“I like to trust myself in the kitchen.”
It’s the reason why in Tabitha Brown’s first cookbook, Cooking from the Spirit, you won’t find too many measurements listed for the more than 80 family-friendly, plant-based recipes. As the name of the cookbook suggests, Brown wants people to cook with their soul—and if that means adding a dash of something extra or replacing an ingredient with something they enjoy more, so be it!
“Growing up, I watched my granny and my mom cook,” says the actress, bestselling author and vegan food expert. “And when they cook, nobody is measuring anything. It’s really about having fun and just creating things as you go. That’s why I don’t use measurements. I just let my spirit guide.”
Anyone who follows Brown knows she has a spirit like no other. It’s earned her a vast brand that now includes a line of McCormick seasoning, another book, Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business), and a YouTube Originals children’s series, Tab Time. Her presence skyrocketed during the pandemic—when people were looking for feel-good videos, inspiring words and healthy and delicious recipes, they turned to Brown.
And while spreading love across screens comes naturally to Brown, it wasn’t something she ever saw coming—until the day she did. “I had just really been praying a lot and asking God to heal me and guide me,” Brown recalls. “And I had a dream and saw myself on a show. I couldn’t see what kind of show it was, but what I could see was that the screen was really small. And I was standing there talking.”
That prompted Brown to do what’s consistently gotten her this far: trust the process—what she’ll continue to be doing as she reaches higher echelons of her evolving career.
When it comes to her Jackfruit Pot Roast, which she shares with Sweet July, Brown curates a recipe that she’d gladly wake up from a dream for. “I put it in a Crockpot and I layered it with flavor and let it cook and, honey, when I woke up that morning, I was like, ‘oh my God, my house smells amazing.’ It took me right back to childhood.”
She adds: “Jackfruit is one of those fruits that can pretty much take on whatever you season it with, and it shreds like chicken or beef.”
Get Brown’s recipe for Jackfruit Pot Roast below!
Plus: Looking for the perfect wine to pair with this dish? Sweet July’s wine consultant Julia Coney recommends Cerasuolo, which comes in two particular styles from two distinct regions in Italy—d’Abruzzo (Abruzzo) and di Vittoria (Sicily). Coney says, “No matter which style you choose, think of this wine as a light-bodied, chillable red, with flavors of sour cherry and ripe plums. It has a rich texture and is a great wine for a variety and for drinking year round.”
Tabitha Brown's Jackfruit Pot Roast
- Red potatoes, cut in half or quartered if very big
- Sliced or shredded fresh or frozen carrots
- Sliced celery
- Sweet onion, cut into wedges
- Chopped garlic
- Canned young green jackfruit, drained
- Vegan no-chicken broth
- Coconut aminos, liquid aminos, or soy sauce
- Vegan bouillon base, such as Better Than Bouillon seasoned vegetable base
- A dash of liquid smoke
- Dried thyme, rosemary, and/or sage
- Garlic powder
- Salt-free multi-spice seasoning
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Put the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a slow cooker. Add the jackfruit.
- Pour in enough broth to barely cover the vegetables. Add some coconut aminos, bouillon base and a dash of liquid smoke. Sprinkle in some dried herbs, garlic powder, seasoning spice, and a pinch each of salt and black pepper.
- Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours. The stew will be ready to eat after 5 hours, but the great thing about cooking jackfruit in the slow cooker is that it won’t do any harm to leave it longer, if that’s more convenient for you—and it keeps that good aroma in the kitchen.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve very warm.