Jerked Veggie Wraps

A delectable veggie wrap that’s jam-packed with a burst of spicy, delicious Caribbean-inspired flavor!

Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to facilitate a cooking demonstration for the Second Annual Taste of Laura Street event, in Plant City, Florida. A Taste of Laura Street was hosted by The Improvement League of Plant City, CDC. As stated on Visit Tampa Bay “A Taste of Laura Street – Plant City is a reality food experience where participants can taste and judge samples of local cuisine while they enjoy the historical ambiance of the former Laura Street African American Business District adjacent to midtown. Awards will be presented for Best Entrée, Best Side, and Best Dessert Dish. There will also be a traveling art gallery exhibit, and live bands featuring jazz, and contemporary music. A Taste of Laura Street highlights the story of how economic development ignited and launch self-empowerment in the Lincoln Park neighborhood during the era spanning 1920 thru 1969.

Plant City Laura Street business district once thrived with restaurants, rooming houses (hotels), movie theaters, funeral homes, ice cream parlors and barbershops. The Bing Rooming House and Ms. Bing’s Seminole Restaurant anchored Laura Street aka “The Bottom” at the corner of South Allen and Laura Street. This is an opportunity to showcase one of Plant City’s most historic neighborhoods where residents can live, work, play and enjoy authentic heritage and character.”
Photo courtesy of the Plant City Observer
Let me take this moment to tell y’all that yesterday was poppin’. The food was incredible, the live music was beautiful, and the visual art on display was spectacular. The vibes were perfect: a welcoming, yet laid-back atmosphere.
The meal that I prepared during the cooking demo was a very delicious jerked veggie wrap.  One of the perks of this recipe is that there is ZERO added sugar, aside from the fruits listed in the ingredients. The main star of the dish is the cauliflower, as that veggie is flavor-neutral, and can absorb any seasoning. It’s also pretty low in carbs, as well! For those who have aversions to cauliflower, feel free to opt out of this ingredient, or replace with an alternative, such as mushroom, chicken, or anything else! For those with sensitivity to spicy flavors, feel free to do away with the pepper!  No worries.
Want to learn how to create this magic dish? Keep on reading!
Jerk Veggie Wraps!
·         Jerk Marinade:
o    1 lime
o    1 small onion, or ½ medium onion
o    6 cloves garlic
o    2 tsp. fresh thyme
o    1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (optional)
o    1.5 tbsp. fresh ginger
o    Juice of 1 large, ripened orange-or juice of 2 tangerines
o    1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
o    1 tsp. kosher salt
o    1 tsp. black pepper
o    1 tsp. allspice
o    ½ tsp. cinnamon & ½ tsp. nutmeg
o    3 tbsp. coconut oil
o    1/3 cup water
·         1 head of finely diced cauliflower
·         1/3 cup water
·         1 bell pepper
·         1 ripened plantain (optional)
·         1 Florida avocado (or hass), mashed
·         1 cup of fresh pineapple
·         1 cup Fresh spinach
·         Five 10”-wide whole wheat flour tortillas
·         3 tbsp. cooking oil (i.e. coconut)
Jerk Marinade Directions:
1.       Take all of the ingredients for the marinade, and place in a food processor. Let the mixture puree for about 1-2 minutes, or until the marinade has liquefied. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, and use within three days.

Jerk Vegetable wrap directions:
1.       Preheat skillet to medium-high for a few seconds. Gradually add 1/3 cup of water and diced cauliflower and bell pepper.

2.       Gradually add in the marinade, and raise the heat to medium-high, and continue to let the veggie mixture cook down for another 4-5 minutes until the excess liquid evaporates, and the cauliflower becomes fork-tender and lightly caramelized.

3.       (Optional) While cauliflower mixture is cooking, slice ripened plantain into ½” slices and then place in a preheated skillet set to medium with 3 tbsp. melted oil. Gently add plantain slices in heated oil, then turn the heat down to medium, and allow each side to cook for 1-2 minutes, and then turn over. Repeat process about 2 more times, but slightly lower heat and continue to cook until each slice is golden brown on each side. Keep an eye on the slices, or they will burn! Once slices are finished cooking, turn off skillet, and immediately remove them from heat, patting down with napkin.

4.       Once cauliflower and plantains are finished cooking, begin assembling wraps in the following recommended order: 1 tablespoon mashed avocado, 1/5 cup fresh spinach, 1 large spoonful of jerk veggie mixture, 2-3 plantain slices, then 1 tablespoon of pineapple slices. Close the wrap tightly. Optional step: Press on griddled skillet or Panini press for about 2 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear. Enjoy!

5 servings | Per serving: 464 calories/ 8.14g protein/27g fat/53.7g carbs/ 11.5g fiber per serving

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