Recipes From Award-Winning Teen Chef, Omari McQueen!

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Omari McQueen started cooking when he was 7, after his mother began experiencing debilitating migraines. One year later, while researching how to help his mom, he clicked on a link about going vegan, and that’s all it took. “I didn’t like the way that animals are treated,” he says. Omari’s first vegan dish was a barbecue jackfruit wrap. Today, he’s the founder and CEO of vegan dip company Dipalicious, the star of TV’s What’s Cooking Omari? and the author of two vegan cookbooks. Omari says his goal is “bringing people together with good food without harming animals.

The below recipes are adapted from Omari’s latest book, Vegan Family Cookbook, available on AmazonSmile.

Black Bean and Plantain Burritos

Makes 8 servings

YOU’LL NEED

1 red onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning

1 tsp. cumin

Vegetable oil cooking spray

2 ripe plantains, cut at an angle into

1/4-inch thick slices

1 baby gem lettuce, cut into quarters

2 cups cooked brown rice

8 small tortillas

Hot sauce

METHOD

  • In a large frying pan, sauté the red onion in a tablespoonful of water over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spring onions and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in the black beans, pepper, salt, all-purpose seasoning, and cumin and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Coat a separate small pan lightly with vegetable oil cooking spray. Add the plantain slices and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until golden, then flip and cook the other side. Remove to a plate.
  • In the same pan, quickly cook the lettuce over medium heat until slightly charred.
  • Build the burritos by layering scoops of the rice and beans on the tortillas, followed by a bit of charred baby lettuce and a few plantain slices. Top with your favorite sauce and roll up.


Pasta Salad

Makes 4 servings

YOU’LL NEED

1/2 lb. egg-free pasta, in your favorite shape

1/2 cantaloupe, cut into small chunks

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 lemon, juiced

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. basil

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

METHOD

  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions, drain, and set aside. Place the cantaloupe, tomatoes, onion, and green, red, and yellow peppers into a serving bowl.
  • To make the dressing, place the remaining ingredients in a bottle and shake well to mix.
  • Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Add the pasta and toss again.

© Food photography by Tim Atkins | Omari and family photography by Haarala Hamilton Photography |  Design by Aimee Stuart | Omari McQueen is the author of Vegan Family Cookbook, published by Scholastic