Thursdays are throwback day, when I take a classic dish that is generally made with animal ingredients and reimagine it vegan. I tried to stick to the classic dish, here, but feel free to have fun with this. Use more or different veggies, mix in some vegan cheese, leave out the jackfruit and just use the veggies- whatever you like. I want you to have fun in the kitchen, and following rules/recipes is only so fun on it's own.
I wish I could feed this to my great gran, but at least I'm serving it in her old Corningware dish, so that's got to count for something. Food is one way we keep the memories of our lost loved ones alive, and as I share this meal with my family, I'm reminded of the times my gran made this for me.
1 can green jackfruit in brine, marinated overnight*
2 sheets sushi nori for marinating jackfruit*
3 cups dry Rotini, cooked according to package, but a little firm
2 ribs celery, chopped finely
6 crimini (or button) mushrooms chopped finely
1/2 yellow onion, chopped finely
2 cups frozen peas
veg. oil of choice
1 cup cashews**
2.5 cups water**
salt and pepper to taste
1/2- 1 cup crushed chips
Preheat oven to 375 F
Sauté the celery, onion, and mushrooms until they start to just get a bit browned on the edges on medium high heat, and then add jackfruit. Toss jackfruit in and stir until the flavors are all integrated. Add salt and pepper and let jackfruit get warm and coated without browning, then add peas to pan.
While peas are defrosting, blend cashews and water in high speed blender until completely liquified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the cashew and water mixture into pan and combine everything and combine well as cashew cream and veggie mixture heats up and cashew cream will begin to thicken. You don't need to fully thicken it in the pan, because it will finish in the oven.
Top the casserole with crushed chips of your choosing or vegan cheese of your choice, or corn flakes smashed up, or nutritional yeast. Go crazy. Do your thing.
Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes and then let cool before serving (because it's 375 degrees, you know...
*Jackfruit Tuna: drain a can of jackfruit and put in a gallon ziplock bag. Seal the bag and smash the jackfruit with your hand until it's a similar texture to canned tuna. Then open the seal and, with the bag lying flat, lift the top up away from the jackfruit and insert a sheet of nori. Flip the bag over and repeat on the other side, so the jackfruit is surrounded in a nori sandwich. Press down on both sides and then refrigerate overnight. When it's time to use, just pour out jackfruit and allow the nori sheets to stick to the sides of the bag, or include them in your meal for extra flavor. This would be fun for making "tuna" sandwiches or salads. I think it still leaves some fishy taste to be desired. Maybe some kelp powder or dulse flakes would help.
**Mine turned out a little dry, so next time I'd use 1.5 cups cashews and 3-3.5 cups water
I wrote a children's book, How Our Vegan Family Celebrates, to help vegans and vegan allies know how to include vegans in their celebrations and give affirmation to vegan kids who may feel alone. The book goes through holidays throughout the year and has a section at the back with parent tips!
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I love cooking and playing in the kitchen with my toys, so let me share that joy with you and your family to bring the FUN back into the kitchen!