Sep 28, 2015

veganmofo - lime-maple roasted sweet potato tostada

Day 28 of #vgnmf15 asks which do we prefer? tacos or burritos?

I choose...tostadas! Yes, I'm going to be "that person," the one who has to be stubborn and contrary. But if you really think about it, tostadas are a bit of both, but look much prettier. If you consider, a tostada is actually a large one-serving nacho plate. No need to share with anyone.

I made these Lime-maple Roasted Sweet Potato Tostadas with Black Bean Mash, Avocado and Pickled Jalapenos and they were awe-some! Indeed, the recipe has quite a few components, but nothing too difficult or hard to do. Just follow the recipe in the order written and you'll have this dish done in about 30 minutes.

The pickled jalapenos were really tasty, but my jalapenos were very spicy this time around; it is difficult to tell when you'll get a batch that is out-of-this-world hot and when the batch is mild. I recommend pickling Fresno peppers instead if you are not a spice-head like me. Fresnos are ripe New Mexico-type chiles and are much milder than jalapenos.

Of course, if you want to be a stickler about following directions, stuff the toppings into a tortilla and roll or fold.
I'm good either way.


Lime-maple Roasted Sweet Potato Tostadas
Makes 8 tostadas

Pickled Jalapenos:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 medium jalapeno or Fresno peppers, sliced very thin using a mandoline
1 garlic clove, minced

Sweet Potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon mince garlic
1 tablespoon neutral oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
Sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup water
Sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

3 tablespoon oil
8 (5-inch) corn tortillas
1 medium ripe Hass avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper

1. Jalapenos: Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, oregano and black pepper in a medium bowl. Stir well to melt the sugar and salt. Add the cilantro, peppers and garlic. Set aside to pickle for at least 20 minutes. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
2. Sweet Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Combine the potatoes, garlic, oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice on baking sheet. Season with salt and black pepper. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Stir in the rest of the lime juice and the maple syrup. Continue to bake until the syrup is thick and absorbed, about 5 more minutes.
3. Beans: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cover and cook until becoming golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and water and cover. Cook until the onions are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the cheese, if using. Stir to combine and melt the cheese. 
4. Tortillas: Heat the oil (3 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet. Add a tortilla and cook until almost crisp, about 1 minute, turning once. Set aside to drain. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas. After the sweet potatoes are cooked, bake the tortillas on the oven rack until crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. 
5. Assemble: Spread beans on a tostada, top with sweet potatoes. Add a few slices of avocado tossed with the lime juice and seasoned with salt and pepper. Top with pickled jalapenos and serve. 

© 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Sep 26, 2015

veganmofo - grilled cheese and tomato soup

Day 26 #vgnmf15 prompt (and I quote:)

"It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! 
What are you going to make using the ingredients you have?" 

Check your pantry and fridge; do you have vegan cheese, bread, canned/jarred tomatoes and chips (optional)? Good! Then you have all the fixings for grilled cheese and tomato soup. Bonus ingredients are basil (dried or fresh) and vegan butter.

Since I am in San Diego, there is no chance that a snow drift would be outside my door, but for the sake or argument (and fun), so be it. Also, that snow drift is only outside my front door and not the back, so I am able to retrieve some fresh basil from the backyard that is in a *greenhouse* (called San Diego).

Thus you can see that I am all set to make this fabulous sandwich and soup. Of course, if you don't have access to a greenhouse, then use dried basil, as I often do, given the laziness of *some* people.

I made the soup using my recipe from Everyday Vegan Eats, which is really a fabulous cream of tomato soup and I highly recommend it.

As for the grilled cheese, let's not mess around and let's get serious. Let's make real grilled cheese - a sandwich that has melty, gooey cheese in between perfectly grilled bread. And, mind you, this sandwich is all vegan.

Few tips and tricks:

*mix your vegan cheeses - each brand has a different attribute - capitalize on them
*use low heat and a lid on your skillet when cooking the first side
*cook the flip side uncovered

If you go all crazy bad-ass with the cheese and add a ton to the sandwich then....

*add 1 tablespoon water to the skillet, cover with a lid and tilt the skillet to melt all the cheese (tilt to avoid getting the bread soggy)

Are you all cozy now? Sometimes we pretend it is all cool and windy outside and make this duo. This game is played quite often at our house.

Don't miss the Giveaway for Vegan Bowls right HERE. Contest ends Monday 9/28 at midnight!

Grilled Cheese Guidelines

Vegan butter
Slices of bread (2 per sandwich)
Vegan cheese (see note)

1. Butter one side of each bread slice. 
2. Combine 2 to 3 different types/styles of shredded (or grated) vegan cheese. Mix well.
3. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, add the slices of buttered bread, top with mixture of cheese and add the top slice of buttered bread (butter side up). Cover with a lid and cook until the bottom slice of bread is golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Flip the sandwich and cook, uncovered, until golden brown. Reduce heat if the bread is cooking too fast, 
5. If the cheese is not melted, add a tablespoon of water to the skillet, tip the skillet to avoid making the bread soggy, cover with a lid and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve.

*note- use a mixture of shredded or grated vegan cheese. finely grate block cheese. mix well to combine.

 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.