Hearts of Palm Carnitas
I'd been thinking about doing vegan carnitas for a while and initially I was planning on using portabella mushrooms to make them, but my better blogger half had run across some meat substitute recipes that used hearts of palm as a base and suggested I give them a try instead. Hearts of palm can be pulled apart to resemble shredded meat, so they fit the bill for the carnitas texture a little better than portabella. The hearts of palm also handled being simmered in marinade much better than the mushrooms would have, and the final look and flavor were so on point. My omnivore sister was throughly impressed with how meaty the carnitas were and swore if she hadn't seen me cooking them she would have thought they were real meat. These carnitas are also the perfect companion to my easy 4 ingredient tortillas, and can be stored in the fridge for a quick and easy meal on the go. And, as I said before, tacos know no time constraints, so whatever the meal these babies are sure to satisfy your tummy and taste buds.
Yields 4 Servings of Carnitas
1 14.5 oz can of hearts of palm
1 cup veggie stock
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion sliced into strips
1. Drain and rinse the hearts of palm. Use your fingers to shred the hearts of palm into thin strips. I would sometimes use a small pairing knife to cut the outer portion if it was too firm, but the inner portion should be very tender.
2. Whisk together all of the other ingredients, excluding the hearts of palm, into a small bowl.
3. Sauté the sliced onion in the olive oil over medium heat in a deep skillet until translucent. Stir in your hearts of palm shreds and then pour your marinade into the skillet.
4. Allow the hearts of palm and onion to simmer in the skillet over medium heat until the marinade has been completely absorbed (20-25 minutes). Stir occasionally.
Serve the carnitas in a warm tortilla with fresh avocado and tomato