Smoky Jackfruit “Chicken” Salad

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 12, 2018

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through the year? I sure can’t. When it hit me that we were 6 months into 2018, I did a bit of a mental check-in on how things have been going so far this year—it’s definitely had its ups and downs. My challenges this year have been mainly with my health, but when our health is off-balance, it tends to drip over into every area of life.

There is always a silver lining, though: my health setbacks have been a huge wake-up call. For the past 5 years, my body has been either pregnant, nursing, or both, and that has without a doubt taken a huge toll on me. There have been times when I’ve neglected my physical, mental, and emotional health. There have been times when I got lazy with vitamins and just stopped caring. There have been times when my anxiety felt out of control. I’ve had a lot of inflammation and allergic reactions. A lot of illness. Things seemed to get worse after I had to take antibiotics for an infection this past winter.

About a month ago, I finally said enough is enough! I needed to stop and listen. Since then, I have committed to taking time for myself to heal. To go to those doctors appointments I’ve been putting off. It’s easy to let things slide when life is busy. Having kids can be all-consuming…they are so needy (for good reason), but wow parenthood can really make you lose yourself if you let it.

If you’re going through one of those life phases where you feel like you just can’t “get it together,” you aren’t alone. This too shall pass. And when it does, you will be stronger and wiser. And don’t lose gratitude for everything that’s going well along the way. Gratitude is definitely an anchor through the challenging times.

 

Meet jackfruit. Have you tried it before? I’ll admit I was a bit scared when I first saw the funky-looking fruit (and cans of jackfruit mystified me!). But after playing around with it for a few weeks, I’ve come to really love it. And I have so many fun jackfruit recipes ideas! It looks like a lot of you have been loving my Chickpea Salad recipe for summer, so I put my thinking cap on and thought about how I could use jackfruit to create another delicious salad dish that can also be enjoyed on bread, wraps, rice cakes, or crackers. And this one is also picnic-friendly! Jackfruit does lack the robust amount of protein you’d find in legumes and nuts, but I find adding hemp hearts (either by mixing them into the salad or adding on top) works great for boosting protein.

I really like the Native Forest brand of canned jackfruit. You don’t need to cook it to soften before use (unlike Cha’s Organics brand). After rinsing and draining it, I slice the spongy, firm core off each piece. If using jackfruit straight from the can, the core is a bit too firm for this recipe. You’ll only want to use the soft, stringy jackfruit that resembles pulled pork/chicken (in the photo below, that’s the stuff on the left!). With a bit of slicing and dicing, you’re ready to roll!

5 from 1 reviews
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Smoky Jackfruit "Chicken" Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

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I recently started experimenting with jackfruit recipes, and I discovered that jackfruit makes a fantastic sub for chicken in a traditional chicken salad. My goodness, it’s delicious (and not only is jackfruit delicious, it’s rich in Vitamin C too)! Because jackfruit has such a mild flavour, it takes on all the wonderful flavours in this dish—tangy lemon and dill, creamy eggless mayo, savoury garlic, and smoky paprika. I’ve added fresh vegetables like celery, green onion, and bell peppers to give it a great crunch and loads of fibre. Serve this salad in pieces of Boston or Bibb lettuce, in a wrap or sandwich, or on crackers. To boost the protein, I like adding hemp hearts. You can find canned jackfruit online or in health food stores, Asian grocery stores, and the international section of some chain grocers. Recipe is adapted from my favourite Chickpea Salad.

Yield
4 servings
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can young jackfruit (in brine)*
  • 2 medium (140 g) stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 medium (45 g) green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (67 g) finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) store-bought vegan mayo or 5-Minute Mayo**
  • 1 small (5 g) clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (3 g) minced fresh dill
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (10 to 15 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Place the drained jackfruit segments onto a large cutting board. Using a knife, slice off the fibrous core of each jackfruit segment. You’ll only want to use the “stringy” parts that resemble pulled pork. Discard the core and chop the remaining pieces into small 1/2-inch chunks. It should look like shredded chicken and you should have about 1 1/2 cups chopped.
  2. Add the chopped pieces to a bowl and stir in the celery, green onions, bell peppers, mayonnaise, and garlic until combined.
  3. Now stir in the dill and season with the lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, adjusting quantities to taste after mixing.
  4. Serve in a sandwich or wrap, on top of a big salad, or with crackers. I love enjoying it with rice cakes and mashed avocado too. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Stir before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 4 servings | Calories 140 calories | Total Fat 7 grams
Saturated Fat 1 grams | Sodium Fat 960 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 18 grams
Fiber 1 grams | Sugar 8 grams | Protein 3 grams

Please note the sodium content should be much less than 960mg per serving as the jackfruit brine is rinsed off before preparation.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

* I use Native Forest Organic Young Jackfruit which comes in a 14-ounce (398 mL) can. Make sure to purchase canned jackfruit that says “in brine” as opposed to “in syrup” (or simply ensure that it’s unsweetened). Some brands (like Cha’s) recommend cooking it before serving to soften the jackfruit. To do this, gently boil it for 15 minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water. Native Forest brand can be used straight from the can without cooking.

** If you’d like a soy-free version of this salad, be sure to use soy-free vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise makes a tasty soy-free version). Or you can make my homemade soy-free mayo.

Feel free to add finely chopped dill pickle to the mix, too! I like adding about 1/4 cup of chopped dill pickle for a tangy crunch.

In case anyone is wondering, I served the salad on rice cakes with mashed avocado, hemp hearts, and a sprinkle of pink salt. So good! 

One Pot Quinoa and Black Bean Wraps

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 29, 2018

With two toddlers running wild around this joint, my time for cooking meals seems to be dwindling away. People tend to assume that I have these perfect, from-scratch meals on the table every night, and to be honest, at this stage in our lives we’re still very much in survival mode. I’m pretty gentle with myself and focus on the big picture as much as possible. If everyone is happy with a full belly, well that’s success! We all do the best we can. Raising a family is messy and imperfect and humbling.

But, still, I’m always looking for shortcuts. I recently started experimenting with one pot quinoa dishes and absolutely fell in love with their simplicity and versatility. This recipe takes just 10 minutes to throw everything into a skillet or pot and then all you do is cover it and cook. Like magic! It’s a great option for the summer when you don’t want to turn the oven on (like this weekend for those of us in this crazy heat wave). Just one stovetop element is all you need. You really can’t beat that…unless of course your partner is cooking for you while you sip on some rosé….*wink, wink*

Is it kid-friendly? Well, it is and it isn’t. If your little one loves quinoa, they may enjoy this dish (reduce spice if necessary). If they don’t already like quinoa, it’ll likely be a pass (shocker). I had one love it and the other said “EWWWWWW!” (their new favourite word…sigh). The one who inhaled it the first night wouldn’t touch it the next day. *double sigh* The feeding toddlers struggle is real.

For us normal folk, it seemed to be a hit! My mama testers lit up with joy when they heard it was a one pot meal. And, I mean, you don’t even have to sauté anything! I’m anxious to hear what you think if you try it out. I always worry that these super easy recipes are lacking in some way, and I hesitate posting them.  

Well, my fellow Canadians, I hope you have a fun Canada Day weekend! Hard to believe it’s already upon us! And for my American friends, have a fantastic Independence Day next week. Are you celebrating with any OSG recipes this weekend? Let me know and be sure to share on social media using the tags #ohsheglows and @ohsheglows so I can drool over them!

 

 

5 from 5 reviews
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One Pot Quinoa and Black Bean Wraps

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

These quinoa wraps are ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes and will only set you back 10 minutes of prep! This is a great go-to summer dish when you don’t want to turn the oven on, but still want a well-rounded, fun meal. Enticing flavours like sweet pineapple, smoky paprika, savoury coconut aminos, and spicy cayenne pepper come together to create a delectable base for these healthy wraps. The crunch from the lettuce wrap is a nice contrast to the soft and chewy quinoa and beans, but feel free to use flour wraps and simply stuff some lettuce inside instead. Don’t forget about the toppings too—they really complete the dish and enhance the flavours and textures! I love my wraps topped with avocado (duh), runny tahini or cashew cream, cilantro, salsa, and sometimes pickled jalapeños for a kick.

Yield
12 small wraps/5 cups quinoa
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup (200 g) uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cups (430 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce/400 mL) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced (1 cup/125 g)*
  • 1 heaping cup (145 g) frozen pineapple chunks**
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) coconut aminos/soy-free seasoning sauce***
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste****
  • 1 tablespoon (5 mL) fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper, to taste (I added 1/4 teaspoon each)
  • Lettuce or flour wraps
Topping suggestions:

Directions:

  1. Gather your quinoa ingredients on the counter so you have them ready. To a large pot, add the quinoa and broth. Set the heat to medium and bring to a simmer while you add the rest of the ingredients: drained black beans, red pepper, pineapple, coconut aminos, paprika, cayenne, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 16 to 21 minutes, reducing heat if necessary, until the quinoa is fluffy and the water is mostly absorbed. I recommend checking it after 16 minutes and then every few minutes thereafter. Stir the cooked quinoa mixture and season to taste.
  3. If using lettuce for your wraps, place one large leaf on a plate. Add another leaf on top so that its base is pointing the opposite way of the leaf below. Top each lettuce wrap (or flour wrap, if using) with a spoonful of hot quinoa. Add your desired toppings (I like to use every topping listed), a small pinch of salt, and a lime wedge on the side. If the lettuce wraps are too difficult to eat with your hands, you can dig in with a fork and knife.
  4. The quinoa is best served fresh as it tends to dry out in the fridge, but you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. To reheat the quinoa, add it to a pot along with a splash or two of broth, cover, and warm on the stovetop over medium heat. You’ll likely need to add more seasonings as the flavour diminishes over time.  

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1/3 cup cooked quinoa | Calories 110 calories | Total Fat 1.5 grams
Saturated Fat 0 grams | Sodium Fat 135 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 19 grams
Fiber 3 grams | Sugar 2 grams | Protein 5 grams

Nutritional info does not include wraps or toppings.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

* You’ll want to dice the red pepper very small (think almond-sized) so it cooks quickly.

** My frozen pineapple chunks are quite large, so I like to chop them into almond-sized pieces before adding to the pot. This way the pineapple gets spread around a bit more!

*** You can use salt in place of the coconut aminos if you’d like. I found I needed 1 1/4 teaspoons pink salt or a bit more to make the flavours pop. Start with half and then add the rest after cooking to taste.

**** For a kid-friendly option, reduce or omit the cayenne pepper as needed.

As always, you can also find this recipe in The Oh She Glows Recipe App! It’s available for download on iOS and Android devices for all your “on the glow” needs. ;) 

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