Jackfruit Tacos with Charred Corn, Cabbage and Lime Creme

It’s still International week in Vegan MoFo, and I’m popping today’s post under the favourite cuisine theme, although it could probably fit under holiday destination as well as I would certainly love to go to Mexico some day. Yep, I’m using one post to cover two days, ha! I have a few favourite cuisines, but Mexican is definitely up there and I have a particular fondness for tacos.

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I was a little late to the party with the savoury jackfruit thing (or even knowing what jackfruit was?!). It started popping up everywhere quite some time ago but I didn’t really have a crack at it until more recently. What was I doing? Think of all the delicious tacos I could have been eating! They are such great warm weather food – just looking at them makes me want to sit outside with a plate full of tacos and a cold beer.

As we make our way towards summer, you’ll know where to find me…

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Jackfruit Tacos with Charred Corn, Cabbage and Lime Creme
(makes about 10 tacos)

Jackfruit:
1 Tbsp oil
1 medium brown onion, cut into thin moons
2 x 560g cans young jackfruit in brine (NOT syrup)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 – 1tsp ancho chile powder
1 1/2 cups veg stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbsp veg worcestershire sauce

Lime creme:
1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/3 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pickled jalapenos (optional)

10 tortillas
2 ears corn
2 cups finely sliced red cabbage
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt

Optional toppings:
Pickled red onions
Fresh coriander
Hot sauce

Start by heating oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauteeing onion until softened. While this is happening, drain your jackfruit and remove any seeds. Slice the large chunks into smaller ones, cutting through the harder core. Some people like to discard the hard bits, but honestly with a bit of cooking they are absolutely fine so why waste that extra taco filling? Add spices and jackfruit and cook a further 2 minutes.

Whisk together stock, tomato paste, liquid smoke and worcestershire sauce and pour over jackfruit. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for approx 20-25 mins, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed and fruit is tender and comes apart easily. Use two forks or spatula to tear the jackfruit apart. It’s good to use immediately, but as a side note, I find it recooks really well too.

Meanwhile, grill your corn. You can do this on a grill or barbecue, however I did it quickly over the stove flame. Using metal tongs, hold the corn in the flame until it begins to blacken, turning to cook all sides. Careful as it tends to pop! Allow to cool, then cut kernels off the cob and place in a bowl. Add cabbage, lime juice and salt and mix to combine.

To make the lime creme, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If it’s too thick for your liking, add some water one tablespoon at a time.

Assemble tacos! Prepare your tortillas according to packet instructions. Put some jackfruit on each, top with corn/cabbage mix, drizzle over some lime creme and add any optional toppings. Delish!

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Spicy Chickpea and Coleslaw Tacos

Duuuudes! I can’t believe it’s the last day of MoFo and I didn’t even catch up on my posts! I’m going to be defiant and keep posting my ones that were meant for the last days as they are done and I do want to share them with you. The last week or so I’ve found myself with very little time to post, and even less to read other peoples’ blogs so I do apologise for that, and hope that once MoFo is done I can belatedly catch up on some of the action.

Tacos VS Burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?

Truth be told, I love them both. But as last MoFo I shared a burrito so this time I thought it was only fair to give tacos some time. I do like tacos because I feel that I can eat more of them in one sitting, whereas I can only stuff one burrito down without feeling like I’m going to puke. Plus they always look so fresh and colourful, and you get to see everything that’s in them straight off the bat.

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I have to stress to you how easy these are to make. Most of it is down time, waiting for the chickpeas to cook – the rest is just throw it together. My kind of meal. And I’m so excited with the weather being the way it has been – warm nights just screams tacos and beers in evening sun.

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I am also loving the colour of these – the chickpeas are so vibrant, particularly alongside purple cabbage and some fresh greenery. It’s a rainbow eater’s dream!

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Spicy Chickpea and Coleslaw Tacos
(makes 10)

10 tortillas
Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Fresh lime wedges for serving
Hot sauce for serving (optional)
2 avocados, diced

Chickpeas
3 cups cooked chickpeas
¼ cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander

3 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

Coleslaw
3½ cups purple cabbage, shredded
2½ cups grated carrot
¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 220C and line a baking tray with paper.

Place chickpeas in a bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients for the chickpeas, then pour into the bowl and stir until all combined. Pour out chickpeas onto the tray and spread into a single layer. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring with a spatula a couple of times along the way.

Meanwhile, prepare the coleslaw. In a small bowl, combine mayo, lime juice, water, salt and pepper. Mix up cabbage and carrot in a large bowl, then pour dressing over it and mix well to combine.

Cook tortillas according to directions – we used white corn tortillas and lightly pan fried them on either side. To assemble, place some chickpeas, coleslaw and avocado on each tortilla, then top with fresh coriander, a squeeze of lime juice and hot sauce.

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Music for your Mouth: The Flying Burrito Brothers

Hands up if you can believe MoFo’s last day is tomorrow?! I know, last week I felt like I had been MoFo-ing forever, now it seems as though it’s disappeared so fast. What a month it’s been.

So uh, the Flying Burrito Brothers are a country rock band. Yeah, I’ve been waiting to drop this bomb on you! I’m going to share two videos with you at the bottom. The first one because you just have to watch Gram Parsons’ eyebrows. They are seriously hypnotising. Secondly, I’m playing their cover of Wild Horses because I love the song. Enjoy.

burrito2The burritos I’ve made to go with the band are inspired a little by the tofu asada burritos at Trippy Taco. Any Melbournite will know what I’m talking about – smoky tofu goodness. Thank you liquid smoke, you little beauty. I had never heard of this magic stuff prior to my vegan days, now it is my secret weapon. Love the stuff!

These were my favourite burritos I’ve ever made, and I even had the compliment that they were better than the Trippy Taco ones, however that may or may not have been to make me feel good. Sorry about the foil wrapping, I rarely use foil – and buy the recycled stuff when I do – but I just could not get this burrito to stay together for a photo. Once again, I overstuffed my burrito to the point of eruption. When will I learn?

Smoky Tofu Burritos
(Makes 2)

2 tortillas
250g firm tofu

1 Tbsp coconut oil

Marinade:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp liquid smoke
Juice of 1 orange
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
Dash of cinnamon

Salsa:
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 red onion, diced
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 of a red capsicum, diced
1/4 of a green capsicum, diced
2 tsp lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh coriander
Salt to taste

Filling:
Basically whatever you want! I used:
Lettuce
Avocado
Vegan Cheese

First up, press your tofu good and well so it can absorb as much marinade as possible. I did the old fashioned way – with tea towels and a couple of phone books for a few hours. Once pressed, cut your tofu into cubes. Mix together all marinade ingredients and chuck the tofu in. Marinate for AT LEAST one hour, if not overnight.

To make the salsa, heat teaspoon of coconut oil over medium high heat and add onion and chili and saute until onion becomes translucent. Add capsicum and tomato and cook until tomato breaks down, about 5-10 mins.

Add lime juice, salt and coriander and stir through. Remove from heat and set aside.

To cook the tofu, heat tablespoon of coconut oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Add tofu cubes and cook for about ten to fifteen minutes, turning occasionally, until just about all the edges are slightly crispy. Turn down heat to low and pour leftover marinade over the tofu, stirring so that it coats all the pieces. Remove from heat.

Assemble your burrito! I’m not going to tell you how to do this! Well okay, what I did was smoosh some avocado on, put some lettuce down, heap on some tofu, sprinkle on some cheese, and drip on some salsa. Wrap and stuff in mouth.

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Oh and just for fun, I’m sending this over to my friend Liz at I Spy Plum Pie for her new Meatless Monday linkup. Head over and check out the recipes starting to pool up over there!

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Chapel Street Eats

These eats go back a while. The first was way back in April on ANZAC day – the bear and I met up with my mum and dad for lunch and a movie due to it being a public holiday. We met in between our places on Chapel St, and headed towards the Sweetwater Inn for a bite to eat. Unfortunately, they weren’t yet open when we got there, though that may be a good thing – this post may have had far too much deep-fried-ness otherwise. Yowzers!

I’ve never really spent a lot of time on the South Yarra end of Chapel st – it’s a bit more fashion-oriented than I can bear for very long. They do have a couple of cinemas though, and plenty of cafes and restaurants to drink cawfee and fill tummies.

We decided to stop at a Mexican place called Amigos, as it wasn’t too far from where we needed to be. Amigos has three location – South Yarra, St Kilda and the CBD, and according to the website they have been serving Mexican food and drink since 1981.

Upon viewing the menu, I noticed two items labelled vegan. Not a huge choice, but good to have the options labelled nevertheless.

amigosThe bear went for the Ensalada Verde – a green salad with avo, tomato, red onion, and a citrus and herb dressing, topped with tortilla strips. He enjoyed this, and even let me taste a little. Decent tasting though someone overpriced at $16.50 for some leaves and bread, in my humble opinion.

amigos2I had the Pico de Gallo – a blend of tomato, red onion, coriander, lime and chili with corn chips ($10.50). Nice and fresh tasting, and suits my love of snacking foods.

Afterwards, we went on the Jam Factory to see The Grand Budapest Hotel at the cinema. It was the first time I had been to the movies in quite some time, and I enjoyed watching a film in the dark on the big screen. Gotta love Wes Anderson, I enjoyed the unusual darkness of this film, as well as the usual quirky patterns of conversation. Since then, I’ve been to the cinemas two more times (Good Vibrations and All This Mayem) and am looking forward to more visits – hopefully I’ll catch a few films at the Melbourne International Film Festival starting tomorrow….look out!

Next up, a trip to Lord of the Fries. Why oh why do I continue to go here and not enjoy myself?

Perhaps that is a little harsh – it’s just that I have such high expectations! Vegans and omnivores alike, everybody tells me how great Lord of the Fries are..it makes me feel like I am missing something. Can somebody please explain to me why they are so good? Perhaps I make continually bad choices, I don’t know. Perhaps I need to visit at 3am after a night out – I bet I would enjoy it then.

lotf2The bear and I got a few bowls of fried stuff. Here is some chips and chili poppers with vegan cheese and hot napoli sauce. Yet another sauce that really didn’t do much for me, although it was better than the satay and the special vegan mayo that I’ve tried before. The sauce wasn’t spicy at all, and the chili poppers were pretty tasteless – just friedness, with bland cream cheese style filling.

lotf1Sorry for offending your eyes with this picture, I know it ain’t the prettiest. This is a bowl of chips and onion rings with vegan cheese and gravy. Admittedly, this was the best sauce of all the ones I’ve tried, despite its translucent gelatinous appearance. Not saying it was amazing, but definitely preferable to the others.

Maybe I need to try the sweet potato fries. Or the burgers or hot dogs. I had a burger once and it was okay, but nothing mind blowing. No doubt I will be back some time, as I feel the need to crack this mystery.

lotf3Oh my goodness – to think I almost let you get away without laying your eyes on this monstrosity! Okay, that was mean, I actually enjoyed this until I felt sick. The Chapel st store also does a few milkshakes, this one being Oreo flavoured. I know it looks a bit like sewerage, but it was not too bad – a bit sickly sweet, but hey, why else would you get a milkshake?


Amigos

7/478 Chapel St, South Yarra
Sun – Thurs – 11.30am – 12am
Fri – Sat – 11.30am – 1am

Lord of the Fries
170 Chapel St, Windsor
(see website for other locations)
Mon – Wed – 11am – 8pm
Thurs – 11am – 9pm
Fri – Sat – 11am – 5am
Sun – 11am – 9pm

A Simple Salsa

This is a super quick post, as I think my laptop charger just blew and I don’t have much battery left. It’s a race against time!

I just wanted to share what we ended up doing with those Late July cornchips we got the other day. As we had a bunch of tomatoes left over from the markets (possibly back in Mackay even?!) starting to look a bit sorry for themselves in the heat of the van, we decided to make a simple salsa to accompany our chips.

This is how it turned out (excuse the dodgy pics)

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The corn chips were good – nice and crunchy and you could definitely taste the chili. Not sure they are something I could regularly justify spending $6 on, but definitely worth trying (and a bit fancier than your average corn chip).

The salsa recipe is super simple, but I’ll share it with you anyway. Ordinarily I’d add some fresh coriander, but we are being super frugal at the moment as our travel expenses are high.

Simple Salsa
(makes about 2 cups)

1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp oil
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
3/4 cup corn kernels
1 red chili, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp lime juice
Salt, to taste

Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat and add onion. Cook for a couple of minutes, until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring frequently.

Add ground spices and chili, and sauté until fragrant, about another 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Add the capsicum and tomatoes – this should deglaze the pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes break down.

Add lime juice and corn, and cook for another couple of minutes until heated through. Season to taste. Serve and enjoy! We topped ours with some avocado mashed with lime juice, salt and pepper.

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We had plenty of leftovers, so the next day we had a salsa salad topped with avocado. This was so good, possibly even yummier than with chips the night before. I think Mexican style food always tastes better the next day though, must be the flavours all oozing into one another…mmmm….

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