Hey guys! Now that the holidays are over and we are officially in the winter months, I find it really easy to sink into seasonal depression. So this week I am focusing really hard on counting my blessings and looking for the silver lining in every situation. Yesterday I spent five YEARS at the auto-shop but, hey, you know what? I have a car! Last night, I got three hours of sleep between job one and job two but, hey, I have a job (or two)! Today is 40 degrees warmer in Chicago than it was a week ago. I don’t think I can complain about a single thing in my life right now.
The biggest blessing in my life will always be my family. I think I have mentioned that I have six sisters and two brothers. My parents and my siblings are absolutely the best people I know and I look up to every one of them. Now that we are all grown up (or something like that) everyone is really busy with jobs and careers and travelling and in-laws, so we don’t get to be all together very often. Over Christmas my sisters came into town and for the first time in a LONG time we were all in the same place at the same time. This consisted of my mom and my dad, my six sisters, two brothers, two brothers-in-law, one almost-brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my two nephews! Just count all those blessings! It is always the hardest to say goodbye but I we will all be together again later this year for my sister’s wedding!
Even though January can be hard it is also pretty exciting to think that the whole year is in front of you and you have one million opportunities to do good and one million people you are going to encounter along the way.
Anyway, that was my rant.
Sunday, the majority of my family celebrated my brother’s twenty-fourth birthday. The tradition is that the birthday girl or boy gets to pick whatever homemade dinner they want and my brother picks carnitas pretty much every year. My mom made pork carnitas with delicious pickled red onions and avocado salad. To construct my vegan tacos, I made jackfruit carnitas. Here is my recipe, please try it and let me know how it goes! I am also including the directions from my last jackfruit recipe (here) on how to prepare jackfruit. Enjoy!
Chipotle Jackfruit Carnitas (makes 8-10 tacos)
20 oz can of young jackfruit (drained weight 10 oz)
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp coconut sugae
- 1 tbsp liquid amino
- Two chipotle chilies minced + 1 tsp adobo sauce from the chipotle can
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Prepare the jackfruit.
[Ultimately what you want to end up with is “pulled pork” –esque pieces of jackfruit. Start by draining the brine and rinsing the jackfruit under cold water for about five minutes. Use your hands or two forks to shred up the jackfruit. You can leave the seeds in if you want, but I prefer to remove the seeds because they look creepy and have a sort of hard texture. After you finish shredding the jackfruit, give it a final rinse to get as much brine out as possible. Next, you want to squeeze as much of the water liquid out as you possibly can. You can use a towel, cheese cloth, new clean sock, whatever you have on hand. Continue ringing out until you have removed as much liquid as possible. Your jackfruit meat will end up crispier the more liquid you can remove.
As an alternative method, you can rinse of the jackfruit while simultaneously shredding it apart with your fingers and rinsing while you shred. Either way, make sure you get as much liquid out as possible when you are done with the shredding process.]
- Once you have prepped the jackfruit, combine the seasoning ingredients a small dish. Thoroughly work the seasonings into the jackfruit. Set aside while you prepare the marinade.
- Prepare the marinade by combining the ingredients in a bowl or the pot you will use for cooking later. Add the jackfruit and stir well to ensure the jackfruit is well coated. Cover and let it sit for 4 hours or overnight.
- Transfer the jackfruit and marinade into a medium sized pot. Turn the burner up to high and bring the mixture to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally. You should still have a little marinade left when it is done simmering.
- Preheat the oven to high broil. Place a piece of heavy duty foil over a baking sheet and grease with 2 tbsp olive oil. Spread jackfruit evenly onto the baking sheet and broil until it gains some crispiness. I end up broiling mine for about 10 minutes or so. Check on it about half to flip and check on crispiness levels. Remove from oven when you have achieved your perfect level of crispiness.
Done! Eat with tortillas and toppings that you’re into. I topped mine with purple cabbage, pickled red onions and garnished with cilantro and hemp seed ❤