Posts Tagged ‘avocado’

Vegetable Fajita Quesadilla, Guacamole

July 14, 2009

Vegetable Fajita Quesadilla, Guacamole

One of my wife’s guilty pleasure used to be a chicken fajita quesadilla, which, as you might surmise, is a quesadilla stuffed with everything that would normally be served with fajitas – notably onions and peppers. It had been literally years since I had a quesadilla myself (vegan cheese sorely lacking – until recently) so I decided to try and approximate her guilty pleasure. And the results were immaculate.

I’m not one to just throw a bunch of onions and peppers in something and call them vegetables and be done, but she was pretty adamant about not using things like broccoli and cauliflower. So I went with a pretty standard mix of zucchini, yellow squash and carrots – all diced small – in addition to the onions and peppers. In a very hot pan I added some garlic oil (a shock, I know) and began to sautee the vegetable mix until everything was cooked through.

While that was sauteeing I shredded some Teese so that as soon as the vegetables were done I could combine everything in a bowl. I’m glad I didn’t try to add Teese directly to the pan – it would have melted too fast – as well as not trying to use it from a cold state. Adding the hot vegetable mixture to the cold Teese in a separate bowl was the perfect idea.

I laid out my whole wheat tortillas, filled them halfway and began to sear each one individually to get the optimum crust. The key here is to have a hot pan, low amount of oil and not be scared of hot things – it will allow you to keep an eye on the bottom of the pan without flipping too early or too late.

Before all of that had begun, however, I had made some guacamole. I love guacamole – I eat at work almost daily. I also criticize guacamole a bit too harshly. It sounds like it’s a really easy dish/condiment to make, but to make a really good guacamole takes more than just an avocado, salt and lime juice.

For mine I use the following in varying amounts – literally until it tastes right:
Avocado
Lime Juice (I cheated and used the bottled stuff – shhh) [Lemon Juice will suffice as well]
Salt
Pepper
Tomatoes
Cilantro
Cumin

The key here is to get that perfect blend of salt, lime and cumin. Too much of either will overpower everything, but the right blend? Sublime.

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Avocado (Tempeh) BLT

April 12, 2009

Completed Avocado BLT

I had some avocados that need to get used up soon. I had been struggling with a way to use them that wasn’t the same old-same old (guacamole, salsa, etc). When I mentioned it to a co-worker, he suggested making some kind of sandwich on my “fancy homemade bread”. And suddenly, it all hit me – an avocado BLT.

The only thing I was missing were the tomatoes, but a quick stop at Publix and I was good to go.

The first step is baking the bread. I know it says 5 minutes a day, but it certainly takes longer than that! But while the bread was baking I got everything else ready. As soon as the bread was in the oven, I tossed the baby spinach with some of Garden Fresh Artichoke Garlic Salsa to let it marinate for a little bit.

Salsa-Marinated Spinach

I sliced my surprisingly-ripe tomatoes and marinated them with a little kosher salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. The avocados weren’t as ripe as I thought they were (we got them from a friend of my wife’s grandparents – a story for another day), but I managed to get some good pieces out of them. A little lemon juice to keep them from turning and it was time to sear the tempeh.

I’ve only just begun using tempeh and I’m still trying to figure out the optimum way to sear it, but I think it came out really well this time. As soon as the tempeh was done, I had to assemble quickly or the sandwich wouldn’t be warm at all, but I wanted to sautee my spinach a bit. After my last turn of the tempeh, I shut off the gas to the burner and as soon as the pan was clear I added my spinach. I didn’t want to cook it all the way – just wilt it – so I stirred it really quickly and put it back in the bowl.

Luckily, the freshly-baked bread was still warm so it wasn’t a cold sandwich after all, so I started by layering up the tempeh and tomatoes a few times and added my avocado.

Tomatoes and Tempeh

Topped the whole thing with the wilted spinach and I was ready to go.

With Spinach

I snapped some blurry pictures and quickly devoured the simply amazing sandwich. So many delicious flavors working together, I cannot wait to make it again.

Long days, quick meals

March 13, 2009

Everything that makes you feel tired

Sometimes, there’s just not time to make a flavorful, fulfilling and healthy meal. On those nights? There’s Fantastic Foods. Quick, easy to make and most of all delicious.

Tonight’s choice? The Taco Filling. I used to just prepare it according to package directions, but I’ve gotten a little more creative with it in the past few years and I’ve finally settled into one that my wife love and rarely deviate from.

1cup of Water (down from 1 3/4)
1package Fantastic Taco Filling
1container Garden Fresh Gourmet Salsa (Jack’s Special as our local grocery stores no longer carry Artichoke Garlic or the Sweet Onion)

Bring the water to a boil and add the prepared mix. Reduce to medium and let simmer until almost all of the water is absorbed. Add your salsa and bring back to a simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. We made it a little looser tonight (for no good reason) and it was just as good as ever.

Instead of making traditional Tacos or Nachos, we use it as a dip. A bowl of the filling with salsa topped with some combination of Tofutti Sour Cream, Avocado and Shredded Lettuce. It seems the recipe over at Tofutti has changed recently and I don’t really like it anymore so I skipped it (it sure didn’t stop my wife though).

Nachos

I normally like to get Garden of Eatin’s No Salt Blue Corn Chips, but didn’t want to make a special trip for them, instead opting for Publix Greenwise Organic Blue Corn Chips which we’ve used in the past and enjoyed. It’s so difficult to find both Organic and No Salt Added products. You can almost always find one or the other, but both is a bit more of a stretch.

Bowl of dip, crispy chips and that’s it. The whole thing takes less than 10 minutes to prepare (not long enough for our cats to eat, which is usually why it ends up being a little thicker than it was tonight (my working late meant the cats ate earlier than normal).