Vegan pulled “pork” – for real!

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Before I became a vegan, I used to say “the swine is divine” referring to all the tasty dishes made with pork. Now I still say the swine is divine because I’ve met pigs, I’ve hung out with pigs and chatted with pigs. Pigs are amazing and delightful creatures.

But vegan or not, people love salty, smokey, barbecue-y, chewy flavours and textures. Jackfruit to the rescue! This stringy fruit mimics the textures of animal muscle – everything from pigs to crabs – and readily absorbs other flavours, making it ideal for “mock” dishes like my pulled pork.

Ingredients

2 20 oz cans young jackfruit (or jackfruit in brine, but that’s salty!)
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika (I used smoky)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp liquid smoke
1 cup vegetable broth
About ½ cup BBQ sauce. I used Clubhouse brand (check the ingredients)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Cut out the hard cores and any hard edges on the pieces. Run your fingers up each piece to pop out the seeds –this is oddly, highly satisfying. Tear up the pieces so they look like pulled pork and put in a bowl. Be patient. It’s going to take you about 10 minutes to go through each piece and pull it and pop those seeds out. If you miss some seeds, that’s okay- they won’t kill you, they’re just not very pulled pork-ish.

If you’re not familiar w/ jackfruit (as I wasn’t), I recommend checking a Youtube tutorial on pulling jackfruit and what the seeds etc. are (as I did).

In a large pan, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

Spread the jackfruit onto a non-stick baking sheet. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove and generously drizzle with BBQ sauce and give it a stir. Put it back in the oven for 10 more minutes.

Eat and enjoy!!

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Creamy coconut rice with lentils and greens

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This is one of those oh-so-easy and fast, inexpensive, satisfying dishes that also has the “Wow!” factor to it. By “Wow!”  I mean a) you’re never going to find this pre-packaged in a bag on a store shelf, b) there’s a touch of the exotic and different, and c) your taste buds will be happy.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice

1 (13 oz) can coconut milk

1 ½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

¾ cup cooked brown lentils (about ½ can)

½ cup fresh or frozen and thawed green peas

1 – 1 ½  cup chopped leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard etc.)

¼ cup toasted cashews and/or unsweetened coconut (Optional but delicious and why deny yourself deliciousness when life is so short?) *

Coconut Rice Close

Directions

Put the rice in a small pot. Add 1 cup water, 1 cup coconut milk (save the rest of the milk for later in the recipe), the chili powder, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.  Don’t lift the lid on the pot. Just let the rice simmer. When the rice is cooked, add the rest of the coconut milk and stir together.

Mix the cooked and now creamy rice in a large bowl with the lentils, green peas and greens.

Serve immediately sprinkled with the toasted cashews and coconut.

Enjoy!

*To toast cashews and coconut, heat your oven (I use my toaster oven) to 425. Spread the cashews and coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet or even a piece of foil and toast for 4 minutes. Watch that the mix doesn’t burn, which can happen in a flash! Know thy oven and do NOT leave the kitchen while the nuts and coconut are toasting.