Friday, August 31, 2012

Beer Battered Avocado Tacos

I have seen a few recipes for fried avocado pop up on the Internet. What's not to love about that? I really don't eat a ton of fried food but this sounded too good not to try.  Since it was just me for dinner tonight I figured I would give it a go and see how it turned out.  One word... awesome!

I used the basic batter recipe I found here, but changed it up a little bit to add a bit of spice. I think next time I will even add a little more heat. All in all a great and pretty easy to make dinner!

Beer Battered Avocado Tacos

1 avocado
1/2 cup lager (I used a light lager)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1 tsp salt
Taco Shells
Lime juice
Oil for frying

Heat the oil over high heat in a pot; be sure you make it deep enough to submerge the avocado.

While the oil is heating, mix into a large bowl the lager, flour, paprika, sriracha and salt until a thick batter is formed.  Halve the avocado, remove the pit and score into slices. Carefully remove the skin.  Dip the avocado slices into the batter and then place them in the hot oil.

Fry until golden brown on both sides; a few minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Add the avocado and whatever other toppings you like to your taco shells (I used kale, tomatoes, red onion and a little vegan sour cream).

Drizzle with lime juice and serve.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chorizo and Sweet Potato- A Guest Post

Hi. My name is Camille and my Mom writes The Vegan Version blog because she is vegan and likes to cook, a lot.  I am ten years old and I am vegetarian because I think it is wrong to kill animals.

Last night I cooked dinner because I also like to cook a lot. We had some Helen's Kitchen Veggie Chorizo and peppers in the house and I wanted to try something new. I don't like sweet potatoes, but my Mom does so I made one for her.  I tried some sweet potato but I didn't care for it.

The dinner was easy to make. There was lots of chopping but I know how to use a knife so that part was easy, too. I didn't use a recipe I just made it up as I went along.

Here is what I came up with. Thanks for reading.

Chorizo and Sweet Potato

1 package vegan chorizo
1 sweet potato, baked and sliced
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 orange pepper, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/4 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Pierce the sweet potato with a fork, wrap in foil and place in the oven for about 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the potato.

Once sweet potato is almost finished heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and add the peppers and onions.  Season with salt and pepper. Let cook until starting to soften and add the vegan chorizo (be sure to remove the casing first).  Cook until sausage is lightly browned and warmed through.

Slice the sweet potato and serve topped with sausage mixture.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole (aka junk food dinner)

We have all seen the tater tot casserole recipes floating out there.  To date, I don't think I have ever put a tater tot into a casserole but last night my daughter and I decided tots were what was for dinner. Junk food? Yes. Tasty? You bet.

We decided to go Mexican as she has recently discovered she liked refried beans.  And, as a vegetarian, that is a good thing!

I am sure somebody has done something similar to this I doubt its terribly original. Actually, it isn't much of a "recipe" really, but it is tasty and, yes I had leftovers for breakfast this morning.

Mexican Tater Tot Casserole

1 package frozen tater tots (I used about 70 tots in total)
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar (I used Daiya)
1/2 can refried beans
1//4-1/2 cup salsa
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, chopped fine for garnish, if desired

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

Line a lightly greased 9x9 dish.  Line the bottom with tater tots.  Dollop on refried beans, top with the cheddar and salsa and put the rest of the tater tops on top.

Bake for 40 minutes until warmed through and the tater tops on the top are nicely browned.

Garnish with fresh jalapeño if desired.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hazelnut Cannellini Pesto and Mushroom Tart

Life has been so hectic, I have had so little time to spend in my kitchen.  Today, things finally slowed down a bit and I had a chance to just relax and cook, two of the things I like to do best.

This was really quick and easy to throw together, and it tastes great. You may need to adjust the recipe a bit depending on the size tart pan you use.  If you don't have a tart pan, don't worry about  it, you can just use a baking sheet instead.

The bean filling will make enough for a couple of tarts- I like to use the leftovers on sandwiches or as a dip.

Hazelnut Cannellini Pesto and Mushroom Tart

1 package puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
4 shitake mushroom caps, sliced (you may need to adjust based on the size of your pan)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processer add the beans, hazelnuts, lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt and non dairy milk. Pulse until very smooth.

Place the puff pastry in a lightly greased tart pan or on a baking sheet.  Spread a thick layer of the bean mixture on the puff pastry. Top with sliced mushrooms. Spray liberally with olive oil cooking spray and dust with pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown.

Friday, August 17, 2012

(Another) Chickpea Salad

My love of chickpeas is no secret to any of you.  I have posted many versions of my favorite lunch, chickpea salad.

Today, I had to scramble to get lunch together... so no surprise, I grabbed some chickpeas, a few veggies and some vegan mayo.

Once the salad was made, I went to grab some bread and lo and behold... not a single slice of bread to be found. What to do what to do? I found the last of a package of flour tortillas- they would have to do.

In fact, they did quite well.

Chickpea Salad

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 carrot, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/4 cup organic canned corn, rinsed and drained
1 heaping tbsp vegan mayo
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork until they are chunky but no longer whole. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

That's it! Delicious, nutritious and really simple!

How do you like to make chickpea salad? I am always looking for a new spin on this favorite dish.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beet Salad, No Protein (?)

Greetings from New York City! I am in town for a few days attending the BlogHer '12 conference with my dear friend JL of JL Goes Vegan and having a blast!

I got into town Thursday afternoon,  checked into my hotel and decided to take a stroll around Midtown. Oh, how I love New York!  I stopped in at a cute cafe for a quick bite. The beet salad sounded awesome, so I ordered it, "hold the cheese".

The salad was not only beautiful, it was delicious! When finished, the waiter brought the check and I noticed it said "Beet Salad No Protein".

What? No cheese means no protein? Hmmm... that doesn't sound right. A quick Google search  "back of the envelope" math revealed that my salad, without the cheese, contained about 8 grams of protein.

Per the standard calculation for recommended protein intake, someone my size requires 45 grams daily. That means that my little beet salad ("no protein") actually contained almost 20 percent of my protein requirement for the day.

As a vegan, I am constantly bombarded with questions about how I can possibly get enough protein. It is unfortunate that there is such a misconception about protein, where it comes from and how much is needed. It is actually pretty easy to get your recommended daily allowance of protein, even without consuming animal products.

I think the next time someone asks me how I get my protein I am going to take that receipt out and walk them through my little math exercise!

How about you? How do you answer the protein question?