I might’ve returned from Jamaica a few weeks ago, but I’m still in an island-life state of mind. Negril, a town in western Jamaica that boasts the exciting Seven Mile Beach area and coral reef-filled Long Bay, was a dream for my beach-loving soul. The sun, the sand, the food… it was magical, and it provided me with some unique meal ideas now that I’m back in the kitchen.
The ever-hopping food hot spot that is Seven Mile Beach in Negril is an area teeming with bars and restaurants, and we indulged in some spectacular Jamaican cuisine during our trip. From perhaps the most well known of Jamaican dishes, jerk chicken (my absolute favorite!), to some lesser-known local delicacies, we enjoyed a variety of food that I’m sure I’ll be craving until my next Caribbean getaway.
In the spirit of bringing a little island life into both my home and yours, here are 3 Jamaican-inspired meal ideas. Add them to your menu and take a much-need island jaunt any day of the week.
Jamaican Meal Ideas
- Jerk Anything! Jerk is a type seasoning and cooking method made famous in Jamaica. A jerk rub is a flavorful combination of spices, which can include ground chiles, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and cayenne pepper (but the combination varies from chef to chef). While jerk chicken is a go-to for me, you can get creative and enjoy jerk spices on pork, shrimp and tofu. Or, try your hand at this Jerk Salmon and Mango Pineapple Salsa recipe.
Bonus Tip: Pair your Jamaican jerk dinner with a bottle of Red Stripe, the island’s most well-known brew!
- Ackee & Saltfish
This just might be the most traditional of Jamaican meals. It features salted codfish and ackee fruit, which is in the same family as the lychee. The ingredients might be more difficult to find at your local grocery store, but if you plan ahead, this dish is a stunning and unique offering for your next dinner party.
I’ve earmarked this Food Network recipe.
- Fried Plantains
Those funny green “bananas” you see at the supermarket are actually called plantains. Unlike bananas, you do have to cook them. When fried and seasoned with salt, these can be a meal on their own because they’re just so addicting! However, I typically like to serve them with an entrée or tapas-style with cocktails.
If you’re looking for a healthy dessert option, try this plantain recipe from Dr. Axe.
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And some big news before you go…
I’ve been nominated for the Main Line Parent 2017 LOVE Awards! This is the Main Line Parent celebration of businesses, people and resources that are best for families in the Philadelphia area. Please vote for me in the NOURISH category for best food prep/meal delivery service before March 14, 2017. Winners will be featured in the June 2017 issue of Main Line Parent. Vote for me here (and thanks in advance for your support)!