Turista Chef Carmen Garcia’s Meatless Monday Recipe


A little bit about Carmen…

Carmen Garcia is an internationally recognized fitness celebrity, proactive in all levels of nutrition, health, wellness, and yoga principles.

An all around athlete with a competitive nature and a zest for healthy living, Carmen’s philosophy: spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental well being are the inseparable ingredients to a healthy life.

Carmen has worked hard to become one of America’s most popular fitness models, appearing in numerous publications, commercials, seminars and workshops. As a world class chef and entrepreneur, Ms. Garcia continues to re-invent herself via new challenges and accomplishments.

Carmen is a proud member and spokesperson for PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), a fitness instructor and nutritional consultant certified by the Professional Personal Trainer’s Association (USPTA); and a member of IDEAfit, having studied with the International Sports and Science Association.

Leaving the old paradigms behind of stressing the body with strenuous workouts and hardcore weight training trends, moderation is the key for this femme-fit guru. Not only does she speak four languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English), her company, Fitbody Star offers live and online education to an ever-growing international audience.

A world traveler and true “foodie” at heart, Carmen’s mantra is to achieve balance through proper nutrition from plant (protein) sources, supplementation, and variations on classic exercise techniques, to achieve homeostasis and improve overall quality of life through a sound mind, body, and spirit.

Promoting her unique style of vegan cooking as the “Turista Chef”, she writes with signature joie de vivre about a hidden world of exotic destinations and cultures through the lens of the traditional and not so traditional regional cuisine.

Fitbody Star offers instruction in: nutrition, indoor/outdoor activity, yoga movement and stretching, dance form, body and weight strengthening, interval training, outdoor circuit training, boot camp, kickboxing techniques, plyometrics, meditation, core training and overall functional training for better sports & daily task performance.

Learn more about Carmen Garcia, and visit her at:

Color vibrancy, rich and nutritious flavors is what makes this dish so deLIGHTfully tasty. Inspired by roots of Jamaica, I’ve prepared this easy vegan dish with an array of spices that burst into tropical flavors.

Recipe courtesy of Carmen Garcia

JamaicanJerkPortabello copy PD

Jamaican Jerk Portabello

Serves 2
1 cup brown basmati rice, steamed
2 large portabello mushrooms, sliced
1 small banana squash, steamed/seeded and chopped into medium size cubes.
1 small red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 small green bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 cups of organic black beans, drained (canned for quick and easy)

Jerk Pineapple Marinade

1 small red onion, chopped
1 small serrano green chili, minced (seeds removed)
1 cup pineapple, cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small lime juice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp Pompeian olive/canola oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sea salt or substitute salt

Steam rice in a slow cooker or rice cooker before you begin to prep and cook the Portabello mushrooms and marinade.

Mix all marinade ingredients and set aside in a plastic or glass bowl. Slice Portabello mushrooms and mix into marinade bowl.

Store in fridge over night or for a minimum of 1-2 hours before cooking. When ready to cook, pre-heat large wok on high/med by lubricating the wok with the canola/olive oil.

Stir in all of the ingredients of the marinade and mushrooms only.

Lower heat and cover allowing steam to soften the mushrooms for about 5-8 minutes depending on how tender you wish as they tend to shrink with prolonged heat.

In a separate medium sized pan, steam banana squash for 12 minutes or until tender. Toss in the bell peppers during the last 4- 5 minutes.

If they lose their color vibrancy, you have over cooked them. In another small sauce pan heat black beans on low.

Find a beautiful plate and pack the rice into a small bowl and onto the center of the plate.

Carefully arrange and assort all of the ingredients as you wish and top with sprinkled coconut shreds and slivered raw almonds.

Almonds, beans and Portabello mushrooms are loaded with protein, fiber and nutrients. The steamy fragrant rice and fibrous vegetables are delicious as a low GI (glycemic index) food topped with an unforgettable pineapple chutney sauce and a spicy jerk marinade. This dish is low in fat and moderate in carbohydrates. High in protein, fiber and nutrients.


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