The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

VVP: Green Chili Hummus with Lime Flavored Sweet Potato Chips

Welcome to the second installment of the Virtual Vegan Potluck! Thank you for stopping by my blog and I hope you enjoy the recipe I made. I’m sure you enjoyed Barb’s entry before mine. I’ve had the pleasure of eating many of her dishes (the benefits of living only 45 minutes apart!) so I can say with confidence that even though I’ve not tried this particular one, I know it’s good.

While my appetizer may not win a lot of points for creativity, it is tasty and easy, two requisites in my cooking world 🙂 I added green chili to the hummus for a few reasons; one, I have a ton of fresh-roasted green chili Robert and I bought a while back and I need any excuse to use it. Second, why have plain hummus when you can add a little kick to it? That’s part of what makes hummus so great; it is highly customizable. You can also dip just about anything in it but since this is a special occasion I wanted to add a twist. So that’s how the idea for the lime sweet potato chips came to be.  The sweetness of the chips tempers the spice from the hummus and the lime kind of ties it all together.

I tried several ways of making the chips to find the best way to impart the lime flavor. The first was to mix lime zest with salt and season the chips immediately after removing from the pan. The second way I squeezed fresh lime juice straight onto the chips, then seasoned with salt. The last application was the most successful; I soaked the slices in lime juice for about 10 minutes prior to frying and seasoned with just salt when done. The lime flavor was great but use EXTREME caution when adding to the pan to fry; the additional liquid will cause the oil to sizzle quite a bit for the first few seconds. I used a wire mesh strainer (like this) to add the potatoes to the pan, thus keeping me at arm’s length from the splattering oil.

A few other notes:

The hummus recipe I used is from the book Peas and Thank You but feel free to use whatever recipe you prefer. I did add a bit more lemon juice than her recipe calls for, about a teaspoon, just to loosen it up a bit. I also did not remove the skins from the chickpeas, as her recipe calls for. No way do I have the patience for that. She says removing the skins makes the hummus really creamy but honestly I think mine came out just fine. This makes a lot of dip, especially for only two people but a great way to use it up would be in roasted veggie tacos.

If you can’t find fresh roasted green chili, use canned but drain it first before adding. I started with one chili (about 3 tablespoons, diced) then checked the flavor after blending it all. I ended up adding another chili, but add to your discretion. Depending on the heat level, one chili may be enough. Or if you prefer the taste of fire, add moreJ.

The chips should be made and eaten the same day as they do not keep well, so make only what you need. An average sized sweet potato makes enough chips for one person; they shrink a lot during frying. I used a mandolin to slice them, but take it from me and use the slice guard! Just speaking from personal experience; I’ll spare you the gory details. Work in batches when cooking the chips and let the oil reheat between batches. I used a dutch oven and could cook ¼ of the potatoes without crowding the pan.

Green Chili Hummus-Recipe adapted from Peas and Thank You

My attempt at food decoration–not very good 🙂

Makes 2 cups

1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (reserve 3 tablespoons of the liquid)

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1-2 roasted green chilies, skinned, seeded, and diced

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend, blend, blend until smooth. Add additional lemon juice if mixture becomes too thick. Taste and add more chili if more heat is desired. Refrigerate leftovers (if any).

Lime Flavored Sweet Potato Chips

Homemade potato chips are way better than store bought.

Makes 2 servings

2 medium sized sweet potatoes, sliced thin

~½ cup lime juice

Canola oil

Cookie sheet lined with paper towels for draining

Salt

Directions: Place sliced potatoes in a shallow dish and pour the lime juice in, making sure all the potatoes are covered. Soak for 10 minutes. Heat about ½ inch of oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. To check if oil is hot enough, add one potato slice to the pan. If it immediately sizzles, then it is hot enough. Using a wire mesh strainer, add ¼ of the potatoes to the oil. Fry for about 1-2 minutes, removing the potatoes when they start to curl up and turn dark brown. They may look burned but are not; just keep an eye on them as they do cook fast. Remove and place on the prepared cookie sheet to drain. Season with salt immediately. Repeat with remaining slices. Once they are cooled you can put them in a container to store if not eating right away but remember they won’t taste as good the next day.

I hope you enjoyed my little addition to this amazing event. I can’t wait to see what everyone else brings. Have fun discovering new recipes and blogs and I hope you come back and visit!  Now continue to whet your appetite and head on over to Queens of the Wild Frontier and their appetizer contribution! Or feel free to jump around to random blogs through the main VVP page.

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Tofu, Green Chili, and Arugula Toasted Sandwich

 

I have enjoyed reading all the awesome entries for Vegan Mofo and have a ton of new pins that I can’t wait to try. Since I’m by no means a cook, there was no way I could participate so I really admire all the bloggers who have toiled for 11 days so far to bring us their creations.

That having been said I am occasionally struck by inspiration and I can’t wait to share when it comes to fruition. The following is a recipe I adapted from a  from Penzey’s Spices. It was for a tofu BLT (subbing the bacon with tofu) and it sounded so good I tried it. I made a few changes—instead of lettuce I used baby spinach. Why? Well, it’s hard to use a whole head of lettuce between two people before it goes bad. Baby spinach is available at the salad bar at Whole Foods, so I can get just the amount I need. Plus spinach is healthier, so why not try it? The rest of the sandwich was standard—thick slices of tomatoes, a bit of vegan mayo, and toasted bread. The tofu was sliced, coated with Penzey’s Mitchell Street Steak seasoning and baked. It was filling, fairly healthy, and paired perfectly with some vegan potato salad.

However I didn’t want to stop there. Something was missing and keeping it from being a really outstanding, unique sandwich. I felt like the smokiness that bacon would have provided wasn’t represented enough in the seasoning. I know I could have used tempeh bacon, but I’m not a huge fan of tempeh to begin with and wanted to stick with tofu as the protein.  So the wheels began to turn and when Robert and I purchased a bushel of roasted green chili the light bulb clicked on. The result: tofu, green chili, and arugula toasted sandwiches. Okay, I know it’s a far cry from the original but bear with me; I have a reason for all the changes.

First, I used green chili instead of tomatoes because Robert will eat anything with green chili. Seriously, he would put it on ice cream given half a chance. Also, do you know how much green chili comes in a bushel? A lot. We have green chili coming out our ears so I needed any excuse to use some. As for the arugula, that was more a matter of using what I had on hand. I had leftover arugula from another meal and didn’t see the point in buying spinach. It added a fresh crunch and the peppery taste complimented the chili.

Green chili goodness!

So how did I fix the lack of smokiness? Vegan bacon bits. I added it to the bowl of spice I used to coat the tofu and it worked wonders. It added a nice texture and boosted the seasoning so it really stood out among the other strong flavors. I also pan-fried the tofu this time to get a better sear on the outside.

I’m pretty proud of this recipe and I hope you give it a try. It might sound a little odd at first but trust me; everything comes together so well when you take the first bite. The amounts of ingredients are for 2 sandwiches, so adjust accordingly. Also, I would suggest wilting the arugula a bit before adding to the sandwich; as much as I liked the freshness, the raw taste was a bit overwhelming. If you can’t get your hands on fresh roasted green chili you can sub the canned variety; just drain them before adding so it doesn’t make everything soggy.

Just in case you need to see how to assemble a sandwich. Don’t forget to put the two halves together!

Tofu, Green Chili, and Arugula Sandwich-makes 2 sandwiches

½ block of firm tofu, drained well and cut into 6 slices

4-5 roasted green chilies, halved, seeded, and cut into ½ inch wide strips

½ cup arugula

~2 Tbs steak seasoning

~1 Tbs vegan bacon bits

2 Tbs olive oil

4 slices bread

Vegan mayo

Directions:

In a shallow pan or dish, combine the seasoning and bacon bits. Coat each strip of tofu with the mixture, pressing down slightly on each side to embed the bacon bits. Heat the olive oil skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and let cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, being careful to not let it burn.

Heat a small pan over medium and add the arugula. Cover and let wilt for about 2 minutes.

To assemble: Toast bread and coat one slice with mayo. To this slice, add half of the arugula (the mayo helps to adhere it to the bread so it won’t slip out while eating). Add half the green chili strips and 3 slices of tofu, and top with the other slice of bread. Repeat with second sandwich. Voila! A smoky, spicy, crunchy, filling, sammie. Pair with whatever side your heart desires, though I highly suggest tater tots 🙂

 

 

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