Chili Verde con Jackfruit

I put it on nachos. Because, duh.

Green Chili is a big deal in the Southwest, specifically in New Mexico and Colorado.  I recently went on a road trip that lead me to New Mexico for the first time, and I was inspired to try making my own green chili for the first time.  I know that my version isn’t particularly traditional, which is why I hesitate to associate it with the New Mexico style stuff.

This is a dish I’ve been desperately wanting to make, but the trip was the final spark.  And wow, I am sure glad I did.  I want to eat this always.  Every day.  On everything.  Forever.

Ingredients

  • 3-3.5 pounds of tomatillo
  • 3 hatch green chilies
  • 3 jalapeños (or less, I mean, whatever)
  • 1 pasillo pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 bunches of spring onions, with the thin green tops and stringy bottoms trimmed off
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 head (yeah) of garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 14oz can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 14 oz cans (or ~24oz pre-drained) young jackfruit in water, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 sprigs of cilantro

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Slow Cooker
  • Immersion blender, or other blender to transfer into

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º.  Peel the tomatillos and wash them, all of the peppers, and green onions.  Pat dry and lay out on lightly oiled baking sheets.  Cover the peppers and green onions.  Place the sheets into the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, I  turned down the oven to 350º, flipped everything over, and left it all uncovered.  30 more minutes in the oven, and everything was soft and browned.
  2. While all of that roasting is happening, chop up the half yellow onion and peel the head (yeah) of garlic.  Toss them into the slow cooker on low.
  3. Once everything is out of the oven, pull the tops off of the peppers and give them a rough cut or two.  Ultimately, I used an immersion blender (you could chop everything up really small and then roast it, adjusting times accordingly, or use other methods of blending), so everything was a pretty rough chop.  I tossed all of the roasted goodies into the slow cooker, and blended it up.
  4. Next, I added the drained tomatoes, salt, and cumin.  I let this sit on low in the slow cooker for about 6 hours, but that was just because I still had to run out and get jackfruit.
    1. You could easily just let it sit on high for a few with the jackfruit and cilantro in it so it’s done sooner!
  5. Once I added the jackfruit and cilantro, I turned the slow cooker on high, and let the chunks hang out for about 2 hours.
  6. Finally, shred the jackfruit into bits and stir.  Check for seasonings, and put on top of everything.

You’ve Lost Your Noodle! Lasagna

When I was on my weight loss journey a few years ago, I was looking for ways to enjoy delicious foods, but maybe cut back on the carbohydrates a little bit (mostly in the pasta and bread-y forms).  That was when I found a recipe for eggplant and zucchini lasagna, using those two plants instead of noodles.  Now, back then, I wasn’t vegan, so the original recipe was full of cheese and egg and the like.  I have since learned how to adapt it to make a simple, healthy, and delicious vegan recipe.

One thing that I should let you know is that this is a recipe that pretty much requires a special kitchen tool – a mandoline slicer.  The ability to make slices all the same thickness is pretty important to the success of this recipe.

Most of the time, I make it very, very simple, but under the ingredients list, I’ve added a few possible (and delicious) add ins!

Topped with a little red pepper flake and additional nooch, for extra love.

Topped with a little red pepper flake and additional nooch, for extra love.

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1/2 of a small eggplant, sliced thinly length wise (use the thin blade on a mandoline)
  • 1 medium/large zucchini (you may not use all of it), sliced thinly length wise
  • 1 package of firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup dairy free cheese alternative (this time, I used Daiya, but I usually use the Follow Your Heart shreds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 can unsalted tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped basil
  • 2 diced up cloves of garlic
  • Options (including, but not limited to):
    • mushrooms!
    • kale!
    • spinach!
    • add crushed red pepper to the sauce to make it spicy!
    • ground meat substitute! (Beyond Meat’s Beefy grounds would be my recommendation!)
    • you could also sub the tomato sauce with my vegan alfredo sauce, if you’re into that kind of thing!

Directions (this is a recipe big enough to share!  It’s technically 4 servings, but you or a guest may end up eating half of it, it’s so good!):

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and spritz a little oil on the base of a 9×9 glass baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, combine the tomato products, fresh herbs, and chopped garlic.  Place a small amount on the bottom of the dish, just enough to give a little coating.
  3. In another bowl, combine the pressed tofu, nooch, salt, pepper, dried basil, granulated garlic, and 1/4 a cup of the cheese alternative.  This should look and taste kind of similar to ricotta cheese.  The addition of the cheese alternative is to help it be a little sticky, so the lasagna holds more shape.
  4. Place a layer of zucchini/eggplant on top of the bottom layer of sauce.  You can do this several ways – you can alternate layers of zucchini and eggplant, or you can mix them.  Although the image I have included shows the eggplant cut into rounds, I recommend lengthwise for either application (I was just using left over eggplant from the other day – you can also use all zucchini or all eggplant, if you’d like!)
  5. Layer the tofu ricotta mixture, followed by about another 1/4 cup of cheese, and top with sauce.
  6. Repeat this process until you run out of tofu mixture and sauce.  Then, top with one more layer of zucchini/eggplant, and the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted.  Let sit for 15 minutes, and enjoy!
The whole shabang, right out of the oven.

The whole shabang, right out of the oven.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

After going to a few restaurants with my friend and finding that most places didn’t have a vegan alfredo sauce, I decided to try to make my own.  How hard could it be?  I’ve already got the basics of a bechamel sauce down, so it seemed like a no brainer.

Here’s the recipe for this basic, yet totally freakin’ delicious, sauce.  Try it on your favorite pasta, or instead of red sauce on pizza! Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use earth balance)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened, non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy cheese, mozzarella flavor (I used Follow Your Heart shreds)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions (creates enough for 1 serving; multiply ingredients to serve more):

  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  2. Once melted, add the flour, and stir until all flour is completely covered in the fat.  Cook on a low heat until it forms a thick paste, or roux.
  3. Add in your milk and stir until well combined.  Turn to a medium-low heat and allow to come to a low simmer.
  4. Add in the cheese and nutritional yeast, and stir until the cheese melts into the sauce.
  5. Stir in your seasonings, and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes.  In this time, the sauce will thicken, and should easily coat the back of a spoon.  Once it has reached your desired thickness, add it to your recipe!