May 2010
Vol. 9 Issue 5

Featured Recipes

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

This is a very unique recipe inspired by a restaurant meal enjoyed by my sister and brother-in-law in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They ordered a Barbecued Pulled Jackfruit sandwich just because it looked interesting, and enjoyed it so much that they went home and immediately looked for recipes online so they could enjoy it at home. There are actually quite a few recipes for barbecued jackfruit online and even more for other savory jackfruit dishes. This is my sister, Carol’s, and my version of Barbecued Pulled Jackfruit.

What is jackfruit? Jackfruit is a large, starchy, fibrous fruit that is sweet when it is ripe and is eaten as a dessert. When it is unripe it is used in savory dishes as a vegetable. It reminds me a lot of the giant fresh breadfruit that was available all over Hawaii when we lived there. You can find it in cans in most Asian markets. For this recipe, be sure to buy the kind packed in water or brine, not the sweetened variety. This recipe should be made in a crockpot because it needs a long time to simmer in order for the jackfruit to take on the barbecued flavor.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 hours
Servings: 8

1 20 ounce can young green jackfruit in brine or water
1 onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup barbecue sauce (approximately)
¼ cup water

Drain the jackfruit and rinse several times with water. Let rest in the strainer to remove as much water as possible while sautéing the onion and garlic.

Sauté the onion and garlic in a non-stick pan until softened slightly, about 5 minutes.

Place the jackfruit in the bottom of a crockpot, (it won’t look like there is much of it, but as it breaks apart there will be plenty for 8 servings), spoon the onions and garlic over the top and add ½ cup of barbecue sauce and the water. Stir gently to mix well, cover and cook on high heat in the crockpot for about 3 hours before stirring. After 3 hours stir gently and add about ¼ cup more barbecue sauce. Cook for an additional hour on high.

Uncover and stir, breaking up the jackfruit as much as possible into strands. Reduce heat to low. Cover and continue to cook for another 3-4 hours, stirring and breaking up the jackfruit until it is all broken into strands. Add the remaining barbecue sauce occasionally, as necessary. The jackfruit will become softer and easier to break apart the longer it cooks. It should be very thick and stringy at the end of the cooking time. Serve on buns, topped with coleslaw (recipes follow), sautéed onions (recipe follows) and Sriracha hot sauce.

Hints: This is a fantastic barbecued sandwich just bursting with flavor. Choose any of your favorite fat-free barbecue sauces in this recipe, the flavor will be slightly different depending on which sauce you choose. The secret is in the long cooking time which gives the sauce plenty of time to meld into the jackfruit. This is a much healthier choice for a barbecued filling than either soy or gluten, with much more flavor.

Note: While I was shopping for the jackfruit I had an opportunity to browse in the large Asian market in Santa Rosa, CA where we live. (By the way, it was much easier to find sweetened jackfruit than the unripe green variety. But, obviously, I found it and it was well worth the effort.) I felt like I had stepped back in time 25 years or so because many of the products that I saw were readily available in all of the markets in Hawaii when we were living there in the 70’s and 80’s. I plan to spend more time shopping there in the near future and revisiting some of our old favorite recipes along the way. I found a familiar bag of peeled mung beans on this visit and the night after our barbecued jackfruit on buns, we enjoyed an old favorite meal of Mung Bean Dal. The recipe is in the March 2008 newsletter: this time I used the Sweet Curry Powder from Penzeys Spices in the dal mixture, and topped it with Sautéed Golden Onions and Sriracha.

The left over Mung Bean Dal makes a delicious filling for “Dillas”-any version of something similar to quesadillas without the cheese.  My version of Yamadillas is in the June 2009 newsletter.  For Mung Bean Dillas proceed as below:

Heat a non-stick griddle or large sauté pan over medium heat.  Take one tortilla and spread some of the dal mixture on a corn or flour tortilla, smoothing it out almost to the edges. Place another tortilla on top of that one and flatten.  Place on the griddle and cook for about 2 ½ minutes on each side, flipping several times to make sure it doesn’t burn. Cut into wedges and serve on a plate with salsa and/or other toppings to dip it in.

Creamy-style Coleslaw
By Carol Van Elderen

This is a creamy mayonnaise-style coleslaw. Make this with fat-free Nayonnaise seasoned with a bit of Dijon mustard, or try it with one of the Tofu Mayonnaise recipes in this newsletter. (See March 2005, August 2007, or December 2007 for some ideas.)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

5 cups shredded green cabbage
1/8 cup minced green onion
1 cup tofu mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
¾ tablespoon celery seed
Dash sea salt to taste

Combine the cabbage and green onion in a large bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the cabbage. Toss gently to mix. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Hint: Fat-free Nayonnaise is made by Nasoya. It is a tofu based product that does not contain any added oil. Most vegan mayonnaises that are sold in many markets are very high fat products because of the oil in them. I like to jazz up my Nayonnaise a bit by stirring in some Dijon-style mustard for extra flavor.

Dilled Coleslaw

I usually have a batch of Creamy Dill Tofu Dip in my refrigerator (see the September 2005 newsletter) because my grandsons love it with broccoli and Brussels sprouts. So this coleslaw is really quick to put together and it is delicious on top of the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

4 cups shredded green cabbage
½ to ¾ cup Creamy Dill Tofu Dip

Place the cabbage in a large bowl and pour the tofu dip over the top. Toss well to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Hints: Buy shredded cabbage in bags to save even more time. For my Creamy Dill Tofu Dip, I use 1 package Creamy Dill Dip by Simply Organics mixed into 3 cups Tofu Sour Cream.

Tofu Sour Cream

2 12.3 ounce packages silken tofu
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to meld, one day is even better.

Quick Coleslaw

1 bag shredded cabbage
1 cup oil-free dressing

Combine in a bowl and serve at once, or cover and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.

Golden Sautéed Onions

We like these on top of burgers, Dal, sandwiches, BBQ Jackfruit and many other foods. These take some time to cook, so don’t be impatient. Store them in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: variable

4 onions, chopped
1 cup water

Place the onions in a large non-stick sauté pan. Do not add any of the water yet. Cook the onions over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the onions will start to stick slightly and begin to take on a golden hue. Add 1/8 cup of the water and continue to stir frequently. The onions will get more golden in color and begin to stick again. Add another 1/8 cup of the water, stirring frequently. Repeat this process every 2-3 minutes and the onions will become very soft and golden brown. Turn off the heat for the final 2 minutes but continue to stir to release the browned bits from the sauté pan. Serve warm or cold.

Hint: These will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Inside-Out Lasagna

This is an easy lasagna-type meal with none of the fuss and all of the flavor! It can easily be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to bake.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

8 ounces uncooked brown rice pasta (see hints below)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 14.5 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups fat-free pasta sauce
1 10 ounce bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Several dollops tofu ricotta (optional) (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place a large pot of water on to boil and cook pasta according to package directions, just until barely tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, dry sauté the onions, garlic and mushrooms in a large skillet until softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes, beans, pasta sauce and spinach. Mix well and heat through, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Stir in several dollops of tofu ricotta, if desired. (See hints below.) Ladle into a large covered casserole dish. Bake covered for 30 minutes.

Hints: I use Tinkyada brand brown rice pasta in this recipe, either the penne or spirals, but I’m sure other varieties would also work well. Try one of the many whole grain pastas available in most supermarkets if you can’t find brown rice pasta. The tofu ricotta is entirely optional, the casserole is delicious either way. I only use it if I happen to have some already made in my refrigerator. It may be stirred in before baking, or left in small dollops on the top of the casserole. To add a bit of heat to this dish, stir in ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes when adding the pasta sauce.

Tofu Ricotta

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Use this instead of soy cheese as a topping for pizza, or in any other recipe that calls for processed soy cheese.

1 12.3 ounce package silken tofu
1 pound fresh water-packed tofu
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup soy milk
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Several twists freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, or mash with a bean masher for a coarser texture.

Hints: Leave out the basil, oregano and garlic for a plain ricotta substitute.

Beans & Greens Salad

Since summer is almost upon us, I always like to remind you that an easy meal in the summer can be a simple salad of greens tossed with a variety of beans and vegetables. This salad can be eaten in a bowl or wrapped up in a corn or flour tortilla for a delicious summer-time wrap meal.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 roasted red peppers, chopped (see hint below)
1 cucumber, sliced (see hint below)
1/3 cup oil-free salad dressing
2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil
8 cups mixed salad greens
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the beans with the peppers, cucumber, dressing and basil. Place the greens in a large bowl and add the vegetable mixture. Toss well to mix. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve at once.

Hints: If you are using bottled roasted peppers, blot with a paper towel before chopping. If fresh tomatoes are in season, substitute 2 fresh, ripe tomatoes for the roasted red peppers. Or add the tomatoes along with the roasted peppers. The cucumber may be seeded before using in this recipe, if desired. Doing so will make the salad a bit less “watery”. When fresh zucchini are in season, use a small fresh zucchini in place of the cucumber. This salad can be different each time you make it by using different beans, dressings and vegetables, but it is always a fast, delicious summer meal!

Spinach, Fennel and Mango Salad
By Cathy Fisher

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings

This salad is very easy to make, with refreshing and unique flavors; a great alternative to your everyday salad. The oil-free dressing is light and tangy.

1 bunch spinach
½ bunch arugula
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 fennel bulb, grated
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 lime, juice from

Thoroughly wash the spinach and arugula, pat or spin dry, and place in a bowl or on a platter. Combine the mango, fennel, cucumber, avocado, scallions, basil, rice vinegar and lime juice. Toss this mixture gently with the spinach and arugula and serve, or place mixture on top of the greens on a platter.

Notes: Baby spinach is very tasty in this dish; it can be bought in bulk in the produce section. Arugula is also often found in bulk in the produce section. You can also substitute with romaine or any other kind of lettuce. If you don’t have both, you can use either fennel OR basil since both have distinctive flavors.
Recipe by Cathy Fisher ©2010

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