Tag Archives: lunch/dinner

Jacked-up Jackfruit

10 Jun

I have eaten jackfruit a few times and have long been curious to cook with it at home. Over a year ago, Mr. X and I tried some barbecue jackfruit tacos from the Seabirds truck, which we absolutely loved. When Elise posted about barbecue jackfruit recently and I already had a trip to the Thai market planned for our Sri Lanka meal, I knew the timing was meant to be.

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I decided to go a step further and add fried avocado wedges, too, based on another Seabirds taco. The combination was wonderful! Here’s how it all goes down.

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos with Fried Avocado

  • 1-2 cups barbecue sauce (I made a batch of my usual recipe
  • 1 can green/young jackfruit in water/brine, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups black beans
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 avocados, sliced into 16 wedges total
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Splash of milk (any works)
  • 1/6 cup cornmeal
  • 1/6 cup wheat flour (any)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying (about 4 tablespoons)
  • Combine jackfruit with 1 cup of barbecue sauce either in a slow cooker or a pot on the stove. If using a slow cooker, set to low for 6 hours or high for 3. In a pot, bring to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. The goal is to get the jackfruit really tender. Once it reqches desired consistency, use two forks to shred the pieces until it resembles pulled pork. At this point, add black beans and more sauce to your desired level of sauciness. Let cook for another 20 minutes or so, until beans are hot.

    Toast or heat your tortillas using your preferred method. We put ours directly on a medium flame on the gas stove until they get some black marks, maybe 20 seconds per side. Set aside.

    Beat your eggs with milk in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip your avocado into the flour mix, then the egg, and then the flour again. Place on a plate until all pieces are coated. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add just a few slices at a time and brown on all sides. It takes about a minute per side, depending on how hot your stove gets. Don’t be afraid to let it get truly brown (but not black). Set fried pieces on a paper towel. Top each taco with a slice or two of avocado.

    Serves 4.

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    We are eating these again tonight, so I will make a fresh batch of avocado tonight. Jackfruit has almost no flavor and barely any calories, so it relies on a delicious sauce. I added the beans for staying power, and they are a great addition. I suspect we may have a little filling left over, and I already have plans for topping some baked potatoes with it for lunch!

    Have you ever eaten or cooked with jackfruit? I plan to keep it in the rotation.

    Return to meal planning

    9 Jun

    I stopped meal planning for a while because nothing sounded appetizing, and I was too tired most nights to cook. I’m back in the saddle this week, though! Here’s our menu:

    Sunday:

  • Breakfast 1 — French toast
  • Breakfast 2 — Omelets and hash browns
  • Dinner — Barbecue jackfruit tacos
  • Monday:

  • Breakfast — Smoothie (repeated every weekday)
  • Lunch — Minestrone, fruit and nuts (repeated through Wednesday)
  • Dinner — Barbecue leftovers
  • Tuesday:

  • Dinner — Chana saag and rice (repeat Wednesday)
  • Thursday/Friday:

  • Lunch — Baked potato with black beans, fruit and nuts
  • Dinner — Soyrizo stew with chips and salsa
  • Saturday:

  • Breakfast — Pancakes and eggs
  • Lunch — Out
  • Dinner — Leftovers/use up veggies and pantry staples
  • That’s the plan! Three of the meals are slow cooker recipes from The Vegan Slow Cooker book that I just got. I’m excited to see how they turn out. I promise to report back!

    What’s on your menu this week?

    News and Global Food

    7 Jun

    Cooking has not been my friend lately, which is a big part of my recent radio silence. The reason for my kitchen absence:

    We’re expecting a baby!

    We are thrilled, as you can imagine, but pregnancy has certainly not been without it’s less-than-fun moments. Still, I think I’ve had it easier than most, so I can’t really complain. And even if I wanted to, this blog would not be the place to do it.

    Now that I’m beginning my second trimester (!!!), I am starting to feel normal-ish in the eating department, so I have an entire home-cooked meal to share.

    I know I’ve mentioned one of my favorite blogs, the Global Table Adventure, a few times on here. Sasha is now working through the letter T, if you can believe it! Anyway, I read her review of Sri Lanka recently and knew I had to recreate it in its entirety. Here’s Mr. X’s plate:

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    We actually cooked the rice in the rice cooker, and it turned out perfectly. It was my favorite part of the meal! I’m not usually big on the flavor of turmeric, but it wasn’t overwhelming here. It served as more of a back note to the vanilla-y pandan leaves, the delicate-but-exotic spice of the curry leaves, and the familiar creaminess of the coconut milk. We added a few peppercorns, but I didn’t notice them too much. The rice is just perfectly fluffy and flavorful. It’s going into our regular rotation, for sure.

    The white dal was surprisingly subtle but also tasty. Next time I would add some hot peppers for depth (and a little kick, of course), but it was a nice, mellow, creamy dish that I think kids would love. The coconut roti had a wonderful flavor and was very simple to make, but I would definitely use the recommended white flour next time. I subbed in white whole wheat because it’s what I keep on hand. The result was a little stiffer than the soft roti I’ve had in restaurants. The shredded coconut was really good in it. I am not a fan typically, but it just melts into the bread. And we have a ton left in the freezer!

    Now that I have — or rather my husband has — discovered the magic that is our local Thai market, I am a convert. My next experiment will be with jackfruit, hopefully this weekend.

    Do you ever shop at ethnic markets? Preparing for this meal was actually my first time, but I will be back. I mean, $.79 for a bottle of turmeric? Yes, please!

    Lunch salads

    11 Apr

    I haven’t kept up with the Eat to Live diet strictly, but I did keep some of the habits since our last encounter in February. My favorite has been big lunch salads. Here are a couple from this week.

    First is Wednesday’s, which I also ate on Tuesday:

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    Mixed greens topped with roasted sweet potato, black beans, and peanut sauce (peanut butter, hot sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and hot water to thin). The salad kept me full through to dinner, which is the most important part, but it was also delicious! Peanut sauce and I have a longtime love affair, and sweet potatoes are my favorite pair for it.

    Here’s today’s salad that I plan to repeat tomorrow, too:

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    Greens with roasted beets and black-eyed peas tossed in pesto vinaigrette (just a tablespoon of my kale pesto thinned with red wine vinegar). It’s only 1:40 now, so only time will tell if it tides me over as well as yesterday’s.

    There are a million posts about building the perfect salad, so I’m not going to do one, too. And anyway, you can tell my method is pretty simple: greens with a good amount of another (often roasted) veggie, beans, and a flavorful dressing. That’s pretty much it. I’m planning more salads for next week (taco salad and another beet dish, though with different flavors). I will share those, too.

    What’s your favorite thing to bring for lunch? Soups and salads are my preference. Both offer lots of veggies and nutrition, but neither make me sleepy. Anything too heavy makes me crave an afternoon nap!

    Kale Pesto Pasta

    10 Apr

    Hi guys. It’s April, which means I disappeared for over a month again. Sorry. If you’ve been reading long, though, you know I do that kind of thing from time to time. There’s not always a good reason. Things just happen. I’m in no way a professional blogger — I’ve never made a dime from Vegging Out, and I’m more than ok with that. In fact, you’ll notice on the top right that I’m totally ad-free now. I want this blog to be a personal space and an opportunity to share some recipes with my handful of wonderful readers.

    So. Onto the good stuff: pasta.

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    This dish was dinner Monday and Tuesday, and it is my new favorite pasta recipe. It combines fresh spring vegetables with whole-wheat pasta and mushrooms (basically our favorite food).

    Kale Pesto Pasta with Seared Mushrooms

    Kale Pesto

  • 1/2 a bunch of kale
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Dried Italian herbs (optional – to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pasta

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or a heavy spritz of spray oil
  • Handful of greens from spring onions, chopped (or shallot would be great)
  • 1 pint mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly (I used cremini, but wild mushrooms would be great)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 16 oz pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated gouda, fontina or mozzarella, or 1/4 to 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino (optional for a vegan dish)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Steam kale using your preferred method. Meanwhile, put garlic and cashews in the food processor and pulse until combined and in very small pieces (though not a fine powder). Add kale leaves and the rest of the pesto ingredients and pulse until it becomes a paste, tasting along the way. Place in the fridge.

    Start the water for the pasta in a large pot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions (or shallot) and cook, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown. Add the mushrooms, stirring well. Let them reduce and release their liquid, and then add a pinch of salt, stirring again. Now step away from the pan and let them sear. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to directions/your preference.

    Check the mushrooms every three to five minutes. If they are sticking, add a little more oil. The goal is to brown them on both sides and draw out most of the moisture. Turn off the heat when they are done.

    When pasta is cooked, drain and them add to a large bowl. Toss with most of the cheese, if using, to distribute it evenly and get nice and melty. Now add half the pesto in small amounts at a time, stirring and tossing to coat. Add more as desired, though you will have some left over. Plate the pasta and top each serving with mushrooms, more cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh black pepper.

    Serves 4-6.

    We enjoyed our alongside an incredibly simple (read: just lettuce, parsley and dressing) salad.

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    The dressing was leftover vegan ranch. That stuff keeps a surprisingly long time and stays tasty.

    I hope the deliciousness of this recipe atones for my absence! Let me know how you all are doing, too. I have been way out of the loop.

    Eat to Live Day 1

    12 Feb

    Here’s how Day 1 of my Eat to Live plan went down.

    Breakfast:
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    A delicious green smoothie with 1 tablespoon ground flax, 2 cups of spinach, 1 banana, 1/3 cup frozen pineapple, 2/3 cup frozen mango, 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 cup soy milk, and a sprinkle of ginger and cinnamon. Alongside is a mug of jasmine green tea with a drop of honey (my one ETL cheat due to allergy prevention). At work, I had one cup of black coffee.

    Lunch:
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    Lunch was a big ol’ salad: ~3 cups of Trader Joe’s “power to the greens” (baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach), 1/3 cup roasted carrots, 2/3 cup roasted cauliflower, 1/4 cup hummus (homemade from chickpeas, white beans, salsa, and cumin), and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Immediately after, I had an unpictured mug of ginget tea.

    Afternoon snack:
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    An itty-bitty Fuji apple topped with 1 tablespoon of homemade cashew butter. This stuff tastes great but has lackluster texture, so I don’t want to share the recipe until I perfect it. It involves molasses, vanilla and cinnamon, however. I later had a mug of green tea.

    Dinner:
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    About 2 cups of chili, 1 cup of steamed (well, broth-sauteed) red chard, six tortilla chips (made from 1 corn tortilla), and 1/4 cup of salsa. I had a mug of peppermint tea in lieu of dessert.

    How I felt: I felt really good until the afternoon. I neglected to eat my mid-morning snack of an orange, and I think that was a bad idea. I also developed a migraine by late afternoon. I’m not sure what the deal is, but it was the fifth one in about 10 days. I hesitate to blame the way I was eating, though I will aim to eat more consistently the rest of the week.

    Seitanic Piccata

    7 Feb

    I recently hot a wild hair and decided I had to make piccata. I’m not sure why — it may have been placed there by this comment on the Hungry Hungry Hippie’s blog. I’ve not really sure I’ve ever had proper in my life, but the combination of tart lemon, salty capers, and some kind of chewy faux meat just sounded irresistible. I attended a cooking demo at Native Foods a few weeks ago that was all about seitan, so I decided to use wheat meat as the base instead of tofu or tempeh. This recipe originally from Candle 79 is all over the web, so I used it as my basis. Here’s  the result, served atop whole wheat spaghetti:

    PiccataOMG IT’S AMAZING AND WONDERFUL AND I WISH I COULD EAT IT EVERY DAY. But seriously.

    So let’s break it down. First you make seitan using your preferred/pretty much any method. I used Native Foods’ recipe, which is here. My only alterations were not using kombu in the broth (since I didn’t have any) and mincing instead of microplaning the garlic (since I don’t have a microplane). I follow Chef Kendall’s note of rolling it into one log/loaf, though I wrap it in foil (agian, because I did not have cheesecloth). It’s a great recipe, and I highly recommend it! Oh, and it makes up really well in a mixer if you have one. I use the paddle for the basic mixing and then the dough hook for kneading. If it appears too wet (and mine did both times I made it), just add a little more vital wheat gluten.

    Once the seitan has simmered and cooled enough to handle — and you can easily make it a day or two in advance — cut it into six cutlets. I did so by cutting the whole log in half  and then cutting each half into three pieces that were similar in size. Now follow the Candle 79 recipe. My only changes:

    • Used less oil, though it was still more than I usually would (maybe three tablespoons total)
    • Subbed an onion for the leeks and shallots
    • Omitted the parsley because I plain forgot about it
    • Used dried thyme (~1/2 teaspoon) instead of fresh
    • Omitted turmeric (I didn’t have any, and I frankly don’t like the taste of it)

    I recommend a nice dry, acidic, and citrusy white wine. I used a sauvignon blanc, and while it was a little lacklustre on its own, it had the right properties. An unoaked chardonnay might work, but a very crisp pinot grigio would be my second choice after the sauv. Make sure it’s a drinkable wine because you’ll have plenty left from the bottle, and it will make a great accompaniment to the piccata. Anyway, the sauce comes together in no time and it seriously tastes like heaven in a saute pan. Plate whatever grain you choose — the noodles were great, but I imagine millet, cous cous, or rice would be awesome — then top with the seitan and then the sauce. Glamour shot:

    More piccataIt is delicious fresh and hot. It is delicious refrigerated, or so Mr. X tells me. It’s delicious reheated in a pan on the stove. It’s just delicious.

    And a note: for us, this was three servings, not six. If you’re eating as part of a larger meal, you might be able to stretch it to more, but it’s so tasty that you won’t want to!