Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Meatless Monday Dinner to Remember

In honor of National Vegetarian Day, we're going all the way, with this great Vegan!

On the Menu:
  Loaded Guacamole – Vegan
6 Servings

2 avocados, fairly soft, peeled and pit removed
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ red onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 Roma tomato, diced

In a medium bowl, mash avocado and mix with lime juice and vinegar.
Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin, and granulated garlic .
Mix in red onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and chopped tomato.
To prevent guacamole from oxidizing (turning dark) - wipe a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil and spread it directly on the surface of the guacamole after it's put in the container, then put the top on. This will keep guacamole green for days. 

 Pico de Gallo – Vegan
6 Servings
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
¼ red onion, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- ½ chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
½ lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Stir the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper,chipotle, lime juice, garlic, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. 
 Watercress and Spinach Salad Vegan
 6 Servings
6 ounces, watercress, washed, drained
10 ounces baby spinach, washed, drained
3 tablespoons fresh mint
½ cup baby tomatoes cut into quarters
1 cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, sliced or diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 avocado cut into a fan
freshly ground black pepper 

Combine watercress, spinach, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers in a large bowl.
Combine lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, salt, garlic, crushed red chili peppers in a blender and puree until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Just before serving toss the salad with the dressing.
Cut the avocado and place on top of the salad, squirt with some lime juice.
Coat with freshly ground black pepper.

 Refried Beans – Vegan
6 Servings
1 - 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
¼ cup onions, chopped
¼ cup bell peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 lb pinto beans, cooked
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
Bean cooking liquid
Heat oil in a large skilled then add the chili peppers
Sauté over a medium flame until the chili peppers are browned, 2 -3 seconds. 
Add onions, pepper and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
Now add the beans, ground cumin, ground coriander, granulated garlic and a little of the bean liquid.
When the beans begin to simmer, mash them with a potato masher until they are smooth. 
Add more liquid if necessary to give the beans the consistency you prefer.
 Spanish Rice – Vegan
6 Servings 
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ cups basmati rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano
3 cups water
1 large bay leaf

In a large sauce pan, heat oil, add crushed red chili peppers and saute until peppers turn slightly brown. 
Add ground cumin and saute until the fragrance of the cumin is released.
Add the onion, garlic and saute a few minutes.
Add the rice, mix thoroughly and continue sautéing 3 minutes.
Add tomato paste mix thoroughly add tomatoes, sea salt, granulated, garlic, granulated onion, oregano, water and bay leaf.  Bring pan up to a boil, stir, reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover.
Cook undisturbed 16 minutes.  Remove from heat, leave lid intact and let pan sit 10 minutes before removing the lid.
Remove bay leaf and fluff rice before serving.

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