Que Bola! (That’s a Cuban saying that means “what’s up!”) Our Que-Bola-Bowl is yet another great way to enjoy a Chef Soraya bowl. Starting with the Cuban bowl, you can turn this a quick and nutritious rice and beans dish into a full blown plant based meal. For this recipe we used pineapple-avocado slaw, barbecue jackfruit, and some fresh cilantro!
If you’re wondering what jackfruit is, it’s another great plant-based meat alternative. An unripe jackfruit has a neutral taste that can soak up the flavor of spices and herbs it's cooked in. Plus, its stringy texture makes it a great substitute in recipes that would normally include shredded chicken or pulled pork. The process of preparing jackfruit is worthwhile but can be a little daunting. That’s why in this recipe, we used Upton’s Naturals Barbecue Jackfruit to mimic pulled pork. It’s quick and easy, all you have to do is heat it over the stove and it’s ready to serve! Plus it pairs perfectly with the flavors of the pineapple avocado slaw and the Chef Soraya Cuban bowl.
If you were to prepare a jackfruit from scratch, the yield is very high, and you can freeze leftover “meat” like you would with animal protein. A raw jackfruit is a large, green oblong shape with a rough, bumpy exterior. They average 10 – 25 pounds and are actually the largest tree borne fruit on earth. Inside you’ll find fleshy plump bulbs and stringy fruit. Consider wearing gloves while handling raw jackfruit because jackfruit is a source of natural latex. Putting oil on your knife before cutting into the fruit will also keep the latex off your knife. Cut it in quarters and de-core as you would a pineapple. Be sure to remove the seeds as you remove the fruit from the rind.
To prepare the pineapple avocado slaw, begin with cutting a fresh pineapple. You can use canned or frozen pineapple, but the fresh flavor is so much better! There are many schools of thought on the proper way to cut a pineapple. We like to twist off the top, cut it down the middle and then in quarters, cut out the core, and remove the fruit from the rind. Dice up about a cup into 1-inch cubes and you’ll be all set. Now add ½ to 1 ripe avocado, diced so that your mixture is about half avocado and half pineapple. Add 1-2 sliced scallions and squeeze ½ to 1 lime over the entire mixture. You could even zest the rind for some extra flavor if you love lime! Add a spoonful to the top of a cooked Chef Soraya Cuban bowl, along with your jackfruit, and top it off with some cilantro!
The coconut rice and subtle hint of banana in the Cuban bowl inspired this entire concoction but you can really make a Que-Bola-Bowl any way you’d like! Start with a Chef Soraya Cuban bowl as your base and experiment with toppings to your heart’s content. A little hot sauce on top goes great with the sweet barbecue and pineapple flavors. You can add a little crunch by throwing in some fried plantains! Look back in our previous blogs for another how-to on how to whip up some plantain chips!