Posts by tag: cheese

  • Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Posted on January 23, 2017

You know that avocado ripening trick that involves placing unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with bananas? Yes? Well, I had heard of this hack many times, but I had never actually done it myself, until about 2 weeks ago when I purchased eight rock-hard avocados that needed a quick fix. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I slipped them into a big brown grocery bag with two bananas, folded over the top and waited. And HOLY SH*T IT TOTALLY WORKED! Within two days, I had the most perfectly ripe avocados ever. My excitement runneth over.

I must admit that I was skeptical about the efficacy of this ripening trick. But now that I’ve seen it in action for myself, I’m fully on board with this procedure. It’s legit. If you’re not doing this yet, you need to start ASAP. And that’s my public service announcement for the week. You’re welcome.

Anyways. So I quickly went from having zero ripe avocados to having waaaaay too many ripe avocados. Hence today’s recipe for Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips. And…I have another avocado recipe planned for next week. It’s going to be an avocado party up in this place!

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips | www.floatingkitchen.net

I don’t think I’ve ever met a guacamole that I didn’t like. I have a pretty standard recipe that I make all the time for myself. And I use it on everything from toast to tacos. But today, I decided to spice things up a bit by adding in a whole diced jalapeño pepper. Does that sound scary to you? If so, just start with half a jalapeño pepper, then you can add in more if you want to after you taste it. But I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the level of spiciness. It’s balanced really well by the coolness from the lime juice, cilantro and goat cheese. Your mouth won’t be burning up. Trust me.

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips | www.floatingkitchen.net

You can certainly serve this guacamole with regular tortilla chips. But I thought baked plantain chips sounded like a fun (and slightly healthier) option. Look for plantains that are still green, which are firmer and more starchy than those that are fully ripe. These are important characteristics for successfully making baked plantain chips.

If you’ve ever tried to peel a green plantain before, you know it’s a labor of love. The peel is so stiff, that it can’t be removed by hand the way you would typically remove a banana peel. Instead, you have to cut the peel off with a knife. Well, I suck at doing this. I usually end up making a total mess out of things, wasting a lot of the plantain flesh in the process. So this time, I decided to try my trusty vegetable peeler in lieu of a knife and that worked great! You’ll have to go over each spot a couple of times to make sure you remove all of the peel and get down to the flesh. But I found it to be a much easier and more efficient method for me.

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips | www.floatingkitchen.net

Both the plantain chips and the guacamole are really best when served within a couple hours of preparation. So make sure you plan to make and eat everything on the same day. And heck, you might even want to try out my Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips at your Super Bowl party this year…if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you want more plantain inspiration, try these vegetarian plantain tacos!

Cheers,

Liz

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Serves about 4

Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips

Ingredients

  • For the Plantain Chips
  • 4 green plantains
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar

  • For the Guacamole
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and seeded
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Slice the ends off the plantains. Then use a vegetable peeled to remove the peel. Thinly slice the peeled plantains on the diagonal. Add the plantain slices to a bowl and drizzle them with the melted coconut oil. Then use your hands to toss the plantain slices in the coconut oil, making sure they are evenly coated. Spread the plantain slices out onto your prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and sugar.
  3. Transfer the plantain slices to your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until dry and crisp. They can burn easily, so start checking them around 18 minutes to make sure they aren’t getting too dark. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the guacamole. Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and add it to a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and salt, then mash lightly with a fork. Stir in the diced jalapeño pepper, goat cheese and cilantro.
  5. Serve the guacamole immediately with the baked plantain chips. Enjoy.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/jalapeno-and-goat-cheese-guacamole-with-baked-plantain-chips/
  • Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Posted on January 5, 2017
Category:

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is off to a wonderful start for everyone.

I must say, this first week of January has been pretty good to me. I’m feeling more rested and relaxed than usual. And I may have even detected a small “spring in my step” the other day when I was out walking my dog. I guess I was anxious (and long overdue) for a bit of a reset.

In general, I always love this time of year. Christmas is safely behind us (remember that I’m a big Scrooge!). And everything seems sparkly and fresh. And while I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions (I find they cause me unnecessary stress and anxiety), I was prompted by a friend to set three words of intention for 2017, and I decided to give that a go. It’s a seemingly simple task, but it did force me to pause and think about what I would like to achieve going forward into the New Year.

So my three words for 2017 are: create, peace, present.

What are your intentions for 2017? If you have three words you’d like to set, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup | www.floatingkitchen.net

So…let’s talk about this Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup. YOU GUYS it’s so freaking good. I made a giant pot last week and I didn’t share it with anyone. I greedily ate it all by myself. And I reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to cook for several nights. I was in heaven.

This soup is full to the brim with delicious seasonal vegetables, nourishing ingredients and all the feel good vibes you can handle. It’s a great way to kick off the New Year. And trust me, you won’t feel deprived one bit. I’m totally digging it. And I know you will be too.

To make this minestrone soup recipe all cozy for winter, I used butternut squash and fennel in place of the usual carrots and celery. Then I added in a couple big handfuls of dark, leafy kale and lots of fresh herbs to keep things bright. I stuck with the more traditional ditalini and white beans, but you could certainly use any small-ish pasta and/or beans that you like. It’s all good in my book.

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup | www.floatingkitchen.net

This recipe calls for a large jar of tomato Passata, which is an uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of the seeds and skins. Look for tomato Passata in your grocery store, located next to the other jarred/canned tomato products. Canned tomato purée is cooked and usually not strained, so it’s not an exact substitute. But you could probably use it in a pinch, if necessary. The other option would be to purchase canned whole tomatoes, then run them through your food processor or blender and strain them to achieve a smooth consistency.

This soup recipe itself is dairy free. I do like to shred some Parmesan cheese on top to finish the dish for serving. However, if you’re going dairy free, just leave that part out. Easy peasy!

I’m sharing this Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup recipe today as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series. That’s right! You can make this gorgeous, satisfying soup in only 30 minutes! Just be sure to use a big pot for increased surface area and faster cooking. And keep the vegetables small and uniform so they cook up quickly and evenly. And before you go, check out the links below to see the other #30MinuteThursday recipes created by some of my blogging buddies!

Cheers,

Liz

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Serves about 6

Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced fennel
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (24.5 ounce) jar tomato Passata (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped and divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired

Instructions

  1. Warm the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the butternut squash, onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. If the pot is getting dry, you can add an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Add the vegetable broth and Passata. Use the water to rinse out the Passata jar and add it to the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the ditalini according to the package instructions until it’s al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add the cannellini beans, sliced kale and 3/4 cups of the chopped parsley to the soup and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked ditalini and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the soup for salt and black pepper.
  5. Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Top with some of the reserved parsley and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
  6. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. The soup will thicken oven time. You can add additional vegetable broth to thin the soup when re-heating it, if desired.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/winter-vegetable-minestrone-soup/

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