Vegan Potato Skins

While this post is about my awesome, simple vegan potato skins perfect for the big game, can we just talk for a minute about the big game that happened here this weekend in Minnesota?

If you didn’t catch it, the New Orleans Saints had the game all but locked up when they lost in the last play. The Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum threw a pass and Stefon Diggs caught it while avoiding the defender, running for a 61-yard touchdown. The play instantly became known as the Minnesota Miracle. The celebrations in my house, on TV and social media and in person the day’s to follow have been unreal.

Vegan potato skins recipe | Kale and Ale

Could Minnesota be the first team to make it to the Super Bowl as the host? We won’t know until Sunday night following the NFC Championship game. Either way, I’ll be there for the food, and my vegan potato skins will be making an appearance.

This recipe came together in a lucky accident: Aaron and I were looking to use food we already had on hand to make snacks for the game. He suggested potato skins with cheese. I found green onions that we can’t remember what we bought them for, and suggested taking a little tempeh to make bacon crumbles.

With a little planning and not much hands-on time, the potato skins turned out great. It doesn’t take much in time or ingredients to make enough wedges to serve two, so we will be making these again with the leftover ingredients.

I used vegan cheese to make them vegan, but you can use whatever cheese you like, Vegan bacon made out of the tempeh add a little savoriness and texture.

Vegan potato skins recipe close | Kale and Ale
Vegan Potato Skins
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Vegan potato skins recipe close | Kale and Ale
Vegan Potato Skins
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Crumble the tempeh into a bowl. Add the liquid smoke and enough soy sauce or liquid aminos to cover. Let it stand at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours before using.
  2. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees. Put the potatoes in the oven and bake until soft, around 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut in half and scoop out filling, leaving about 1/4 an inch of potato in from the skin. Drizzle olive oil on the skin side, place skin side up back in the oven and broil for five minutes. Flip it over, put oil on the flesh side and broil for five minutes.
  3. Put a small handful of cheese into each potato skin. Sprinkle the green onions in the skins. Put the potatoes back in the oven and broil for five minutes or until cheese is melted.
  4. As the potatoes are baking, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet (I used cast iron to create a nice crunch) over medium heat. When warm, add the tempeh and any liquid, and sautee until crispy. Sprinkle on the skins. Cool and serve.
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Lentil samosas

This blog post started out as “uses for egg roll wrappers (that aren’t egg rolls),” but once I made these lentil samosas, I knew they deserved their own post. That, and I used all the egg roll wrappers to make this because they were so good I couldn’t stop!

But other uses will be an upcoming blog post.

I’ve been wanting to make samosas for a while. Samosas, for those who don’t know, are stuffed pastries popular in Asia and India. I figured a vegetarian samosa would include potato, peas and onions and, while that is good and all, when I saw this recipe for lentil and onion samosas (and since I wanted to use egg roll wrappers anyway) I knew I was going to make it.

The recipe isn’t hard, it’s just a little time-consuming. Especially if, like me, you triple the recipe because you like it so much. Sometimes I get carried away and say I’m going to make a lot of something and freeze it for later, and then I am stuck doing the prep work forever. But when I have an awesome frozen meal or snack in the freezer for later, the time is worth it. Am I the only one who does this?

Anyway, so not only is the food great and easy, but if you read the story from the woman who shares this recipe, she tells of making these with her mother when she was young as a beautiful memory. Reading the post, I can tell her love of the meal and her mother, and it’s wonderful she shares it with us. And now I share it with you.

Lentil samosas with a green salad and butternut squash fries

Lentil Stuffed Samosas

Makes 10-12

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • Salt to taste

Glue

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Egg roll wrappers (4 square sheets cut into 3 inch rectangles)

Directions

  1. Boil the lentils in water until they are cooked through but still retain the shape. Completely drain the lentils so no water is left. It helps to keep the lentils in sieve for 10-15 minutes. Mix all the ingredients in the filling with a light hand so as to not break the lentils and keep aside.
  2. Mix the ingredients for glue and keep aside.
  3. Cut the egg roll wrappers into 3 inch wide rectangles. Cover it with a damp cloth while working with it so it doesn’t dry out.
  4. Holding the rectangular pastry at the middle, take the bottom left corner and fold it towards the right into a triangle. Then take the bottom corner of the triangle you just formed and pull it upwards towards the left into another triangle to form a cone.
  5. Fill about 2 tbsp of filling into the triangle and pressing it down with your finger.
  6. Once you fill the cone, take the bottom left corner up towards the right side. Then brush the flour and water glue on the end of the pastry and fold over the top of the filled triangle to seal.
  7. It’s important that the samosa is completely sealed so oil doesn’t seep into the filling while frying. If you see any openings close it with the glue mixture.
  8. Heat oil in a wok and drop the triangles in it. They are done when light golden brown, a few minutes each side. Serve with ketchup.

A few of these were perfect with a side salad and butternut squash fries. What are those, you ask? I came up with butternut squash fries to tame my overflow butternut squash. They are more fry-shaped roasted squash, sprinkled with olive oil and salt, then baked at 400° for 30 minutes in the oven. But they are addictive and I trick myself into thinking I’m eating fries.

What is your favorite alternate use for an egg roll wrapper? Or if there is something you want me to try for my upcoming post and report back on, please let me know!

September is National Mushroom Month!

And, as a vegetarian, this is big news. That’s because mushrooms are known for umami, which is the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Umami is a savory or meaty taste, making mushrooms an ideal meat substitute.

Mushrooms are known for being a good source of B vitamins, fiber and potassium, among other health benefits.

To kick off a month honoring the fantastic fungi, I’m sharing my favorite mushroom appetizer. Not only is it small bites with big taste, but this was a dish Bill made for me not long after we started dating. Knowing my love for mushrooms, he asked his mom for this recipe and almost ten years later I still love this treat.

Don't last long, I love them!

Because I’ve made this recipe a lot, there aren’t exact measurements, and I can’t remember the exact original recipe to begin with. The following is a general starting point for a snack size of six mushroom caps per person. Medium to large mushrooms are easier to work with.

Love you mushroom caps appetizer/snack

Wash mushrooms. Remove the stems and chop. Place in a bowl with about a tablespoon each chopped onion and grated Parmesan cheese. Add a little garlic or pepper to taste, if you wish. Add about a tablespoon melted butter. Stir everything together. Fill mushroom caps, packing the filling in tightly. Spoon a little over the top. (Even doing this, you probably won’t use all the filling. If you have crusty bread, you can put it on there.) Broil for ten minutes.

Fresh Mushrooms is a good resource to learn more and get recipes and Veg News has a basic list for different types of mushrooms and recipes.

Mushrooms seem to be a love-or-hate food. How do you feel about mushrooms and how do you use them?

Happy National Onion Ring Day

I am a huge fan of fried foods. They usually consist of vegetables often breaded and served hot and ready to dip in a tasty sauce. Count me in.

Only problem is, I start eating greasy foods and feel gross. So when I had baked onion rings, I was in love. Now I prefer them to the fried version! Crunchy, light, less messy and the onion still stays moist.

In honor of National Onion Ring Day, I’m sharing my oven-baked onion ring recipe with you. No matter if it’s baked or fried, enjoy some onion rings today. I think I heard that if it’s a national day to celebrate onion rings, the calories and fat you consume in them don’t count today!

Oven-baked onion rings

Serves 2-3

Getting all the supplies ready

Preheat oven to 375°. Slice one medium onion into rings. Put out four bowls and fill them in this order: Milk, flour, two eggs and breadcrumbs. (I put paprika and minced garlic in with the breadcrumbs. They could be plain or with any spice.) Dip the rings, one at a time, in the milk, flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Place on a cookie sheet that has been lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake another 10 to 15 minutes.

Baked crispness ready to eat

I’ve successfully done this bread-and-bake procedure with many foods, including zucchini chips and tofu fingers.

What is your favorite appetizer?