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Posts Tagged ‘avocado’

As someone who had been a vegetarian for 15 years before switching to veganism, I seriously do not get this whole bacon trend.

Bacon on cupcakes.

Bacon covered in chocolate.

Bacon in everything!

I don’t get it. Cupcakes had a good solid bacon-less run. I don’t feel like they were lacking.

With that said, I was having a recipe funk this weekend and was going through all my old recipe print outs (I collect recipes and cook books like some people collect cats…it’s scary…) when I came across this recipe. It had fake bacon AND fake mayo yet, it called to me. Maybe it was the avocado. Or maybe it was the thought of buying a fresh tomato at the farmers market and actually using it! Or maybe those three magical letters- BBQ- won be over.

Whatever the reason, I found myself reluctantly joining the bacon bandwagon this weekend and making a BLTA.

oh ok…the pseudo-bacon bandwagon. Whatever!

Anyway, it was good. Real good!

I suspect that was the BBQ Aioli that my sandwich was practically swimming in, though, not so much the faux bacon.

Chipotle BBQ BLTA
from Healthy Bitch Daily
one serving

  • 2 pieces of bread (HBD recommends sour dough. I used When Pigs Can Fly Tuscan Wheat)
  • 2-3 slices of tempeh bacon
  • 1 romaine leaf or a tiny handful of baby spinach (ok, so technically I made a BSTA sandwich…whatever!)
  • 2-3 slices of fresh tomato
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced or mashed
  • spoonful of Chipotle BBQ Aioli (see below)

Combine everything into a delicious sandwich, smoosh down so it’s bitable and consume. Keep lots of napkins handy cause it can get messy!

Chipotle BBQ Aioli

  • 1 cup of Vegenaise
  • 2-4 oz extra virgin olive oil (I used 2)
  • 2-3 drops of lemon juice (to help separation)
  • 1-2 TBSP chipotle pepper adobo sauce (juice from the peppers, not the peppers themselves)
  • 1 TBSP garlic, minced or pureed
  • 1-2 TBSP vegan BBQ sauce (I used Bone Suckin’ sauce…I may have also used 3-4 TBSPs…)

Place Vegenaise in a bowl and whisk in olive oil until blended; add a few drops of lemon juice if it starts to separate. Add all other ingredients, blend, and allow the mixture to stand for approximately 3o minutes.

I served this with a side of Kale chips and a ton of napkins. Because it was really good in that messy sort of way where you are left licking Chipotle BBQ Aioli off your fingers. Yum!

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ahh yes. Another week as arrived. I spent the weekend moonlighting as Minnie Mouse at my niece’s Disney Carnival Birthday party (It was a bazillion degrees out!), working, and brunching it up with some friends at Fiori’s bakery (bagel sandwich with tempeh, avocado and spicy veganaise…so good!). I was hoping to catch up on some much needed sleep but that was the one thing I didn’t manage to fit in! There never seems to be enough hours in the day during the summer.

Anyway, due to the fact that it is, as a mentioned, a bazillion degrees out (and usually humid), my oven has officially been retired for the next few months (with the exception of roasted chickpeas…cause I’m obsessed!). I’ve been eating lots of salads, fruits and lighter meals which is why Wicked Vegan has been light on posts lately. Strawberries and blueberries drizzled with agave and shredded coconut (aka, my breakfast last week) is delicious but not super exciting! How many more weeks ’til fall? I miss the cool weather and comfort food!

Until then, here is one of the many salads I’ve been eating with yummy summer veggies.  Perfect for when you buy a crap load of corn on the cobb because they are 50 cents a piece…

Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
salad was adapted from For The Love of Cooking;
serves 1-2  

  • 1 cooked corn on the cob (can be cooked however you like- grilled, boiled, etc)
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, approximately 6, quartered
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/8 c chickpeas (preferably roasted with a little salt and pepper)*
  • 5 strawberries, sliced
  • quinao (optional, about 1/2 cup per person)
Cut the cooked corn kernels off the cob. Toss with the tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas and strawberries. Drizzle Honey Lime Dressing (recipe below) over the corn mixture and let it sit for 10-15 minutes so the flavors mingle  and the avocado breaks down a bit (makes the dish creamier. yum!). Eat as is or mix with quinoa for a heartier dish.
*To roast chickpeas for this recipe, toss one 14 oz can with 2 TBSP of olive oil and salt and pepper (to taste). Roast for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. You can also use this cinnamon chickpea recipe with the cinnamon dressing for this salad and it also tastes delicious!

Honey Lime Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

I know this recipe seems to have a lot of ‘approximates’ and vague ingredient amount. It’s because I make it a little different each time. I may have found a really good deal on tomatoes that day but am running short on chickpeas, or I’m having this as a small lunch or I’m throwing quinoa in for dinner. I love it because I almost always have these ingredients in the house during the summer so I can make this  quickly for almost any meal/snack. It’s light for summer, requires minimal stove work (I always make the chickpeas in the evenings when it’s cooler and make one big batch at a time) and it tastes fresh- all the things I require from a summer meal!

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With my oodles of strawberries that I purchased at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday, I’ve been putting strawberries in everying! Water, oatmeal, margaritas (but that’s nothing new) and most importantly, this salad! It’s almost as addicting as the cookie dough truffles but without the guilt!

When I googled ‘strawberries salads’ at the beginning of the week, I was seriously disppointed with my options! Spinach + strawberries + pecans + balsalmic vinegar may equal a yummy salad but it also equals a boring salad! Where’s the ingredients that are going to hold me over from lunch to dinner?? A pile of spinach ain’t gonna cut it, People!

One of my favorite blogs, Peas and Thank You, came to the rescue, though! The chickpeas and dressing are directly from her website and I tweaked the salad a bit to make it a little more hearty for lunch.

Strawberry Chickpea Salad with Cinnamon Dijon Dressing

Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas
from Peasandthankyou.com
possibly serves 4 if you don’t eat half of them when they come out of the oven

  • 1 can of chickpeas (approximately 14 oz), drained, rinsed and dried*
  • 2 T. maple syrup (you can also use Agave here in a pinch but the maple syrup provides a much nicer flavor)
  • 1 t. canola oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. ginger
  • 3/4 t. cinnamon

Instructions:

* if you are using dried chickpeas, soak about a cup of chickpeas in water over night. Drain the chickpeas and cover with clean water in a medium size pot. Simmer for 45-1 1/2 (depending on your desired firmness and how long the beans soaked for) with the lid half on. Once they are done, drain and let the beans cool a bit. Once they are cool enough to handle, measure out 14 oz and dry them off a bit. Continue with the steps below.

  • Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until evenly coated.
  • Spread chickpeas on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Stir chickpeas every ten minutes to ensure even crisping.

Cinnamon Dijon Dressing
from Peasandthankyou.com

  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. ground ginger
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1/4 c. canola oil

Instructions:
Whisk all the ingredients together. Or, if you are taking this salad with you somewhere, just place all the ingredients in a jar with a tight seal (mason jar, etc) and then shake it up and throw it in your lunch bag/picnic basket/etc!

For the Salad
one meal sized salad

  • 1 heart of romain lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pineapples
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 of the batch of Pumpkin Spice chickpeas
  • sprinkle of craisins
  • sprinkle of pecans
  • cinnamon dijon dressing

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and top with the cinnamon dijon dressing.

The avocado and cinnamon dressing are sort of to die for in this salad. They make the best combo! But the best part of this salad? Minimal stove time. The chickpeas take about 30 minutes in the oven but if you make up a big batch at the beginning of the week, they can last you all week! That sounds good to me because my apartment gets hot in the summer!

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This has definitely been a week of celebrating! The most fun was celebrating my friend, Melinda’s, birthday.

If you read this blog often enough, you know Melinda is my fellow foodie friend. As such, I feel like I should give a little shout out to her:

Melinda and I have known each other since we were youngin’s in college. We met at a find-a-roommate night: I needed a roommate because my freshman one ended up not working out and Melinda needed one cause she had just transferred. We bonded over her purple vans and ended up rooming together off and on through college and after we graduated.

What can I say, a good pair of shoes can change your life.

We’ve come a long way since we rocked the vans and ate ramen noodles in our dorm room. I think one of the reasons we’re still hanging out (besides the fact that we’re both awesome!) is that our interest in food has weirdly enough followed a similar path. Granted, Melinda is always a step or so ahead of me buuut…she’s a year older then me. So, you know, with age comes wisdom? Or something like that…

Anyway, so it goes without saying that to celebrate Melinda’s birthday, we cooked. Obviously!

Homemade veggy burgers, grilled veggies and potatoes and almond joy cake truffles. Yes, please! Oh yes, there was also dancing in the rain, some speeches, drinking and Melinda as grill master. All good things!

Of course, I’ve already made and posted most of what we ate which meant I need to incorporate a recipe that I hadn’t shared with you.

Introducing Blueberry salsa aka, our appetizer:

Blueberry Lime Salsa
 from How Sweet Eats (aka, the queen of fruit salsas)

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 5 medium strawberries
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • juice of two limes
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

put blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse 5-6 times for a chunky salsa or longer if you want it smoother. Pour into a bowl and fold in the chopped avocado. Season with salt and pepper.

Basically, this was just an excuse to feed my new lime addiction. It’s weird because I loath lemons and anything with lemon in it. But limes? Limes I can’t get enough of! I had a ton lying around because I’ve been drinking lime water like its going out of style (and possibly margaritas…)so obviously, blueberry lime salsa was just begging to be made.

Anyway, you will notice there aren’t any action shots with this salsa. It’s because someone who was in charge of the chips *cough Amelia cough* took their sweet time arriving. By the time the chips did arrive, we were so famished and weak from hunger that we bypassed the photo sesh and just dug right in.

And it was delicious! Totally worth the excruciatingly long wait for chips and it was the perfect light, summery appetizer!

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My Memorial Day weekend consisted off:

– Tudors marathon on BBC America (seriously, Natalie Dormer made the best Anne Boleyn! All the other wives were so dull. And Henry Cavill…yes please!)

– Doing ALL my laundry, which took forever

– Celebrating a belated Mother’s Day. I baked Mom some Strawberry Margaritas Cupcakes. Dad made us some yummy grilled veggies and pasta. It was the only grilled food I had this weekend. Bummer! I’m remedying that tonight though

– Working

– Watching the new Underworld. What’s this? Underworld 5? Bring it!

– Cooking and baking…a lot! I made almond joy cake balls for Melinda’s birthday (she’s been telling me she wanted these for her birthday since I made them the first time- I’m not exaggerating). And I made these yummy cupcakes!

I know they are a bit of a cop-out because I’ve made the chocolate cupcakes before BUT the mint frosting and chocolate glaze are so yummy! I had to share them with you.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes

cupcake:
My Perfect Chocolate Cupcake recipe found here

Mint cream:
from easybaked.net

  • 2.5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • water
  • green food coloring (optional)

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6 oz vegan chocolate
  • 2 TBSP butter

Prepare the cupcakes according to the recipe. Allow to cool completely.

For the mint cream, mix the confectioners sugar, butter and peppermint extract together. If the mixture is not coming together, or is too dry, add a little water until it is a spreadable consistency. Add food color if you want. Spread on the cupcakes and put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes- 1 hour until the mint cream has hardened.

For the chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler (or a microwave). Once melted, spoon the chocolate on the cupcake.

Tonight, I party it up with Melinda and crew. We’re hanging out, grilling, eating and going out drinking- all the things that make a good party! Pictures (and recipes, or course!) to come.

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I told you I wasn’t over my avocado obsession!

Welcome to the week before payday! This is the 4 day stretch, Monday-Thurs, where I’ve squandered my paycheck over the last two weekends on sangria, celtics tickets and a general social life (oh yeah…and student loans) and am now attempting to feed myself on the odds and ends of my pantry.

For example, I found a pack of yeast from god-knows-when and was able to make myself a loaf of whole wheat bread. Of course, I added 2/3 cup of water instead of 1 2/3 cup and very nearly lost what has been my lunch all week. But my roommate, Bonnie, came to my rescue. She deserves a shrine or something.

Also, I’ve been eating A LOT of overnight oats due to the fact I bought rolled oats in bulk last time I went grocery shopping. I’m still convinced that’s the best breakfast ever.

For dessert, I’ve been eating these week old cookies and these no bake fudge balls. Except, this is my second attempt at making this ‘fudge’ and it came out all wrong again! Which is why I’m not sharing it with you. I’ll just link you to the original recipe so you can drool over what my lumpy bits of wannabe chocolate SHOULD look like.

Anyway, so here is my economic lunch I’ve been eating this week. I was craving sushi but that’s too rich for my budget this week. This is sort of the poor girls, practical take on a cucumber avocado roll (which is hands down one of my favorite foods) and something a little different from avocado toast:

Cucumber Avocado Sandwich
*all ingredients are approximate and will depend on the size of your bread*

1 slice of bread (free, since I had all the ingredients in my house)
1/4 c. hummus (free, since I had all the ingredients in my house)
1/2 an avocado (on sale at Whole Foods 3 for $2)
1/3 of a cucumber
a sprinkle of sesame seeds (free, had in my spice drawer)
sprinkle of soy sauce (free, had in my fridge)

Toast your bread. Slather on the hummus of your choice (I made garlic hummus). Top with sliced avocado, cucumber, sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of soy sauce.

I know it sounds weird but it’s so good! You can pair it with soup, such as miso soup which is suppose to be very good for you, or some raw carrot sticks. Or you can add another slice of bread and make it into a legit sandwich. Either way, it’s a pretty cheap lunch, even if you have to buy all the ingredients, such as bread and hummus. They will both carry you through the week.

What are some cheap meals you throw together when you’re on a budget?

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(Before I begin, please know that 1. my photo editor, which is free and does minimal things anyway, is not working and 2. the light in my kitchen is out so I’ve been using this tiny stand lamp to light the entire kitchen and my photos. So, we’re kind of lucky we have any photos at all but I’m sorry they are sort of flat)

Anyway, When I planned my menu for this week, I was soaking up the sun in 75 degree weather. I was wearing sunglasses. I was sipping strawberry frickin’ margaritas on my porch!

Currently, I am in two layers of clothes,under two layers of thick blankets…sipping strawberry margaritas…but it’s way colder!

they get all golden and delicious. yum!

So keep in mind that even though this is quite possibly my favorite dinner, when I planned on making it and sharing it with you, I imagined it going well with my cold margaritas and sunshine…and without the layers of blankets.

Crispy Tofu Margarita Wraps with Strawberry Avocado Salsa
 
adapted from How Sweet Eats

4 lb of tofu, pressed*

8 4-inch tortillas (corn, whole wheat, flour)

1 cups panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 TBSP whole wheat flour

zest of 3 limes

1 teaspoon ground coriander

for marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup tequila

1/4 cup lime juice

zest of 2 limes

1 teaspoon ground coriander

for salsa:

1 avocado, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped

1/4 red onion, chopped

4 large strawberries, chopped

juice of half a lime

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

toppings: shredded lettuce, vegan cheese, cilantro, lime wedges

12-48 hours before making the tacos, combine the marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Slice the tofu into strips and season with salt and peper. Add the tofu to the marinade and let sit in the fridge until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine panko, flour, lime zest and coriander in a bowl. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray. Remove tofu from marinade and coat strips in panko mixture, pressing so crumbs adhere. then place on wire rack. Bake for 30 minutes.

While tofu is cooking, combine avocado, tomato, strawberries and onion. Mix with salt, pepper and lime juice.

Heat tortillas if desired, then serve with crisp tofu, salsa, and toppings. Spritz with lime wedges.

*You can also use some sort of meat substitute like Morningstar Farm or Quorn chicken patties. They absorb the marinade quicker than the tofu but many of them aren’t vegan. Make sure you check the package first. Also, I pressed my tofu too long so it didn’t absorb the marinade in the time I gave it (12 hours). I would recommend using the paper towel/plate method or pressing it in a tofu press just over night. I forgot mine and left it in the fridge for two days. Whoops!

Seriously, this salsa recipe is easily in my top 10 favorite foods. Anything you pair it with will pretty much taste amazing. You can serve it with tortilla chips if you don’t want to make the wraps and it will still be delicious. My wraps usually end up being 1 or 2 strips of tofu and then half the serving of salsa, or something like that. I should really have called this recipe a strawberry avocado salsa wrap…with some crunch tofu thrown in.

Best. Dinner. Ever

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go find my gloves. I’m going to need them to finish off this ice cold margarita in my heatless apartment. Clearly, I have my priorities straight.

PS. How sticking cute is this little purple bowl I bought on vacation?? I wanted to buy them all but wasn't even sure I could justify purchasing one.

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