Jackfruit-Stuffed Cucumber Timbales Recipe

Cucumbers are great and I don’t eat enough of them — they’re very refreshing and cooling. They are special in Ayurvedic medicine for reasons I don’t really understand, maybe because they have a soothing-cooling effect. They go really well with jackfruit, which isn’t sweet even though it’s a fruit. Lots of people use jackfruit as a vegan “pork” but I think it’s better used in cold salads like this one.

I came up with this recipe based on a similar one from Jazzy Vegetarian and combined it with a recipe I saw on Pinterest.

Everyone thought these were delicious and could not get enough of them — hollowed out fresh cucumbers stuffed with flaky, savory jackfruit, roasted walnuts, and delicate caper puree. A fun way to eat your salad and (savory) fruit in a little drum shape.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 large cucumbers, peeled
1 can jackfruit in brine, drained OR 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or seasoning of your choice
1 tablespoon capers (rinsed), green olives, or pickle relish
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2/3 cup vegan mayo such as Vegenaise or Just Mayo

DIRECTIONS:

Peel the cucumbers and cut them into 3/4 inch slices, set aside.

Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry pan on medium heat for about five minutes, keeping an eye on them. Once they begin to release a nice fragrance, toss them and roast for a minute more. Turn off heat and then them sit.

Drain the jackfruit and combine jackfruit, roasted walnuts, green onions, Old Bay or other seasoning, capers, and mayo in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until everything is minced and blended but not all the way into paste.

Hollow out the seeds cucumber rounds on one side with a small spoon so the filling can sit in there. Stuff with the jackfruit blend and serve as an appetizer or in the place of a salad.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 10 December, 2013: Fast Kidney Bean Chili

You might be able to tell I’m pressed for time on the food front lately. This chili is the fastest I’ve ever made. Still yummy though.

vegan fast chili fast vegan chili with kidney beans

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups onion, chopped
about 2 cups cooked kidney beans, drained (or one 15 ounce can)
1 cup walnuts, cut into bits
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped (I used red peppers from a jar)
1.5 cups marinara sauce
2 teaspoons taco seasoning OR 1 teaspoon cumin plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Cooked macaroni, to serve

DIRECTIONS:

Sauté onion in oil a pan on medium-high heat until translucent. Add walnuts, let it fry for about 3 minutes. Add beans, red bell pepper, marinara sauce, and taco seasoning. Cook about 5 more minutes or until sauce thickens.

Serve over macaroni.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 November, 2013: Poor Woman’s Tofurky with Sourdough Stuffing

poor woman's tofurky seitan roast with sourdough stuffing IMG_3734

I love Tofurky, however, they are $14 and fairly small so I made this seitan roast because I had to feed a crazy large crowd. Luckily this recipe made so much that my husband and I got to eat a mini rendition of the roast before the big day.

SOURDOUGH STUFFING INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil

2 cups onion, chopped
7 cups sourdough bread, I used homemade
1.5 cup shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water if from dry
3 – 5 cloves garlic (about 1.5 tablespoons) minced
2 cups celery, chopped
1.5 cups carrots, finely chopped
1.5 cups walnuts, optional
2 cups plus up to 4 cups more vegetable broth

1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground or whole fennel seeds

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups vital wheat gluten flour

3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1/4 cup tahini
2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon sage
Additional oil and soy sauce, for basting

Here is the what the vital wheat gluten flour package looks like:

vital wheat gluten flour package

DIRECTIONS:

For the sourdough bread stuffing, pulse the bread in a blender or food processor until it is almost completely crumbs. In the bottom of a large pot, spread walnuts over the bottom and set heat to medium. When the walnuts become fragrant, about 5 minutes, add the onion and the oil and fry until onion is translucent, another 3 minutes. Add all herbs and spices (sage, paprika, thyme, taco seasoning, and fennel) to a well in the center of the mixture and allow to sauté about 30 seconds. Chop mushrooms into fine bits and add them along with celery, carrot, and garlic. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and simmer until carrots reach al dente stage, up to 20 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs to the pot. Add more broth a half cup at a time until the mixture is thick but not dry or runny.

For the seitan, chill a large mixing bowl, the vital wheat gluten flour, and the spoon you will use to mix it in the freezer. Also use cold broth and chilled beans if possible. The reason is because seitan is much easier to handle when it is cold because once it is warm, the gluten gets firmer and more obstinate.

In a blender, combine chilled broth with garlic, tahini, beans, oil, sage, and soy sauce. Blend until beans are completely pureed. In the large chilled bowl, pour in the vital wheat gluten flour. Make a well in the center of flour. Add the white-bean broth slurry. Stir until just mixed.

On a cutting board, roll the seitan dough into one oblong rectangular-ish sheet for a large loaf and one smaller oblong sheet for a mini-loaf or 2 equal sheets for 2 equal loaves.

Lay about 1.5 cups of stuffing in the center of the loaf.

lay stuffing in loaf center

lay stuffing in loaf center

Turn the loaf over and seal up the edges with your fingers by pinching. Use a little water if it doesn’t want to stick.

Put the remainder of the stuffing in a casserole dish.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put the stuffing in the oven. While it bakes, oil a pan or a cookie sheet very generously. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes. Take them out of the oven and baste them with a tablespoon of oil and soy sauce each, return to the oven for 20 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 November, 2013: Roasted Walnut Shiitake Dressing Stuffed Squash

This roasted walnut, mushroom, and panko stuffing would be perfect for Thanksgiving.  I was really happy to find out these squashes I bought from the grocery store were local.

vegan mushroom dressing stuffed squashvegan mushroom dressing stuffed squash
INGREDIENTS:

2 small or 1 large acorn squash

1.5 cups walnuts
2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups celery, chopped
1.5 cups broccoli florets, chopped

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water at least 20 minutes
1.5 – 2 cups panko or breadcrumbs
Up to 1.5 cups vegetable broth or saved mushroom water to moisten

DIRECTIONS:

Wash outside of squash, poke holes in it, and then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  I save the seeds to roast and salt on a cookie sheet, yum!

Roast walnuts in a dry pan on medium heat until they give off a wonderful fragrance, about 5 minutes.  Don’t let them burn but it is okay to let them brown.  Add oil to the pan and onions.  Fry the onions for about 1 minute and add the broccoli and celery.

Chop the mushroom into small bits and add to the pan.  Add panko or breadcrumbs and mix well.  Add mushroom water and/or broth little by little and stir until the mixture is moistened.

Cut the cooked squash in half and remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon.  Stuff the squash halves with walnut-panko dressing.  Broil at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes until top browns.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 11 September, 2013: Raw Summer Squash Pasta with Walnut-Tomato Sauce

spiralized summer squash pasta with walnut sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1 summer squash, julienned, spiralized, or shredded

1 cup walnuts, soaked 4 plus hours and drained

1 tablespoon onion

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup tomato, roughly chopped

Soy sauce or salt to taste

Chopped green onions (optional) garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Soak nuts and drain off water.  Julienne or spiralize summer squash and set aside in a bowl.   Reserve a little chopped tomato for garnish.

Combine soaked nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and tomato in a food processor and blend to a chunky texture.  Add soy sauce or salt and pulse a few more times until it is a slightly chunky paste, taste test it to see if it needs more salt.  Toss walnut mixture with spiralized squash.

Garnish with green onions and chopped tomato.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 10 July, 2010: Muhammara Pasta

Muhammara comes from Syrian/Lebanese cuisine. It’s a dip that’s a great spread for veggies, bread, or chips. Usually it includes breadcrumbs but I left them out because this was going on pasta.

vegan muhammara pasta

vegan muhammara pasta

INGREDIENTS:

3 roasted sweet red peppers (I used organic ones from a jar)
1 cup walnuts
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Half a lemon’s juice (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of hot sauce or Sriacha, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup water

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Transfer from blender to a medium sized bowl (for microwave) or to a small pan on the stovetop. Heat on stovetop on medium or microwave for 1 minute until warm and serve as a pasta sauce, less than five minutes. To serve it as dip, optionally stir in 3/4 cup bread crumbs or panko once it is blended.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 4 July, 2013: Clean Dirty Rice

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vegan dirty rice with eggplant, walnuts, and jalapeños

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked long grain rice (I used basmati)

2 teaspoons oil
1.5 cup onion
2 cups eggplant, unskinned, chopped into 3/4 inch bite size pieces
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers (I used the kind from a jar or can) OR 2 tablespoons green bell pepper

1/4 cup roasted red peppers, minced
1 tablespoon sundried tomatoes, minced OR tomato sauce
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 cup vegetable broth (I used 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon mixed with 1 cup water)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large pan on medium-high, add 2 teaspoons oil. Add walnuts and toast them until browned and fragrant, about two minutes, stirring them to make sure they don’t burn. Add eggplant, onion, and jalapeños to the eggplant. Sauté for about 7 to 10 minutes until onion looks translucent and eggplant starts browning. Stir periodically. Make a well in the center and deposit the garlic in it, allow it to cook there. Dump the sundried tomatoes, red peppers, and thyme on top of cooking garlic and allow to sauté for about a minute.

Turn heat to Low.

Add rice to pan, stirring in gently to break up any rice clumps.

Lastly, mix vegetable broth and soy sauce and pour into the rice/eggplant mix. Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes more until liquid absorbs.

Finish with a sprinkle of black pepper.