Tropical Jerk Fried Rice

One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing local flavours. With every bite I often dream of dishes that I would want to make upon my return home.  This was no different during my recent trip to Hawaii. I came home to the cold of NY and wanted nothing more than to bring the tropics with me. To share a small slice of my trip, I’ve created this Hawaiian fried rice recipe.

Hawaii has similar flavours to most other tropical countries. What really stood out for me was their delicious macadamia nut. They are grown in Hawaii and can be found in many dishes, most notably the macadamia crusted mahi mahi. I also enjoyed my fair share of them covered in chocolate.

With that said, the flavours of this rice are not very unique to Hawaii rather they inspired by a tropical vacation. My creamy coconut rice is fried with Jamaican jerk spices, pineapple, peas, and macadamia nuts. This recipe is both sweet and savoury making it uniquely delicious. Ask Alexa to play beach wave sounds for ultimate enjoyment.

Tropical Jerk Fried Rice
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 4 people
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup frozen pees
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 serrano pepper or small jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped dry roasted macadamia nuts
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • optional: mico-greens for garnish
  1. Rinse rice in a large bowl with cool water until water runs clear. Drain rice. Place rice, coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for an additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Rice can be prepared a couple days in advance. 

  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt and fry until onion begins to golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the spices and cook until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the peas, pineapple, and the serrano chili, and fry for 3 minutes. Add the coconut rice and macadamia nuts and green onions and fry for an additional 5 minutes, while breaking up the clumps of rice with a spatula. Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro. Season with salt  and pepper and top with micro-greens if using.  Serve immediately 


Leave a comment

The Passoin-ate Cobb Salad

The Passion-ate Cobb is my plant-based version of the famous salad, which traditionally consists of chicken, bacon, Roquefort, avocado, and tomatoes. My salad is quite different but it’s inspired by the cobb’s cheesy, smoky, and creamy flavours using delicious plant-based ingredients. For instance, sunflower seeds roasted with nutritional yeast add a cheesy flavour, and cannellini beans baked with maple syrup and smoked paprika replace the bacon. A creamy tahini and cashew dressing is inspired by a buttermilk dressing, sometimes paired with the popular salad.

The salad requires more prep than usual but trust me, it’s worth the effort. This is the kind of salad that can be enjoyed as an entrée because of its nutritious and satisfying ingredients.

I was fortunate enough to shoot a couple photos for my blog, including this week’s recipe, with the very talented photographers, Alyssa and Chris of Suech and Beck. I met both of them while I was working in food styling in Toronto. They take stunning photos so I was really excited to have the opportunity to work with them. You can check their page out here.

The Passion-ate Cobb Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Servings: 4 people
  • 2 heads romaine, chopped 1/2"
  • 1 head raddichio, chopped 1/2"
  • 2-4 radishes, thinly sliced (I use a mandoline)
  • 1/4 cup Cheddar Sunflower Seed Chips*
  • Smokey 'Bacon' Beans (recipe below)
  • 1-2 avocados sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
Smokey 'Bacon' Beans
  • 1 15 oz can white kidney beans/cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Creamy Dressing
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews**
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsps dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
The Passion-ate Cobb
  1. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Toss with enough dressing to coast, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 

Bacon Beans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  2. Rinse and drain the beans and pat dry. Stir together the beans, maple syrup, smoked paprika, salt and olive oil. Transfer to baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy, 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with salad. 

Creamy Tahini Dressing
  1. Blend together all of the ingredients using a high-speed blender, food processor, or immersion blender. Season to taste. 

Recipe Notes

*Cheddar Sunflower Seed Chips can be found here

** Soak cashew in boiling water for 1 hour. Rinse and drain. 

Leave a comment

Sunflower Seed Chips

Snacks help us get from one meal to the other. Without them we’d become ‘hangry’ and count down the minutes until dinner. Some nutritionists may interject and say if your meals are balanced then you shouldn’t have hunger in-between. I counter that debate and say ‘what fun would your day be without the joy of a snack?’ Continue reading

1 Comment

Green Dumplings and Garlicky Sesame Chili Oil

Today is Valentine’s day, a day that celebrates love. To stay festive, I am celebrating my LOVE for dumplings.  There are so many varieties of dumplings, think pierogis, kreplach, momos, and gyoza.  My recipe is influenced by Chinese style dumplings that are made with a thin wheat based wrapper, boiled and served with chili oil.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Gingery Rice Noodles and Greens

This recipe for Gingery Rice Noodle and Greens is a bit of a teaser to spring. It’s light and full of refreshing flavours such as leafy greens, cucumber, and mint. I’m currently visiting my in-laws in Florida and later this month travelling to Maui. I guess my excitement to escape the snow is reflected in this salad.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Moroccan Quinoa Stew

What I love about Moroccan food is that it combines both sweet and savoury flavours. The mix of dried fruit, such as apricots and raisins, with cinnamon and savoury spices creates a comforting dish that doesn’t shy away from flavour. Continue reading

Leave a comment