Jerk spiced stuffed peppers


I’m calling on all my spicy food lovers out there. These stuffed peppers are for you! They are spicy, without stripping your taste buds, chewy, and loaded with good for your soul ingredients such a farro, mushrooms and collard greens.

Now, here’s a few fun facts about me and where these peppers get their inspiration…

My husband Chris and I started dating around the time of my birthday, which is in early December. Around that time, is also when I do a retrospect of my year. I look at what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve failed at, what goals I get to scratch off my list and what goals still need to be crushed. I look at the good and the bad and reflect on it. I also make a list of 3 (yes, 3, which sounds like a fair number: not too many, not too few) resolutions for the year to come (why wait until January 1st!). I also write down the steps I think I need to take to get to where I wanna go. It’s also a time where I reflect on how I feel about my life in general and what needs to be changed, added or deleted!

One of the things I knew needed to be added to my resolution list was taking more time for myself. Even though I didn’t feel burned out, I knew I couldn’t keep up this pace. So I decided this new resolution was going to start off with a bang. It was going to start with a beach vacation. Now this may not seem like such a bang for some, but this was going to be my first real vacation in over 5 years! Since I traveled quite extensively for work, and I never really took time off of work, a beach vacation sounded like an extravagant luxury for me. And I was going to go for it…

Needless to say, when I told Chris about my resolution to take a relaxing beach vacation, he suggested we go together to his favourite place: Jamaica. Jamaica was the last place I had vacationed, 5 years earlier, so I thought it was a great idea to pick up where I left off.

Jamaica did not disappoint! It was everything I needed it to be and then some. And the food…the food was simply scrumptious! Our favourite thing to eat came from this food cart that was pushed around the resort, from 11am to 11pm with the most amazing jerk spiced food ever! The sauce was dark and thick and spicy. But not the kind of spicy where you can’t feel your tongue or taste buds for days. The kind of spicy that made your mouth water with delight. Yes, it was that good! Chris and I would eagerly wait by the beach for the food cart to roll around and would unapolagicoly pounce on it as it made it’s way to us. We would take our paper plates back to our beach chairs and devour what ever was on it, licking our fingers between every bite… My mouth is watering at the recollection as I’m writing this.

So that’s where these peppers come from! They come from the recollection of that food cart and it’s jerk sauce.

If you’ve been to Jamaica, I hope these peppers bring back some wonderful memories. If you haven’t been, close your eyes as you eat these and picture yourself on a beach with some soft reggae music playing in the background. Trust me, you’ll almost feel like you are there!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them.

Leave me a comment to tell me what recipe you make that’s inspired by your travels or what tradition you have around your birthday.


Jerk spiced stuffed peppers
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
The level of spiciness of this recipe will depend on how much of the jerk spice sauce you put in it. Start with 1 Tbs and work your way from there. If you think you and your family can handle a little more heat, add another tablespoon and enjoy! This recipe will makes extra and keeps well in the fridge.
  • For the jerk sauce
  • 1/2 Cup ground allspice berries
  • 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 4 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and cored
  • 2 Tbs thyme, ground
  • 10 green onions
  • 1 Tbs ginger, fresh
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 Tbs nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbs red palm oil
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs coconut seasoning (similar to soy sauce)
  • For the stuffed peppers
  • 4 peppers, seeded and cut in half, length wise
  • 1 Cup farro
  • 2 1/2 Cups water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 6 collard green stalks, ribs removed and chopped
  • 1 Cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Chive for presentation
  1. For the jerk spice mix, add everything to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. For the stuffed peppers.
  3. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.
  4. In a medium size pot, bring 21/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and farro.
  5. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 25-30 minutes. (make your jerk spice mix during this time).
  6. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes.
  8. Add the chopped collard greens and cook for another 3 minutes.
  9. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  10. Oil the bottom of an iron skillet or oven safe dish and place the pepper halves.
  11. When the farro is cooked, add to the vegetable mix and stir to combine.
  12. Add 1 Tbs of jerk sauce and adjust to taste.
  13. Spoon the mixture evenly between the peppers.
  14. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  15. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes and decorate with a little chive.



Sunday night chili


Good morning beautiful people,

I’ve ben meaning to get this post to you earlier in the week, i.e.Sunday, but the day, and the beginning of the week, has gotten the best of me. Luckily, this chili is luscious and has set the tone for a wonderful week of delicious food creation.

In all honesty, I made this chili on Saturday night, after my son went to bed and I had the entire house all to myself, surrounded by peace and quiet… with Stingray’s Nothing but 90’s music channel playing in the background. Blissful! The reason I made this  Sunday night chili on Saturday, goes beyond the fact that I wouldn’t have time to make it on Sunday because I had to go shopping for warmer clothes for my baby. It actually had everything to do with spices and giving them the time and rest they need to fully develop.

See spices are kinda like humans: when you get a good night sleep, you are so much more efficient the next day. Spices are the same. When given time to rest, they give you the best of themselves and pack whatever dish they’re in with loads of yummy flavour. Ever noticed how things like curries, soups and stews, taste better the next day? Yup, it all has to do with giving spices their time to rest. Now if you really want to get technical with this, according to the Institute of Food Technologists, [leftovers often taste better the next day] generally because chemical reactions continue to take place that produce more and/or new flavor molecules. Some flavor enhancement may involve the breakdown of proteins to release amino acids such as glutamate and small nucleotides that interact to enhance savory, meaty umami taste, or reaction of amino acids with sugars to produce new flavor molecules by the Maillard reaction (browning), which can occur when the leftovers are reheated.

Now that we’ve got the science part down pack, let’s get back to this chili. It’s creamy, luscious and uber satisfying. And because this recipe easily makes for 8 portions, you and your family can enjoy the leftovers in your lunch the next day or even the day after that. It keeps very well for up to 3 days in the fridge.

The reason behind all this lusciousness is due to one secret ingredient: pureed pumpkin! This beloved halloween vegetable is very versatile and has a subtle flavour without overpowering the dish. It also adds quite a nutrition punch. 1 cup of pureed pumpkin gives you 763% of vitamin A (important for vision, regulates genes, supports the immune system and facilitates red blood cell production), 49% of vitamin K (important for cardiovascular health and bone restoration, helping to prevent osteoporosis and atherosclerosis) and 28% of dietary fibre and we all know what that’s important for! Delicious and nutritious, I’ll take that any day!

Now this recipe is a bit spicy, because that’s how we like our food in my family. But if this recipe packs too much heat for you, don’t hesitate to tone it down. I use tomatillo salsa in my chili, which tends to be spicy. If you want to control the spice level, use mild regular salsa instead. The recipe also call for jalapeño. Again, if you don’t want too much heat, make sure you remove all the seeds before adding to your chili as that’s where pepper gets all its heat. I also add chipotle spice which is also quite spicy. If that’s not your thing, add more smoked paprika to keep that smokey flavour without the heat.

There is one last ingredient you’ll find in there that might surprise you, and that is cacao powder. Yes, like the cacao powder you use in desserts. I started using cacao powder in my chilis decades ago, after going to an ice cream parlour with my parents (in my pre-vegan days) and ordering their Mexican ice cream. To my surprise, the chocolate ice cream had cayenne pepper in it. At first, I was turned off and totally disappointed (I tried to exchange it with my dad but to no avail!). But the more I ate, the more I enjoyed it and it actually accentuated the chocolate flavour. When I first tried it in my chili, I noticed the chocolate enhanced the chili’s flavour. You’ll also find chocolate in most authentic mole recipes.

I hope you and your family enjoy this chili as much as we do! Let me know if you’ve added your own twist and secret ingredients to this chilis.


Sunday night chili
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This chili packs a nice punch of heat. If that’s too much for you and your family, make the adjustments I suggested in my post. This chili is also quite filling in and of itself because of all the beans but you can easily serve it over some steamed rice and topped with corn chips and vegan sour cream.
  • 2 tsp palm oil
  • 1 onion, finally diced
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 30oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 1 cup corn kernel (I use yellow and cream)
  • 1 cup white kidney beans, cooked
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 3 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs roasted garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 2 Tbs cacao powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a cast iron pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the diced red bell pepper and jalapeño.
  4. Add all the spices except the cacao powder. Stir the spices to evenly coat the onion mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring constantly to avoid the spices from burning.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, pureed pumpkin and salsa. Stir to combine and reduce to low heat.
  6. Add the corn, beans and cacao powder. Stir.
  7. Let the chili simmer for about 20 minutes and then serve with vegan sour cream, corn tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime juice.