Pulled “Pork” (BBQ Jackfruit) Tacos with Brussels Sprout Slaw (Gluten Free & Vegan)

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Have you ever heard of Jackfruit? Well, neither had I until a few weeks ago. I like to peruse the Natural Foods section of Wegmans and see if they have any new products, or try products that I’ve never had before. In the faux meat section (my favorite!), there were several new products by The Jackfruit Company. This company was started by a woman named Annie who tried Jackfruit on her first trip to India in 2011. There, she saw huge potential for this gigantic fruit. She then created Global Village Fruit; a social enterprise that helps local farmers use this healthy, natural meat alternative in their local market. I love this idea. If you’d like to learn more about Annie’s mission and the products that this company offers, click here!

So after I learned a little bit about The Jackfruit Company, I wanted to learn more about this fruit. It’s INCREDIBLE. Here’s the Wiki page on the jackfruit. It’s the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, and can weight up to 80 lbs! Not only is this fruit mild in taste, has a sturdy texture, and takes on whatever flavor you cook it with; it is extremely nutritious. About 1/2 cup of Jackfruit has 90 calories, & is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, providing about 13.7¬†mg. The fruit is also rich in vitamin B6, potassium, and calcium. Needless to say, I think that this a HUGE up and coming vegetarian/vegan/gluten free eater phenomenon, & I am very excited for it!

Yield: 6 tacos

-1 package of BBQ Jackfruit made by the Jackfruit Company (I found this at Wegmans in the natural foods section)

-6 corn tortillas (These are my favorite gluten free corn tortillas. They stay together the best and I have found that they are the more moist than other brands).

For the Brussels Sprout Slaw

-1 cup shredded Brussels Sprouts

-1 tablespoon minced onion

-2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

-1 tsp celery seed

-1/2 tsp cumin

-1 tsp salt

-1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a medium skillet, add the oil. Add the shredded Brussels Sprouts and onions and cook until tender–about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and pour into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and stir well so that all of the ingredients are mixed.

For the Spicy Vegan Mayo

-1/2 cup Vegenaise Original Mayo (Again, I found this in the natural foods section of Wegmans. I also find it at any health food store or food co-op).

-1 tablespoon water

-1 tsp cumin

-1 tsp chili powder

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

Mix together all of the ingredients; easy at that!

Assembly

Heat the BBQ Jackfruit either in a skillet or in the microwave. While it’s heating up, wrap your corn tortillas in plastic wrap and stick them in the microwave for just 10 seconds. This will make them pliable and soft!

Put an equal amount of the jackfruit mixture in each taco shell, topped with a few tablespoons of the brussels sprouts slaw, and then a drizzle of the spicy mayo. Simple as that, and enjoy!! xx

Gluten Free Pizza Crust Recipes; Cauliflower Addition

IMG_7649IMG_7651IMG_7645I have started to play around with some gluten free pizza crust recipes. I adapted this cauliflower crust from a recipe I found online. I like a lot of flavors in what I make, so I added some ingredients to the crust so that it has a great taste in and of itself. The crust took longer to cook than I expected, and it was hard to get it really crispy. BUT the flavor is all there, and I think the texture is pretty good too. I really loved this GF crust recipe & and will be making up some others as I toy around with different ideas of what to make it with. I hope you try this recipe out & give me some feedback. ūüôā xx

Yield: 2 crusts

-1 large head of cauliflower

-2 eggs

-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-1/2 cup parmesan cheese

-1 tsp salt

-2 tsps pepper

-2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

-1 tsp oregano

-Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the bottom off of the cauliflower with all of the green leaves and hard stems. Break the cauliflower into small florets. Place all of the florets into a large pot with about 1 and 1/2 inches of water in it. Cover with a lid. On medium heat, cook the cauliflower until it is fork tender and begins to fall apart–about 15 minutes. Strain the cauliflower in a large colander to remove the excess water, and let the cauliflower sit in there for about 20 minutes until it is as dry as possible.

Pour the cooked cauliflower into a large mixing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and then add them to the cauliflower, along with the remaining ingredients. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.

Place parchment paper on two cookie trays. Put the cauliflower mixture on the trays and spread it out using your hands. Make sure you use the same amount of mixture for each crust so that they cook uniformly.

Place into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until it has browned. I removed the parchment paper mid-way through because I felt it was not getting crispy enough.

You can use whatever toppings you choose; I used whatever I had at my house which was cherry tomatoes, fresh arugula, basil from my garden, and baby bella mushrooms. I used just jarred tomato sauce as the base. Use whatever toppings and ingredients you have, and this meal comes together in about an hour and is DELICIOUS & healthy!

Potato and Corn Salad with Avocado & Sriracha Dressing

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Okay so, I will say right off the bat that this is NOT the most attractive looking side dish (unless your favorite color is puke green, which is TOTALLY okay :)). But it is very delicious, healthy, and vegan/gluten free (if you care about that). The avocado is creamy, imitating the typical texture we have in a mayonnaise-based potato salad. The corn is nice and sweet, & the sriracha adds a spicy kick. So despite the interesting color, I hope you’ll give it a taste!

Serves: 4

-5 medium sized red potatoes, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces

-1 and 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed

-2 ripe avocados

-1/3 cup vegetable oil

-1 tablespoon sugar

-1 to 2 tablespoons taco or enchilada seasoning, depending on your preference

-1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha, depending on your preference as well

-Juice of 1/2 a lime

-Salt to taste

In a medium pot, add the cubed potatoes and cover them with water. Cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat, or until potatoes are tender when you put a fork in them. Put them into a large mixing bowl and add the thawed corn.

In a small mixing bowl, add the ripe avocados. Mash them well until it becomes the consistency of a thick greek yogurt, then add the vegetable oil, sugar, taco seasoning, sriracha, and lime. Whisk the dressing together and pour it on top of the still-hot potato & corn mixture. Stir well and taste for seasoning.

Spring Spaghetti Squash Salad

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Serves: 4

-1 medium spaghetti squash

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

-1 red bell pepper, diced

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

-1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped finely

-Salt & pepper to taste

Using a large, sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise. Make sure you are doing this on a non-slippery surface. It can get kind of tricky! Remove the seeds from the inside of the squash using a metal spoon.  Place the two halves onto a large, microwave-safe plate, and cover them with moist paper towels. Place into the microwave for ~20 minutes, or until the spaghetti squash is tender but not mushy. Set aside and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

While the spaghetti squash is in the microwave, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the red pepper and asparagus and cook until tender; about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, then remove from the heat. When the spaghetti squash has cooled a little, spoon out the squash into the skillet with the other vegetables and stir it around so that the vegetables are evenly distributed. Add the parmesan cheese, the fresh dill, and any salt & pepper if you’d like. I then like to serve the salad in the spaghetti squash skin itself for presentation, but do whatever you’d prefer!

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries & Slivered Almonds (Foo Foo Salad)

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Thanks to my friend Courtney, this salad has a fun nickname! I made it for the first time when I had her over for dinner early this Spring. I had never tried it before but it turned out to be a hit. She has made it for kids she babysits for; and even the kids loved it! This salad can be served either warm or at room temperature. It is full of sweet and salty flavor, but still maintains its healthy integrity. Enjoy!

Serves: 4

-1 bag shredded Brussels Sprouts (around 3.5 cups worth)

-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

-1/2 cup dried cranberries

-1/2 cup honey roasted slivered almonds

-2 teaspoons salt

-1 teaspoon pepper

Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. It should take about 30 seconds to heat up effectively, and then add in the shredded Brussels sprouts. Cook the vegetable for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Stir every minute. Add in the salt, pepper, cranberries, and honey roasted slivered almonds. Stir well so that the ingredients are evenly distributed, and taste for salt & pepper. Adjust as needed.

Pineapple Salsa

IMG_7239This recipe is super simple & delicious. Just mix all of the ingredients together, taste for salt & pepper, and then let sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge before serving. This will give it enough time for the flavors to marry. If you like your salsas a little spicier, you can add minced jalapeno to it (I would say about 1/2 tsp worth for this quantity). I love how this salsa is nice and sweet and has a great texture from the pineapple. Enjoy!

Serves: 4

-1 fresh pineapple (small), cut into small pieces

-1 medium roma tomato, diced

-2 tablespoons minced onion

-2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

-1 teaspoon salt

-pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)