With the taste of this delicious vegan taco salad with jackfruit, I ask you, who needs chicken? Jackfruit is a tree fruit, is member of the fig family, and is native to South India. It’s obviously, as old as time, yet, I’ve only recently heard about this fruit 2 months ago! It’s a big option for vegan’s who are looking to substitute meat in any particular dish. You can make this fruit appear like pulled pork, or shredded chicken, and even ground meat. But, it doesn’t come with out intimidation factor, as for me, cooking with jackfruit has taken some getting used to.
Third time’s the charm!
My first attempt with this canned fruit was cold turkey, I just tossed it in the pan and sauteed- Yuck! My second attempt was for a BB-Q sandwich, a BB-Q pulled pork type of sandwich, or a “sloppy-jo”. It was delicious. Today, my inspiration was more for a taco salad. My current way of eating is vegan, and in addition, I”m oil free. Cooking with out oil for an authentic Italian girl, well, let’s say, it’s a foreign concept! Yet, I’m 3 weeks into this new cooking style, and I’m finally settling in. For this dish, I opted for my large cast-iron pan for an easier saute.
But, the results of my vegan taco salad were delicious! I took it a bit further by making some yummy toppers. An easy cucumber-tomato chutney and smashed avocado with a pinch of salt did just the trick. Layered under a bed of lettuce, a scoop of rice, the sauteed jackfruit, then topped with the chutney and avocado. Garnishing the top with a hand-full of organic tortilla chips…well, it was amazing! Had I not cooked this dish myself, I would have though it was chicken in that salad! I heavied up on the spices-using plenty of cumin, cayenne and a bit of himalyian salt to pull the taco salad theme into the dish. But I must say, I think the lemon seals the deal.
Vegan Taco Salad with Jackfruit
- 2 cans jackfruit normal size cans with fruit in water, not sweet
- 1 large red pepper sliced or diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 2-3 TBS cumin ground
- 2 TBS cayenne ground
- 2-3 small birds eye chili optional
- 1/2 large cucumber peeled and cut into square chunks
- 1-2 medium tomatoes diced
- 1 large lemon for serving and for avocado
- 1 large avocado smashed
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 bag tortilla chips organic
- 1 cup rice long-grain rice
- 2 cups water for rice
- 2 leaves fresh peppermint for chutney
- 1 handful chopped lettuce for each plate
- begin with your sautee. since I'm not cooking with oil, I just add a bit of water as needed to avoid sticing or burning. Once onions and garlic are almost translucent, toss in your peppers
- begin to work on the jackfruit by draining it, and then taking the artichoke like pieces and separating them with your fingers. Take out the seeds, as the fruit has seeds and discard. When you're finished, fruit should be 'pulled' in appearance, like shredded chicken. Toss into pan and sautee with the other veg. Gradually add the spices in about 1/4 c. water, mix together, put the lid on and turn the heat down and let it cook a bit and accumulate some juices. Set aside, and begin to cook the rice.
- as the rice cooks and the jackfruit sits, make your chutney and set aside.
- take an avocado and just smash it up, add a hint of salt, and set aside
- For assembly, start with a handful of lettuce, then a scoop of rice, and the jackfruit on top. Add a scoop of chutney, a scoop of avocado, and a handfull of chips on the top. Garnish with a slice of lemon or lime.