Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vegetarian BBQ Pulled "Pork" Sandwich

I hate to brag, but I just returned from the most rejuvenating week in Mexico. I did nothing more challenging than take beach walks, read books, drink, and eat.

Speaking of eating, I ate the most wonderful food! I began each day with a big bowl of perfectly ripe papaya, house made granola with cashews and coconut, and yogurt. If possible, I would have eaten this for every meal. I have a mad obsession for ripe papaya.

Lunches were usually a big beet and jicama salad on greens with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and a piece of fish. Except for the one day I made a Chipotle-style burrito bowl with rice, beans, fresh pico de gallo, and guacamole.

Dinners were all over the place - but I had fish or shrimp every night with vino blanco. Every day also saw enough freshly fried tortilla chips and the freshest and spiciest pico de gallo and guacamole to keep me full the whole week.

Did I mention the coconut ice cream? It is to die for.

Coconut farms are prevalent around Zihuatanejo and thus coconut is everywhere. I had a Coco Loco on Playa la Ropa - it's a giant hollowed out coconut filled with a massive quantity of tequila, rum, vodka, and who knows what else...I can't seem to recall but I'm quite sure I enjoyed it!

Anyways, here I am back in sunny and beautiful Minneapolis. As much as I love it here, it's admittedly a tiny bit difficult to re-enter the real world after the fabulousness of last week.

One thing that makes it easier is my kitchen. I have missed cooking! Tonight I was inspired by this miso slaw recipe on Sprouted Kitchen and wanted to pair it with an asian-style barbecue sauced sandwich.

Remember when I made a homemade barbecue sauce? I mocked the recipe for yielding six cups. Well, let me tell you...there have been several occasions since then that I have wished to have some barbecue sauce on hand. So I made another batch (a full one this time) and froze several jars of it for future use.

Then I made a trip to United Noodles to pick up a big can of vegetarian mock duck (also called seitan, or wheat gluten).

I shredded up the mock duck and heated it in a little pot on the stove with some of the barbecue sauce and scooped it on top of a toasted wheat bun, and topped with some of the miso slaw. It's really just a sloppy joe.

Of course, you can do the same type of sandwich with real pork or ground beef or tempeh or chicken, or whatever you can come up with in your crazy little brains!

It was rich from the barbecue sauce and seitan and light and crunchy from the slaw. A very satisfying sandwich (if not very photogenic or elegant - but not every meal can be fancy). I love eating seemingly "bad" foods that I've made from scratch. It removes all the guilt and tastes better than I ever imagined it could.

ONE YEAR AGO: Yogurt Parfait


  1. I've made seitan tons of times and eat tofu regularly, but never really knew what mock duck was. I guess I always thought it was marinated tofu or something. So, just in the last year I finally bought a can of it and started cooking with it - pretty good stuff! I have a can waiting to be used...perhaps for this dish - great idea.

    Also, have you tried jackfruit as a meat substitute? I heard it shreds up well for BBQ Pork type dishes, but I haven't tried it yet.

  2. OK, you have totally stumped me. I've never heard of or seen jackfruit. It is my new challenge to find it and try it somehow soon. Thanks!

  3. Agreed - from a girl who thought she knew every food I have never heard of this wild!! I will be on the quest in NYC as well!