This Thursday was Bellona Province Day in Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands was another one of those hard-to-find-authentic-recipes countries. Really all we could come up with was that they liked Cassava Pudding, Tuna, and Barbecue. So I set out to make a Tuna Pasta Salad that just so happened to already be on the menu for the week from Meal Mentor. Julie planned on making a cassava pudding, and Angela to make a pulled carrot BBQ sandwich.
Middle of the day Wednesday, the day before the party, I came across some more websites online. I found that Solomon Islands was a source for most of the worlds tuna, and that they enjoy something called Chilli Taiyo, which, from what I gathered, is a canned tuna packed in chili oil.
slippery cabbage soup
Searching Google for Chilli Taiyo instead of "Solomon Islands" yielded a few more results. One being this adorable family who did a weekly international dinner as well. I decided I wanted to make their Slippery Cabbage Soup. I used regular spinach, and added a small diced sweet potato. Although the recipe didn't call for sweet potato the chili I used was pretty spicy, so this one the kids couldn't try.
Also the day before the party I found a PDF from Kastom Gaden Association, which is an indigenous registered non profit organisation (charitable trust). Their goal is to strengthen village-based food security in Solomon Islands using participatory, practical, grass-roots approaches that enable village people to examine, understand and develop their own solutions to improving household food security and village-based agriculture economy. Our wonderful western diet has taken over in the islands, and many islanders are facing malnutrition due to the high fat and sugar diet. They are seeing an increase in obesity and non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease in both children and adults. The PDF I found is a 69 page book of mostly pescatarian recipes that are featuring vegetables indigenous to their land. It stresses the importance of eating vegetables, and I think it's a wonderful reference for their people.
mixed vegetable salad
I picked the Mixed Vegetable Salad. A fresh salad consisting of shallots, cucumber, tomato, bell peppers, and lettuce. This salad doesn't have any added oil, just lime, salt and a tin of "chilli taiyo" which is tuna packed in chili oil. I made my own chilli taiyo, and made a recipe for it. It's quite good! I served it over hot brown rice. I really liked this salad. It was simple, but unique, I'd totally make it again. The recipe is here if you want to make it too!
"tuna" pasta salad
So before I found this trove of Solomon recipes, I planned on just winging it and making a tuna pasta salad from Meal Mentor. It's an awesome and simple recipe that calls for hummus as the creamy, celery for the crunch, and kelp powder to get the fishy flavor. I added peas because I love peas in my tuna casserole, so why not in my tuna salad? Such a great tasting salad. The family and I went to Wekiva Springs the next day and brought it with us for our picnic, along with the mixed vegetable salad. Gotta love leftovers!
pulled carrot and slaw sandwiches
As I stated above, the Solomon people have adapted a bit of our western cuisine. Such as...Barbecue Pork! So Angela did a spin on that and made some pulled carrots with slaw for some awesome sandwiches. She used the cooking method from Veganosity but used some bottled sweet Stubbs for the sauce. Below is a photo of the plate so you can see the carrots in assembled bun action.
Another wingin it but amazing result was Jeanie's sorbet. A wonderful frozen treat for those hot island nights. She moved heaven and hell for this beautiful presentation, and her recipe is here.
Julie always comes through with the desserts. Tonight she made a traditional dish of cassava pudding. This stuff was awesome!! Wendy couldn't make it and was grilling me on the details of how it tasted, and I can't even put my finger on a way to describe it. So unique and crazy good. I won't even talk about how many slices I saw Joe eat. Recipe is here and below.
It rained like CRAZY right at party time. The traffic was awful it took Joe and Angela double the time to get here, and the Erickson's sat still for so long on their journey here they ended up turning around and going home. The rain did let up though and we were able to swim and play around outside. Angela took this beautiful photo of us checking out this sweet double rainbow above our home.
Until next week....
Okay, so I've never had Chilli Taiyo, and I can't find an ingredent list of it, but what it seems to be is canned tuna flakes packed in chili oil. This is what I would imagine a good vegan version would be. Light on the oil for preference.
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp onion flakes
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp kelp flakes
- 1/4 tsp dulse powder (or another 1/4 kelp)
- 1 tsp chili oil
Add chickpeas. soy sauce, lemon, onion flakes, nooch, and kelp/dulse to a small food processor. Chop a few times until the chickpeas are flaked, and the spices are mixed well.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the chili oil. Mine was very spicy, and I don't like a lot of oil in my foods, one tsp was enough.
adapted from Kastom Gaden Association of Solomon Islands
- 1 large shallot ,chopped
- 2 cucumbers ,peeled and chopped
- 3 tomatoes ,chopped
- 3 bell peppers ,chopped
- 1 large head romaine ,chopped
- 1 recipe chilli taiyo (link in notes)
- 1 key lime
- pinch of salt
In a bowl, chop hand full of shallot.
Peel and cube the cucumber, tomato, bell pepper and chop the lettuce.
Add chilli taiyo and lime.
Stir until it mix properly, sprinkle pinch of salt.
Serve with hot rice.
- 3/4 of a small basketball sized watermelon
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk
- 1 large lemon ,juiced
- a good squeeze of agave.
Put it all in a vitamix and blend well.
Pour it in a baking dish and freeze it over night (or just until frozen).
Cut it up into chunks and (in batches) put it back into the vitamix and blend until it's smoothly folding.
Refreeze it for another 3+ hours.
This stuff was crazy tasty!!!
- 2 lbs cassava root
- 1 pound organic brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch +6 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 cups cashew or coconut milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup hot water
Peel the cassava. Cut it into chunks. Make sure to remove the cyanide fiber. Grate the cassava. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, baking powder, and coconut milk. Once mixed, add melted butter and egg replacement (cornstarch).
Add 1 cut hot water while continuously stirring.
Poor into a buttered baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. The pudding is done when the middle is solid and it doesn't jiggle.