Thursday, March 31, 2011
Extreme Vegan Makeover: Jalapeno Poppers Edition
Lately, I’ve been making a lot of comfort foods. Comfort foods for me do not involve sweets or chocolate or bread or pasta. No, for me, comfort food means fried and crunchy.
The timing couldn’t be worse for my sudden need for comfort foods. Spring is here. The weather is s-l-o-w-l-y getting warmer and soon it will be time to put away the coats and sweaters. There will be no place to hide.
Why the need for comfort now? I think it’s because I’m going through a stressful time and the season change is actually making it worse. There are a lot of events and activities going on, things I used to do, that I can’t do right now. I’m missing out on a lot of fun stuff and experiences that I keep reading about everyday from the people enjoying them. It makes me feel really isolated, lonely and left out.
It doesn’t help that I did a combination of the Crazy Sexy Diet and Dr. Fuhrman’s cleanse for 3 months – no processed food, no gluten, no sugar, no caffeine – and I didn’t feel one ounce better.
I’ve always been an emotional eater but now I guess I’m also an emotional cooker. It’s a good thing I have some willpower so that even though I may cook something that’s not the healthiest choice (although still way healthier than how I could make it), I try hard not to eat much of it. That’s Tom’s job :)
And if I make something that’s fried, then I balance it out by having something like just a raw kale salad for dinner.
That was really vital when it came to this recipe because it was soooo good, it was really hard to stop at just one or two. My favorite foods have always been appetizers. In fact, if it were up to me, at the end of dinner, instead of a dessert menu, I would be handed back the appetizer menu. Who wants ice cream or cake if I can have wings or jalapeno poppers?
Hopefully, this feeling will pass soon or I’ll be having my own personal global oil crisis. Only instead of it being in the Middle East, it will be in my Middle Waist (ha ha ha ha ha....so NOT funny)!
Note: This recipe is written to be gluten-free because I’ve been continuing to limit the amount of gluten in my diet but feel free to use regular breadcrumbs or Panko crumbs when you make it.
12 jalapeno peppers
1 tub Vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti brand. Make sure you get the yellow tub which is non-hydrogenated. The one in the white tub has trans fats!!!!)
½ - 1 cup Vegan cheddar shreds (I used Daiya)
1 cup soy milk
½ - ¾ cup chickpea flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups tortilla crumbs (I use the ones made by I.M. Healthy: the SoyNut Butter Company. They are dedicated to making products for people with allergies to peanuts, nuts, dairy and gluten.)
Safflower oil for frying
Heat about 1-inch of oil in a saucepan or skillet.
Cut the tops off the jalapenos and slice them in half. Take out the ribs and the seeds.
In a bowl, mix the Vegan cream cheese and the Vegan cheddar cheese. Spoon about 1 Tbs. of the cheese mix into the jalapeno halves.
In separate bowls, put the milk and the flour. Add salt and pepper to the flour. Put the tortilla crumbs on a plate. Dip the stuffed jalapenos into the milk, then into the flour. Shake off the excess flour. Do this to all of the peppers.
Dip the jalapenos back into the milk, then into the crumbs. Dip the peppers back into the milk and then back into the crumbs. Make sure they are fully coated.
Make sure the oil is hot by sprinkling some flour into the pot. It should sizzle. Also be careful not to let the oil get too hot (if you have a thermometer, about 360 degrees is good).
Carefully place the coated jalapeno peppers into the oil. Fry them for just 2 or 3 minutes, turning them over half-way through. They should be golden brown. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon. Place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle some salt on them while they are still hot.
Serve with a nice big raw kale salad :)