Happy Veganuary!


Happy Veganuary!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Happy Veganuary! January is a time that many people try out veganism for the first time. If you're interested in incorporating more vegan dishes into your meals, here are three delicious and simple recipes with easy-to-find ingredients.

You can feel confident knowing that these recipes are healthy, easy to make and, most importantly, absolutely divine! If you have any questions on incorporating more vegan recipes, be sure to message me and follow me on my Instagram page @jessicainthekitchen.


The Best Kale Cabbage Slaw


2 cups shredded kale

2 cups shredded carrots

2 cups shredded purple/red cabbage

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon raw cane sugar

Sea salt and ground black pepper to season

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Mix all the ingredients for the slaw together. Use immediately, or ideally place in fridge or on counter up to an hour so all the flavours can marry together.


This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

You can store this slaw in an airtight Tupperware container in the fridge.

Red Lentil Curry - Vegan, One Pot


2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 medium yellow onions OR 1 red onion (7g)

14 ounces/400g fresh tomatoes, diced (if using canned, do not drain)

1 teaspoon sea salt

teaspoon ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger

2 tablespoons garam masala

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon red curry paste

teaspoon cumin

1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed

2 cups filtered water

13.5 ounces/383g can coconut milk

1 small lime

Garnish with red pepper flakes & chopped parsley


In a deep pot over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil.

Add in the onions and tomatoes. Grind some sea salt and ground black pepper over the mixture and stir together. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook down until juices of the tomatoes are naturally released and onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add in all the other dry ingredients in order. Stir vigorously to combine to ensure the lentils aren't stuck to the bottom. Now add the water and coconut milk and stir again to combine thoroughly.

Bring the curry to a boil, and then reduce to medium-low so that the mixture continues to simmer for 35 minutes, cover slightly but allowing steam to escape. Stir occasionally to ensure the lentils don't stick to the bottom. Depending on the kind of lentils you're using, you can check around the 20 minute mark to see if your lentils have finished cooking.

Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper if you desire. Remove the curry from the heat and squeeze a lime lightly over the top of the curry, stirring to combine. Don't skip this step!! Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Enjoy!

How to store: You can store this curry in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. It's an excellent candidate for freezing and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.

A few notes:

This curry lasts for at least 5 days in the fridge as leftovers.

You can serve with whole wheat naan bread, basmati rice, or even crispy tortilla chips.

You can add so many extra ingredients to this curry. I love adding spinach and other veggies to add even more flavour and body to it.

To add heat:

Crushed red pepper flakes: I would start with 1/4 teaspoon in the beginning so that that gets heated up with everything else. Taste and you can always add another 1/4 teaspoon.

Harissa paste: if you have a harissa or chili paste, you can stir a little in before the simmer part so that it can heat up with everything. Even sriracha can work.

Lastly, and my favourite, Scotch bonnet pepper sauce which adds flavours and lots of heat. A few drops right before simmer again, and you can taste and decide whether you want to add more.

Sweet Potato Tater Tots (7 Ingredients & Vegan)


2 lbs (32 oz/907g) sweet potatoes, preferably larger even-sized potatoes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

teaspoon onion powder

teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil + 1 teaspoon for brushing

2 teaspoons cornstarch


Preheat your oven to 425F/220C. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or well-greased parchment paper.

Set a pot of water to boil. Add in the sweet potatoes and parboil for 18-20 minutes. This works best for larger sweet potatoes (like two large), so if using smaller sweet potatoes start to check around 15 minutes that a fork can stick into the middle of it, but is still firm.

Remove from boiling water and run cold water over the potatoes to stop them from cooking. Allow to cool completely. Once potatoes are cooled, use your fingers or a spoon to peel the skins off. They should slip off very easily.

Using a large side of a grater, grate all of the sweet potatoes, then add shreds to a large bowl.

Add in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cornstarch, sea salt and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Using a spatula, stir everything together to combine throughly. The mixture should be cooked through, and soft enough to squeeze together.

Now it's time to form the tater tots. Using a tablespoon measurer, press the sweet potato mixture into the measurer. Then scoop out with your hands and form like a tater tot — hold both ends with index finger and thumb, then rub/roll the centre into little tot. Line the baking sheets with the tater tots — leaving enough space so that they do not touch. You should get at least 30 tots.

Using a regular or silicone pastry brush, brush the tater tots with the rest of the coconut oil on the outsides. This will really help them to crisp up. I like to brush both sides.

Bake the tater tots in the middle rack of your oven for 40 minutes, flipping once at 20 minutes to get both sides well golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve with your favourite dip, top with more salt if desired and enjoy!


If you can't use cornstarch you can sub tapioca starch or arrowroot powder, or even flour.

Yes, you can freeze these! I would freeze in a flat layer like on a baking sheet (not touching), then when they are all frozen you can put them in a bag together! Then I would thaw them in the oven at 350 until thawed. Or, you can thaw them in the fridge overnight then reheat in your oven or toaster oven, whichever you prefer!


All recipes were created and all photos were taken by Jessica Hylton Leckie.

Jessica Hylton Leckie is the founder and CEO of Jessica in the Kitchen, an award-winning vegan food blog, where amongst recipes, she also shares guides, travel and wellness posts. She is also a food photographer and a videographer. She's been a speaker at over a dozen conferences on the topics of young entrepreneurship, photography, food and wellness. Jessica's work has been featured in numerous publications including the Jamaica Observer, ESSENCE magazine, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, SELF magazine, Buzzfeed and many more. You can find more recipes on jessicainthekitchen.com or follow along on Instagram @jessicainthekitchen.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon