Vegan Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” and Baked Rutabaga Fries

Howdy!  We have been so spoiled with sunshine-y early Spring days here in Portland and it has been hard to sit at a computer and write a blog post!  I don’t know what I would do if I was still in school 🙂  Nick and I have also dived head first in to hunting for our first home and that has been incredibly time consuming!  Despite its ups and downs so far, I think it has been interesting for both of us to take stock of what is important to us (location, bedroom sizes, yard size, amount of work the house needs, etc) and where we are willing to be flexible.  More to come on that in the near future!

The other night, we tried out a vegan “pulled pork” recipe I have seen floating around the internet and paired it with baked rutabaga fries.  I was prompted to try it after stopping by our local Asian Supermarket, where I found young Jackfruit in a can.  Jackfruit is a native fruit to parts of South and Southeast Asia and is related to the Mulberry family.  It is low in calories and rich in:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • And the seeds are high in protein

You can purchase Jackfruit whole or in cans – I have seen canned versions that are ripe in syrup or young in brine.  For this recipe, make sure you grab the canned version of young Jackfruit in brine.

Now on to rutabaga!  It’s not the prettiest vegetable, but this root is nutritious just the same.  It is also low in calories per serving and provides:

  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Fiber
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin B6

When roasted, a rutabaga has a texture similar to a roasted potato, making it a great alternative/option for healthier French fries!  Throw a chopped rutabaga in the oven while you prepare your pulled Jackfruit or other burger, and you won’t have to put too much thought into your side dish.

Since becoming pescaterian several years ago I have not craved meat, although I have heard of many people who do crave it.  I have never really been a fan of the texture of meat so I think that is why I don’t miss it.  However, if you are one of those people that miss the texture, OR you are cooking in a combo vegetarian/meat eating household like we are, OR you just want to find more fun ways to incorporate plant based meals into your dinner rotation, this is the next recipe for you to try out!

As I mentioned above, there are several versions of this recipe featured on fabulous blogs, but I used this one from the seriously beautiful blog Blissful Basil.

We served the pulled jackfruit on cabbage with grated carrot and avocado and a side of rutabaga fries.  A super veggie-filled, gluten free plate that tasted like good ‘ol diner food!

Vegan “Pulled Pork” Recipe

Serves 3-4

Adapted from the Blissful Basil

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 can of green, young Jackfruit in water or brine
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (we used Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce – a recent favorite find!!)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Buns, cabbage, romaine – whatever carrier you would like to transport the goods to your mouth!

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic on a skillet over medium heat with olive oil until tender (about 5-7 minutes)
  3. Drain and rinse the Jackfruit in a strainer.  Cut the harder, triangular tip from the Jackfruit pieces and discard the core.
  4. Mix the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and brown sugar in a bowl.  Toss in the Jackfruit flesh and coat the pieces well.
  5. Add the seasoned Jackfruit to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.
  6. Whisk the water and BBQ sauce together and add to the skillet.  Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
  7. Remove the lid and use two forks to shred the Jackfruit a bit.  Let it continue to simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, or until the BBQ sauce is reduced.
  8. Spread the Jackfruit on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and stick in the oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Enjoy on cabbage (or buns) with toppings of choice.  We used grated carrots and avocado.  The Blissful Basil recommends pickled red onion, which sounds amazing!

Rutabaga Fries Recipe

Serves 3 (depending on side of rutabaga)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large rutabaga
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F (if roasting at the same time as the pulled Jackfruit, it’s fine to cook at 350*F, they will just take longer so put the fries in first)
  2. Peel and chop the rutabaga into long rectangles (or whatever shape you like your heart desires)
  3. Toss on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper.  These are also great seasoned with rosemary, thyme, or add some spice with cayenne or smoked paprika!
  4. Bake until lightly browned and crispy – about 30-45 minutes depending on oven temperature.
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