Guacamole with Fried Plantains

1 Mar

I can’t tell you the last time I deep fried something. In fact, I’m not quite sure I ever have deep fried anything! But I saw some nice big green plantains at the grocery store that I couldn’t resist. Unlike yellow plantains, which are sweet, green plantains are starchy and similar to a potato in taste.

To make these fried plantains I used Alton Brown’s recipe. Just a warning, this recipe called for 1 and a half cups of oil! I guess I don’t need to tell you that these are not the healthiest chips around. I also recommend flattening these chips out more than I did here. In the past I’ve made them flatter than this and they are easier to dip with.

I served them with guacamole. If you’ve never had plantain chips with guacamole, I highly recommend it. The combination of flavors is awesome.

Click here for the fried plantain recipe.

For the guacamole:

Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados
1/2 of an onion (sometimes I use red)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 Tbsp of chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
salt to taste
optional: 2 roma tomatoes (I didn’t use these in the above guacamole)

Directions:
Peel the avocados, cut them into chunks and place them into a big bowl, mash them up with a fork.  Add onion, garlic, lime and salt and stir to mix everything together. Refrigerate for at least an hour for best taste, I find once it sits for a little bit the flavors really come out.

Raspberry Oat Bars

28 Feb

A few weeks ago I was at whole foods looking for some brown rice syrup when I noticed a product called coconut nectar. I am a big fan of coconut anything so instead of buying the brown rice syrup I decided to try it. The first thing I made with the coconut nectar are raspberry oat bars which I found on fatfreevegan’s website, (awesome site, second recipe within days I’ve made and posted about from there and both have been really good). The original recipe used blueberries. These bars are super delicious. Not too sweet but sweet enough and soft and chewy, perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Yum!

I really liked the coconut nectar, it’s sticky and stretchy, more so than agave, and a bit hard to work with, but worth it, in my opinion. I’ve been using it on pancakes and waffles and everyone in my house loves it.

Ingredients:
1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup coconut nectar (found at whole foods)
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with enough water or juice to form a smooth paste
3 cups oatmeal (regular, not instant)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) coconut nectar (found at whole foods)
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Oil an 8×8-inch baking dish.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, coconut nectar, and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, stir in the vanilla and the cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir as the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Put 1 1/2 cups of the oatmeal into a blender and grind it to a fine powder. Pour it into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the remaining oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Stir in the apple sauce, coconut nectar, water, and vanilla, and mix well.

4. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing well to cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon the raspberry filling over the batter, and cover the rasberries with the remaining batter.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Eggplant Spinach Pesto

26 Feb

When you think of pesto two things probably come to mind, pasta and calories. Well I’ve got good news for you, after trying out several versions of vegan pesto, I have hit the jackpot. This recipe is filled with raw greens, eggplant, nuts, very little oil and it is incredibly tasty!

I put this pesto on everything, sandwhiches, pasta, salads and my favorite; spread onto a pita, topped with daiya mozzarella cheese, then baked at 450F for 7-9 minutes, it’s like a mini pizza! My three year old can’t get enough of this pesto, in fact she eats it by the spoonful!

Recipe inspired by: Roasted Eggplant Pesto at Fat Free Vegan

Ingredients:

2 large eggplants, tips cut off and cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup whole almonds or walnuts
4 sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp of olive oil
4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 cups basil leaves, packed tightly
1-1/2 cup of baby spinach
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp of salt

Directions:

Set the oven to 400 degrees and bake the eggplant face down for about 35 minutes, take a fork and poke the back of the eggplants a few times. Check your eggplant at 35 minutes and if it isn’t soft and a bit mushy let it cook a little longer. Once it’s done remove it from the oven, allow it to cool and then peel off the skin.

Meanwhile, in your food processor add the almonds or walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and the garlic and chop it up a bit. Then add in the eggplant and puree that. Next add the basil, spinach, nutritional yeast and salt and puree that to the consistency you like. This recipe makes a big batch, I like to make a lot because I put it in glass jars, freeze it and take it out as needed.

Mexican Tofu Scramble

25 Feb

I must make this tofu scramble at least once a week. This recipe is aptly named as it is the perfect recipe for the 6 pm scramble to get dinner on the table. Just a few minutes of chopping and stirring and you’ve got dinner! I like a little kick to this meal so I add in a good amount of jalapenos, if you don’t like it spicy just cut the amount in half but it adds a nice flavor so I wouldn’t omit them entirely.

Ingredients:

2-16 oz. firm tofu, pressed between two plates for 15 minutes, then drained
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground chili powder
1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced, (I use a microplane shredder for this)
1-1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1-1/2 cup chopped orange peppers
1/4 cup of chopped jalapenos, roughly chopped

Directions:

1. Set tofu on a plate and put another plate on top for about 30 minutes to get some of the liquid out.

2. Cut tofu in cubes and place in a big bowl. Add cumin, chili powder nutritional yeast and cilantro, mix together (I just use my hands and get it real crumbly) and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

3.  Heat oil in a deep pan, saute onions for five minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, then add peppers and jalapenos and saute for about five more minutes or until the peppers have softened.

4. Add in the tofu and mix with the garlic, peppers and onions, once it’s combined let it cook for about 5 minutes stirring only once to mix everything together. Then, stir and cook for about 3 minutes more. Serves 4.

 

Chocolate (or carob) Chip Cookies

24 Feb

I was very excited to try this recipe after seeing that it called for date paste. The original recipe wasn’t vegan but it was easily adaptable. I like to try and make my baked goods as healthy as I can (since I usually eat too many of them) so I decided to use oat flour instead of the called for whole wheat pastry flour, for the eggs I used flax meal and for the chocolate chips I used carob chips. All three ingredients boost up the fiber making these cookies a pretty healthy snack…in moderation of course.

I had never made date paste before and it gets pretty sticky. When you are mixing everything around at the end make sure you really spread out the date paste in the bowl (you may have to use your hands) so you don’t get clumps. The end result was a great tasting cookie. Sweet but not overly sweet and with the use of the oat flour and pecans you get a nice nutty flavor.

Ingredients

1 cup date paste (mash down about 2 cups of dates, pitted, in the cuisineart)
2 sticks vegan butter spread, I used Earth Balance
2 Tbls of flax meal
3 Tbls of water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 cups oat flour
1 cup vegan chocolate chip cookies or 1 cup of carob chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions
1. Mix flax seed and water together and set aside.
2. Make date paste in cuisineart.
3. Add in butter, flaxseed mixture, baking soda, sea salt, and vanilla and mix. Add oat flour and mix.
4. Transfer dough to a bowl, and stir in carob chips and pecans.
5. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees. Check after 10 minutes. Remove from oven when the edges have slightly browned.

Pure bliss!

23 Feb


Nothing beats waking up to pancakes on a cold, dark winter morning or really any morning for that matter. To shake away the winter blues I made these Banana Bliss Pancakes from Dreena Burton’s book Vive Le Vegan. I am blue no longer!


Ingredients:
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp of baking powder, sifted
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp of sea salt
1 cup + 1 Tbsp of vanilla non dairy milk (I used almond milk and added a bit more to make the pancake batter a bit runnier)
1 Tbsp of canola oil
1 medium ripe banana

Directions:
In a large bowl add the whole wheat pastry flour and sift in the baking powder, add all of the other ingredients up to the almond milk and mix. In a smaller bowl combine the milk and canola oil and mix. Slowly combine these together and add in the banana. Heat a little oil on a skillet and spoon the batter on. Once the edges start to cook flip them over and cook the other side.

I put strawberry preserves over these and cut them into heart shapes since they were for my little one.