Jackfruit Tacos & Super Cool Facts

Jackfruit Tacos & Super Cool Facts

The Skinny on Jackfruit

Jackfruit is “a handsome tree” of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Jackfruit is monoecious, having both male and female leaves on the same plant.

When ripe, the external fruit omits a malodorous scent similar to decayed onions… ew!

Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.

With proper care and attention a Jackfruit tree can produce fruit for up to one-hundred years!

Jackfruit trees have grown in India for up to 6000 years!

Jackfruit is believed to be a source of healing as the entire fruit is used in variety of means to combat everything from topical wounds to fever and asthma.

The wood of the jackfruit tree is prized for its physical beauty and functional attributes. The color of the wood may change with age from yellow to dark red. The wood is also naturally resistant to termites and fungus and is comparable to teak for its strength.

Jackfruit woodchips are boiled with alum to produce a yellow dye, used for coloring silks and the cotton robes of Buddhist monks.

As food the Jackfruit is also varied, everything from its flesh to its seeds have been used to make wonderfully diverse creations such as chutneys, curries, and strong liquor!

Jackfruit provides a little bit of both Vitamin C and B6 (23% and 16%, respectively).

Jackfruit is awesome but it may be intimidating. Fear not! Jackfruit by the can is a thing!


When we heard Trader Joe’s sold cans of Jackfruit in brine, we could not wait to get one home and crack it open. Our foodie vegan interwebs were flooded with mouthwatering pics of plant-based faux-pulled-pork recipes, we just had to get in on the action!

It must be pointed out however that while jackfruit is commonly used as meat substitute because of it’s fleshy consistency, it contains very little plant protein (1.7g per serving) so, we added cooked lentils to our tacos for that reason. You are free to add any plant protein of your choosing, gotta keep it balanced 💚

This is a basic recipe, more a suggestive list than step-by-step how-to, to hopefully inspire a lightbulb of your own. Once you get the foundation down, the rest of the house is up to you!

What we used for our Jackfruit Tacos:

1 can of Trader Joe’s Green Jackfruit in brine.

2 C cooked lentils

1 pepper, sliced (choose your color)

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup chopped cabbage

3 Tbs Cholula sauce, or chipotle sauce

1 Tbs chili powder

1tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

small white corn tortillas

Drain the brine and mash the Jackfruit with a fork or by hand in a medium microwaveable bowl. Add the lentils, Cholula, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Mix until evenly coated, cover and place in fridge for at least an hour.

Heat non-stick pan, add peppers, cabbage and corn, reduce heat to medium-low, cook until the color pops and you can see a bit of brown.

Remove the jackfruit mix from your fridge and heat in microwave for a minute, stir. If not fully warmed, heat for another 30 seconds.

Heat non-stick pan or griddle and warm your tortillas. When everything is ready, build your tacos! This recipe yields 14 small tacos (as seen in the pics).

Get funky with it, add avocado, spoon a little salsa, use hard-shells! The world is yours, we just wanted to flex a few food-porn pics and expound on the newfound (for us) virtues of this wonderfully diverse fruit which has taken the foodie-web by storm!

As always, we at ecoRDN appreciate you stopping by and reading our blog. Please share your comments below or give us a like and tell your friends! Thanks for reading, eat well!

Please visit our blog to check out the many reviews, try our recipes, or contact us through the Nutrition Works page for more in depth services! 💚💚💚

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

© 2017 ecoRDN

Information compiled from NutritionValue.org, Bangladesh.com, and National Tropical Botanical Garden

ecoRDN’s Plant-Based Cheese Tasting

ecoRDN’s Plant-Based Cheese Tasting

We threw a party! A vegan cheese party, and it went over pretty damned well.

What led to this? Well quite simply, if you lined up all the vegetarians and some omnivores and asked them “why not vegan” most would likely respond, “cheese”. Cheese is the reason why many will not consider a dairy-free diet. So we wanted to illuminate the diverse, multifaceted and oh-so flavorful aspects within the current dairy-free plant-based cheese world, which has come a long way!

ecoRDN has years of catering experience but it had been a long while since we adorned ourselves in aprons and chef jackets. Since we were pretty sure a dairy-free plant-based cheese tasting never took place in Pittsburgh, we decided to go all-in and see what would happen.

The venue was set for Beauty Shoppe‘s lovely downstairs lounge. For those unaware, Beauty Shoppe is a co-working space located in the Liberty Bank Building on Penn Avenue in East Liberty.

The Beauty Shoppe Lounge

With the location set we used eventbrite to sell our tickets and put the cap at 30 people due to the limitations of the space. (We Sold Out!!!)

Once the date, time, place, and tickets were set, we began contacting businesses local and nationwide for samples and donations and were throughly bowled over by the amount of love and amazing swag we received.

From the Pittsburgh end of things, one of our favorite restaurants, B52, kindly hooked us up with two giant containers of fermented cashew Labneh… (OMG all za’atar everything!), and Pittsburgh Winery donated 10 bottles of various wines! If you weren’t aware, Pittsburgh Winery is vegan friendly, they use old-school winemaking methods that include a simple, whole ingredient list of grapes, yeast, and sulfites. Awesome!

We also received an amazing donation from the lovely people at The Happy Vegan who sent three jars of their delicious Notcho Nocheez. Yum! If you are looking for a great dairy free dip (from mild to legit hot) please check them out!

Chef Johnny was excited to create a vegan cheese for the event so he got to work and came up with a super sharp smoky cheddar spread made from almonds! The super-easy recipe is located at the end of the blog! 💚

Further donations came from Zevia (who sent us an entire case of various sugar-free flavors, we knew they would be a perfect mixer or soft-drink option), and Treeline, who shipped us a cooler bag full of two wheels and four spreads (Cracked Pepper & Classic wheels – Chipotle Serrano Pepper and Scallion spreads, respectively). So Much Awesome 💚

Daiya Foods sent us a bundle of free vouchers which we used in exchange for their block cheeses: Medium Style Cheddar and Smoked Gouda, great accompaniments to our fruit platter!

To round out the donations, we set out to find a variety of dairy-free delights to give our guests plenty of options! Of those we were able to score one of the biggest hits of the night, Miyoko’s Kitchen Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash, a sharp umami wheel that uses an age-old cheese tradition using food grade ash (which minimize acidity). Along with the ash cheese we also procured another Miyoko product: buffalo-style Vegan Mozz!

Searches high and low around the city allowed us to obtain a relatively local brand of deliciousness from Cleveland, Ohio by the name of Red Lotus. Their Spirulina Bleu was a big hit! Also from Red Lotus was a lovely, piquant Spicy Chipotle spread.


Finishing off our dairy free list is Kite Hill, whose Truffle, Dill, & Chive went fast. In fact, they all went fast. It was hard to keep up, but we did. And everyone was fed, multiple times over!


Besides a few hiccups along the way, the event was a success. People seemed really happy. We were able to chat with our guests once things settled and were able to glean a lot of positivity from each of the interactions.

We learned A LOT from this event and will use that knowledge to make our next event even better! Thank you for your patience during this first venture!

A HUGE Thank You to EVERYONE who participated 💚💚💚

Much Love to B52, Pittsburgh Winery, Notcho Nocheez, Zevia, Daiya Foods, Treeline!

Thank You to ALL the companies who make the amazing vegan cheeses and contribute additional foodie-love and positivity into our ever-growing population; Miyoko’s Kitchen, Red LotusKite Hill. 💚💚💚

Thank You to Vegan Pittsburgh for tabling our event, it was a pleasure to have you! 💚

Thank You Beauty Shoppe for having us! 💚

Thank you to our volunteer, Tawnee!


We hope to see your beautiful faces at our next event… More Soon! 💚

And now the recipe! 💚


ecoRDN’s Dairy-Free Smoky Cheddar Almond Spread

OMG! This is ecoRDN‘s first attempt with a dairy-free vegan cheese and it’s amazing! This recipe is oh so simple: no soaking and no tedious removal of almond skins. All you need for this recipe (besides the ingredients) is a high-powered blender (Vitamix, etc), that is a absolute must to get the smooth texture! If you already have the blender, get these ingredients and get to making all the bellies happy. All. The. Bellies.

What you will need:

3 Cups Raw Almonds

1/2 Cup Water

1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast

1/4 Cup Shiro Miso Paste (White Miso)

1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar (or Apple Cider Vinegar)

2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke (we use hickory for this recipe)

2 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Corn Starch

Add all ingredients to your high-powered blender, turn variable slowly to the highest setting (if not using a Vitamix, follow the directions in your manual for best results) and use your tamper to push everything toward the blades. You will need to do this for up to 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides with a spatula. Blend evenly. Blend, blend blend. Consistency should be thick but smooth and spreadable.

Enjoy ecoRDN‘s sweet, tangy dairy-free smoky almond spread on your favorites: apples, crackers, roasted potatoes – how about veggies?. Add some to your vegan mac-n-cheese sauce for an extra powerful plant-based bacon hit, or go completely bonkers and spread this smoky delight on your toast. The possibilities are many (and bonkers!)

If you try your hand at this recipe let us know what you think in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading and eat well!

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

©2017 ecoRDN 💚


Seitan Stock Recipe

Seitan Stock Recipe

If you’ve got the time, try this slow-cooked stock recipe for your homemade seitan. This particular stock is of the brown variety, which will give your seitan that deep ‘beefy’ flavor. It’s the go-to for our very own seitan recipe as seen in earlier posts. If you’re not already hip to that kernel of awesome stop what you are doing and check out our homemade savorylicious seitan recipe here. (It’s really freakin good!)

Our stock recipe is really simple, it just requires time…

What you’ll need:

1.5 gallons water (192 fl oz)

6 fl oz soy sauce (the picture above shows 8 in the measuring cup but that recipe has since been modified, too salty…)

3 c chopped onion

8 large cloves garlic

1 Tbsp whole peppercorn


High heat to boil, reduce to medium heat for steady simmer.

Cook for 2 hours, allow to reduce.

Remove 10 ounces for seitan dough, use remaining 2.5 quarts for cooking the seitan dough.

Oh, so much the flavor! Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading and eat well!

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

©2017 ecoRDN

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Ok, so we are jumping on the avocado toast bandwagon here at ecoRDN! Why? Because it’s delicious, filling (from all that good fat), gorgeous (just look at all the IG posts!) and amazing (amazingly simple and nutritious that is)!

The history of avocado toast is unclear but possibly stems from Australia where it made menu appearances back in the 90’s. The Aussies love putting things on toast, you know?

In 1999 British chef, Nigel Slater may have been the first actual documented recipe creator.   However is a “recipe” really needed? Its avocado smashed or sliced on toast for f’s sake!

And then there was the grand endorsement by Gwyneth Paltrow in her 2013 cookbook, where she included 3 avocado toast recipes, and the rest was just a crazy blur.

So whether you are still smitten or over the avo trend, oh well, whatevs! Here is our take…



  1. avocado (duh)
  2. nice bread
  3. any fruit or veggies you like
  4. any herbs and spices you like
  5. any condiments you like


  1. slice your bread nice and thick, toast if you like
  2. cut a ripe avocado in half, take out the stone, scoop out the avo meats and smash or slice onto your nice bread or toast
  3. add all the other ingredients on top and eat
  4. enjoy!


Let us know your thoughts on avocado toast in the comments below. Or give us a like and a share if you’re feeling the flavorful love!

As always, thanks for reading and eat well!

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

©2017 ecoRDN

Spicy Curried Split Peas

Spicy Curried Split Peas

Per the USDA Nutrient Database, a 3.5 oz serving of yellow split peas contain 25 grams of protein, 26 grams of dietary fiber, 61% of our DV of Thaimine (B1), 34% DV of Pantothenic Acid (B5), and 69% DV of Folate (B9). Along with a decent offering of Iron (31%) these peas could quite possibly be viewed as the vitamin B’s knees!

We at ecoRDN need no additional coaxing, these dreamy peas are preaching to the choir. We LOVE split peas: their toothsome bite, their inexpensive costs, their availability . Split peas, like lentils (and honestly, as many pulses as we have room for) are constant staples in our kitchen. The one downside to split peas  is that they aren’t easily cooked in our rice cooker.

We LOVE our rice cooker recipes, it’s a great way to multitask in the kitchen, put all the ingredients in a pot, fill with water and let the machine do the rest while you trudge on elsewhere. Split peas however are too starchy and have a tendency to bubble over. We’ve found out the hard way numerous times, a great frothy mess awaited us as we walked back to check our progress. We weren’t going to stop eating split peas, that would be foolish. So we decided to go old school and use a pot and stay with the peas instead of doing other chores in the interim. Split pea bedside manner.

For this recipe we use our trusty 2 qt pot. The same pot used for ecoRDN‘s holiday mashed potato and cranberry recipes!

Gather your ingredients, add them to the pot, and cover with water, then stir and simmer until this golden aromatic dream of a dish finishes and you may resume making happy bellies happier! This recipe yields approximately 6 servings.

What you will need:

2 qt pot (or larger)

2 c yellow split peas

1 c diced onion

1 c diced celery

3 lg cloves garlic minced (or rough chopped)

1 Tbsp fresh ginger minced (or rough chopped)

1 Tbsp cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp sea salt

1 Tbsp turmeric

1 tsp hot pepper (chili/cayenne)

4 cups boiling water

Bring water to boil, reduce to simmer and let roll lightly while stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Drop heat to low bubble, cover (but leave room for steam to escape to prevent a messy overflow), cook for 20 extra minutes. After 20 minutes check the water level, if looks too dry add another 1/2 cup boiling water, stir. When rumble is again reached, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Turn off the stove, cover and let stand for another 20 minutes.

Serve immediately with roasted sweet potatoes, steamed kale, red rice, avocado, or any lovely additions of your choice. Keep on hand for daily pulse consumption. Keep things fresh, enjoy!


Let us know your thoughts on our spicy curried split pea recipe in the comments below. Or give us a like and a share if you’re feeling the flavorful love!

As always, thanks for reading and eat well!

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

Sign up to ecoRDN‘s Mailing List and receive a FREE 2017 Plant-Based Meal Planner!!!

©2017 ecoRDN

Winter Oats

Winter Oats

Winter bellies beckon for warm spice fuels to satiate during the coldest of months. Try our seasonal inspired overnight oats to begin your day!!!

January is National Oatmeal Month, so we at ecoRDN are sharing our favorite overnight oat recipes fit for the frosty & famished! Start your New Year off right with these easy dairy-free recipes that are sure to satisfy.

Pears, pumpkins, and apples are favorites in the ecoRDN kitchen, so this recipe collection was a treat to make and eat, then test and eat, again and again!

Each dairy-free recipe yields six portions. Prepare at least a day in advance for the very best results. Serve hot or cold, depending on your mood! These recipes are guaranteed to keep you afloat during the coldest of mornings (until lunch, when it’s time to eat again!) (YAY FOOD!!!)


Pumpkin Spice Oats

1 cup pureed pumpkin

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup steel cut groats

1 cup raisins

6 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ginger

1/8 tsp nutmeg

32 fl oz sweetened vanilla soy milk


Apple Pie Oats

3 Granny Smith apples diced

1 cup chopped walnut

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup steel cut groats

6 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ginger

1/4 cup molasses

32 fl oz sweetened vanilla soymilk


Harvest Pear Oats

3 pears diced

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup steel cut oat groats

6 Tbsp chia seed

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ginger

1/4 c maple syrup

32 fl oz sweetened vanilla soymilk


For each recipe: first, add all dry ingredients together then add maple syrup/molasses and fruit. Finally, add  soy milk and stir until evenly incorporated. Consistency should be loose. Allow to set overnight in refrigerator. Check thickness the following day and add additional soymilk as desired.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. And if you’re feeling kind, give this post a like and a share. As always, Thanks For Reading & Eat Well!

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

Sign up to ecoRDN‘s Mailing List and receive a FREE 2017 Plant-Based Meal Planner!!!

©2017 ecoRDN

Pan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Pan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato, sweet potato, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways!

Try this quick, easy pan roasted sweet potato recipe and turn your kitchen into an aromatic wonderland!

  1. The USDA states “one medium sweet potato baked in skin” contains 438% of our daily allotment of Vitamin A (in the form of beta-Carotene). Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin and strong bones. Vitamin A is also known as retinol, which is “essential to the formation of visual purple in the retina, which allows vision in dim light.” (per the US National Library of Medicine). Dr. Michael Greger’s mic-drop quote regarding the preparation of skin-on sweet potatoes is this, “sweet potatoes are so incredibly healthy the best way to prepare them is whichever way to get you to eat the most of them, (with the exception of deep frying).” Sounds good to us!
  2. Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, and besides facilitating a sound morning constitution, dietary fiber is crucial for helping lower both cholesterol and blood sugar.
  3. Historically the sweet potato had uses far beyond food. The brilliant agriculturist George Washington Carver created inks, dyes, synthetic rubber, postage stamp glue and much more from this amazing Southern staple. Pretty cool, pretty neat!
  4. When selecting a sweet potato from the store, choose those with deep orange hues.
  5. Sweet potatoes can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, or stored in the refrigerator for 7 – 10 days. Sweet potatoes, like regular potatoes can be ‘baked’ in the microwave, but do not wrap them in foil, obvs 😂
  6. Sweet potatoes are incredibly cheap for the amount of nutrients you get, they are one of the most healthy and least expensive superfoods available!

This recipe takes a little over one hour, 45 minutes of cooking time on top of approximately 20 minutes of prep time.

What you will need:

3 Tbsp coconut oil for pan (or high heat oil)

5 small quartered sweet potatoes (approx 1/2 lb each)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp fennel seed OR cumin seed OR powdered cinnamon

(Your choice, each on its own create a lovely aromatic dish! Soooooo Good! Try them separate or mix-and-match, omg the flavors!)

1/4 cup maple syrup (or molasses)

1 Tbsp dairy-free margarine

Bring pan to low heat, place the sweet potatoes cut side down in oil, cover with lid, set timer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, carefully flip the sweet potatoes onto their skins. Sprinkle each evenly with the salt, pepper, fennel/cumin/cinnamon. Cover and set timer for another 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes add the maple syrup and margarine, toss and cover for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately or keep in fridge for one week!

This amazing side dish pairs perfect with your favorite plant-based holiday feasts, try it today and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


As always, we at ecoRDN appreciate you stopping by and reading our blog. Please share your comments below or give us a like and tell your friends! Thanks for reading, eat well!

For a mouthwatering archive of foodie pics and all things nutritionally awesome, follow us on Instagram and Twitter!



©2016 ecoRDN