My vegan donuts

I’ve been all forlorn because there are now two places in my city that have vegan donut options, but I am essentially too broke to buy them. Everyone I know that’s vegan seems to be posting them on social media, and it made me want donuts SO BAD.

So, I made up my mind to make some of my own.

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I used this recipe for the donuts but substituted the shortening for coconut oil (using 1 1/2 tbsp).

I fried them up, choosing to make them without holes because I thought I might add a filling inside. I used Chloe Coscarelli’s recipe for chocolate ganache as a topping.

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On half of them, I applied some vegan sprinkles from Sweetapolita’s shop.

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On the other half, I used Chloe’s filling frosting in the recipe above (made with half coconut oil and half veggie shortening I’m trying to use up), and separated it into three bowls, colored it with my natural food colorings (red, yellow, green), and then got super frustrated trying to use this icing bag contraption I bought that’s supposed to make it easier to pipe out multiple colors at the same time. I don’t think it was that easy, but it did come out very nice.

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I think next time it’d be better if I fill the insides with the frosting and don’t color it. It got really melty on top because it’s summer and I ended up refrigerating them.

BUT THEY ARE SO GOOD! They helped me wake up early this morning because I knew they were waiting for me, and I was able to get a ton of humane education work done because I was up so unusually early. 🙂

 

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Gluten Free and Vegan Elvis Panini Sandwich!

I have been trying to eat more healthfully lately. In fact, ever since I went gluten free I have found it hard to make up the ridiculously delicious recipes I was used to creating in the past. But today I dreamed up an idea for an amazing unhealthy sandwich that at first I was skeptical of being able to pull off to meet my needs. As I continued to think about it, I devised the methods that could make it healthier, and is the perfect combination of delicious, ridiculous, healthfulness, and satiety level!

This sandwich is a peanut butter and nanner sandwich, with baked vegan rice paper bacun, made with light tapioca gluten free bread, grilled in a panini maker. This definitely is not a very original idea, I’ve seen many a vegan version of this sandwich on blogs and in cookbooks, but this is my version!

It came out so well, that my panini maker has been given a new life outside of sitting in my basement!

Let me walk you through the steps, in picture form. It’s easy!

Bake the rice paper bacun. I did this recipe’s marinade, minus the ground coconut, soaked the rice paper strips in cold water, then in the marinade, and put them on a cookie sheet sprayed with coconut oil. Then I baked them in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, checking and flipping every 5 minutes (some got done sooner than others, when that happened I took the ones that were done out and put it on a plate while the rest continued to cook)IMG_9197

Set aside.

Take two pieces of Ener-g gluten free light tapioca loaf bread and spray coconut oil on one side of both slices of bread. Put the coconut oil side down on a plate.

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Take out the peanut butter. This is a locally made, all natural, salt and sugar free peanut butter. It’s so good!

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Place one tablespoon of peanut butter on each slice of bread.

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Cut half a banana into slices. Place on one slice.

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Layer the rice paper bacun you made earlier on top of the bananas. Put the peanut butter slice down on top of the bacon to make the sandwich.

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Place the sandwich into a pre-heated panini grill on medium high for about 5 minutes, more or less depending on your device (check on it).

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Ready to go!

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Enjoy!

Happy Holidays! (xmas recap)

I’m in the mood to do a show and tell kind of post, with pictures and descriptions of my Christmas…so here it goes:

*Note: I decided to eat gluten this holiday…I need to go back to eating gluten free because I don’t feel great again, but I wanted to see how I felt with it. I’m glad I don’t have celiacs, but I’m definitely pretty sensitive. I’ve missed some of this food so much though.

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My brother illustrated a portrait of two of my cats for my dad’s business. It’s really cute. Cats seemed to be the theme of our Christmas this year.

In fact, I made a bunch of cat sugar cookies.

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Unfortunately, I am a little weak with my decoration skills.

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For Christmas Eve we made my Pizza Strips and this caesar salad.

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My orange cat, Sammy, woke me up very early on Christmas morning so I went downstairs to make some cinnamon buns with coffee icing for everyone.

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Yum! They were a hit with everyone. I actually bought pre-made vegan cinnamon buns and just made the icing myself, because it would have been difficult to make them from scratch in the morning and have them ready on time.

Later, we had Chef Chloe Coscarelli’s Pistachio Guacamole from her Italian cookbook for an appetizer:

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For my dinner I made Sporkfood’s frosted tempeh beet loaf. My mom made Chloe Coscarelli’s creamed spinach for me and twice baked potatoes.

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For dessert we made Chloe Coscarelli’s lava cakes with raspberry sauce, So Delicious coco whip and ice cream.

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And I got quite a few culinary presents in the form of new cookbooks!

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It was quite a delicious event! I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas all had a great holiday!

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Vegan MoFo Day #17, Post #13: Make (or eat) a traditional local dish: RI clam cakes veganized!

Apparently vegan seafood is my specialty. And why wouldn’t it be living in New England? I’ve made vegan shrimp bao, lobstah salad, vegan scallops wrapped in tempeh bacon (that was actually featured on the Bake and Destroy Blog for Superbowl recipes), papaya lox, and probably more that I am forgetting! I’ve fantasized about making a vegan New England Beach food truck more than once…

Today I decided to veganize a Rhode Island (my home state) favorite seafood snack, the clam cake. According to Wikipedia, “Clam cakes, which can also be called clam fritters, are a New England food, most commonly found in Rhode Island.” I didn’t really eat these before going vegan, but from what I know, these are not a “cake” in the way you’d think of a crab cake or whatever (which can also be veganized–check out this recipe I love). They are more like a fritter or even a weird type of fried donut.

I made these with dried reconstituted shiitake mushrooms in place of the clams. They were pretty darn good!

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I served them with some vegan Tartar sauce (relish and Just Mayo), and my favorite new thing: Broccoli Fries, They’re french fries with broccoli in them. I threw out the bag and the trash went out so I can’t tell you the name of the brand that makes them currently…I’ll try to remember to share this some other time.

Here is the recipe!

Vegan/Gluten Free New England “Clam” (Shiitake) Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz package dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp kelp granules
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • Cold Veggie Broth and boiling water mixed together, enough to soak the dried mushrooms in
  • 1 cup yellow corn flour (not cornmeal!)
  • 1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds with 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

  1. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms by placing in a medium sized bowl. Pour the water and broth over them. Stir in the kelp granules and Old Bay. Let sit for thirty minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Prepare the chia seeds and water mix, whisking several times, and let it sit until the mushrooms are done.
  4. When the mushrooms are moist after 30 minutes, drain in a strainer. Don’t rinse them off or anything, you want the seasonings to remain (I almost did that out of habit).
  5. Cut each mushroom into thin strip. You probably want to cut those in half as well, but that’s up to you.
  6. Add the chia water mixture, lemon juice, and light coconut milk to the dry ingredients.
  7. Pour about an inch of peanut oil into a frying pan/skillet with tall sides. Begin to heat the oil on high.
  8. Fold in the chopped shiitakes to the batter mix.
  9. The oil is hot enough when a drop of the batter immediately sizzles when placed in the oil.
  10. Set aside a plate or platter lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil and cool the cakes when done.
  11. Before frying the batter, turn the heat to medium, you will need to adjust this occasionally as you continue to fry them.
  12. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the oil.You will most likely need to cook them in two batches. Don’t get tempted to overcrowd the pan.
  13. Flip them over when the side facing the bottom of the pan is golden brown. They are ready when they are golden brown on both sides.
  14. Take each cake out with a slotted spoon so that you don’t get hot oil all over the place. Gently transfer to the plate with the paper towel, and allow to cool before serving.

Here are some more pictures of the process:

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After the Shiitake are reconstituted and drained

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The batter minus the shiitake

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The shiitake all chopped up

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Some finished cakes.

I haven’t gotten a chance really to look at many other people’s MoFos because of my workload lately 😦 But I hope to be looking a bit more this weekend *fingers crossed* If you’ve been participating with your blog, and you want me to check it out, be sure to comment on this post (and/or tomorrow’s) so I remember to look!

Also, don’t forget to “Like” me on Facebook if you haven’t already! Or follow me on Twitter. And Instagram.

Vegan MoFo Day #16 Post #12: Favorite Late Summer Food

Hello there,

I had a lot of fun with yesterday’s prompt although it took a long time to do.

Today is a pretty quick and easy post. What is my favorite late summer food? Corn on the cob!

Where I live, we are less than a mile from a local farm (called Four Town farms) that grows tons of corn. It’s the sweetest during the end of the season.

I had some last night and it was so good. I like to lather it with Olivio’s coconut spread (which I put in the picture so you can look out for it) and sprinkle some salt on top. Check out my old-school Mickey and Minnie corn holders too!

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Maybe today if I can get my homework done, run, and prep for tomorrow’s MoFo post early I can find some time to check out your MoFo posts about your favorite late summer foods, as well!

Vegan MoFo Day 15, Post #11: Obama hypothetically coming to a vegan dinner cooked by me

I saw this prompt (OMG, Barack Obama is coming over because he knows you make awesome vegan food! What are you going to make?) and was really upset that I couldn’t think of anything I make that I truly feel is worthy of serving a president.

I have made things that are really impressively tasty by my standards, like for example, this moussaka. I just have trouble thinking of things to pair it with that I would also make. It’s an extremely agonizing decision.

However, I started to think, and I remembered that when Obama came to Rhode Island, he apparently got advised by people to go to a really gross restaurant in RI that’s pretty famous here, called Gregg’s. When I could eat there, the few times we went there I was really disappointed by my meals. The only thing I really liked from there were their cakes. Here is an example picture of one of their cakes, the death by chocolate cake, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Since I didn’t have enough time to try and create vegan recipes inspired by Gregg’s menu, I looked at the menu, which is huge, and tried to find a few recipes or ideas for veganizing some of the items. This can give you an idea of what Obama may have actually eaten when he went there, but vegan…of course.

I’m going to start with the desserts, since I’m pretty sure some people only go to the restaurant for that thing. After doing some research on their website, it is 6 layers worth of cake, and covered in mini chocolate chips (good luck with placing the mini chocolate chips all over a cake that size! probably better to randomly decorate it with some bigger sized vegan chocolate chips). So, here’s a recipe that looks good for this (and probably won’t put you into a dessert-induced coma after eating a slice). Vegan Death By Chocolate Cake. I haven’t actually made this one yet, and won’t be because it’s not gluten free, but let me know if you try it and it’s good.

Now, I’m going to try and find at least one recipe from almost all the rest of the categories of the menu (except for drinks, breakfasts, Monday and Tuesday special, daily features, seasonal selections, healthy choices, kids, and platters to go–yes, this menu is huge, I’m taking on a lot work for this and the day to post this is almost over, woops!)

Soups and Chowders:

French onion soup is on the menu. I actually almost forgot I made an amazing french onion soup last year for MoFo. Here it is! 

I feel the need to also include a chowder. This is the one I’d choose to make, though I haven’t tried it personally.

Appetizers:

Rhode Island actually has an official state appetizer. Sadly, it is fried calamari. Yes, it’s on Gregg’s menu. Usually this is done here in an Italian kind of style, tossed with a buttery, lemony, garlic sauce with banana peppers or sliced peperoncino. To make this, I’d actually recommend you buy Sophie’s Kitchen breaded vegan calamari, cook it according to directions, and then melt some earth balance and combine that with at least 2 cloves of minced garlic, pour on top and mix together, then fold in the peppers and dip in marinara sauce. It’ll be a pretty accurate RI vegan rendition of this dish, I believe. I’m not sure if the Sophie’s Kitchen vegan calamari is gluten free, so I probably won’t be trying this and perfecting it myself. Let me know if you try it and how it goes. I did have the vegan calamari awhile ago, but didn’t do much with it. I feel that product needs something fancier done to it, so this should be perfect!

There is also Spinach and Cheese dip on the appetizer menu. I highly recommend this vegweb recipe if that’s what you want. I recommend shredding the Follow Your Heart cheese with a grater instead of the way it’s pictured in the recipe, though.

Sensational Salads

Groan…there’s also a  “Calamari Mediterranean” salad here. Basically, based on their description, it is the same recipe as the appetizer I listed above but on a salad with roasted red peppers and sliced black olives. Add some vegan parmesan cheese to make it fancier.

The salads they list are so easy to make vegan that looking up recipes isn’t actually required. I’m running out of time to post this before midnight, so I’ll do one more:

To veganize the Tuscan salad, grill a portobello mushroom, add some roasted red peppers and greek olives, make some vegan feta out of tofu, and place over greens.

Sandwiches with Style

Tuna Melt- I highly recommend this jackfruit version.

Thanksgiving Sandwich. This recipe from Beyond Meat seems pretty authentic. To make it more like we do in RI, I’d also spread some Just Mayo on the bread.

Traditional Club Sandwiches

There’s actually a veggie burger club on the menu (without the bacon, it even says!) Make it better with your favorite brand of vegan bacon or make your own. Their menu says it’s a black bean and corn burger, which many vegan brands have similar versions of, and I bet you can find a recipe to make as well (in the interest of time I’ll leave that up to you).

Since I bet Obama wouldn’t be too impressed with that as a choice, may I suggest veganizing their Buffalo Chicken Club. Fry up some buffalo cauliflower or tofu (my fave recipe can be found here), put on bread with your favorite vegan bacon brand, maybe add some vegan ranch or bleu cheese dressing (this cauliflower recipe has a sauce that to me is pretty close to bleu cheese dressing!)

Gregg’s Favorite Sandwiches

Apparently all their favorite sandwiches are all on Focaccia bread. There are two on the menu that are easily veganized. The Portobello and Eggplant ones. First, find or make some vegan focaccia bread. I have found some good vegan focaccia at wholesale clubs, such as BJ’s in the bakery section believe it or not. Then, slice it into sandwich bread size pieces and either grill a portobello and top it with roasted red peppers, fresh sliced tomatoes, and greens or make a vegan eggplant parmesan and put it in between the bread. I recommend you melt some Follow Your Heart Provolone sliced cheese on top of the eggplant in the latter.

Burgers and “Steaks” Sandwiches

To veganize the Steak Sandwich, I recommend you make this from a fellow MoFo-er.

Dinner Favorites

Maybe Obama would be cool and choose the French Meat Pie, which is amazingly veganized here (it’s even gluten free, so I can still eat it! And one of my favorites of all time).

Pasta

Keeping with the vegan calamari idea (since they have a Crispy Calamari Pasta), do pretty much what you did with the appetizer and salad recipe, but instead of salad, toss everything (including the roasted red peppers in the salad) with thin spaghetti and some olive oil.

Everyday

Chicken Pot Pie is on this menu. I was surprised to see Trisha Yearwood has veganized this and it looks really good.

Voila! There you have a sampling of the menu of the restaurant Obama visited when he was in my small state of Rhode Island and some tips on how to make it all vegan! 

Although, as an after thought, if we are talking classic RI stuff and he specifically came to me for vegan food, I’d make him my RI Vegan Pizza Strips, serve some lemonade or coffee almond milk, a nice salad (we’ve made this one more times than we can count), and my raspberry lime rickey cupcakes I can’t stop linking to and talking about and making.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, friends! I’m done just in the knick of time…and didn’t want to steal anyone else’s photos…knowing me, if Obama actually came to visit me I’d attempt to make a ton of these items to impress him and stress over it so much, haha.

Vegan MoFo Day 5: Post #5: Best Sandwich Ever: Pretzel Bun Po’Boy from The Grange in Providence, RI

Today I’m excited to bring back a feature of my blog that I haven’t done in a long time. That is, to bring back some of my drawings. Since my favorite vegan sandwich happens to be something I can no longer eat due to being gluten free (well, who am I kidding, I don’t really eat sandwiches anymore, which makes me sad!) I couldn’t just snap a fresh picture of it. Adding to problem, is that this sandwich is from a local vegetarian/vegan restaurant in my state. So, I wasn’t going to go there, and buy something I can’t even eat just to get a good picture of it. No, that’d be pure torture.

So instead, I drew a picture in homage of this sandwich. It’s from a restaurant called The Grange. If you’re ever visiting Providence, I recommend you go to it. And get in touch with me, I’ll happily meet up with you and we can talk about vegan (and also vegan gluten free, if you’re into that!?) food the whole time. They have really great brunches. Just sayin’.

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The picture I drew basically describes it perfectly, although it is hard to describe the oyster mushrooms to do them any justice. The salty and smooth pretzel baguette along with the veganaise (which I guess, according to the menu is actually “remoulade”, house made pickles (or at least I assume they are, they’re good, and taste almost homemade), and mushrooms makes the perfect combination for a sandwich. I seriously would do almost anything to make myself be able to eat gluten again so I could have one more of these. Alas… 😦 I will need to find a new favorite dish that is also gluten free at this awesome restaurant.

Thanks for reading!

My zine is finally done!

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You can buy it here on Etsy (but if you live in RI email me first at pleasinvegan@yahoo.com before doing so, because we may be able to arrange a pickup or something so you don’t have to pay/wait for shipping)!

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I was selling these for donations for Girls Rock RI at Ladies Rock Camp this weekend. Maybe you’ve seen my posts about it in the past, here, here, and here. You can also see this video of me during the camp, where I gave a speech about being food coordinator and some other fun stuff. I love this organization!

Here are some cool pics of it there!

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Also, this is so cool! It’s the shout out wall at camp…IMG_3616_2

Vegan Mofo 2014: Too Good Baked Good Tuesday: Raspberry Lime Rickey Cupcakes!

Hello,

Today is the day I bring you the recipe that some of my friends from RIVA (Rhode Island Vegan Awareness) have been patiently waiting for almost a month since the vegan Summer picnic in which I originally brought them to. raspberrylimecupcakes

These have, in my opinion, the best tasting frosting ever! My mom who apparently finished all the leftovers of the frosting last night when I made them again yesterday from my class would agree.

Raspberry Lime Rickey Cupcake Recipe:

Makes 14 Jumbo cupcakes (use jumbo liners and fill them 2/3-3/4 full….)

or 24 regular size cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted not solid
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups unflavored (plain) almond milk
  • 2 limes worth of zest
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ~1/4 cup raspberries, preferably somewhat mushy when you use them

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1/2 cup earth balance
  • 1/2 cup organic non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup raspberry lime rickey syrup (link here)

Directions for cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place jumbo liners (if using) into a muffin pan…it says you can place them onto a cookie sheet but I’m doubtful. Maybe try that if you have enough batter to make a few more cupcakes though. I just put 2 extra liners into a muffin pan that has 6 slots.
  3. Mix the melted coconut oil and sugar together in a stand mixer. Make sure you’ve already grated the lime zest and juiced the limes for the next step because the coconut will solidify more if you stop to do that after this step.
  4. Add the almond milk, lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla and mix on a low setting until combined.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until a batter forms. You will want to scrape down the sides of the bowl really good with a spatula, and then mix a bit more.
  6. Fold in the raspberries and mix until the raspberries combine and are no longer whole.
  7. Place about 1/3 cup into each jumbo cupcake liner, or until 2/3-3/4 of the way full. For regular size cupcakes, you will have about 2 1/4 tbsp to put in each cupcake liner.
  8. Bake for about 23-25 minutes for the jumbo cupcakes, mine were good at 24. If using regular sized cupcake liners, bake for about 20 minutes.
  9. They will be an interesting green color when done, which I thought was cool and I hadn’t actually anticipated that effect!

Directions for the frosting (beware, this frosting is seriously one of the most amazing things I’ve invented, I believe…)

  1. Cream together the Earth Balance and shortening in the mixer.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, mix until large clumps form.
  3. Add the raspberry lime syrup and mix until fluffy.
  4. It becomes the most beautiful light pink color! And its flavor is totally amazing!!
  5. Frost the cupcakes after they have completely cooled, and add garnishes like a lime wedge or a raspberry on top!

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Vegan Mofo 2014: Day 15: Meaty Meatless Monday: Jackfruit Tutorial

Hey all!

Today for Meaty Meatless Monday I want to do a bit of a tutorial/guide to cooking with Jackfruit rather than sharing a specific recipe (although I will definitely share some of my favorite recipes for it).

For those of you that don’t know, Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is popular in regions of Asia, that happens to be, when in the right form, a fantastic faux meat substitute for vegans in terms of it’s texture. It can be used in vegan pulled pork type recipes, bbq, as a crab or tuna substitute, even in a recipe for Philly Cheese Steak, to name a few! It is rich in iron as a half cup has 25% iron, but otherwise has fairly neutral nutritional value. It is similar to tofu in that it can take on whatever flavors you cook it with, with a bit more of tangy, even sweetly sour taste.

I jumped on the jackfruit wagon as soon as I could find a way to get some, and at first that meant purchasing it from Vegan Essentials’ online store. You can find a link to the actual jackfruit here. However, since every vegan I knew in my small state had said they couldn’t find it locally, I at first did not question them, and assumed the Asian Markets had been checked thoroughly since people had said they had looked there. Well, one day I decided to question that and see for myself. And low and behold, The Chinese American Mini Market in Cranston, RI had a big shelf of them, and they were less expensive than Vegan Essentials at $1.35 a can, as well as no shipping costs were needed. Hurray!

Another mistake I see people making is that there are two different types (maybe more, I don’t know) of Jackfruit. One is a sweeter, more fruit-like kind. It typically (if referring to Chaokoh brand which is the most commonly found canned brand) comes in a yellow container, like so:

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This can still be used for other types of recipes, but won’t work if you want to make a shredded meat-like recipe. Notice that the can also says it is in syrup.

Instead, you want to buy young green jackfruit in brine (or water if you find other brands).  I am assuming based on the differences between the two, that this form is not as developed as the other, maybe even not quite ripe yet. Here is a picture of what you are looking for:

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To make it easier to remember though, I made some handy graphics to keep in mind when looking for the meaty type of jackfruit:

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When preparing the jackfruit, you typically want to drain and rinse it before using. The easiest and best way I have found to shred it is to pulse it a few times in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, then it’s a good idea to simply follow the instructions the recipe usually includes that asks you to shred it with a fork, either before or after it is cooked.

Now, on to the recipes!

In books, my favorite recipes using jackfruit are from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. She has a recipe for yummy bbq’d jackfruit in the crockpot (which I believe is called Cannibal Corpse Crock Pot) that she also uses on top of a yummy kale salad. She also has a recipe for a sweet potato and walnut jackfruit hash (which she calls “You Don’t Know Jack Hash”) which I absolutely loved. Check her and her book out!

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The jackfruit salad from Bake and Destroy

The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life by Melisser Elliott also has a really great vegan carnitas taco recipe in it.

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The jackfruit carnitas tacos

As far as websites go, here are my favorite, tried and true jackfruit recipes:

The V-Word (a fellow Mofo-er) has a mind blowing recipe for Vegan Philly Cheesesteak.

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Vegan Philly Jackfruit Cheesesteak!

Finally, one of my absolute favorite non-tuna salad sandwich recipes can be found here. It is amazing, and unfortunately gets gobbled up so fast every time I make it that I don’t have any pictures. It was a big hit by itself (without the melt part) at Girls Rock this past Summer amongst the volunteers!

And how could I forget? My very own Jackfruit Chick’un Noodle Soup!

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So, in conclusion, do not be afraid to try jackfruit. It’s really fun to use and delicious, and there are many recipes you can find. I hope this settles some of the confusion you might have had if you are a jackfruit newbie looking to find it and don’t know much about it, as well.

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