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Vegan MoFo Day 15: Pulled Jackfruit Tacos

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This calls for fancy taco stoneware!

     If President Obama came over for a meal, I’d like to think I’d keep it real. (Sorry, didn’t mean to rhyme!)

     ^_^’

     I voted for the guy twice, I think he’s a rad dude, and he seems pretty down to Earth.  I also think he has a cool family and some cute dogs. =P
     Political opinions aside, you have to see what I’m talking about right?  I don’t think President Obama would be one to expect some fancy five-course meal from me.  Well, if he did, he would have to say so. 😉

     I came up with a dish that the adults and kids would enjoy.  I also wanted to create a flavorful dish that was also healthy, since Michelle seems to promote healthy eating awareness.  I thought a nice jackfruit dish would be nice…it’s something not a whole lot of people have heard of/eaten in this country and it would be nice to introduce to such an influential family something different yet fairly accessible.  

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Cooked Jackfruit “meat” up close. Weird, right?

      I had never heard of jackfruit being used in vegan cooking until I saw the Seabirds food truck on the Food Network a few years ago.  They were serving jackfruit in tacos at the time and I was thinking, “Fruit?! WHAT?”.  
     Then, I finally found out how jackfruit can be prepared to be used as a pulled meat substitute when I attended cooking school.  The jackfruit itself is best used from a can, as it is already soft and easy to work with.  I found some at my local Asian market, and I’m sure you would be able to purchase it online.  
     Right out of the can, jackfruit seems pretty bland.  However, once you chop it up, season it with spices and cook it, it’s pretty delicious!  The result is a somewhat light but meaty texture that resembles pulled meat.  I like that it isn’t very heavy like tempeh or seitan.  That way, you can garnish it with all the veggies, non-dairy cheese or beans you want and it isn’t overwhelmingly filling!  Well, unless you want it to be.  😉
     Look out, Mr. President!  I’ve got some jacked up tacos for you!  ^_^’

Pulled Jackfruit Tacos

Ingredients
Yield: 2 large soft tacos

Pulled Jackfruit

  • 1 can young jackfruit in water/brine, drained and rinsed thoroughly, chopped into small chunks
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch red chili flakes, opt.
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Tb coconut sugar
  • 1/2 Tb nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch chili powder
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided

Marinade

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tb apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tb tamari/shoyu
  • 1/2 Tb pomegranate juice/apple cider

Garnishes: 

  • 2 soft/hard taco shells
  • any julienned/shredded/thinly sliced raw veggies or pickles:

 I used some julienned carrots, thinly sliced red onion, and pickled yellow squash.  

  • prepared sauce (I used vegan taco sauce and cashew queso*)

*Recipe Below

Instructions

Jackfruit

  1. Mix all spices, jackfruit and 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large mixing bowl, tossing to incorporate.
  2. Pour 2 tsp olive oil into a medium saucepan and turn the heat to medium.
  3. Add the jackfruit mixture to the saucepan and pat it into an even layer.  Let it brown on one side, stir it, then brown on the other side for 6 minutes each side.
  4. Once the jackfruit is browned, add the marinade ingredients to the pan and stir.  
  5. Partially cover the pan with a lid and set the mixture simmer for about 40 minutes, or until all the liquid is evaporated.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  7. Spread the soft, cooked jackfruit onto a sheet lined  and greased. 
  8. Bake the jackfruit for 10 minutes, toss it and then bake for another 5 minutes until crispy and dried.

Cashew Queso

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk/more water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tb nutritional yeast
  • pinch mustard powder
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch turmeric

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth in a high-speed blender.
  2. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and heat over low.
  3. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. 
  4. Use immediately.

Assembly

  1. Layer your ingredients into your tortillas.  Mine were: jackfruit, queso, veggies, taco sauce.
  2. Serve right away.
  3. OR, just make a salad with no tortillas because you feel like it. 😉

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