2015 Lenten Potluck #3: Baked Mac n Cheez with Spicy Italian Jackfruit

My mom and I are like the Spencer Silver and Art Fry of cookery. She mentioned over the weekend she was planning to have friends over for a pizza dinner, and she wanted to use both jackfruit and eggplant. I remembered the pepperoni beets I experimented with a while back, and suggest she marinate the jackfruit so it tastes similar to Italian sausage – should be great with eggplant and mozzarella.
So Tuesday afternoon she called and said for some reason her jackfruit didn’t come out looking like mine. “Did you shred it?” I asked.
“Shred it?”
“You know, pull it apart, like pulled pork?”
“Oooh, is that how you do it? I put it in the Vitamix!” In the end she decided to add a little flax egg and use the mixture to make little sausage balls for the pizza.

So that night I was flipping through a new cookbook and saw a picture of spaghetti with a faux meat sauce made of TVP and walnuts. I liked the idea of using walnuts, and I had some. And I had faux mozzarella that was just kind of OK. And then I noticed the many cans of jackfruit in the cupboard, and that’s when I realized…

Vegan Spicy Italian Jackfruit Sausage
I, too, could make a marinade for jackfruit. And I could mush it on purpose. I made a big batch of this pepperphony marinade, with a few adjustments. See the Recipe Recap below for details.

Vegan Italian Sausage Jackfruit

Ground Marinated Jackfruit and Walnut Meat

Vegan Mac n Cheese with Spicy Italian Jackfruit Sausage
In my vintage baking dish :D

Vegan Mac n Cheese with Spicy Italian Jackfruit Sausage

Orthodox Lenten Potluck - Vegan
And I found out this lovely red soup is, indeed, borscht. There was also a creamy vegetable soup and roasted vegetables,

2015-3-12 Lenten Potluck Vegan2
another vegetable soup, something with lentils and rice and veggies, squash, Syrian potato salad, Syrian green beans with cinnamon, and of course Oreos :)

2015-3-12 Lenten Potluck Vegan3
The rolls made it to the table after I took the pictures, but I didn’t miss out on getting one on my plate! I love the rolls.

2015-3-12 Lenten Potluck Vegan4
All these foods went really nicely together, almost as if it were planned. I’m still learning to take smaller amounts if I want to try each dish, I ate a little too much last night and I didn’t even get to try two of the soups.

What are you cooking tonight?

Baked Mac n Cheez with Spicy Italian Jackfruit

Jackfruit Sausage Marinade
1 can jackfruit, drained and pulled
2 C water
1/4 C soy sauce, or to taste
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp smoked paprika*
2 tsp fennel seeds*
1 tsp garlic powder*
1 tsp onion powder*
1 tsp ground mustard*
1/2 tsp sage or savory*
1/2 tsp black pepper*
1/2 tsp chipotle powder*
1/4 tsp chili powder*

*Or to taste!
In a medium-sized pan, whisk all ingredients but jackfruit together and bring to a low simmer. Cook for a few minutes before adding drained and pulled jackfruit. Simmer jackfruit in marinade until liquid cooks down almost completely, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

White Sauce
1/4 C all purpose flour (or flour of choice)
1 C water
1 – 1 1/2 C Oat Mozzarella, cut into small chunks*
2 Tbsp tahini
3 – 4 C plain unsweetened almond milk
sliced green onions, to taste
1/4 C nutritional yeast, or to taste
salt, pepper & garlic to taste

*Or skip the cheez and use extra flour to thicken the sauce, if needed

In a cup, stir flour and water together until smooth. Pour into a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring regularly. Add in 1/2 C almond milk to start, continue stirring. Add tahini and stir quickly to incorporate. Once hot, add oat mozzarella and continue to stir until cheez melts, adding almond milk a little at a time as necessary to keep sauce from getting too thick. Continue adding almond milk a little at a time. Add green onions, and season with nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and garlic to your liking.
Sauce consistency should be similar to cream soup base.

Jackfruit Sausage
Marinated jackfruit
1 C soaked walnuts, drained
3 cloves garlic

After soaking walnuts at least one hour, and draining, add to food processor with three cloves of garlic, and salt to taste. Process until a ground meat-like consistency is reached. Place in a bowl.
Next, process the marinated jackfruit (you may leave out some of the stringier parts of the jackfruit for texture). Add jackfruit to bowl with walnuts, and mix to combine.

For the Casserole
16oz elbow macaroni, cooked to al dente
36oz tomato sauce
1/2 C water
salt & pepper to taste

Spread macaroni in a baking dish approximately 9×13″. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce and water and gently stir to coat the noodles.

Next, sprinkle the jackfruit sausage over the pasta. Do Not stir it in, but gently move the macaroni aside with the spoon to let the sausage fill in. Top with white sauce, again just using the spoon to gently push pasta around to make let the sauce seep in.
Bake at 350 until heated through. Place briefly under broiler to brown.

By the way, this recipe is oil free and great for a strict fasting day!


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