We’ve been on a fairly meatless kick lately. Mostly because plant-based proteins are more easily accessible (we always have a stock of canned chickpeas, black beans, mushrooms, plus tons of frozen veggies), but we’ve also found we’re less lethargic and generally feel healthier on meatless meal nights.
It’s also fun finding new recipes and cooking with ingredients I never have before. Like jackfruit. This magical fruit can replace pork or chicken in so many recipes. We find it in the canned veggies section of the grocery store. The first time I cooked it, I made barbecue sandwiches which turned out pretty good, though I’ll admit, the texture was a little too soft for my preference (kind of like an especially fatty portion of pulled pork).
This week, my husband had the idea to try jackfruit enchiladas. I’d already found a recipe for jackfruit “crab” cakes (which I do still want to try) but enchiladas are one of my favorite dishes ever, so obviously that’s what we made.
The recipe I based my enchiladas on came from Well Vegan, but since we aren’t actually vegan, I included a few heaping handfuls of real cheese and topped those babies off with a dollop of sour cream. We also used what we had on hand rather than running to the store for specific ingredients, but it still turned out really well.
This meal is pretty fantastic for any time you’re trying to incorporate a meatless dinner into your routine. It’s easy and delicious, and reheats pretty well the next day, too!
1 can jackfruit, drained and rinsed
3 medium-large cremini mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbs minced onion
1/2 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 can red enchilada sauce
6-7 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese
sour cream and diced avocado, for serving
Prep the jackfruit: cut off the hard core and shred the stringy flesh into a bowl, removing the seeds. Blot with several layers of paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In separate bowl, combine the mushrooms through 1/2 tsp chili powder. Set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over Medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute ~1 min.
Stir in the jackfruit and remaining spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
Spread 1/2 the enchilada sauce along the bottom of a glass baking dish.
Spoon the salsa mixture into the middle of a tortilla and top with a scoop of jackfruit. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until salsa and jackfruit mixtures are used up.
Spread remaining enchilada sauce over tops of tortillas. Cover with shredded cheese.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and edges are crisped.
Enjoy with avocado garnish (and sour cream, if desired).
Now, because we used flour tortillas instead of corn (and possibly because I really smothered them in cheese), our enchiladas were pretty soft — more like a smothered burrito. Still delicious, just not the texture I’m used to with enchiladas. They were still amazing!
If you’ll remember, I had a bugger of a cold around the beginning of the month. My husband made it a full week before succumbing himself.
If you have a man in your life, you know what big babies they become at the first sniffle. (Okay, okay, this time around my throat hurt so badly I was a whiny mess myself). Regardless, a loved one with man flu requires some extra pampering.
I’ve written before about the soups I whip up to fight illness, but you can never have enough easy soup recipes, especially in the middle of cold and flu season. This one has the added bonus of being a childhood throwback made healthier.
Who doesn’t love ramen noodles? Salty, savory, noodley perfection. This recipe is almost as easy as the pre-packaged junk and even tastier — if I do say so myself.
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs minced onion
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 cup frozen broccoli
1/2 Tbs garlic powder
1/2 Tbs turmeric
1/2 Tbs ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 Tbs chives
1/2 Tbs soy sauce (optional)
1 tsp sriracha (optional)
1 sheet Chinese noodles
Heat oil in stockpot over Medium. Add onions and red pepper flakes and cook about 1 min.
Add veggies and spices through pepper. Cook, stirring often, about 3-5 min.
Stir in chives and chicken stock. Bring to boil.
Add soy sauce and sriracha. Boil about 8-10 min, stirring occasionally. (Side note: all the seasoning measurements are approximate so taste/adjust as needed throughout.)
Break noodles in chunks and add to pot. Cook about 3-4 minutes, breaking noodles apart with spoon as they soften (you can also add 1 cup water to keep soup brothier).
I forgot that used to be a thing, until someone showed me a joke:
her: “I’m breaking up with you.”
him: “Is it because I keep saying ‘uh oh, spaghettios’?”
her: “Actually, yes.”
him: “Uh oh, spaghettios…”
Now it keeps popping into my head. Which leads me to think about — what else? — spaghettios. I love spaghettios almost as much as Kraft mac n cheese or hot dogs. It’s so easy to pop open a can and have that cheesy-tomato goodness in my belly in a matter of minutes. But I am an adult now, and therefore I must limit my lazy junk food splurges to desperate times (like when I’m really needing quick comfort food, or at the beach with my garbage friends). The good news is there are plenty of “adult” (read: homemade) versions of the comfort food I so enjoy. I’m still searching for the *perfect* macaroni and cheese recipe, but I’ve found enough good ones that I can whip up a decent pot when the craving strikes. I save the hot dogs for the ballpark (or a particularly fantastic grilling day). That leaves spaghettios as my only semi-justifiable lazy-splurge.
I stumbled across the original recipe on Pinterest (I am obsessed with Pinterest recipes), but you can find it here. I can never thank Nikki Gladd enough for the post that gave me permission to eat spaghettios like an adult. I’ve made my own tweaks and adjustments, which to me give the dish even more of an authentic taste, still while maintaining an air of healthiness.
The most important item: spaghetti rings. I found them at Wegmans (which is hands down the best grocery store.)
I skip the garlic. I’m a big fan of garlic, but I’ve found eliminating it from this particular dish actually makes it better (which is rarely the case). The other major trick I found is cooking the noodles directly in the sauce, rather than separately and combining with the sauce at the end. The starch from the pasta thickens the sauce and the tomatoey-taste fattens the pasta.
Check out the full recipe if you’re feeling like reconnecting with the kid inside you (or if, like me, you feel a little guilty for all the canned junk you eat).
Olive Oil for pan (~1 tbs)
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 can Tomato Sauce
1 scoop Tomato Paste (~1 tbs. The time I made this the best, I used a regular spoon and eyeballed it)
3 cups water
8 oz spaghetti rings (or other round pasta)
Generous pinch of granulated sugar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2-4 tbs butter (you can cut down to make it even ‘healthier’)
1/4 cup milk
~1 cup shredded cheese (I used pre-shredded Mexican cheese. I also just dropped two handfuls in rather than measuring an actual cup)
In medium saucepan, saute the red pepper flakes in olive oil over Medium heat for about 30 seconds.
Add the tomato sauce, paste, water, pasta, sugar, salt and pepper.
Bring to low boil, stirring frequently to keep pasta from sticking to bottom of pan.
Add butter. Stir until melted.
Stir in milk.
Simmer over Medium-Low for about 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
(If sauce seems too runny, add a second scoop of tomato paste to thicken. Stir until fully distributed, then turn off heat) Add cheese one handful at a time, stirring between to melt fully.