Barbecue Jackfruit Sandwiches with Broccoli Slaw // (vegan, gluten-free option)
by Allison Rasche contribution from Paula Sturm, RDN, FMN, CFSP
For GREEN in our rainbow series, I wanted to do something more than a basic green salad we’ve all seen and probably already know how to make. So, to spice things up a little bit, I decided to share my recipe for barbecue jackfruit sandwiches with broccoli slaw. These sandwiches are the perfect vegan substitute for a classic, pulled pork sandwich, and will impress any guest at any late summer barbecue or picnic.
But before I proceed to the recipe, we need to go over some of the fantastic nutritional qualities of our broccoli, green onions, and jackfruit.
Green onions are packed with biotin, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, and have been shown to be to be a powerful antioxidant, due to their quantities of vitamin C and manganese. In addition to the former vitamin and mineral, onions also contain high quantities of phytonutrients that serve as an antioxidant as well. In addition, a diet that regularly consists of onions has shown to be protective against cancer.
Broccoli is packed with exceptional amount of vitamin K and vitamin C, as well as chromium, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. Broccoli also contains a signaling molecule that reduces the impact of NF-kappaB and helps to diminish inflammation quickly and effectively. NF-kappaB triggers pro-inflammatory genes including cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules which have a poor impact on health in many ways, since all disease states have a root of inflammation to them. So, doing anything we can to reduce Nf-kappaB’s impact is important. In addition, broccoli is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to a healthy, properly functioning immune response. It’s critical to have a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and in the typical American diet we lack this balance in a major way. Also, broccoli contains ITCs (isothiocyanates) made from glucosinolates that aid in proper detoxification after cells are exposed to damaging toxins. Broccoli, as well as, other cruciferous vegetables are incredibly important for the detox processes in our body.
Jackfruit is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, riboflavin, manganese, potassium, copper, and magnesium. Jackfruit, in addition, helps to control blood sugar levels, due to its higher fiber content as well as its higher protein content in comparison to other similar tropical fruits. Jackfruit is also packed with vitamin C, carotnoids, and flavanones that reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Jackfruit is also correlated with an overall improvement of heart, skin, and immune health. Plus, Jackfruit as an amazing ability to replicate the taste and texture of meat, especially when mixed with a flavorful sauce as displayed below.
3 - 20oz cans of jackfruit (of course you can use fresh jackfruit, but canned is so much easier to find and prepare)
½ cup barbecue sauce (I like Organicville Barbecue sauce)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 8 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp red chili flakes
2 cup broccoli slaw (I buy mine pre-made from Trader Joe’s, but of course you can always make your own)
½ cup rice wine vinegar
2 green onions, chopped
sourdough bread slices (of course, use gluten-free or grain-free bread if applicable)
Prepare the jackfruit by draining and rinsing the canned jackfruit, and then separate the jackfruit with your hands or by smashing with a fork into a thread like texture.
Add all the spices, barbecue sauce, tomato paste, and vegetable broth into a large pot along with jackfruit. Bring the jackfruit up to a slow boil, and then reduce to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, green onions, and rice wine vinegar. Allow to sit during the cooking process to soften the broccoli slaw.
Toast the bread of your choice.
Once your jackfruit has cooked, assemble your sandwiches. Serve with potato wedges or fresh watermelon!