Vegan Jackfruit Tacos

Tacos own a big piece of my heart, and Ive never met a taco I didn’t like! I was a bit worried I would be missing out on these guys when we stopped eating meat, but then I discovered a little something called jackfruit, and I just knew it would be the perfect match!

It’s basically cruelty free pulled pork with a whole load of health benefits since it’s packed with potassium, fibre and antioxidants. If your wondering where you can find this delectable “meaty” wonder, I buy mine from faithful to nature online, I’ll include the link below: https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/natures-charm-young-green-jackfruit-confiture

Jackfruit has a great texture, and takes on the taste of whatever you pair it with, so I start by making a barbecue sauce and then adding the jackfruit to the pot to simmer away and soak up all that flavour! What you’ll be left with is like barbecued pulled “meat” , and already very tasty. To take it to the next level, I then pop it into the oven for 20 minutes to get a slight char and to make the texture a less sloppy, which I think suits these tacos better. Don’t let the long list of ingredients in the filling put you off, all you’ll be doing is measuring them out and pouring them into a saucepan! If you don’t have time to make your own barbecue sauce, just sauté the onion and garlic together and add about 3/4 cup of your favourite store-bought brand.

You can really get creative with the garnish, and I never use exactly the same combination twice (our veggie selection can be limiting here in the countryside so I make due with whatever we have) Everybody’s taste varies, so do what works for you! As long as you add something crisp and fresh, something with a bit of tang, and something creamy, your good to go. I have however added my favourite garnish combo for you as a suggestion!

The homemade tortilla recipe isn’t my own, but why mess with something that is absolutely perfect to begin with! Trust me, once you make these, you will never buy store bought tortillas again, they are that delicious! They also happen to be freezer friendly, so if you’ve got the time, I suggest making a whole load so you can just reheat them for future use. I’ve changed the method a bit, as well as cutting down the measurements to accommodate my taco recipe, but I’m including the link to the original tortilla recipe with the step by step photos below (I’ve just summarised it for the blog)

https://thecafesucrefarine.com/best-ever-homemade-flour-tortillas/

Jackfruit tacos (makes 8-9)

Jackfruit filling:

  • 3 x 200g tins jackfruit
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (or reserve oil from jackfruit tins and use that)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste

Tortillas:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, vegetable oil or other fairly neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Garnish suggestion:

  • Coriander
  • Coleslaw ( I buy ready made carrot and cabbage mix)
  • Avocado
  • Radish
  • Spring onion
  • Squirt of lime juice
  • Vegan sour cream

Jackfruit taco:

  1. Preheat oven to 200c and prepare baking tray with cooking spray.
  2. Shred jackfruit and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to a warm sauce pan and sautee onion until soft and fragrant, then add garlic and stir for a few more minutes.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, apart from the jackfruit, and let simmer away for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Now add the jackfruit and mix to incorporate, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 more minutes.
  6. Remove the sauce pan from the stove top and transfer the jackfruit mixture to the prepared baking tray, spreading it out as evenly as possible and set aside.
  7. Just before you are ready to assemble your tacos, Spread the jackfruit mixture out onto your prepared baking tray and bake for 20 minutes ( or until edges are charred, but not burned.

Tortillas:

  1. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Make a well in the middle and pour in water and oil.
  3. Use a fork to make circular movements that will start bringing the mixture together. Now begin to knead until the mixture forms a ball and continue doing so until dough is smooth. Allow to rest in bowl, covered for about 30 minutes.
  4. After rest period, transfer dough to a lightly covered work surface and divide into 8 balls. Roll each ball into a thin disc (keep surface and rolling pin lightly dusted with flour)
  5. Heat large pan over medium heat and brush with small amount of oil. Once the pan is hot, add the first tortilla and allow to cook for 1 minute or until brown spots have appeared. Flip to other side and cook for about 40 seconds. The tortillas should be soft with a few brown spots.
  6. Remove tortilla from pan and stack in covered container to keep soft. Brush the pan with a little bit more olive oil as needed before starting on the next tortilla.

Garnish:

I’m not getting specific here, add as much as you like, spice it up with some extra chilli, do as your taco loving heart desires 🙂

Butternut & Lentil Salad

When you just don’t have the time or the energy to cook, this salad is there to save the day! It’s great as a main dish as well as a side.

Now let me start off by doing a little introduction to this salad, just so you guys can get familiar with each other 🙂 The butternut and red onion becomes deliciously caramelised while roasting away in the oven, and is then served on top of some hearty lentils that have been boiled in veggie stock. To bring it all together, I make a balsamic maple dressing with a bit of a kick, and top it off with fresh rocket,mixed seeds and feta!

(We were so hungry by the time we shot this, I completely forgot to add the reserved dressing, don’t make the same mistake i did, it really ties it all together)

This salad is the perfect balanced meal for your family, and as you can see in the steps below, it really is a quick meal to make and doesn’t require a lot of hands on time in the kitchen.

Butternut & Lentil Salad (serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a side)

Salad:

  • 400 g diced butternut
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 sachet vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup roasted mixed seeds
  • Rocket
  • Vegan feta

Dressing:

  • 3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle or smoked paprika
  • Grind of salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c. Chop butternut into cubes, and slice red onion into rings. Scatter onto baking tray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, toss to coat.
  2. Place vegetables in oven, and give pan a shake every 20 mins to ensure even browning. This should take about 45 minutes, but test with a fork for doneness and adjust time accordingly. Take out and allow to cool.
  3. While the vegetables are in the oven, bring the lentils to a boil with vegetable stock, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 25 minutes covered, drain well and set aside.
  4. Once the lentils have cooled slightly, mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and pour half the mixture over the lentils (reserve leftover dressing for later) If you have time, let the lentils rest in the refrigerator covered for an hour, this just gives it extra time to absorb that dressing.

Assembly:

In a bowl or on a large platter, add lentils, butternut and red onion. Top with rocket, feta and seeds. Lastly drizzle over the remaining dressing and lightly toss salad.

Mixed Mushroom Potstickers

I love potstickers! Now although they are a bit of work, they are so worth it. The filling itself is actually really quick and easy to make, it’s just the assembly that takes a while. If you want to save a bit of time, you can look for dim sum wrappers at any asian grocery store (they are usually in the freezer section)

Now if you do decide to make the dough yourself, its just as easy to throw together, and consists of only 3 ingredients: Flour, salt and water! I’ve tried a few different variations of wrappers, and I find this one to be the most consistent, it’s also super soft and elastic when rolling out. Don’t expect this dough to rise (as there is no yeast) It will simply become softer and smoother while it is resting.

I have kept the filling quite basic, all ingredients should be readily available from your local grocery store, but basic does not mean boring! Everyone that I have made these for have absolutely loved them, and they are a personal favourite! I really believe you don’t need a million ingredients to achieve good depth of flavour, and this recipe is one of those examples. Enjoy them just as they are, or serve with 50/50 soy sauce and rice vinegar for dipping.

I’m including a link with photos on how to fold these babies, it’s what I used to teach myself and is very easy to follow. You can find it in the notes section at the bottom of the post.

Mushroom potstickers (makes about 26)

Filling:

  • 1 cup cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 250 g assorted/brown mushrooms
  • 50 g walnuts
  • Big hand full coriander
  • 4 spring onions
  • Glug olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic & ginger paste
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • half lemon,juiced

Dough:

  • 275 g flour
  • 150 ml boiled water
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling:

  1. Start by preparing the cabbage, Chop cabbage very fine and add to a bowl with a few pinches of salt. Allow to stand for 7 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid and set aside.
  2. Chop carrots in food processor until finely diced. Next add mushrooms and walnuts, continue to process until you have a fine, but not mushy mixture. Now get out your chopping board and Chop up the coriander and spring onion.
  3. Pour a nice glug of olive oil into a warm pan, add the garlic and ginger paste and stir until fragrant. Next add the mushroom mixture along with all the remaining filling ingredients (minus the cabbage)
  4. Stir occasionally, allowing mixture to simmer until most of the released liquids have been re-absorbed by the mushrooms.

Dough:

  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl to combine.
  2. Create a well in the middle and pour in the boiling water while mixing with a fork (clumpy bits will start to form)
  3. Knead dough until you have a soft ball, not sticky. If it feels too dry, add a dash more water, too sticky and add a bit more flour. Wrap in cling wrap and allow to rest in fridge for an hour ( if you’ll be leaving it for longer, take it out ahead of time so it is not too cold and hard before rolling)

Assembly:

  1. I use a pasta machine, but I will attach a link in the “notes” section with the steps to rolling these out by hand. If using a pasta machine, roll dough to thinnest setting you can manage (work in batches and keep the remaining dough wrapped)
  2. Cut circles in the dough, and place on a floured surface (I use our whiskey glasses, they are the perfect size).
  3. Put about 1 tbsp of filling in the middle of each wrapper, overfilling them will make them harder to wrap.
  4. Moisten half of the wrappers edge with water and fold over, pinch in the middle to seal.
  5. Now working from one side at a time, start pleating the edges inwards towards the middle so you will have a completely sealed potsticker.
  6. As you work, place the potstickers on a tray lined with parchment paper/tinfoil dusted with flour, and keep them covered until you are ready to cook them.

Cooking:

  1. Heat a non stick frying pan over medium heat, swirl with olive oil to coat and give the pan a few minutes to get hot.
  2. Place potstickers in hot pan, in one layer, for 1-2 minutes (check that bottoms are golden brown)
  3. Add 1/4 cup water, and immediately place a lid on top of the pan, let cook for 2 minutes, then a further 2 minutes with the lid off (until all water is evaporated)
  4. Serve while nice and hot!

*Notes: Heres the link to manually rolling, and folding these potstickers: https://steamykitchen.com/41178-best-chinese-potsticker-dumplings-recipe.html

Vegan mushroom burger

When Clemi and I were on honeymoon in Cambodia, we came upon a little restaurant serving mushroom sliders, and they were so heavenly! Since that day I have been trying to replicate the recipe, and I think this is as close as I will ever get!

Garnish and add any toppings you enjoy. I love adding a good tomato relish, fresh rocket, avo, vegan cheese, and vegan chipotle mayo.
Drool, am I right?

This is one of my favourite week night meals to make! You basically throw everything in a pan, then you get out your trusty food processor, form patties and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them in the oven, and it’s as easy as that!

This mushroom patty is seriously a juicy flavour bomb, the mushrooms have such a delicious earthy flavour, and they soak up all the tasty juices and spices while simmering away in the pan. It’s important to use brown mushrooms here, as the white mushrooms don’t have nearly as much flavour.  I love making a vegan chipotle mayo with my burgers, the recipe I’m sharing with you is tangy, ultra creamy, slightly sweet and a little bit spicy!

Form into 4 large, or 5 medium patties. If you find it too hard to shape them, add a few more tablespoons breadcrumbs.

I have made this burger a few times without the flaxseed mix, but I prefer the texture with it, it also holds together a lot better. I’ve stated it as optional, because it will still hold together and taste good if you don’t use it, but for best results, definitely include the flaxseed mix.

Vegan Mushroom Burger (makes 4-5)

Mushroom patty

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 500 g mushrooms (any brown mushrooms)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • a few drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh dill or basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed, and 5 tbsp water (optional)
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Add flaxseed and water to a cup and stir, set aside (we will use this as a binder later)
  3. Finely dice the onion and garlic, add to a pan with a good glug of olive oil and fry on medium-low heat until onions are soft.
  4. Roughly chop mushrooms (we will blitz them in a food processor later)  and add them to the pan, stir 5 mins.
  5. Add the soy, tomato sauce, spices and a few drops liquid smoke (if using) Stir so everything is combined.
  6. Crank up the heat to medium-high, now we want the mushrooms to start releasing all their juices (it will look very watery)
  7.  Give it a stir every 5 mins or so until the mushrooms have soaked up almost all the juice and sauce (I have added a photo above so you have reference) This process will take about 25 mins, then set aside to cool down and taste for seasoning.
  8. Add walnuts, oats and breadcrumbs to a food processor and pulse, we still want it to maintain texture, then transfer to a large bowl.
  9. Add flax mix to the food processor with half the mushrooms, pulse until just combined (we don’t want it becoming a paste) and add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Repeat with remaining mushrooms.
  10. Finely chop Dill/Basil and add to the mixture. Mix everything together well, I like using my hands.
  11. Form balls with the mixture, then flatten and shape between your hands (If you’r finding it sticks to your hands too much, add 1 tbsp breadcrumbs until it’s easer to shape) Place on a baking tray brushed with olive oil/spray.
  12.  Cover the patties with foil and leave in fridge for at least 30 mins or leave for later.
  13. Remove the foil and transfer the baking tray to the oven, bake for 25 minutes, flip carefully halfway through.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow 5 minutes cooling time for the patties to firm up before any handling.
  15. And you are done!

Vegan chipotle mayo (makes enough for 5 burgers generously)

  • ½ cup avocado oil/ canola oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey if not vegan)
  • 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender cup, place your immersion blender inside and give it a few pulses. Once the mixture has started emulsifying, move the blender up and down to incorporate any oil that is still at the top.
  2.  Garnish burger with mayo, or  keep stored in the fridge in an airtight container.