Caribbean Inspired Plant Based Cooking

Jamaican curry is typically prepared with pre-made curry powder spice blends, which includes variations of turmeric, cumin, paprika, cardamom, garlic, and fenugreek. But they also use allspice which is what gives Jamaican curry its unique flavor and sets it apart from most other curries. Thyme is also used when making Jamaican Curry which makes an interesting distinction between other ‘Curries”.

The primary difference between Jamaican and Indian curry is that Jamaican curry is made with curry powder. Curry in India is not made with curry powders (that’s a UK invention) and is often sauce-based with either coconut milk or cream blended with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and toasted spices.

Jamaican (Inspired) Curried Chickpeas


  • 2 cans Garbanzo Beans, Chickpeas
  • 1 can Coconut milk
  • ½ – 1T Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 Potato Diced
  • 1 Carrot Diced
  • 1 medium Tomato chopped finely (Optional)
  • 1 medium Onion Chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves Crushed
  • ¼ inch” Freshly grated or chopped ginger
  • 1t Allspice
  • 1t Garlic powder
  • 1t Onion powder
  • 1/2t Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 3 Sprig of fresh thyme or 2t of dried thyme
  • 1-2 Scotch Bonnet Whole (Optional) *More Scotch Bonnet will make it hotter also cutting it will make it even hotter – alternatives Jalapeno, Habanero
  • 2-4T oil
  • ½-1 Cup (118.29 ml) Water
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  1. In a pot on medium heat, add the oil, allspice, peppers (If using), and curry powder. Toast for a minute until the curry powder turns a red-ish brown color.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and scallion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the potato and chickpeas making sure they are fully coated in with the curry. Cook for about 5 minutes. If you are using a pot that isn’t non-stick, stir continuously to prevent burn. You may have to add a bit of water.
  4. Add tomato (if you are using), carrot, coconut milk, thyme and water. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until the liquid reduces the potato and carrot soften.
  5. Before turning off the heat, crush a few chickpeas and potatoes to thicken up the sauce.

Jamaican (Inspired) Steamed Cabbage


  • 1 large Cabbage (about 6 cups shredded)
  • 1 onion, julienned or sliced
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 scallions sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced
  • 1t Black Pepper
  • 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, sliced thinly (no seeds)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 veg stock cube, crushed or bouillon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, warm oil
  2. Add the onion and garlic, stir and then continue adding the thyme and Scotch Bonnet pepper. Cook on low for about 3 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat up to med/low and add the carrot and bell peppers, followed by the stock cube (crushed). Stir well and cook for two minutes.
  4. Add your cabbage to the pot and stir well. It will look like a lot, however it will wilt down. Place the lid on the pot and get it to steam.
  5. After a few minutes (try to stir it a couple times while it steams) 
  6. Taste for salt and adjust to your own liking and you can turn off the stove if the texture is to your liking or cook longer.

Jamaican (Inspired) Coconut Rice


  • 1 cup Long grain rice (Jasmine, Basmati or simply long grain)
  • 1 ½ cups Fresh coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil


  1. Wash/Rinse your rice until the water is clear (remove all the starch) and set aside
  2. Into a pan with a fitted lid pour coconut milk, water and add the coconut oil; then bring to a boil on medium heat.
  3. Add the rice and a pinch of salt to your pot, stirring well
  4. Bring back to a boil; then cover, turn the heat to low and let the rice cook until all the liquid has evaporated about 12-15min.
  5. Turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 5 minutes then fluff and serve.
Chef Alexa Joan:
Good Vibes, Fresh Food – Plant Based

27th Pappy Martin Jazz Festival “Celebrating Women in Jazz”

Pappy Martin Jazz Festival 2022

This Years artwork for the Jazz Festival was created by Alexa Joan Wajed. The Committee was looking for something that spoke to music and women, something whimsical but elegant and something that made you think of jazz.

[Excerpt from the Buffalo News]

This year’s Pappy Martin Legacy Masten Jazz Festival bears the imprimatur “Celebrating Women in Jazz,” and will feature a lineup of woman-led and woman-featuring ensembles, among them headliners the Baylor Project, Curtis Lundy with Brianna Thomas, Endea Owens & the Cookout and the Shamie Royston Quartet, as well as regional artists George Caldwell with Curtis Lovell, Darcel Blue, Carol McLaughlin with Joyce Carolyn, Zhanna Reed and Charles Reedy with Sandra Gilliam.

For Berry-Walker, this celebration of female artistry has been a long time coming.

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and we’ve been sporadically presenting women artists. But this year, it needed to be more,”

Read More

July/August Buffalo Magazine – Cover by Alexa Joan

Buffalo Magazine Cover Art – Instagram Post

The creative arts are where so many of us turn to process, reflect and begin to heal.

In the days following the tragic white supremacist attack on our Black community, we offered the artist and cofounder of @eatoffart the space to express herself. Her striking artwork accompanies a new piece, “Unanswered Question,” by @poet_jillian_hanesworth and a personal reflection by writer @tiffromthe6. Find them at the link in our bio.

Buffalo Magazine July/August 2022 – Cover Art by Alexa Joan

Shout out to Jillian Hanesworth for the amazing poem  –


“Power Couple” WNY – Buffalo Spree July/Aug 2022

Actually, we tied with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs…

What do you think? Are we the Best Power Couple here in Buffalo.

Edreys & Alexa Joan Wajed

Artists. Creatives. Entrepreneurs. There are so many ways to describe Edreys and Alexa Joan Wajed. She is a chef, adjunct professor, project manager, jewelry designer, and artist. He, too, is a renowned artist whose work has been exhibited all over town and in perpetuity on the Freedom Wall and other public artworks, including the Good Trouble mural depicting the late John Lewis and Love Black (last year’s winner of best new mural). Together, their business is Eat Off Art, which offers creative problem-solving and consulting, along with art prints, clothing, jewelry, and more.,,

Commissioned in 2020 by the Albright-Knox Art Galley Public Art Initiative in response to the social unrest centered around the murder of unarmed Black citizens, Love Black (by Edreys Wajed and James “YAMES” Moffitt) is plea a for humanity, compassion, and change. After the racially-motivated May 14 shooting in Buffalo, Wajed shared, “It is important to note that my good friend and fellow artist Yames, who is white and doesn’t share the weight and burden of the collective Black experience, made it his duty to contribute to this dialogue-inspiring public art. This conversation suggested by the mural is now more necessary than ever, in order for healing to begin.”

Free and Unlimited

“I am free and unlimited in
my ability to live my personal
legend and create my story as
magical as it gets. I trust my
uniqueness and my brilliance.”
~ Lukas Notes


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