West Indian Day Parade & Black Beans with Pineapple

One of my favorite things in life is traveling and experiencing different cultures. I feel lucky to live in a city where I only have to hop on the train (not always a plane) to do this.

This past September Chris and I were transported to Jamaica without leaving Brooklyn. 
We went to the West Indian Day Parade. It's like nothing you've ever seen. As we got closer to the parade site the music got louder and the smell of grilling filled the air.

The first thing we tried was a wonderful pineapple rum drink. I'm glad we split it because it was pretty big!

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As we walked down the parade route, we took in all the sights, sounds and smells of the day. There were different foods being grilled everywhere we looked, from corn on the cobb to chicken and fish. The costumes we saw were wonderful! It's obvious they take a lot of pride in the planning. 

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Photo by Christopher Rosales

Photo by Christopher Rosales

Photo by Christopher Rosales

Photo by Christopher Rosales

Here's an easy vegan caribbean dish perfect for your next weeknight meal. 

Black Beans with Pineapple, Plantains and Avocado (serves 4)


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, chopped ginger root
  • 2 cans black beans (about 3 cups cooked), rinsed well and drained
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 plantains, sliced
  • 1 tbsp of dairy free butter
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 2 avocados sliced

  1. Saute the onion in a non-stick pan for 3-5 minutes, until beginning to turn golden. Add the peppers, garlic, and chopped ginger and cook another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the drained black beans, pineapple juice, curry powder, cumin and red pepper (to taste). Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low, adding a splash of water if it starts to dry out.
  3. While the beans and pineapple are cooking, cook the plantains*. 
  4. Add the pineapple and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
  5. Divide the beans, plantains and sliced avocado between 4 plates. Serve and enjoy!



1. Heat a skillet over medium heat

2. Place sliced plantains in pan and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes)  sprinkle with cinnamon

3. Flip slices and cook on other side until golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

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