I know. This isn’t quite a “Belizean” meal. What I mean is, it’s not a recipe that originated in Belize. Shake and Bake is eaten everywhere. I see those little boxes in every supermarket.
However, maybe the combination of individual foods that make up the meal is? I’m pretty sure it is, since it’s something that I learned to eat in Belize and haven’t seen any of my Guatemalan friends make.
A little fact about Belizeans: we love our rice. I mean LOVE. Lunchtime is incomplete without some form of rice on our plates. Usually it’s in large amounts as well. It’s not exactly the healthiest of customs but let me tell you, it’s delicious.
In my house, when it comes to this particular meal, we combined Shake’N Baked chicken (yes, using the Kraft boxed mix), yellow rice, coleslaw and fried plantain.
This was probably one of the first meals that my mom and I “veganized” and I haven’t looked back since. Whenever my family makes it, I just do this and BOOM, a wild vegan version appears. As I mentioned before, I am not vegan and sometimes I do eat it with coleslaw (since it has mayonnaise, it’s automatically not vegan). However, for a vegan version, I simply substitute the coleslaw with stir fried veggies. Nothing else has any animal derivatives.
Whereas the “traditional” way has the chicken as its source of protein and the rice as carbs, my way flips it. The breaded potato balls provide the carbs and the quinoa (which in texture resembles rice) provides the protein. In addition, I recreate the yellow rice that my mom usually makes to make “yellow quinoa”. I use Sazón Goya Azafran, which is a Mexican seasoning that derives from the safflower plant. It gives a slight flavour and a vibrant yellow colouring to the food. If you don’t have access to this, you can use saffron, although it is a bit pricey.
I love this combination of foods and I make it quite a lot, as it reminds me of home. It’s also pretty well balanced, what with the carbs, protein and colourful veggies that accompany it. Give it a try!
Yields: 2 servings
SHAKE AND BAKE MIX
- ½ cup Kelloggs corn flakes breadcrumbs
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp parsley
- ¼ tsp Season All Seasoned Salt
SHAKE AND BAKE POTATO BALLS
- 1 medium Irish potato
- 2 tbsp vegan butter (if you don’t have, Crisco All Vegetable Butter Flavour Shortening works as well and is vegan)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Shake and bake mix
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 pack Sazón Goya Azafran
- Preheat oven to 200ºC.
- To make the shake and bake mix, combine the corn flakes breadcrumbs, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, parsley and Season All Seasoned Salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Chop the Irish potato into one or two inch chunks and boil until tender. Drain the water and wait about 5 minutes or until the potato is slightly warm.
- In a bowl, combine the boiled potato, vegan butter and black pepper. If you are using vegan butter, skip the salt. If, however, you are using Crisco All Vegetable Butter Flavour Shortening, add the 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash all ingredients until well combined then, using your hands, form 1 ½ inch sized balls.
- For the true Shake’N Bake experience, you can place the breadcrumb mix into a ziplock bag, place the potato balls in one by one and give it a good old shake until it’s fully coated. You can also just roll around the ball in the mix, in a bowl, until the same effect is achieved.
- Place the coated potato balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, by which time they should be golden brown.
- While these are baking, go ahead and make the quinoa. Usually there are instructions on the box, so you can go ahead and follow those. The way I make it, firstly you rinse the quinoa, then place in a pot over medium heat and stir fry it for 2-3 minutes with the canola oil, adding the salt and black pepper as you go along. Then, pour in the water over the quinoa and stir in the Sazón Goya Azafran. Once the water is boiling, bring the heat to low and cover the pot. Leave it for 12 minutes, after which you can take it off the heat, leave it for five minutes (still covered) and then fluff up with a fork.
- As I mentioned before, you can accompany this with either coleslaw or some stir fried veggies and fried plantain. Also, I eat this with ketchup. It’s a habit, you can try it too haha!
- Assemble all you parts on a plate and dig in!