Cajun BBQ "Pulled Pork" Vegan Tacos w/ Creole Garlic Aioli + Cabbage, Corn and Radish Slaw

Cajun BBQ "Pulled Pork" Vegan Tacos w/ Creole Garlic Aioli + Cabbage, Corn and Radish Slaw

Difficulty: 3/5 (5 being hardest)
Spice Level: 2/3 (3 being spiciest)

Prep & Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 tacos

The Challenge: Pulled Pork Tacos

Dude?! There is no way you can make pulled pork vegan...okay so yeah I can't make pork. But I can make a kickass Louisian Cajun BBQ Sauce with a mixture of vegetables and lentils that will give you a very similar flavor profile and even texture. By using a mixture of shredded veggies, spiralized veggies, and lentils, WE CAN DO THIS. BBQ is heaven. BBQ sauce is delicious and can be done in so many different ways. BBQ can be eaten on its own, in a taco, on a sandwich, and many other formats. I wanted to challenge myself to create a really tasty Louisiana version of cajun BBQ sauce and marry that with a version of pulled pork. 

What's great about this dish is that we can take the BBQ sauce and reuse it for so many other dishes. A seperate post is coming soon for just the BBQ sauce. The pulled pork recipe can be used with other BBQ sauces or just spiced and used as a replacement for pork in any dish. What's better? It is healthier, and I like to hope its more delicious. My meat eating fiancee said it wasn't exactly pork...IT WAS WAY BETTER!!!

The key to making a delicious meal in any capacity is the combination of texture, spices, and cooking methods. A great rule of thumb is to have five components:

1. Something acidic (slaw)
2. Something salty (aioli)
3. Some fat (aioli)
4. Some heat (BBQ)
5. Something sweet (BBQ)

Looks we accomplished the perfectly balanced taco, and I'm so excited to share this with you.. 

Ingredients:


Garlic Creole Aioli

1/2 cup vegan mayo
1 tbl dijon mustard
1 green onion, diced small
1 garlic clove, diced small
1 tbl lemon juice
salt + pepper
1 tbl old bay
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
some water, to thin

Cabbage, Corn, Radish Slaw

1 cup cabbage, diced roughly
1 corn cob, kernels off cob
1/4 cup poblano, diced small
1/2 cup radishes, julienned
1 lime, juiced
handful of cilantro
salt + pepper
1 tbl avocado oil

Other

corn tortillas
lime wedges
extra cilantro, to garnish/topping

Louisiana Cajun BBQ Sauce

1 tbl olive oil
2 garlic cloves
medium shallot, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you want more heat)
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp old bay
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tbl date syrup
2 tbl apple cider vinegar
2 tbl soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 cup beer (standard lager or pilsner, I use Modelo Especial for mine)

Vegan "Pulled" Pork

2 cups water
1 cup green lentil
2 green onions, diced
1/2 cup grated carrots
1 medium green zuke, spiralized
2 tbl olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp old bay
1/2 tsp coriander


Equipment You'll Need:

Food Processor . Medium Frying Pan . Medium to Large Castiron Pan (or Frying Pan) . Cutting Board . Medium Chopping Knife . Strainer . Serving Dishes . Mixing Spoons . Measuring Spoons . Measuring Cups . Grater . Spiralizer 


Before You Cook:

  • Wash and chop/prepare all vegetables
  • Spiralize green zuke (if you don't have a spiralizer, cut into long thin strips)
  • Grate 1-2 medium carrots on a hand grater to create something like carrot pulp (see picture below)
  • Cook green lentils - boil water, add lentils, reduce to simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes until water is mostly absorbed and lentils are softened
 1. Once my prep work above is done, I start with my BBQ sauce. Place pan over medium heat with oil. Let it warm for 60 seconds and add onions + garlic. Let it cook for about 5 minutes until softening. Add all spices from paprika through pepper. Let it cook for another minute or two.

1. Once my prep work above is done, I start with my BBQ sauce. Place pan over medium heat with oil. Let it warm for 60 seconds and add onions + garlic. Let it cook for about 5 minutes until softening. Add all spices from paprika through pepper. Let it cook for another minute or two.

 2. Next, add the liquid ingredients from liquid smoke to beer. The mixture should foam a bit and come to a low boil/bubbling. Reduce the heat to very low and let it simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients - typically about 15-20 minutes.

2. Next, add the liquid ingredients from liquid smoke to beer. The mixture should foam a bit and come to a low boil/bubbling. Reduce the heat to very low and let it simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients - typically about 15-20 minutes.

 3. Next we will cook the "pork." Now, it is important to get the following ingredients done in this way to provide the right texture. Spiralize your zuke, grate your carrots, and dice your onions small. Add oil to castiron pan, and heat for couple minutes over medium. Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. 

3. Next we will cook the "pork." Now, it is important to get the following ingredients done in this way to provide the right texture. Spiralize your zuke, grate your carrots, and dice your onions small. Add oil to castiron pan, and heat for couple minutes over medium. Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. 

 4. Add all other veggies with spices. Cook for a couple minutes. Add the lentils. Cook for another 60 seconds. Add the BBQ sauce if its ready. Otherwise, set this to lowest setting and add BBQ sauce. Once BBQ sauce is in, mix around and turn off. The castiron pan retains heat and keeps it warm.

4. Add all other veggies with spices. Cook for a couple minutes. Add the lentils. Cook for another 60 seconds. Add the BBQ sauce if its ready. Otherwise, set this to lowest setting and add BBQ sauce. Once BBQ sauce is in, mix around and turn off. The castiron pan retains heat and keeps it warm.

 5. Next, let's make a quick slaw. Mix together all the slaw ingredients in a small serving bowl. Salt + pepper to taste.

5. Next, let's make a quick slaw. Mix together all the slaw ingredients in a small serving bowl. Salt + pepper to taste.

 6. For the creole sauce, mix together all the ingredients. I like to do the Old Bay last and leave it on top for presentation.

6. For the creole sauce, mix together all the ingredients. I like to do the Old Bay last and leave it on top for presentation.

 7. To serve, I like to put everything out on a spread, so that my guests/family can choose what they want and portion it. Warm up some corn tortillas in the microwave or in the oven to serve. I like to have some lime wedges and extra cilantro also ready to go.

7. To serve, I like to put everything out on a spread, so that my guests/family can choose what they want and portion it. Warm up some corn tortillas in the microwave or in the oven to serve. I like to have some lime wedges and extra cilantro also ready to go.

 8. Fold it up and enjoy!

8. Fold it up and enjoy!

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