No More Oxtails

One of the parts of being Jamaican that I can greatly appreciate is the food. Our cuisine is unlike any other, infused with African, Irish, English, Asian, Indian and Indigenous Tribes cultural foods, our flavors create a unique blend that make us, as a nation of people, very very appreciative of the meals we’ve created. Here’s a list of things that might catch your eyes. Some of you may have even tried these meals before:

Curried Chicken
Curried Goat
Oxtails and Butter Beans
Jerk Chicken
Jerk Pork
Curried Shrimp
Stewed Chicken
Stewed Beef
Chinese Chicken (Stir Fry)
Pot Roast
Mannish Wata Soup (Goathead Soup)
Rasta Pasta with Shrimp
Stewed Cow Foot
Cooked Liver
Ackee and Salfish (Codfish)
Escoveitch Fish (Red Snapper Fish in Peppers)
Beef Patty
Tripe and Beans
Run Down
Solomon Gundy
Peppered Shrimp


So the reason I bring up these delicious sounding meals in the list is because these are all highlight dishes, but the primary ingredients are meat. Fish, Chicken, Pork and Beef. It’s crazy though because I reflect a lot on The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, because of my research on Black History that I conduct for my scholarly writing. It’s amazing how much damage it has done, in more ways that Blacks can imagine. In Black culture, the meat at dinner time is more than just the center of table for highlighting that you’ve made a “complete” meal. It’s also a way to establish that your family was able to afford the meat that, during slavery, was never given to the slaves. In fact, I recently read an article where it stated that slaves were so affordable that most masters worked them until they died, and then just purchased more slaves. They were not fed properly, if fed at all. In Black culture, we put meat in everything. Our sandwiches are not a sandwich without meat. Our tables are not complete without a bird or a cow sitting on it. Our collard greens need meat to perk it up, or else we’re just eating greens.

To be a vegan, you must enter into a place of grieving for the missing items on the table that won’t return, but also, to give thanks for the ways in which you will learn how to fill those spaces. I am excited to try new dishes, and to make food that is seasoned and flavored with the same spices I would use for those old dishes. No, everything won’t taste the same. The flesh of the meat soaks up the spices and sauces you put on it, that cannot be recreated by anything vegan, but I can promise you that if you make a stir fry with colorful peppers and sesame seeds and a little soy sauce, you won’t miss the chicken. If you do miss chicken, try using seitan or tofu until you can properly transition.

A large part of being Vegan is overcoming the thoughts in your mind that tell you it’s impossible. Try the 7 day Vegan Challenge. I bet you won’t need all the medication you’re taking now, and you’ll notice a change in the way you feel. I challenge you to seek the potential you have waiting to be unlocked by turning over to a plant based diet. You may even lose a few pounds and feel the difference in your stomach (most vegans say they feel lighter within the first two weeks).

If this Jamaican girl, who loved her some oxtails could do it, trust me, you can too. And when you think about the poor animal, with a soul, a personality, a life, you’ll remember that we are all here to be our best selves. Let’s eat to live, and not live to eat. Be patient with yourself on this journey and Iguarantee that you will find a closer walk with yourself, as you learn to re-train your thoughts and find healthier, karma free alternatives to sustaining yourself through food.



Peace, Love and Light.

Sher




MEAL ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS

Curried Chicken- Curried Potatoes and Butter Beans
Curried Goat- Curried Seitan
Oxtails and Butter Beans- Stewed Seitan and Butter Beans
Jerk Chicken- Jerk Tofu
Jerk Pork- Jerk Seitan
Curried Shrimp- Curried Tofu strips
Stewed Chicken- Stewed Whey Protein Chunks
Stewed Beef- Stewed Tofu
Chinese Chicken (Stir Fry)- Stir Seitan with veggies and ginger
Pot Roast- Vegan Roast (Meatless loaf made with Nutritional yeast and Vital  
Mannish Wata Soup (Goathead Soup)- Um yeah naw... just make some vegetable soup lol
Rasta Pasta with Shrimp- No scrimps and use almond milk to make an authentic sauce
Stewed Cow Foot-Stewed Tofu baby- spice it up with Haberno
Cooked Liver- um  it’s liver... you’re free from the yucky liver!!
Ackee and Salfish (Codfish)- Just Ackee is delicious enough without the fish to be honest 
Escoveitch Fish (Red Snapper Fish in Peppers)- Free the fishes and spice up Tofu or make a thin Seitan and pepper!
Beef Patty- Tofu patty
Tripe and Bean- Tofu and Beans is delicious
Run Down-Seitan in coconut milk is delicious
Solomon Gundy- Free the fishies!!! Put some vegan cheese on qualified vegan crackers with grapes (fancy lol)
Peppered Shrimp- Peppered Seitan, once again, works just fine


In the words of Brother Drake, “Thank me later!”



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