Category Archives: snack

Parsnip Fries: Not French, Not Fried and Not Potatoes

Poor potatoes. Getting replaced by other vegetables. First there was cauliflower going all mashed tater-like. And now parsnips are acting all like french fries!  At least we’re set if we ever find out potatoes are sentient. Always look on the bright side of life, right Mrs. Spud?

Parsnip Fries - Luminous Vegans

I’ve never had parsnips. Ever. Until now. Anxious to try them, I excitedly took a bite of one right when these made it to my kitchen counter. I read that you could eat them raw. Um, anticlimactic much? They didn’t really taste like much. There was a hint of carrot-like sweetness and the teensiest hint of something else bite-y. Almost like a radish. But mostly it was just kinda bland. Almost like biting into a raw potato but a little better. Based on that bite, eating them raw was not gonna be a thing I did.

Parsnip Fries - Luminous Vegans

So I poked around on the internet to find out what else I could do with them and found that they could be made to resemble the classic French fry. Perfect! Roasting veggies is my favorite lazy-girl method!

All I did was cut the parsnips into strips that resembled “fry shapes”. I left the cleaned skins on because ain’t nobody got time for dat! Then I lightly coated them in olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I roasted them at 450F for about 20 minutes, tossing them halfway. When they were done, I sprinkled a little more salt and pepper all over and topped it with some freshly chopped parsley.

Parsnip Fries - Luminous Vegans

Roasted parsnips are much better than raw parsnips. I think the roasting helps bring out the sweetness some and makes it more of a delightful texture. The texture and taste are very similar to, well, a tender french fry but with a tad more sweetness and that very subtle hint of something mildly bite-y that I just can’t put my finger on. Some describe it as a “woody” or “earthy” taste. I’ll just call it that parsnip swag. Because it’s that swag that makes these parsnip fries stand out from regular old French fries.

Parsnip Fries - Luminous Vegans

Although these parsnip fries are perfectly pleasant on their own, I couldn’t help but recreate the whole French fry experience by dipping it into ketchup. I demolished the whole plate all by myself.

Have you eaten parsnips before? Can you recommend other ways to cook and eat it?

Apples with Roasted Beet Tartare, Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

When I heard that this month’s Virtual Vegan Potluck featured ingredient was beets. I went against every instinct I had and signed up to bring an appetizer that uses beets. I don’t eat beets often. I don’t cook beets. And I rarely make appetizers. What can I say. I like a challenge.

But I do enjoy eating beets. That has to count for something right? My experience with beets growing up is all canned. So this month was the month of learning how to cook beets. Not to mention learning how to handle beet “blood”. Oh yeah, when dealing with beets….there will be beet “blood”. Just imagine Daniel Day Lewis saying that.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

What I’ve learned is that beets don’t need a lot of finessing. They have a great rich and earthy taste on their own. I’ve also learned to use parchment paper when cutting beets. Because beet blood on a wood cutting board is a nightmare. But beet stained hands aren’t that bad. Sure, I could use gloves. But having beet stained hands is somewhat satisfying to me.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

This appetizer is a deconstructed beet and apple salad (without the salad-y part). Fresh, tart slices of granny smith apples are topped with creamy cashew cheese and roasted beets coated with a sweet lemon dressing. It’s all sprinkled with crunchy, candied walnuts and chopped chives.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

All the goodies are on one end of the apple slice. The other end is for holdin’. I like to eat it all in one bite so all the flavors and contrasting textures meld together. But making it a two-bite deal works also.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Even though there are multiple components to this app, it came together easily because I made the components in advance. So all I had to do was assemble it before you guys came over. It can be served cold or at room temp (my preference).

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad

Adapted from Martha Stewart. Makes about 25-30 apple slices.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium beets, roasted and peeled (I used this method)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tbs maple syrup (for walnuts) + 1 1/2 tbs maple syrup (for beets)
  • 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice + extra for dipping apple slices
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 cup cashew cheese
  • handful of chives, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Directions

Toss the walnuts with the 1 tbs of maple syrup, brown sugar and pinch of salt. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 400F for 5 minutes (I did this when I roasted the beets to save oven power). Take them out and give them a shake and put in for another 4-5 minutes. Let them cool and then store in an air tight container if not using it right away.

Cut the roasted beets into small cubes and put in a mixing bowl. Make the beet dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice and the 1 1/2 tbs of maple syrup together. I put it all in a little jar and shake it up. Coat the beet cubes with about HALF of the sweet lemon dressing. Save the other half for drizzling over the finished serving plate.

Slice the apples into pieces that are about 1/4 inch thick. Then cut those slices in half so you have bite-size pieces as shown. Dip both sides of the apple pieces in a small bowl of lemon juice mixed with a little water to prevent them from browning.

Now it’s time to assemble. I put about 1/2 tbs of cashew cheese on the end of each apple piece, followed by some beet cubes and then a sprinkling of crushed candied walnuts and chives. When plating, drizzle more of the dressing on top.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

I was worried that the beet juices would drip everywhere making this a nightmarish appetizer. But the juices just kinda settled into the thick creamy cashew cheese.  But don’t worry if you spill a little. Because that’s how we roll in this house (aka, the pups will eat it up).

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Hungry for more? If you just happenstanced on this post, there is so much more vegan food to be had. Go back and check out what Cadry is serving over at Cadry’s Kitchen.

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Or hop on forward to Ashley’s place at A Cook in the Making.

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Or start from the very beginning (at Vegan Bloggers Unite) and work your way through 100+ delectable vegan beverages, appetizers, salads, side dishes, main dishes and desserts!

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Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

 Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to cook and eat them?

Roasted Delicata Squash: A Squash to Squash all Squashes

I feel like I’m always late to the food party. There always seems to be tasty food stuffs that everybody knows about. Except me. First there were kale chips. After I discovered them and realized they didn’t require a dehydrator, I started buying multiple bunches of kale on my farmer’s market trips instead of just one. Next came roasted chickpeas. But now I make and devour them on the weekly.

Roasted Delicata Squash -Luminous Vegans

And now my latest “how did I not know about this amazing delicious snack?” discovery…roasted delicata squash! I had seen delicata squash popping up all over my instagram feed and on blogs. However, I kept bypassing it at the farmer’s market. I didn’t want to fall in love with another squash that could only be broken into by hacking away at it like Michonne hacking zombie heads on The Walking Dead (Anyone see the most recent episode? Can I get an “omg” about Carol?).

Delicata Squash -Luminous Vegans

But then I started hearing this crazy rumor that it wasn’t hard to cut. In fact, I heard you could even eat the skin. Shut the front door! And the back door! Shut all the doors! I don’t even know what that means, but it somehow seems appropriate for this amazing delicata squash. A squash that won’t leave me crying in a corner because I hacked at it all crooked. A squash that lets my lazy-girl shine through because I don’t have to peel it.

Delicata Squash -Luminous Vegans

After slicing, deseeding and roasting this beautiful squash. I am left with a sweet, almost caramelized squash snack with an oh-so slightly crisp skin. I have yet to explore this squash beyond just roasting. I keep thinking I’ll try something different with the next delicata squash haul. But roasting it really highlights the wonderful sweet delicata squash flavor. And right now, I am just enjoying it on its own.

Roasted Delicata Squash -Luminous Vegans

Roasted Delicata Squash

Ingredients

  • as many delicata squash as you want (here, I am using one)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. Wash the outside of the squash. Use a sharp knife and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Cut it into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. Coat lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (or whatever herbs you want!). Roast for about 30-40 minutes, flipping them half way.

I leave mine in on the long end because I like it more caramelized and kinda burnt. But like the good burnt. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper straight out the oven if desired.

Roasted Delicata Squash -Luminous Vegans

So I know I’m late to this tasty roasted delicata squash. But I’m posting this in case there are other lost souls out there like myself. Perhaps they’ll stumble onto this page. If just one person learns about delicata squash from this post, then I’ll be happy. ;-)

How do you like to eat delicata squash? What’s your favorite squash?

Easy Baked Eggplant Fries

It wasn’t too long ago that I cooked eggplant for the first time.  And, yeah, I’m a little obsessed with it now. Neal even jokingly mentioned to me the other day — you know, you don’t have to put eggplant in everything right? So of course I then decided to make something that featured eggplant and only eggplant…muahahahaha!

baked-eggplant-fries

These panko-crusted baked eggplant fries from Oh My Veggies were devoured by the both of us in less than an hour. These were soooo good. Yup. A quadruple “o” so good! That’s how good these eggplant fries were. They were also really simple to make. Think cutting-mixing-double dipping-baking simple. The only things I did differently to the recipe were as follows:

  • I used one large eggplant and peeled it. I know. I was scared ok? The skin still scares me a little…this love is still blossoming between aubergine and I.
  • I threw in a lot more seasoning in the flax egg mixture as well as in the panko bread crumbs (I used the same smoke seasoning mix that’s in this post).
  • I used more flax egg mixture (about 2-3X) and more panko because I had a bigger eggplant. Or I was being overzealous with it. Probably the latter.

baked-eggplant-fries

I recommend eating these eggplant fries straight from the oven because that is when they are crispiest on the outside. Then for each lovely bite you will experience crispy seasoned panko followed by melt-in-your-mouth, roasty, earthy eggplant. I dipped mine in Isa’s Sanctuary Dip but truly they are delicious as is.

What other veggies do you use to make “fries”?

Crispy Ranch Flavored Chickpeas

I know I was professing my undying love for kale chips just the other day. But I think I’ve found a new love! It’s like in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo moves from Rosaline to Juliet and was all–who’s Rosaline? Kale chips are my Rosaline and roasted chickpeas are my Juliet.  But let’s get one thing straight here. Both snacks are equally delicious in their own way.  I’ll still enjoy kale chips. It’s just that roasted chickpeas are so much easier to make yet still satisfy my need for crispy, savory snack foods. Could Romeo say the same things about Rosaline and Juliet? Ummm……maybe? Who really knows what Romeo was up to when he was apart from Juliet.

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Romeo’s questionable promiscuity aside, this easy vegan snack food has been around for a while.  I only recently discovered them on Cadry’s Kitchen.  The taste of my first batch (mixed with just salt, pepper and oil) reminded me of corn nuts.  You know, those salty snack foods from 7-11 that were Heather’s last dying words (Hey 80s kids, thanks for getting my references). Corn nuts come in all different flavors so I thought I would try jazzing mine up ranch-style. I used the same herbs from Isa’s Sanctuary dip. My only regret. Not making a bigger batch.

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Ranch Flavored Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can of chick peas
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp veggie broth powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • salt (to taste)

IMG_6848-3Directions

  1. Rinse, drain and dry chickpeas. I lay mine out on a towel.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl- this will be thick and pasty due to the herb to oil ratio.
  3. Add the dried chickpeas to the herb-oil mix and stir well to coat all chickpeas thoroughly.
  4. Spread chickpeas on a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (until slightly crispy on the outside and firm in the middle).

The possibilities for this easy-peasy addicting snack are endless.  Check out this tasty looking Sriracha version from Becky at Glue and Glitter.  Or try having it as a crouton alternative on a salad like Andrea’s Easy Vegan Cooking.  I’ve done it and it’s tasty!

UPDATE: Bypassing step 2 and just throwing it into a bowl and mixing everything together seems to work just fine as well. But still do dry the chickpeas prior to mixing.

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How do you eat your roasted chickpeas?