Hasselback Potatoes… “Prana Potatoes” (Vegan)

fullsizeoutput_26a.jpeg

I’m not sure why, but this side dish always reminds me of football. I guess maybe since some potatoes are like little mini footballs? I’ve seen so many variations on Pinterest about a “super special game-time treat”, but since I really don’t care (unless it’s Penn State, and even then… I don’t care a whole lot) about football, why wait for the Superbowl to make something like this? Why wait for any occasion? As long as you have the time, treat yourself to some peace and quiet and make a snack. I’m learning how increasingly important it is to slow down sometimes, and I made a few of these a little while ago, wrapped each one up and pawned them off on everyone I could. If you see me approaching you with a potato wrapped in foil, I come in peace. I made a few variations that I’ll share over time, but this one is one I made for a friend who is vegan.

As I write about this potato, I just want to emphasize how important it is to dedicate time  out of your busy day, or week, to take a pause… a potato pause. Remember that you are human, you can only do one thing at a time, and if that thing isn’t benefiting you, strengthening you, preparing you or teaching you, then stop doing it. I try to pack a LOT of stuff into my day, which is made harder by my self-imposed/non-negotiable bedtime of 9:30. Even so, I still try to take 20-30 minutes to read a book, make some tea, or have a 90’s Alternative jam session at the kitchen table. You wouldn’t drive a car with a cloudy windshield or empty gas tank, so why try to can’t operate the same way physically? You wouldn’t make it very far.

With that said, set some time aside in your day and make yourself a prana-potato. Namaste.

Vegan Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes

fullsizeoutput_267

Prep time: 30 min

Cook Time: 80 min (total)

Serves: 2

Note: non-vegan equivalents can be subbed for this recipe; I made one for myself that was non-vegan with butter, real Parmesan and a bit of cheddar, and it came out quite delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes, rinsed/scrubbed
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
  • ~1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt, or more to taste (I really like salt…..)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp parsley, minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Coat potatoes in vegan butter or olive oil, and cover with foil. I don’t scour the edges or poke them with a fork in this case, since I don’t want to compromise the potato skin for when I slice it later. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Once cooked, take out of the oven, uncover and set aside to cool and to allow the skin to dry a little, in preparation for slicing.
  3. While the potatoes are cooling, cut your onion in half (length-wise, top to bottom). I start slicing opposite from the fuzzy side, so that it stays together all the way through cutting. Sauté on medium low heat until translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, and mushrooms to pan, ensuring you’re stirring to prevent them from burning. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, paprika and parsley. Continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, until everything starts to brown.
  5. Separately, mix the 3 tbsp olive oil with your ¼ cup vegan parmesan – it should form a paste. Set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, get your potatoes on a cutting board to slice. There’s a few schools of thought here – I’ve done it both ways. If you’ve got a flatter potato, you can use two chopsticks underneath the potato to prevent from cutting all the way  through. Personally, I’m just very careful and make sure I cut them very sloooooowly. Cut the potatoes into very thin slices – if possible, about 1/8 inch. You want the bottom of the potatoes to have all the slices still attached.
  7. Drop oven temperature down to 400 degrees. Place potatoes on greased cookie sheet or in a baking dish. Brush with the remaining tbsp of olive oil or vegan butter, and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper over the surface.
  8. Spread half of the vegan parmesan/olive oil paste throughout the slices on each potato, being careful not to detach each of the slices.
  9. Add your toppings, tucking the mushroom and onion mixture in between the slices. It won’t all fit, so I just throw whatever doesn’t right top of the potato. Optional: sprinkle a little extra vegan Parm on top.
  10. Bake for another 20 minutes, until toppings are golden brown. Serve with some Maple Ginger Salmon.

Enjoy!

-S

Garlic Tahini Kale, a.k.a. “No New Friends” Salad (Paleo, Vegan)

fullsizeoutput_22cThis salad idea came upon me when I visited a certain nationwide chain of healthy food stores. This store is wonderful and I often like spend my life’s savings each time I visit, but since they charge what really feels like $57 per pound for their salad-bar food, I decided to make my own version myself. And then I decided to spend  the leftover money on a new sports bra from Athleta. Money well spent… but I realize it’s likely more money than just buying the damn salad. I’ll make sure I wear my bra when I eat my salad, just to prove a point. This salad also has the nickname… cue Drake voice… “No New Friends” Salad, because it is a bit STINKY…. stinky in the best way ever, who needs new friends?! Just don’t plan any dates or business meetings after eating this salad, unless you don’t like the people. In that case, eat the whole bowl and then sit really close to them while whispering them sweet-nothings like Marilyn Monroe.

On a more serious note, I honestly think kale is the most underrated leafy green out there. It’s popular, but aside from being trendy, there’s so many great things about kale.

It’s super high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, calcium, iron, and beta carotene… so many vitamins.  I think beta carotene is the most important, because it’s said to help fight against skin cancer…. and I love the sun. According to Dr. Drew Ramsey, MD, TEDx alum and member of Dr. Oz’s ShareCare, kale also contains phytonutrients called sulfurophane which helps your liver detox, as well as kaempferol, which is belived to help you keep your youthful glow. Well, you know what they say… closer to kale, closer to God.

They don’t say that, actually. That’s embarrassing.

Garlic Tahini Kale, a.k.a. “No New Friends” Salad

Prep time: 20min

Total Time: 20 min

Serves 8-10 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized head of curly kale, stems removed
  • 1/4 cup tahini, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, or gluten-free tamari, may need more to taste
  • 6-7 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

fullsizeoutput_22d


Directions:

  1. After removing the stems, chop kale up, loosely so it’s easier to bite. No one wants to eat one giant leaf, that’s hard. Once chopped, put in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a smaller bowl, mix tahini and soy sauce, and stir until evenly mixed. Add garlic, continue to stir. Add lemon juice, also stirring. Slowly drizzle olive oil in until emulsified.
  3. Here’s where things can get a little dicey, but note, this does NOT impact the flavor. After adding the lemon juice, sometimes the dressing “curdles”, or separates. I don’t know why, but I would imagine it’s likely due to the citrus. As long as your ingredients are fresh, you shouldn’t need to worry. You won’t notice once it’s on the salad. Taste your dressing, and add more lemon or soy as needed. I doubt you’ll need more garlic, but you can add more if you think it needs it.
  4. Drizzle dressing over kale and stir thoroughly – it’s easiest with tongs. To make sure everything is coated, I really mix it up well for a few minutes. On the flip side, if you have too much dressing, just add more kale. Do whatever you want, this salad is just the greatest.
  5. You can serve immediately, but this is always the first thing I make so I can let it marinate on the counter while I cook other things. That way, the flavor really soaks in.

Enjoy! And don’t forget to comment and tell me about how yours came out 🙂

-S