Plenty Vegan accepted the Don’t Be a Boring Vegan Challenge – results below!
One of the best things about vegans is how adventurous we are. #humblebrag
After taking so many common foods off the (literal) menu, it makes us wonder,
What fun foods are out there that we can eat instead?!
Typically, these new foods resemble some of the nixed foods that we left behind when we switched to a plant-based diet: meat, milk, cheese and butter.
Enter meat substitute: Jackfruit.
(Side note: originally, this meal was going to use Upton’s Chili Lime Carnitas Jackfruit but the local Whole Foods only had The Jackfruit Company Tex-Mex Jackfruit in stock. Since jackfruit in general is new to the Plenty Vegan kitchen – who cares!)
Savory jackfruit is a trip. The unripe version of a gigantic fruit native to Southeast Asia, it is used as a meat substitute because it has the texture of pulled pork (sorry if that is a trigger for some). For those who enjoyed this texture (?) but want the source to be plants, jackfruit is your plant!
Jackfruit comes packaged, cooked and usually pre-seasoned. This makes it super easy to work with and to throw into whatever dish you want.
This meal uses the Tex-Mex Jackfruit from The Jackfruit Company. A bonus to this particular packaged jackfruit is that besides jackfruit and water, the other ingredients included: tomato paste, sunflower oil and spices.
Rule of thumb: The fewer the ingredients in packaged food, the better.
Adding in jackfruit as a meat substitute, though, was good for a change of pace. It is so reminiscent of pre-vegan days that you have to keep reminding yourself, “I am not eating meat right now.”
Look at that jackfruit! Can you spy that oblong shaped cut? That shows the jackfruit in its original form – the meat of a jackfruit comes in these cool, oval shapes.
Ok, so how to cook with it.
Basically, there’s nothing to it. It is pre-cooked and pre-sauced, so you just want to heat it up and maybe get some of that sauce on the rest of your dish.
For burritos, this is super simple.
Cut up some bright, delicious veggies, sauté them in oil and add in the jackfruit towards the end to heat it up. (Don’t you just love a prepped plate of food, ready to cook? Mise en place, ftw!)
For this burrito meal, instead of cooking up the red cabbage, it was mixed with lime juice and cilantro as a fresh, slaw topping. Highly recommend!
Jackfruit comes in a pouch and is already in fairly small pieces. It pulls apart very easily, so if you want the pieces to be even smaller, you can do this with your spatula or fingers before adding it to the pan.
As you can see, the jackfruit sauce colors the sautéed carrots, mushrooms and red onions:
Always add spinach to a sauté to up the greens! ?
After the gluten-free brown rice tortillas were heated up in a pan on another burner, the veggies and jackfruit and fresh slaw were added in for a delicious vegan meal.
Bottom line: jackfruit is a yummy and super simple addition to a meal. It’s a great option when you want to mix things up and have some pulled pork-esque concoction.
On the Plenty Vegan Instagram, people talked about using jackfruit in tacos, tofu scrambles and, a personal fave idea, in chili (!). For anything you want to have a heartier, meatier texture, jackfruit is a solid ingredient choice.
- Packaged Jackfruit (choose a flavor you like)
- Olive oil (optional)
- Sliced Red Onions
- Sliced Mushrooms
- Peeled Carrots
- Sliced Red Cabbage
- Chopped Cilantro
- Lime Juice
- Salt (to taste)
- Sauté the onions in some heated oil until they turn translucent.
- Add in the mushrooms and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes more or until the mushrooms are starting to look browned.
- While the mushrooms and carrots are cooking, mix the cabbage and cilantro in a bowl and top with lime juice and some salt - this will be a slaw that you can top your burrito with.
- Add the jackfruit in with the cooking onions, mushrooms and carrots. The jackfruit is already broken up but you can break it up more if you want smaller pieces.
- Sauté until the jackfruit is heated (it comes pre-cooked).
- Add in spinach and cook until wilted.
- Heat up both sides of a tortilla in an un-oiled frying pan over low heat.
- Fill the tortilla with the jackfruit sauté and top with the cabbage slaw.
WANT HELP GETTING STARTED?
Download a vegan grocery list for beginners.