Posts tagged ‘Snacks’

Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Mayo

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Nothing is easier to make than a batch of oven fries. Cut up potatoes, put them in the oven, take them out of the oven. Voíla!

In this recipe, the sweet potatoes are tossed in a bit of oil and spice to add a subtle spice to the sweet flavour of the potato, and they are served (if you like) with a super-simple spicy mayo dip (because if you aren’t going to deep-fry your potatoes, you should at least serve them with mayo, right?).

We like to eat these as a side dish with all manner of entrees, from burgers to baked tofu to chili. It’s a fun and simple way to enjoy what is, in my humble opinion, one of the best winter vegetables out there.

Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Serves 4

1 large sweet potato, about 1 lb.
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Cut potatoes into long, thin strips. Try to make them as even as possible so that they will all finish cooking at the same time.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, oil, and chili powder.
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 – 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. (20 minutes should be long enough for them to cook through, 30 minutes should make them a bit crispy on the outside. Test a few with a fork to make sure they are done).

Sriracha Mayo
Makes ½ cup

½ cup mayo or vegan mayo (I really like vegenaise)
½ Tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh chives (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to about 5 days.

October 24, 2009 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread

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Heading out on one last picnic before the weather turns cold? Or maybe you need something to munch on at work or school? Wherever you enjoy it, this easy spread makes a nice, healthy treat that works equally well as a sandwich spread or a dip.

The texture of the spread is similar to hummus, thanks to the white beans that provide its base, but the flavour is something else. The artichokes lend a creaminess that balance the rich flavour of the sundried tomatoes, while the garlic steps in with its own unique kick.

I especially liked this as a dip for veggies and pitas, and in veggie sandwiches (with cucumber, tomato, and spinach). I hope that you will enjoy it, too!

Artichoke Heart and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
Makes 1½ cups

1 cup white beans (such as cannellini beans or navy beans)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup artichoke hearts
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until creamy. (I like my Cuisinart immersion blender for things like this. It is a bit of an investment, but I got it as a gift a few years ago and I use it almost every day for blending dips, spreads, smoothies, and soups).
  2. Serve with veggies or crackers, or as a spread in sandwiches.

Adapted from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

September 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush

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I brought home a bag of baby eggplants the other day to make the eggplant and goat cheese pizza that I posted last week, but it soon became clear that I had too many eggplants for just one culinary project. Falling back on an old standby, I decided to whip up a batch of baba ganoush, a Mediterranean dip similar to hummus that I like to use as a dip for veggies and crackers. It also makes a great addition to sandwiches and wraps.

I roasted my eggplants and then opened my cupboards, and found that I was missing two out of the five ingredients for this extremely simple recipe. Time to improvise! I substituted balsamic vinegar for lemon juice, basil for parsley, and pine nuts… well, those I just threw in for fun. In the end, I had a dip very much like baba ganoush but different enough from the original recipe that I thought I should share it with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush
Makes about 2 cups

1 lb. eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant or 3 baby eggplants)
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place face down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the skin is blistered and the flesh is soft and browned. Let cool.
  2. When the eggplant is cool, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a blender or food processor.
  3. Add other ingredients to blender (or food processor) and pulse until smooth.

Adapted from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

August 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Fresh Summer Salsa

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Yum! As I’ve said before, making fresh salsa is one of my favorite things about summer. Ripe tomatoes, cilantro, some spice, and the coolness of cucumber all come together in a fresh, flavorful condiment that can be used in so many things that it’s almost mind boggling. For some ideas, go here.

Salsa is a fun thing to make, I think, because it is so delicious, so versatile, and rather impressive-sounding (“yes, I make my own salsa…”) but it is extremely easy as long as you have the right vegetables on hand, and a food processor. A food processor is a must here to get the veggies chopped finely enough and consistently enough without your salsa-making adventure lasting until next September. A good food processor can usually be obtained for $30 – 40 (in the United States) and it’s a good investment for salsas, falafel, latkes, and many other dishes.

This salsa is a variation on the recipe that I posted last summer. I didn’t have as many tomatoes around the house this time, so I substituted other vegetables in their stead. I also blended the salsa a little bit less, creating a texture more like pico de gallo than bottled salsa. This particular incarnation was also somewhat reminiscent of a Latin-inspired bruschetta, and went very well on thin slices of garlic-infused baguette. I suspect that an unflavored baguette would treat it just as nicely.

Another Summer Salsa
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup red onion, cut into quarters (1 large onion)
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed (about 1½ cups)
1 bell pepper, veins and seeds removed and cut into quarters
2-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 scotch bonnet chile (or other chile), chopped with veins and seeds removed
1½ cups cucumber, cut into large chunks (about ½ a cucumber)
3 cups cherry tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt, preferably kosher or coarse salt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice

  1. Place onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapenos into food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped (about 10 seconds).
  2. Add cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, salt, cumin and lime juice and pulse until finely chopped and well combined (about 10 more seconds).  It’s important to do this in two steps so that the harder veggies (onions, peppers) can be finely chopped without turning the softer veggies (tomatoes, cucumber) into mush.
  3. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, on baguette slices, in tacos or burritos, on salads, in eggs or tofu scrambles and in any other dish you can imagine. It will keep in the fridge for about a week (theoretically; that is, if you don’t eat it all up first).

July 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm Leave a comment

No-Fail Fruit Salad

No-Fail Fruit SaladThere’s nothing like fruit salad on a hot summer’s day. It’s refreshing yet filling, and it’s a great way to take advantage of all of the great fruits that come available at this time of year.

This recipe can be used with any fruits you like. The dressing is versatile enough to tackle anything from berries to apples to tropical fruits. Unfortunately, even with the touch of balsamic vinegar in the recipe, the fruits start to brown within about 30 minutes – so make this salad just before you intend to eat it. I find that a half batch a nice meal for two people, and a full batch is great for dinner parties and potlucks.

For potlucks, you can assemble the dressing at home and then bring the fruits with you and toss it all up just before eating time. If you want to eat the salad all week at home, you can mix up the dressing and then toss a bit of it with freshly chopped fruits just before eating. The dressing will keep for about a week in the fridge.

No Fail Fruit Salad
Makes 4 – 6 large servings, or 8 – 10 small ones

6 – 10 cups fruit (depending on how saucy you want your salad to be)
(I used: 2 cups banana, 2 cups pineapple, 2 cups strawberries)

¾ cup vanilla yogurt (or ¾ cup plain yogurt and ⅛ teaspoon vanilla)
1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
¼ tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tablespoons poppyseeds

  1. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, vanilla (if using), syrup, vinegar, cinnamon, and poppyseeds.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chopped fruit.
  3. Toss fruit with dressing and serve.

June 27, 2009 at 11:29 am 2 comments

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

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I don’t like to brag, but these may just be the best muffins that I have ever made. They are light, moist and bursting with a sweet lemony flavour, while the blueberries provide an occasional mellow, fruity balance. They also rise nicely, creating perfectly golden brown tops on moist, cakey muffin bottoms.

The yogurt in these muffins acts as a replacement for most of the oil that you would find in traditional muffin recipes, making them lower fat without losing the muffins’ moist texture. This does mean that the muffins lack a certain non-stick quality, though, so paper or silicon liners are highly recommended.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins (Lower Fat)
Makes 12 Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds
¾ cup plain (nonfat) yogurt
1 cup soymilk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons safflower oil (or other light tasting oil, like corn or canola)
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
¾ cup blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place paper liners in a standard muffin tin (or grease the muffin tin well. Spray with oil and sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking). Set muffin tin aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix up dry ingredients (including flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground flax seed) and combine them well.
  3. Next add the wet ingredients (including yogurt, soymilk, vinegar, oil, lemon zest, and blueberries) and combine them well with the dry ingredients.
  4. Fill up the muffin tins with the batter (fill them almost all the way up to ensure good muffin tops) and bake for 18 – 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely before removing from muffin tin or liners. The relative lack of oil makes them especially sticky when they are still warm, but they should come out with no problems once they cool down.

Adapted from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

June 14, 2009 at 12:01 pm 3 comments

Chili Lime Popcorn

Another post about popcorn? I know, I know, but what did I tell you? I’m a sucker for the stuff! Did you know that popcorn was eaten by Inca people on long trips because it doesn’t spoil, is light and compact, and then expands to be quite filling? I think that’s true. In any case, this new recipe is truly delicious.

Chili Lime Popcorn

1/4 cup popcorn, unpopped
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce
1/4 tsp. paprika or chili powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Pop popcorn in an air popper or on the stove.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter or margarine. When it is melted, stir in the lime juice and the hot sauce. This is important since pouring these directly on the popcorn will cause it to shrivel and give poor distribution.
3. Pour butter mixture over popcorn, sprinkle with paprika/chili powder, salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly.

July 3, 2008 at 11:44 am 1 comment

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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.