Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, native to South Asia and is a popular food in tropical regions around the world. Often sold in the U.S. in cans at Asian markeets, it is becoming a popular substitution for meats. My pulled pork (with gluten-free chipotle sauce) came from the first vegan butcher in the U.S., Minneapolis’ own Herbivorous Butcher. If you haven’t been and you are in the area, GO! If you aren’t in the area, COME VISIT! If neither of those is possible, you could substitute with real pork (if you eat pork), this jackfruit recipe, this seitan reipce, this stewed carrots recipe or this eggplant recipe.
OK, so now we know what jackfruit is and have a pulled whatever planned. This recipe works because there aren’t many ingredients, it’s quick to assemble (perfect for a weeknight), has fresh flavor and feels more difficult/fancy than it is.
Seriously, the flavor is popping, thanks to unexpected surprises like giving avocado a saute in coconut oil to enhance the buttery flavor and a crisp texture, and a tangy vinaigrette to balance the smoothness of the pork and avocado. This recipe really involves heating things through and blending the vinaigrette, and then stacking for a flavor explosion.
Pulled Pork Stuffed Avocados
This meal is quick to pull together on a busy night and features bursts of flavor.
If you follow this blog you know I tend to favor savory over sweet, so I have to be careful how and when I use pumpkin.
In an effort to balance savory and sweet while capturing autumn in an entree, I have come up with a recipe for marinated and breaded tofu featuring pumpkin, maple syrup and bourbon based off bourbon maple chicken wings. The sauce is great so while I used it on tofu to make nuggets, I can see it being tasty on chicken, eggplant, portobellos, etc. And while I breaded mine (the inspiration recipe isn’t breaded), you don’t have to, I just love the texture and crunch.
This recipe works because the bourbon gives it a little kick while the maple syrup gives it a sweet gooeyness. The addition of pumpkin adds a little sweetness and fall depth, and rosemary keeps it more earthy. The longer you marinate, the deeper the marinade will sink into the tofu. I had mine with fried green tomatoes from my garden and a sweet-tart apple from my CSA for a great balance of flavors.
See the recipe below or view past pumpkin-flavored recipes I’ve made:
In an effort to solve my most burning question every summer — “How do I use all my squash and zucchini?” — I decided to go the squash-as-pasta route, using it in place of the crust for pizza. A bonus was this was a tasty, light treat using produce from my farm and garden in a non-too heavy meal on a humid summer day.
My first experience with Minneapolis’ vegan butcher resulted in tasty Hawaiian ribs and pepperoni.
As luck would have it, I stopped at a Herbivorous Butcher pop-up shop last week and snagged some pepperoni, so I knew the results would be tasty. (Side note: Herbivorous Butcher is a Minneapolis-based vegan butcher making small-batch handcrafted food from scratch.)
Sweating the zucchini
I wanted the pizza crust to be as bread-like and sturdy as possible, and cook as well as could be expected, so I sliced the zucchini evenly into 1/4 inch slices on my mandoline and salted them for about 30 minutes. Patting them dry, I dipped each slice in the milk-eggwash and dredges them in breadcrumbs. They then went on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and baked at 400° for about 15 minutes, until browned and crisp.
Pizza assembly line
Next the zucchini crusts got a light amount of marinara (no need to make them soggy an hour into the production) and cheese, then thinly sliced toppings. In this case the toppings were mushrooms, green onions, the pepperoni and rosemary, again lightly topped to not make the pizza too heavy. From here the pizza was put back into the still-warm oven to broil for 10 minutes. Once the cheese was bubbling and the toppings cooked, it was ready.
With the breaded zucchini as the crust, it was difficult to tell it wasn’t bread, it just wasn’t dense like crust. And more importantly, it was hard to tell it was zucchini (one of my less favorite summer vegetables).
With a little planning and not much hands-on time, this was a really tasty light summer dinner I will be making again.
Pizzas using breaded and baked zucchini as the crust.
Slice zucchini as evenly as possible and as thinly as desired.
Salt zucchini 30 minutes. Pat dry.
Whisk together egg and milk in one bowl, pour the breadcrumbs into another. Dip each slice of zucchini in the egg wash and coat with breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and cook at 400° for 15 minutes or until browned and crisp.
Remove from oven and top with marinara, cheese and toppings. Place in warm oven and broil 10 minutes.