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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Seitanically good bbq ribs!

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I’m just started a new job, which means I spend time with a lot of new people who are curious about my vegan diet. One thing I’ve been asked a lot is “what was the hardest food to give up” or “what do you miss the most”.

The straight up answer: I missed cheese the most, though I’m over that now that I’ve discovered many great commercial brands and make my own cheeses too. I missed bacon a lot, but that’s over too thanks to rice paper bacon and an even deeper love for the living pigs I’ve met.

But sometimes I just want something meaty, chewy and barbecue-y. Thanks to “wheat meat” or what’s properly called vital wheat gluten, I can have BBQ ribs in a jiffy that satisfy my cravings and harm no one.

Wheat meat is better known as seitan (pronounced say-tan) and like its almost namesake, it’s a tempter.

Seitan is for you if you want to eat something that’s ridiculously easy to make, inexpensive, super nutritious and versatile. That would be everyone I hope.

Seitan is also for you if you just get a kick out of saying “hail seitan” like I do.

Seitan is NOT for you, if you have any gluten issues. Seitan is gluten.

This recipe is from BOSH!

Ingredients

1 cup vital wheat flour (also called vital wheat gluten or 80% wheat protein flour)

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 Tbsp soya sauce

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp liquid smoke

½ tsp ground pepper

¾ cup vegetable stock

½ cup of your favourite barbecue sauce (homemade or bottled). Check the ingredient list to make sure the sauce is vegan, but it probably is.

More barbecue sauce for dipping.

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Directions

Heat your oven to 350F.

Grease a small cookie sheet or baking dish.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until you have a fist-sized, springy dough ball.

Using your hands, spread the dough out on a greased cookie sheet or in a baking dish so that you have a rectangle that’s about 9”x 4”.

Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven and spread the ½ cup barbecue sauce over the now puffed and ridiculous looking seitan (the exuberance of the seitan’s rising and springiness make me laugh). Bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cut into “ribs”.

That’s it. So easy. Enjoy!