Chili Verde con Jackfruit

I put it on nachos. Because, duh.

Green Chili is a big deal in the Southwest, specifically in New Mexico and Colorado.  I recently went on a road trip that lead me to New Mexico for the first time, and I was inspired to try making my own green chili for the first time.  I know that my version isn’t particularly traditional, which is why I hesitate to associate it with the New Mexico style stuff.

This is a dish I’ve been desperately wanting to make, but the trip was the final spark.  And wow, I am sure glad I did.  I want to eat this always.  Every day.  On everything.  Forever.

Ingredients

  • 3-3.5 pounds of tomatillo
  • 3 hatch green chilies
  • 3 jalapeños (or less, I mean, whatever)
  • 1 pasillo pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 bunches of spring onions, with the thin green tops and stringy bottoms trimmed off
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 head (yeah) of garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 14oz can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 14 oz cans (or ~24oz pre-drained) young jackfruit in water, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 sprigs of cilantro

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Slow Cooker
  • Immersion blender, or other blender to transfer into

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º.  Peel the tomatillos and wash them, all of the peppers, and green onions.  Pat dry and lay out on lightly oiled baking sheets.  Cover the peppers and green onions.  Place the sheets into the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, I  turned down the oven to 350º, flipped everything over, and left it all uncovered.  30 more minutes in the oven, and everything was soft and browned.
  2. While all of that roasting is happening, chop up the half yellow onion and peel the head (yeah) of garlic.  Toss them into the slow cooker on low.
  3. Once everything is out of the oven, pull the tops off of the peppers and give them a rough cut or two.  Ultimately, I used an immersion blender (you could chop everything up really small and then roast it, adjusting times accordingly, or use other methods of blending), so everything was a pretty rough chop.  I tossed all of the roasted goodies into the slow cooker, and blended it up.
  4. Next, I added the drained tomatoes, salt, and cumin.  I let this sit on low in the slow cooker for about 6 hours, but that was just because I still had to run out and get jackfruit.
    1. You could easily just let it sit on high for a few with the jackfruit and cilantro in it so it’s done sooner!
  5. Once I added the jackfruit and cilantro, I turned the slow cooker on high, and let the chunks hang out for about 2 hours.
  6. Finally, shred the jackfruit into bits and stir.  Check for seasonings, and put on top of everything.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Before I went vegan, I used to make what I thought were the best chocolate chip cookies ever from this Williams Sonoma cook book.  If I could figure out the temperature and time range on the oven, I could get them to be the perfect texture.  After going vegan, I could never achieve that texture again, and I knew it had something to do with the egg replacement options I tried: flax egg and Ener-G.  When Follow Your Heart announced their new VeganEgg, I was really excited, because I’m a huge fan of their products (as well as the Follow Your Heart Market and Café, which I miss terribly!).

 

I had to order the VeganEgg online because I was having trouble getting ahold of it in store.  I decided that I needed to try it as a scramble before I attempted baking with it, and I honestly wasn’t super impressed – it needed seasoning beyond what I would have thought to make it taste more like eggs.  However, the texture and visual appearance were spot on!

 

So, that brings me to needing to bake with it, which was really the entire purpose of me purchasing the VeganEgg.  Naturally, I had to try and recreate the magic of the chocolate chip cookies from my pre-vegan days. I’ve made several changes to the recipe over the last two years, trying to make the flavor more intense in an attempt to make up for the crunchy texture I couldn’t avoid.  Flavor wise, I’ve been extremely happy with the cookies I’ve been making, but a truly great cookie needs to combine both flavor and texture.  I’m really, really happy to report that the VeganEgg has helped me create the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour*
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 VeganEgg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

*You don’t have to use this combination of flours.  You could totally use all all-purpose flour, or whole wheat.  Also, if you have a food scale, I highly recommend just weighing out the flour to 220g.

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.  Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (or your stand mixer, if you have one), cream the Earth Balance on high speed until it gets a little “fluffy.”  Them, add the sugars, and beat for a minute or two.  Usually, recipes say that you should beat them until the  mixture is “no longer gritty,” but the evaporated cane sugar usually doesn’t break down enough in this process, so it’s really just until everything is really well mixed. Add the VeganEgg and the extracts, and beat on low speed until well combined.  You’ll probably need to scrape the bowl down a few times during this process to make sure everything gets mixed well.
  4. Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix on a low speed, or just with a spoon or spatula.  Don’t over mix; you want this to be just combined (you shouldn’t see any flour anymore).  My dough was very moist, more so than it had ever been in the past.  This is okay.  Trust me.
  5. Add the chocolate chips, and gently fold them into the batter.  Again, you’re trying to stir as little as possible.
  6. Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto the baking sheets, with a decent amount of room between them, because they are going to spread out a bit.
  7. Bake the cookies about 13 minutes.  They might look slightly underdone, but this creates the crunchy exterior and gooey interior that I find so desirable in the cookie.
  8. Let them cool for a few minutes, and transfer onto wire racks, if you have them.

These cookies are soft with a slight crunch and taste amazing.  Seriously.  The almond extract and the cinnamon really make the cookies special, and I really think they’re the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had!

A Savory and Sweet Breakfast

Hello, there  I have been neglectful.  Honestly, it’s just because I’ve been hungry and would rather just eat my food than blog about it.  Sorry?

I’ve had these last 3 pieces of my favorite fake bacon, appropriately called Fakin’ Bacon.  It’s a tempeh kind, and it makes me very happy because it’s smokey and sweet.  You won’t get that crispiness that murderbacon has, but it’s really quite good.  I kept wanting to eat it with various things, but I decided that I’d save it to make myself a nice breakfast.  And, to celebrate the fact that I actually got out of bed on time today, I decided that this day was the day to make myself that nice breakfast (as opposed to my protein smoothie).

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Ingredients: fake bacon, broccoli, sweet potato, avocado, jalapeno, bell pepper, and tomatoes.

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1 small-small medium sweet potato
  • 3oz (85g) brocolli
  • 1 serving of your choice of fake bacon (for me, this is 3 slices)
  • 1 cup of sliced/diced tomatoes (I always prefer little tomatoes)
  • 1/2 (or more, or less) of a jalapeno
  • 1 small or 1/2 regular bell pepper of choice
  • 1/4 (or more, or less) avocado

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees.  I prefer the toaster oven because it’s more localized heat and doesn’t take as long, but if you don’t have one, your regular oven will do.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into small cubes and put them on your baking sheet.
  3. Make sure your broccoli is in small, bite-sized pieces and place them on your baking sheet as well.
  4. If your fake bacon is the kind that is best cooked baked, add it on there, too.  If not, heat it up in whatever method works best for you.IMG_2354
  5. Bake your potato, broccoli, and possibly bacon in the oven until the broccoli is crisp and the potato is soft, about 20  minutes.
  6. While that’s happening, cut up your tomato, pepper, avocado, jalapeno, and make yourself a little guacamole.IMG_2355
  7. When your baking items are done getting awesome, cut up your bacon.  Add everything to a bowl, and chow down.  Yum.

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Just so you know, this breakfast had a whopping 14 grams of protein.  Not a bad way to start the day!

Chicky Chick-Un Salad

I feel like I have a staple few things that I eat.  Zucchini, beans, mushrooms… So, I wanted to branch out of that and eat some other foods I enjoy.  I have to say, this was totally delicious, to the point where I made it again for lunch the next day.  I hope if you try it, you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Ingredients: Beyond Meat Chicken, garbanzo beans, hummus, mustard, vegenaise, pepperoncinis, avocado, tomato, celery, and kale.

Ingredients: Beyond Meat Chicken, garbanzo beans, hummus, mustard, vegenaise, pepperoncinis, avocado, tomato, celery, kale

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans, smashed
  • 1/2 serving of Beyond Meat chicken, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • 1 tablespoon of  vegenaise
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of pepperoncinis, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2-3 kale leaves, washed

Directions (this is really, really simple):

  1. Mash the garbanzo beans, and add the hummus, vegenaise, mustard, avocado, and Beyond Meat.  Mix until well combined.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients!IMG_2084
  3. Spoon the mixture into the kale leaves, and enjoy!

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I know this is a really simple recipe, but trust me – it’s totally delicious and perfect for summer.  Cool and refreshing, with a ton of great flavor!