quick meal recommendations. If you would like for me to do a IG live cooking one of these meals let me know. Also feel free to share some of your fave quick meal recommendations with me in the comments below. Anyway please #StaySafe, #StayHome and continue to #PracticeSocialDistancing. If you’re struggling with how to structure your work, life & quarantine check out Self Isolate: How To Do It Like A G and Stay Productive.
Lots Of Love