Avocado Fritters with Cashew Hollandaise Sauce

img_7743If you love avocados, then you are going to LOVE these avocado fritters!  They taste like fried guacamole and are a meatless alternative to guacamole chicken burgers I’ve made before.   I am far from a vegetarian but felt like I had a lot of meat last week and needed a break.  In addition to the fritters, I also made a roasted root veggie pot pie, which I’ll share the recipe for in another post.

In an effort to eat healthy and stay on track, I try to incorporate veggies and good sources of protein in my dishes whenever I can.  In addition to the avocado, these fritters are packed with spinach, quinoa and fresh cilantro.  They’re great on their own or as a side.  I had some for lunch this week along with leftover sweet potato quesadillas I had frozen.

And as for the cashew hollandaise sauce, it’s so good!  I’ve been wanting to explore cashew “cheese”, and this sauce definitely has a spreadable cheese-like consistency.   I finally made a cashew based “parmesan” a few weeks ago, and it’s really good.  You just combine raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder in a food processor et voila!  Now, if you’re expecting it to taste exactly like parmesan cheese, you’ll be disappointed.  But if you go into it with an open mind, it is a good substitute.  As I’ve mentioned in other posts, cheese (especially the aged varieties) and I do not get along so well anymore, and I really need to avoid it when I can and indulge in it when I can’t avoid the craving any longer!

The fritters would also be good with a chipotle or honey jalapeno sauce if you didn’t want to make the cashew hollandaise.

What are some ways you incorporate more veggies into your diet?  And do you have any favorite cheese alternatives?

1/2 cup quinoa (dry)
4  medium avocados
Zest and juice of 1 medium lime
1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
1 medium jalapeno, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Panko breadcrumbs
Coconut oil

For the cashew hollandaise:
5 ounces raw cashews
3 tablespoons hot water, plus more for soaking the cashews
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
Juice of 1 medium lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt

Place cashews in a small bowl.  Boil about a cup of water and pour over the cashews.  Let soak.

In the meantime, prepare the quinoa according to package directions and cool once finished.  While the quinoa is cooking, in a large bowl coarsely mash the avocados.  Mix in the lime zest and juice, spinach, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Add the cooled quinoa to the mixture and season with salt and pepper.  Spread a layer of panko breadcrumbs on a large baking tray.  Form the avocado mixture into small to medium size patties and place on the breadcrumbs.  Top with more breadcrumbs being sure to lightly press the breadcrumbs into the mixture.  Refrigerate till firm.

While the fritters are chilling, drain the cashes and place in a food processor along with the 3 tablespoons of hot water, tumeric, lime juice, olive oil, and salt.  Blend until smooth.  You can adjust the consistency by adding more water or olive oil.

Once the fritters are set, heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add a few tablespoons of coconut oil.  Fry the patties until golden brown on both sides.  Serve the fritters warm with the cashew hollandaise.  Refrigerate any leftovers.
*Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

Layered Chicken Fajitas

imageIf you’re looking for a new Mexican recipe, then look no further! I made these layered chicken fajitas last week and enjoyed the leftovers all week.  And that never happens!  I’m finicky with leftovers and tend to get bored with eating the same thing for lunch every day.  When I lived with one of my best friends, she would pack the same breakfast, snack, and lunch every day and never tire of it.   She’s a teacher and used to her routines!

But I definitely did not get bored with these fajitas!  It may have been the fresh, sweet Jersey  corn and Jersey grape tomatoes that really made the dish, but I think they’ll be just as good come winter when I have to use frozen or canned corn and non-local tomatoes.  I did recently buy some extra Jersey corn to freeze though.  They were also really easy to make, and you could easily serve them with a side of rice or another veggie and no tortillas.  I have a hard time saying no to tortillas and like La Tortilla Factory’s handmade style corn tortillas the best!

1 small red onion, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
2-3 ears fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
1/2 pint red and yellow grape tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 packet Old El Paso fajita seasoning, divided
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/2 lime, juiced
2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
Corn tortillas
Mashed avocado or guacamole
Fresh cilantro
Lime wedges

imagePreheat oven to 450º F.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, corn, salt, pepper, and half of the fajita seasoning.  Sauté until slightly tender. Transfer mixture to a 9×13 (or two smaller) baking dish.   To the same pan, add the beans, tomatoes, chicken stock, and lime juice.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add the chicken and the rest of the fajita seasoning.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Layer chicken mixture over top of corn mixture. Top with cheese and bake at 450º F until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly.  Divide chicken mixture among tortillas and top with smashed avocado or guacamole, cilantro, and fresh lime juice.  Be prepared to go back for seconds!!!

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Guacamole Chicken Burgers

I love guacamole and was really excited to make these chicken burgers.  So excited that even though the grocery store didn’t have any ripe avocados, I still had to try out this recipe.  The original, as featured on The Kitchn, includes a recipe for homemade guacamole, but I had to compromise and buy it already made.  I went with Sabra Classic Guacamole since it has minimal ingredients and is chunkier than other brands I like.  I used about half of the package.  I also still added the cilantro and topped the burgers with pepper jack cheese and red onion in addition to extra guacamole.  Serve on your favorite hamburger buns (I used sandwich thins), and be prepared to enjoy a yummy, juicy burger!

For the guacamole:
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 medium ripe avocado, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice

For the burgers:
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound lean ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pepper jack cheese
Red onion, sliced
4 hamburger buns

For the guacamole, combine the onion, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado, and lime juice in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the lime zest, egg, ground chicken, salt, and pepper until thoroughly mixed. Add the guacamole and mix with a fork until just combined. Form into four patties, working the mixture just enough so it holds together.  Do not overwork.

IMG_8717Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the burgers and cook  for about 5 minutes on each side.  Each side should be well browned, and when you go to flip the burgers, they shouldn’t fall apart. Top with pepper jack cheese after flipping once.  Serve on rolls with extra guac and red onion.  Yum!!!