Jackfruit: The Vegetable Meat and Native Food’s New “BBQ Jackelope Sandwich”

I dropped by Native Foods today for lunch and imagine my surprise when I saw a new menu item, The BBQ Jackelope Sandwich! (I was also dismayed to see that it replaced my current favorite, the Bistro Steak Sandwich, but that’s another story). The new Jackelope Sandwich is made from slow cooked jackfruit, smothered with smokehouse BBQ sauce and topped with Asian salad.


What? You’ve never heard of jackfruit? Well, you’re in for a treat. A healthy, all natural, vegan treat!

The jackfruit grows in tropical locales on tall, evergreen trees. Pricky and green in its unripened state, which is when it is perfect to use as a meat substitute (it is yellow and sweet when ripe). It is cultivated in India, Ceylon, southern China, Thailand, and other countries with hot, humid climates.


The jackfruit is not cultivated much in the United States, and though attempts have been made in Florida and Hawaii, it is rare to see a jackfruit tree in this country.


But, how does it taste? The unripened jackfruit has a taste and consistency similar to chicken when it is cooked. It can be shredded or cut into chunks, and can be slow cooked for extra flavor. Because of its cultivation in Asian countries, it is frequently used in curries. The one other time I ate jackfruit was at the Bohdi Tree, a vegan Asian restaurant in Huntington Beach.

The jackfruit is nutrient rich, especially in vitamins C and B complex. It has small amounts of vitamin A, plus potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. It is also high in dietary fiber.

So you don’t have a jackfruit tree in your backyard? No worries. In this country, jackfruit is most frequently available in cans and is sold at Asian and Caribbean markets. Because of it’s moderate popularity, I’m not sure if it is available at supermarkets like Whole Foods.  There are a few online sources, including Amazon.com. Make sure to look for unripe (or young) jackfruit in brine.

Recipes? I’m sorry to say that I have never cooked with jackfruit (yet!). I have done my research for you though. Here is a video from Melisser Elliot from Everyday Dish TV with her Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos.

Here are two recipes from Clean Green Simple, Carolina Pulled “Pork” Sandwich, and Jessica’s version of the Jackfruit Carnitas.

Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! has a recipe for Carnitas sandwiches (Cadry reviewed the book and made the sandwich, you can check her post out here).

I have to say that a long time ago I used to love carnitas. I will definitely try one of these recipes!


So, how did I like my BBQ Jackelope sandwich from Native Foods? Well, I liked it a lot. The texture is amazing (unless you’re a vegan who gets freaked out by food that feels too “meaty”). The flavor of the jackfruit was a little overwhelmed by the sauce which was a little too spicy. I say that as someone who would put Sriracha on everything, so if you aren’t into spicy food, this particular sandwich might not be right for you. The Asian slaw (which is on the sandwich itself), helps to cool it down and adds a satisfying crunch. I will order it again.


Have you ever tried jackfruit? What did you think?

Joining the Pin It Party!

I excited that I’m joining Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean and a lot of other bloggers in a Pin It Party today! We are all choosing five of our posts, new or old, to share.  Here are some of my favorite recipes and workouts. I do hope that you will find something to pin.



Asparagus, Avocado and Quinoa Salad with Mango Lime Vinaigrette. Vegan.  This salad is delicious, easy to prepare, and looks elegant enough for a dinner party.

Asparagus-Salad - Pin it Party


 Two Workouts: Get Your Vanity On & Learn to Function  Two workouts in this post, one to hit all those “vanity” muscles, to help you look toned and fit, the other a totally functional workout, to get your body ready for sport or life.

Vanity Workout - Pin it Party

Tempeh Tacos. Vegan & Gluten Free.  So easy and delicious, these tacos are spicy and quick to make.

Tempeh-Tacos - Pin it Party

Adding Tempo Training Runs to Get Faster Plus 3 Workouts!  When you don’t have a lot of time, this Fast & Furious workout will work you out thoroughly in about 20 minutes (plus you will also find two tempo training workouts!)

FF Workout - Pin it party

Rice Salad with Cream Tarragon Dressing  Years after the restaurant that served it closed, I finally was able to recreate my favorite dish.

Rice Salad - Pin it Party


I hope that you have found something worth pinning today. Bloggers, there is still time to join the party! Check out Lindsay’s post with the guidelines and link up! Or, you can share one of your favorites posts in the comments.

Weekly Reader: A Month of Inspiration

After writing my Miracle post, I felt that I needed to get back to posting my favorite weekly posts. I love collecting these, and even though I’ve not written a Reader post in a month, I always “star” my favorites as I read. Except of course, those times when I am so busy. that I click “mark as read” so those 100+ unread posts will stop yelling at me.

Have you ever read a great book, seen an inspiring movie, or heard a great joke, and thought, “I’ve got to share that!” Of course you have! Here are a few things from my Reader in the last week month that inspired and motivated me, made me happy, sad, and angry, made my stomach growl, and made me laugh.

In My Reader: Vegan Recipes

Oh She Glows, Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale Soup. I know that it is almost winter when I suddenly want soup. It may still be 80 degrees outside, but Angela’s soup sounds delicious and just right for winter.

Fragrant Vanilla Cake, Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake. First of all, you need to click through just to look at this gorgeous thing! Amy’s desserts always look so decadent and amazing.

The Sweetest Vegan, McDonald’s Baked Apple Pie Homemade Vegan. I’ll admit it: in my pre-vegetarian days I had a weakness for Mickey D’s apple pies. (That’s a lot less shameful than the admission that during my first pregnancy I had constant cravings for the filet-o-fish!). Tasha’s recipe looks a lot healthier too (no sugar!).

The Naked Kitchen, Naked BLT. I admit it. I used to love the taste of bacon. Like Sarah, I gave it up long before I became a vegetarian, but this recipe promises to bring the salty, smokey, sweet flavor back into my life (without harming any sweet, intelligent pig).

In My Reader: Fitness Fun

Miss Zippy, #10 Things I Don’t Get. I don’t think that controversial is quite the right word, but Miss Zippy opined on many of the popular trends in running these days (and I agreed on almost all of them – I do kind of like huge races).

Tri-ing to Be Athletic, All This Exercise is a Pain in the Neck. I truly try to occasionally skip one of Julie’s posts here, but they are just too good. She is just such so talented and funny!

Arena Fitness, Fitness Formula: Seven More Ways to Save December. As the title suggests, Jonathan had an original Seven Ways to Save December, but I liked this one better (maybe because the first suggestion is to get a massage).

Fun & Fit, Prevent Shin Splints: 3 Calf Stretches. As a cross country coach, I found these stretches from Alexandra and Kymberly very helpful. Shin splints are one of the most frequent injuries that I see with new runners, especially those who join the team late.


In My Reader: Blogging Tips

Pushing Social, How to Write an Interesting Blog. One of the things that I am afraid of. Am I boring? I hope not, but I did read Stanford’s post with interest.

Healthy Living Blogs, Savvy Blog Talk: Blogrolls. While my Weekly Reader posts are kind of like a blogroll, Julie points out the reasons to keep your actual blogroll current and interesting.

Social Mouths, The Death of the “How To” Article. While the “how to” post has been a staple for bloggers of all specialties, from healthy living to techy, fashion to DIY, guest poster Tommy tells us why it might be time to re-think how you approach writing your own.

In My Reader: Health, Activism, and More

The Blog of Bruce Bradley, Another Big Food Head Fake. As a former food industry insider, Bruce lays it on the line and has no mercy on his former cronies (my word, not his). Here he discusses how food marketers try to fool us into believing that they are serving up healthy food.

Vegansaurus, Pet CPR: Learn How with Vet Tech David Watts. Of course you prepare to save the life of your child, clients, or random stranger. How about the life of your devoted pet?

Girlie Girl Army, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Debut $55,000 Backpack Made From Crocodile Skin and Prescription Pills. This is just gross and disgusting. Ugh. How they have changed.

Now it’s your turn. What fabulous, inspiring, interesting things have you read this month? Include your own if you think it fits. And please, don’t miss my post, Two People, a Community, a Brain Tumor, and a Miracle. Because I think it fits.

Weekly Reader: A Dose of Inspiration

Have you ever read a great book, seen an inspiring movie, or heard a great joke, and thought, “I’ve got to share that!” Of course you have! Here are a few things from my Reader in the last week that inspired and motivated me, made me happy, sad, and angry, made my stomach growl, and made me laugh.

A little Vegas inspiration.

As always happens in November, the Snowbirds start to flock back to the desert where I live and work, life gets extremely busy and hectic, and my writing tends to be less frequent. I’m really going to try to keep up with my Weekly Reader series because I love sharing the posts that I love, but you may notice that a series that used to be titled “Weekend Reader” is now posting on Wednesday. Ah, well, we can but try.

In any case, I have a long list of great posts for you to sample. Enjoy!

Awesome Accomplishments

She can run and she’s smart too! Run with Kate, It’s Over. I’m so excited for my Aussie friend Kate, who…well, click through and see what she accomplished!

Read it before I spill the beans: CandyFit, I’m Speechless: The OPA Ottawa Championships. I want to tell you, but it’s better to read it in Kierston’s own words.

Fitness and Training

A Very Personal Story: Arena Fitness, A Fitness Trainer’s Story. Madeleine’s story of her road to fitness and health.

Told Ya, Julie! Tri-ing to be Athletic, The Edmonds Half. I had a Crappy Run. I tried to feel bad for Julie while I read about her crappy run, but, for some reason all I could do was laugh.

The Same Race, Three Different Stories:

Marcia’s Healthy Slice, Marine Corps Marathon: Race Report. First, Marcia’s perspective of coming back from injuries, calf sleeves, and setting marathon goals.

rUnladylike, Marine Corps Marathon Race Recap. Next up, Jesica includes her pre-race tour of the White House and other Washington sites, her thoughts on running in severe weather, and finishing a marathon just four weeks after her first half ironman.

Better with Veggies, Marine Corps Marathon Recap. And finally Heather, who ran in a rainbow tutu, and was doing this race “for fun.” I’m a marathoner so I get it. I also get that she ran her third fastest time. That really is fun!

There were other marathons out there: Health on the Run, 2012 Manchester City Marathon Race Recap. Just so you don’t think that I’m all about the marine corps, here is Lauren’s story of her marathon in New Hampshire. By the way, she is very fast in spite of her injury recovery process and not feeling totally prepared to race.

Now that you’ve run the race, it is time to recover: Miss Zippy, 10 Commandments of Marathon Recovery. Appropriately for the women above, or for anybody who ran a marathon last weekend, Miss Zippy, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, offers her tips for marathon recovery.

Yes, we are all getting older. Some of us are just older older: Cranky Fitness, Middle Aged Exercisers: On Not Throwing in the Towel. I think Cranky wrote this for me, appropriately since I just hit the big 5-5.


Mmm, vegan Mexican food: Fragrant Vanilla Cake, Stuffed Poblanos with Mole Sauce. I love mole, I love spicy. I love this recipe, it sounds so delicious it is making my mouth water as I write this.

Yes, you can be healthy and have a candy bar. Occasionally: Vegansaurus, Go Max Go Debuts Vegan Butterfingers. Butterfingers. Vegan. Enough said.

Mmm, vegan Italian food: The Naked Kitchen, Butternut Squash Lasagna. To me, lasagna is comfort food and this recipe looks wonderful. Kristy even gives a gluten free alternative.

Yes, it can be done. I’ve done it for four years: No Meat Athlete, How I Do Thanksgiving as a Vegan. Matt gives a lot of tips and encouragement on enjoying a plant based Thanksgiving. It’s really not hard and it saves turkeys!

Oh. My. God! The Sweetest Vegan, Double Bacon Cheeseburger – The Sweetest Vegan Fast Food. Seriously, you have to click through just to look at the awesome burger. And even better, with just a couple substitutions and g-f buns, it is gluten-free!


New Mommy Alert! The Blog of Bruce Bradley, Baby’s First Encounter with Big Food. If you are a new parent, or expecting a child soon, you must read this. Whether or not you plan to breastfeed, you need information on what is in baby formula.

Can a cupcake be “bad?” FitKnitChick, Food Guilt | Why Labeling Food ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Undermines Healthy Eating. We may be heading into the naughty or nice season, but Tamara explains why it’s a bad idea to hang those labels on your food.

Now it’s your turn! Any great blogs that inspired you this week? Did you write something that you’re proud of? Now’s the time to share!

Weekly Reader: Two Weeks of Inspiration

Have you ever read a great book, seen an inspiring movie, or heard a great joke, and thought, “I’ve got to share that!” Of course you have! Here are a few things from my Reader in the last week that inspired and motivated me, made me happy, sad, and angry, made my stomach growl, and made me laugh.


It felt inspirational to be out for a bike ride last weekend!

Here we have two weeks of my favorites! Without making too many excuses, let me just say, I’ve been a bit busy, and I’ve found myself a bit behind in my blogging. So here are the best posts that turned up in my reader in the last two weeks, divided into categories. (I should say some of the best posts. I star many as I read, then cut it down to a manageable amount. This week it was tough.)


No Meat Athlete, 16 Strength Exercises and Stretches to Help You Run Faster and Injury Free. Susan offers some great advice for how to make your body stronger, more flexible, and injury proof. Not to mention faster.

FitKnitChick, #FatblasterFriday | Hi-Lo LEGS Workout. I enjoy Tamara’s videos not only because she offers a great workout, but because she is working out right along with you. And I love listening to her voice. This workout will totally blast your legs.

Candy Fit, Competition Day: Team FFA Rocks! Kierston just competed in two physique competitions in one weekend and she rocked them both! Read all about her events, how well she did, and take a look at how great she looks!

Tri-ing to Be Athletic, This is How I Roll. Okay, maybe Julie isn’t the best person to learn foam rolling from, but she sure is the funniest.

Fun & Fit, I am Awesome. You Can’t Fake Awesome. In spite of a bad knee, or maybe, in a funny way, because of it, Alexandra walked the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and killed it. A fun race report and lot’s of pictures.


Katy Kidrick, Blogger Media Kits: When You Don’t Have Much Traffic. Just two weeks after giving birth to her beautiful baby girl, Katy is here to help you create your media kit. If your goal is to reach out to brands, don’t miss this post.

Pushing Social, 5 Steps to Marketing Your Blog Even if You’re Broke. Who says you have to have money to make money? Not Stanford. This post will get you on the right road to marketing your blog without spending a lot of money.


What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat, Anyway? Apple Fritters. I couldn’t help it. I have to share this post. I have not had an apple fritter for several years and now, I can. This looks sinfully delicious.

JL Goes Vegan, Tofu Tips. JL’s blog is a great resource for all vegans, new ones in particular. Here she gives a rundown of different types of tofu and some easy steps to make it taste delicious.

The Blog of Bruce Bradley, Processed Food: Trick or Treat? Beaver’s anal glands. Crushed bugs. Beetle juice. Can this be in your food? Absolutely! Bruce Bradley, former food industry insider turned food advocate, uses a little Halloween humor to introduce you to the horrors of deceptive labeling.

My next link up post will be to share some of the wonderful vegan and gluten free blogs that I have found as I explore the lifestyle suggested during my WellnessFX health consultation. Don’t ever think that simply cutting a few things of your diet, especially when you can improve your health because of it, means that you will feel deprived or have to eat boring food. Simply. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Now it’s your turn! What has inspired you lately? Yes, you can go back two weeks too. Did you write something that you’re proud of? Share! Now’s the time and here’s the place!

Weekly Reader: A Dash of Inspiration

Have you ever read a great book, seen an inspiring movie, or heard a great joke, and thought, “I’ve got to share that!” Of course you have! Here are a few things from my Reader in the last week that inspired and motivated me, made me happy, sad, and angry, made my stomach growl, and made me laugh.

Tempeh sausage

I was inspired to make this tempeh sausage sandwich (recipe coming soon)

After last week’s ginourmous post, and after the pretty crazy and emotional weekend I had, I am culling through the huge list of flagged posts in my reader to bring you just the top five. I’m serious. Throughout each week, I star the posts that I think I would like to share with you, then I’ll go back, review them, pick the best, most inspirational, funny, helpful, etc. and then write this post. (Seriously, I have about 50 starred.)

I don’t usually do this, but I did write a post that got a pretty good response (the comments are hilarious, be sure and read them). So if you missed it, hop on over and check out Is it TMI? No! It’s the Top 5 Embarrassing Running Questions Answered. Now, onto business.

Best Race Recap from Down Under: Run with Kate, Did That Just Happen? (The Melbourne Marathon Race Recap). My Aussie friend Kate share her first time marathon experience. Plus check out this post for the best finish face ever.

Vegan MoFo of the Week: Fragrant Vanilla Cake, Vegan Maple Turtle Cake. After last week’s MoFo extravaganza, I’m only posting one vegan recipe this week, but it’s a doozie. Even if you have no interest in baking a vegan cake, you have to click through just to see the picture. Oh. My. God. Amy’s blog is also new to my Reader, and I can’t wait to explore her awesome looking recipes.

Welcome to the World: Katy Widrick, Welcome to the World. I couldn’t think of a better title than Katy’s, as she and her husband welcome their daughter Audrey to the world this week.

Best Post to Make You Think: Fitknitchick, Fitness Professionals: Do you feel pressured to maintain ‘the look?’. As fitness professionals we are supposed to help our clients become strong, fit, and healthy. Tamara asks whether the pressure to “look the part” can push some fitness pros into disordered eating and exercise. She asks the question and for the most part, allows her commenters to answer. Fascinating.

Best Blogger’s Tip: Healthy Living Blogs: Savvy Blog Talk: Making Your Recipes Printable. I usually like to include a blog tip, because I know that many of my readers are writers too. This is simple, and it may be common knowledge, but I didn’t how to do it, so I’m sharing with you Julie’s tips for making your recipes printable. Don’t be surprised if you see a “print this” button on my next recipe!

There you have my top five. Now it’s your turn. Did you read something memorable, inspiring, funny, or sad that you’d like to share? Are you particularly proud of a post that you wrote yourself? Please share in the comments!