Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Oven Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
(Makes about 3 Cups) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
IMG_3506

There I was Sunday with the house all to myself, everybody was out all day. I seized the moment to blog a little, enjoy some good music and read a GOOD book. The book was the main task of the day, so no distractions. I’ve been reading Seth’s next book, I’m helping him make edits before he sends it off to be published. No spoiler alerts here…you’ll have to wait and see! I will say that it is intense, honest and explicit…this is a mad world we live in.
Reading and Editing…Reading and Editing…I worked up a mini appetite. I needed a snack and we were out of hummus. So I opened the pantry – well I had chickpeas and tahini, I could make more…. but no distractions I told myself! As simple as hummus is to make, I decided to go a simpler route and make roasted chickpeas. Just toss them in some seasonings and then toss them in the oven and back to work, what could be easier. You can make them spicier or mild, whichever you decide.

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz) Cans Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tsp Wasabi Powder (Horseradish, Spirulina, Turmeric)
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp course Ground Black Pepper
(Note: Wasabi and Smoked Paprika can be adjusted from ¼ to 1 Tsp depending on preference).

Directions:
-Preheat oven 400 degrees.
-Drain and rinse chickpeas. Remove any skin that is visible from chickpeas. I put them in a bowl and feel through, removing that outer layer of skin as I go. Get as much as you can, it’s okay if there are some left.
-Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
-Place chickpeas on baking sheet (be sure the baking sheet has a lip on it 1-2 inches, they like to roll).
-Bake for 40 minutes. – Shake pan during cooking to toss chickpeas for even cooking (about 3 times during cooking process, abt 13-15 mins or so). Enjoy!

RoastedChickpeas

Advertisements

Grilled Portabella (Portobello) Mushroom Burgers

Easy Grilled Portaburgers [Portabella (Portobello) Mushroom Burgers]
(Serves 4) – Vegan/Gluten-Free option (GF Rolls)
Portoburger, Portaburger
I’m SO over winter. Would you believe last Friday on the first day of spring it snowed? Of course it was an all day event too, from about 7:30 in the morning until after 6pm – Snow! Our eldest daughter even had a minor car accident that day. Fortunately no other cars were involved, but poor Megan on the first day of spring a snow related accident. Well, there are beautiful sunny days on the horizon. C’mon Seth, lets move out West and make those beautiful sunny days year-round, haha! A girl can wish or hope, right? In anticipation of warm weather – spring and summer, I’ve been craving something grilled and fresh. These burgers are so simple and take no time at all to make. I used my indoor stovetop grill pan. A must try and I’ll add that I never saw food disappear so quickly. After making the burgers I toasted the bread on the grill and served them up along side an easy rainbow carrot pasta salad.
IMG_3255

Ingredients:
4 Portabella Mushrooms, cleaned/stems removed
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp course Black Pepper
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
4 Rolls – Kaiser or Buns for Serving

Directions:
-Heat Grill or Grill pan over medium heat.
-In a small bowl, whisk to combine: Balsamic, Tamari, Olive Oil, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper and Oregano.
IMG_3198
-Clean mushrooms – wipe clean with damp paper towel, remove stem and I like to remove the black gills also-they scrape out easy with a spoon.
-Marinate mushrooms. Place them in a large platter/glass dish, first with gill side down then flip and marinate on the opposite side. 10 minutes on each side was enough – I left it out on the counter at room temp. If you want to marinate for a longer period of time, just cover and refrigerate; but I found that 20 minutes was plenty.
IMG_3209
-When your grill is hot and ready – grill on each side for about 5-7 minutes. I grilled gill side up (top down) to start, then flipped after 5-7 minutes. No need to push, mash or mess with them; just place them on the grill and let them cook they’ll develop some nice grill marks too.
Portabella Mushrooms
-Top with your favorite burger toppings. We topped with sliced avocado, tomatoes, grilled red onions and butter lettuce. Dress your bun with this amazing aioli sauce, incredible. Enjoy!

Easy Rainbow Carrot Pasta Salad:
These Portoburgers were served along side an easy Pasta Salad: (1-2lb) Mini Penne; (12oz) baby Rainbow carrots; Diced tomatoes; (16oz) Corn; Celery (2) stalks/ribs-chopped finely; ½ Red Onion-Diced; 2 Tbsp Capers; 1 Tsp Dried Oregano; ½ Tsp Salt; 1 Tsp course Black pepper – Tossed in a zesty Italian vinaigrette. –This is a simple recipe and the little ones enjoyed the leftovers as a side/snack in their lunch bags for a couple days too! Just a quick note, if the pasta seems dry the next day – just freshen it up with additional dressing or add some Vegenaise (Vegan Mayo).

IMG_3250

Citrus Soba Noodles with Asian Glazed “Scallops” (King Trumpet Mushrooms)

Citrus Soba Noodles with Asian Glazed “Scallops” (King Trumpet Mushrooms)
(Serves 4-6) – Vegan / Gluten-Free

Soba Noodles and Asian Scalloped Mushrooms
I was inspired by the King Trumpet mushroom. Seth and I were browsing in our local whole foods store yesterday and I saw these beauties. These mushrooms have thick meaty stems that hold up well during cooking; they also keep well in the fridge and should stay fresh over a week. The stems remind me of scallops when sliced. You can easily substitute these mushroom stems sliced up as a vegan alternative to any ‘scallop’ dish. The soba noodles are a great gluten-free alternative to pasta. This dish is hearty but doesn’t feel heavy or leave you feeling bluh! Enjoy, I hope you try this one.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
9.5 oz King Trumpet Mushrooms
2 (8oz) Pkgs Soba Noodles (100% Buckwheat Pasta)
2 heads of Broccoli Florets
1 (12oz) Pkg Frozen Edamame
5 Scallions, chopped (white/light green parts)
4 sm-med. Carrots, shredded

King Trumpet Mushrooms

Dressing/Sauce for ‘Scallops’:
2 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Sriracha
1 Tsp Blue Agave Nectar

Dressing/Sauce for Soba Noodles:
¼ Cup Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Sriracha
1 Tbsp Blue Agave
½ an Orange, juiced
1 Tsp Fresh Grated Ginger

Directions:
-Trim ends from trumpet mushrooms, then cut in ½ – 1 inch pieces. Cut stems only for ‘scallops’ then slice tops and any smaller pieces and set aside – reserve for later.
IMG_3276
-Combine all ingredients for ‘scallop’ sauce in a bowl, whisk together. –Add mushroom stems to bowl and allow the mushrooms to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
King Trumpet Mushroom/Scallops
-Meanwhile, fill pot with water and bring to boil. Add Soba noodles and boil for 8 minutes, drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
-In large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Drain mushroom stems ‘scallops’ and pat dry. Sauté stems in pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
Seared Mushrooms
-In a large pot bring 4 Cups of water to boil. Add Edamame and return to boil. Add broccoli on top and cook for 4 minutes. –I don’t stir the pot; I just allow the broccoli to sit atop the Edamame so they steam up. Drain and rinse under cool water and set aside.
-Back to sauté pan that ‘scallops’ were in. Heat pan over medium heat, then add remaining mushroom tops and pieces – sauté for 1 minute. Add carrots and scallions and heat for another minute. Add Soba noodles and toss with dressing/sauce and heat through. Serve and top with scallop pieces. Enjoy!
SobaNoodles.jpg

Mofongo (Fried Plantain Dish)

Mofongo (Fried Plantain Dish)
(Serves 4) – Vegan / Gluten-Free (using GF Panko or omit)

Vegan Mofongo with Coconut Bacon

Vegan Mofongo with Coconut Bacon

Mofongo is another classic Puerto Rican dish made with plantains and typically made with Chicharrón (Fried Pork Skins aka Pork Rinds). I’ve never had chicharrónes, so I can’t say that I know what they taste, which means I’ve never had Mofongo in its traditional form with pork. Mofongo is typically also made using a pilón (wooden mortar and pestle). Since I realize not many people may own a pilón, let alone know what it is, this recipe is made without using one. However, if you have one use it, since a pilón is made of wood over time it absorbs the flavors of the ingredients that have been prepared in it over the years (mashed garlic, olive oil etc.) this in turn will enhance the flavor of your dish. Have you ever chopped up garlic on your wood cutting board, and then washed it and it still smelled like garlic afterwards – similar concept. Since this version is already omitting the pork and not using a pilón either, I wanted to maintain the concept. You can surely just mash everything up in a bowl instead of the cutting board, however, since I took the time to make the garlic into a paste I want to be sure to incorporate all that flavor from the cutting board so I mash the plantains first on my cutting board into the garlic before transferring into a bowl to combine the remaining ingredients. I absolutely love how garlicky this recipe is.
Vegan Mofongo
Ingredients:
Tostones (Prepared using 4 Plantains)
2 Cups Coconut Bacon, see recipe
9 Garlic Cloves, mashed
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tbsp Salt
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
1/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs + 1 Tsp Liquid Smoke, Optional

Directions:
-Prepare Tostones – see recipe here.
-If using pilón – mash garlic, olive oil and salt then add Tostones (about 6-8 per person).
Garlic.jpg
-Without a pilón – begin by chopping garlic on cutting board, once chopped add olive oil and salt and continue mashing into a paste. Continue passing your knife in a dragging motion.
Garlic Paste
-Divide garlic evenly on cutting board. With a potato masher begin mashing tostones into garlic (about 6-8 pieces per person).
IMG_3065
IMG_3070
-Once mashed transfer to bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. I divide up evenly, for example ¼ cup broth per.
-Toast panko over medium heat in a dry pan for a couple minutes until lightly toasted, fold into mofongo mixture.

-Remove from bowl and form into a ball, serve as a side or main entrée.

Variation:
-Instead of using completed flattened tostones. Fry plantains 1-inch pieces about 7 minutes on each side and mash/incorporate from there with remaining ingredients.
IMG_1534
IMG_3138
-Once all ingredients have been incorporated you can fry a second time the completed mofongo ball for a couple minutes.

Coconut Bacon!

Coconut Bacon!
IMG_2998

The first time I ever realized that coconut ‘bacon’ was even a thing was at a restaurant in Philly called the Memphis Taproom when I tasted their vegan sandwich called the Smoked Coconut Club! This sandwich is so incredible and was even featured on the Food Network’s show Diners, Driver-Ins & Dives. Seriously, if you are ever in Philadelphia, try this sandwich, they actually use a smoker to smoke their coconut. Since that experience years ago, I was inspired to make coconut ‘bacon’ myself, however, using smoked flavoring instead of an actual smoker. Since then I’ve added it atop my black bean burgers, put it in my version of Spaghetti alla Carbonara, in Mofongo and even attempted to recreate the Taproom’s Coconut Club.

Ingredients:
2 Cups Coconut Flakes
2 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke (vegan friendly)
1 ½ Tbsp Maple Syrup or Agave
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika

IMG_2975
Directions:
-Preheat oven 350 degrees.
-In a large bowl combine all ingredients.
IMG_2979
-Place coconut flakes on baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes. Shake or flip halfway through so they bake up evenly.
IMG_2982
Let them cool.
I’ve ran out of Maple syrup in the past and have made this with Blue agave and it came out okay too. Enjoy!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara – Pictured below.
IMG_7991

Puerto Rican Tostones (Twice Fried Plantains)

Puerto Rican Tostones (Twice Fried Plantains)
(Serves 4-6 but can be easily multiplied or divided) – Vegan / Gluten-Free / Soy-Free
IMG_3024

Tostones are a classic Latin dish and they are so simple to make. They are twice fried plantains and can be served as a side item or as an appetizer/snack. I enjoy these straight up with salt/garlic powder but the kids enjoy them with ketchup similar to french fries. They are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
Although my mother may not realize, I was a bit of a sponge growing up and have many fond memories of our food, culture and traditions. I learned a tremendous amount from her and now enjoy making and veganizing a lot of my favorite childhood dishes.

Ingredients:

4 Green Plantains (depends on serving size)
Oil for Frying – Canola/Vegetable
6-8 Cups of warm water (does not have to be an exact measurement), divided
1-2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2-4 Tsp Salt, divided
(Garlic Powder/Salt do not have to be an exact measurement in this recipe, they are used to sprinkle/toss after frying).

Directions:
-Peel plantains: cut off ends and then cut a slit lengthwise down the plantain and remove the skin.
IMG_2985
– Heat Oil over medium heat so its ready when it’s fry time. Oil should be about an inch from the bottom – it should come up about halfway up the plantains when they are added.
-Fill a bowl with about 4 cups of warm salted water.
-Cut into 1-inch pieces. -Add the cut pieces to the water as you go until all the plantains have been cut. This prevents oxidation while you continue to prepare. Note: Water measurement does not have to be exact it should be enough to cover.
IMG_2992
-Drain water and dry pieces completely before frying.
IMG_2994
-Fry plantains about 6 minutes total – about 3 minutes on each side, flipping halfway.
IMG_3002
-Remove plantains and drain on a paper towel.
-Press plantain pieces.
IMG_3009
You can use a tostonera (plantain press – pictured above) or mom’s tried and true way of a simple brown paper bag. Just rip off a large piece and press by hand – the bag will also absorb excess oil. Set aside once they are all flattened.
TostonesPressed.jpg
-Re-fill bowl with warm water. Quickly dip each piece into water before dropping back in oil for 2nd fry. (Do not let them sit or soak in the water in this step, as they will get soggy). Just a quick dip before frying again will make them crispier.
IMG_1540
-Fry for another 1-2 minutes on each side until they are crispy and golden.
-Remove from oil, drain and sprinkle/toss in salt and garlic powder immediately. Serve warm. Enjoy!