Vegetarian

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Before I dive into how I came up with this recipe or start describing what it tastes like I first need to address the obvious question: what is jackfruit? I did not know the answer to this until a couple months ago. Technically, jackfruit is a relative of figs and is indeed a fruit. However, the more relevant answer is that it has the texture of chicken and while the fruit is young it has a neutral taste letting it take on the flavor of whatever sauce you slather over it. For these two reasons, in the last year or so jackfruit has become increasingly popular as a meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians. Now, it is important to note that the flesh of the jackfruit does not have much protein at all so I would recommend serving it alongside something high in protein, such as this Three Bean and Roasted Cauliflower Salad.

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Jackfruit is, however, low in calories, and I can definitely see why it is popular as a meat alternative. Once I shredded up this jackfruit and cooked it in some barbecue sauce, it looked exactly like pulled pork. Matt thought it was pulled pork when I served it and after he took a bite – and after me telling him it was jackfruit – he looked at me and said, “You’re sure this isn’t pork?” While it doesn’t have the richness of pork, the texture is almost identical to a pulled chicken or pork and smothered in barbecue sauce no one would ever be the wiser.

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

I had heard of jackfruit, but got the opportunity to try it a couple months ago at our Whole Foods. They had it in the burrito bar and let me try a sample. I loved the texture, but it was too spicy for me. I decided I needed to do more research and make my own version so I could enjoy it. Remember how the Elote Hot Dogs came to be? I think I’m noticing a pattern here with my inability to consume spicy foods…

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyways, I discovered that you can buy jackfruit in a can. I got mine from Trader Joe’s. What you are looking for is green jackfruit. Make sure you do not buy the one that comes in syrup. The one from Trader Joe’s comes in a brine instead of water so I just made sure I rinsed them well before cutting. For cutting tips check out my little diagram below.

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

After it’s all cut up, the jackfruit gets cooked down with some onion, garlic and barbecue sauce before being shredded and loaded up onto tortillas. I made a quick and healthy slaw for the tacos with nonfat Greek yogurt to balance the flavors of the barbecue sauce. You can use any barbecue sauce you prefer, but I highly recommend my easy homemade barbecue sauce that is free of refined sugar.

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I both really enjoyed these tacos and I’m looking forward to making them again soon! Have any of you tried jackfruit before?

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos  |  Lemon & Mocha

Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos
 
Yield: 6 servings, 12 mini tacos
Ingredients
for the tacos
  • 2 20-ounce cans jackfruit
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ small red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 12 6-inch tortillas, warmed
for the slaw
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage or slaw mix
  • ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • Ground black pepper
Directions
for the tacos
  1. Prepare the jackfruit. If your jackfruit is in brine instead of water make sure you rinse it well in a colander then dry completely before cutting. Cut following the diagram pictured above: place a wedge of the jackfruit on a cutting board so the narrow edge is closest to you. Slice from the wide curved edge down to the narrow edge so you have about 5 or so smaller wedges. This will make it easier for shredding later.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a rimmed skillet or medium stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium then add the jackfruit and the water. Stir and cook for a couple minutes. Add the barbecue sauce, stir, then turn down the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve over the warmed tortillas topped with the slaw.
for the slaw
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Season with ground black pepper to taste.

 

Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps

Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, this recipe literally is strawberries and peanut butter, or the nut butter of your choice, wrapped inside a tortilla. Yes, I realize you probably don’t need a recipe to create that. Yes, I did go ahead and post it anyways. The reason is that I’m always looking for new lunch ideas for Matt and I. I like switching up my meals a lot because a) there’s so many different meals out there to try and b) I get bored of having the same thing all the time. I figured other people on here might also be looking for some lunch or snack-time inspiration so here we are!

Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

Peanut butter and jelly is such a good classic combination, but sometimes I’m a little hesitant to use jelly because of all the added sugar and ingredients. That’s where the fresh strawberries come in. You still get the taste of a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich without all the additional ingredients. This simple Strawberry Peanut Butter Wrap is just a starting point – you can completely change yours up to whatever suits your preferences or mood. You all know I love a good recipe with the possibility for options!

Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I think it’s safe to say that I currently have a butter addiction. I’m not talking about actual butter though; I’m talking about nut and seed butters. Right now in our kitchen cabinets we have creamy peanut butter, peanut butter with flax and chia seeds, crunchy almond butter and dark chocolate sunflower seed butter (my favorite!). There’s also cookie butter, but that’s for special occasions. This wrap could be made with whichever nut or seed butter you want. You could even combine a couple! Okay, mind blown. Anyways, you can also switch up the fruit, but I think berries like raspberries or blackberries would taste best in this wrap. If you want to get a little extra you could always add in a little granola.

Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you are a peanut butter and jelly fan then you are going to love the Food Network Magazine’s September muffins that I’ll be sharing next Friday!

Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

Strawberry Peanut Butter Wraps
 
Yield: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • Nut or seed butter of choice
  • 5 small-medium quartered strawberries
Directions
  1. If your tortilla is going to be too stiff to roll without breaking, place it on a plate under a damp paper towel and microwave for 10 seconds.
  2. Spread some nut or seed butter on the tortilla to completely cover one side. Place your cut strawberries on the bottom edge of the tortilla then roll it up.

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Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I first bought tahini it was to make my Pumpkin Hummus. For those of you that aren’t familiar with tahini, it is made from ground sesame seeds and is one of the main components in hummus, along with chickpeas. After that first experiment with the Pumpkin Hummus, I used it purely to make homemade hummus and never ventured beyond that.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Then last year I was Googling healthy lunch ideas for Matt and I and came across a quinoa bowl that called for a tahini dressing. My version of the recipe is incredibly simple – tahini, lemon juice, water and garlic powder. I mixed it up completely skeptical, but as soon as I tried it poured over my bowl of roasted veggies and quinoa I was completely hooked.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

It was tart, nutty and really creamy. The acidic punch complements the earthy vegetables really well. We have these Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls all year round and I love that you can swap out the vegetables to your preferences or the season.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

This version is my favorite, though, because I love the meatiness that the eggplant and mushrooms bring to the bowl. Matt and I are also mushroom obsessed if I haven’t mentioned that before. Then the zucchinis bring some brightness and the bell pepper adds some sweetness. Perfection in a bowl!

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls  |  Lemon & Mocha

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Tahini Bowls
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 eggplant
  • 8 ounces whole cremini mushrooms
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a half sheet baking pan with nonstick aluminum foil or lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Prep the veggies. Cut the ends off the zucchini then cut it into thick rounds. Slice the rounds in half. Remove the seeds and stem from the bell pepper then chop into a big dice. Remove the ends from the eggplant then cut into a small dice. The eggplant takes the longest to roast so you want the pieces smaller. Remove the stems from the mushrooms then quarter them.
  3. Place the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet then toss with just enough olive oil to lightly coat them. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the veggies roasted and lightly browned.
  4. While the veggies are roasting, make the tahini dressing. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water and garlic powder until incorporated. Keep separate until ready to eat.
  5. To prepare the bowls, put ½ cup cooked quinoa in each bowl. Divide the roasted veggies between the 4 bowls then divide the dressing between each of the bowls.
Notes
Usually when I make this I will pack the tahini dressing in a separate container so I can shake it up and pour it on after I heat the quinoa and veggies in the microwave. I have tried it with the dressing poured on ahead of time and everything heated in the microwave and it was okay, but the dressing seemed to get absorbed by the other ingredients in the bowl and wasn’t as good as when I pour it on right before eating.
For the quinoa, I used a super grains mix that I picked up at my local Whole Foods. It is a mix of red quinoa, white quinoa, millet and buckwheat. It is actually cheaper than the bag of just quinoa and I like the variety for our quinoa bowls.

Dressing recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Elote Pizza

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

As I’m writing this, it is Monday afternoon. I always write my posts ahead of time so I can get them scheduled. Except normally I write them at least a couple weeks ahead of time, not just days before. Somehow I completely skipped over this post in my calendar! I don’t know how because, come on, look at these pizza photos!

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Last week I was busy working away on next week’s posts and missed this Friday post entirely. I know I’m probably confusing you so let’s just focus on this pizza. Elote Pizza to be exact. Remember Monday’s Elote Hot Dogs? Of course you do – they were epic and over-the-top!

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, the post came out just a few days ago and hopefully you haven’t completely lost track of all sense of days and weeks like apparently I have. This ooey gooey pizza is topped with charred corn, cotija cheese and a lime mayo. It’s a little sweet, a little creamy, a little smoky and definitely cheesy.

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Some of my favorite meals I’ve made have been born out of ingredients left in the fridge and this Elote Pizza is a perfect example. There was plenty of cotija, corn and cilantro leftover from the Elote Hot Dogs so I decided to rework them into another outrageous celebration of my love for elote. Unlike the Elote Hot Dogs, I’ve never had Elote Pizza before, but every pizza place should start serving it now! It would be my go-to order, especially during the summer.

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

My favorite tip for pizza is something Matt taught me – using cornmeal to flour your surface and the pizza dough instead of all-purpose flour. For years we had been using all-purpose flour because we just assumed that would work best without ever looking it up. It does work really well at keeping the dough from sticking, but you often get a floury taste when the pizza is cooked. Using cornmeal keeps the dough from sticking to the pan and it makes it taste like it just came out of a pizza shop! Who knew? Well, maybe you did, but if you didn’t you can thank Matt! Happy Friday everyone!

Elote Pizza  |  Lemon & Mocha

Elote Pizza
 
Ingredients
for the lime mayo
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
for the pizza
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained and dried
  • 16 ounces pre-made pizza dough, at room temperature for 20 minutes
  • Cornmeal, for dusting the surface for the dough
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cotija cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Pinch of smoked paprika, ground cumin and chili powder, for top dusting
Directions
for the lime mayo
  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice and paprika. Set aside.
for the pizza
  1. Char the corn in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. You want the corn to be lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
  2. Preheat your pizza stone in the oven at 475 or 500 degrees F for at least half an hour.
  3. If you are using a pizza peel, generously sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal. If you don’t have a pizza peel and are using a baking sheet, generously sprinkle your baking sheet with cornmeal. Stretch out the dough - the size depends on the size of your pizza stone. To help get it stretched out, I hold it and let it fall down. I continue doing this, rotating around as I do it so it stretches into an oblong shape. Now that it is most of the way stretched out, place it on the cornmeal surface, whether that is your pizza peel or baking sheet. Use a rolling pin or your hands to form it into the shape your want. Try to get an even thickness all the way around.
  4. Brush the olive oil on the pizza dough. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese then the charred corn. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Carefully put the pizza in the oven on top of the pizza stone to cook for 9-10 minutes. If you are using a baking sheet, just put the baking sheet directly on top of the pizza stone.
  5. Once the pizza is cooked, top with the cotija cheese and chopped cilantro. Drizzle with the lime mayo then dust a sprinkle over top of smoked paprika, ground cumin and chili powder. If you don’t like spicy food using a very, very small amount of chili powder.
Notes
For added flavor, brush the crust with a little olive oil then sprinkle with Parmesan and smoked paprika before baking.
I used full-fat mayonnaise.

 

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado  |  Lemon & Mocha

I never thought I would see the words breakfast and salad together, unless we were talking about a fruit salad or it was opposite day and breakfast actually meant dinner. However, the day has come and I am not talking about a fruit salad, although there is fruit in this salad, and it is not opposite day, at least the last time I checked. No, today we are legitimately talking about a salad for breakfast. I often find myself stuck in a breakfast rut. Lately it’s been a banana and a Greek yogurt every. single. morning. Anyone else? Then I started seeing breakfast salads popping up all over Instagram. You would think with my salad aversion I would have kept scrolling, but the possibilities for combinations of toppings drew me in. Salads for breakfast are actually awesome and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado  |  Lemon & Mocha

Here are three reasons I think salads for breakfast are pretty cool: 1. Salads are quick and easy to make, especially when almost everything is prepped ahead of time. This checks a serious box for weekday breakfast approved.

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado  |  Lemon & Mocha

2. The topping ideas are endless! If you wake up craving something sweet then you could load it up with some fresh berries. Feeling savory? Throw in some chicken sausage.

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado  |  Lemon & Mocha

3. This is the most boring reason, but a very important one. I find breakfast to be a hard meal to sneak veggies into and a breakfast salad is a perfect way to get more vegetables into the first meal of the day. For the first Lemon & Mocha breakfast salad bowl I went with a grapefruit and avocado pairing along with a runny egg, of course, because the runny yolk mixed with the dressing takes it to a whole new flavor dimension. The dressing is my favorite quick shallot vinaigrette. It’s flavorful, has the right amount of acid and beautifully complements these breakfast salad bowls.

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado  |  Lemon & Mocha

Although there are no grains in the photos, when I usually make this dish I add quinoa. I forgot it when I was rushing to take my photos, but it adds some heartiness to the dish and soaks up the yolk really well. Farro or barley would both be good substitutions as well. So, do you think you’re going to try a breakfast salad bowl soon?

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado  |  Lemon & Mocha

Breakfast Salad Bowls with Grapefruit & Avocado
 
Yield: 4 salads
Ingredients
for the salad
  • 12 cups salad greens
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented and seeds removed
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, optional (see note)
  • 4 eggs, poached or fried over-easy
  • 1 teaspoon everything bagel seasoning
for the dressing
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
for the salad
  1. Place 3 cups of the washed salad greens in 4 shallow bowls. Divide the grapefruit segments, avocado slices and eggs between each bowl. If you are using quinoa add it now. Sprinkle the everything bagel seasoning over the avocado slices. Top with the dressing and enjoy.
for the dressing
  1. Whisk all ingredients together. Salt and pepper according to taste.
Notes
I included the quinoa in the recipe because that was my original vision for this breakfast salad, but I forgot when I made it to take photos - oops! The grains go nicely with the salad, especially to soak up the egg, and make it more filling. If you don’t want to use quinoa, farro or barley would both be good substitutes.