• Almond-Crusted Avocado Crispies

    I love avocado and I’ve heard about Avocado Fries but never managed to try them. So I figured that I’d see if I could make them. It was the perfect test for my new Air Fryer. First, let’s talk about fried food. I have to say that as an average American girl I grew up on french fries, onion rings and various other deep fried foods. So I have a nostalgic taste for those unhealthy greasy bits of crispiness. Once I was teenager and got conscious about the impact of fried foods on my health, my diet and my skin I stopped eating them so often. But the love has never left my heart. I tried fried plantains that a friend made in her air fryer and I could not believe that they weren’t deep fried, so I searched for a good Air Fryer and got one. They’re not too expensive for a kitchen appliance. Well sure, you can get the super expensive luxury version, but really they’re all the same. Mine cost about $60 and I got it on Amazon. Truthfully, what I was most interested in when choosing is that the color matched the rest of my kitchen (white).

    Ok, now on to the avocado fries. These were really easy to make and with the Air Fryer the clean up time was minimal. If I’m going to cook something it has to be quick and easy. While I respect and love when people take the time to go through multiple steps and put in hours in the kitchen, it’s just not me. Another thing about me is that I’m an improviser, not a traditionalist when it comes to recipes. If I want to make something that I haven’t before I often do a quick google search for recipes to get the general gist of what the process is like. Then I usually see what’s in stock in my pantry and go from there.

    The avocado you choose for the frying process should be ripe but firm. If it’s too mushy to stay together on its own, the wedges are going to fall apart in the fryer. Most avocado fry recipes will call for Panko or some other form of bread crumbs. I do not usually keep bread crumbs as a staple in my kitchen, so I had to substitute something else. I used almond meal instead and it ended up giving the crust coating on the avocado a nice flavor and an added health punch too. The other thing many recipes say is really important when it comes to making fries in the Air Fryer is that the avocado has to be coated in something to make the breading stick to it while it’s frying. The most common option suggested is aquafaba for a good vegan substitute for egg in the prep stages. While I did have a can of chickpeas, the idea of opening the can and draining out the liquid just didn’t appeal to me (can someone please make aquafaba that you can just buy and have handy without having to drain chickpeas? See what I mean about my need for things to be easy in the kitchen lol). I did for a moment think about making falafel in the Air Fryer with the chickpeas (and I still might) but I figured it was a good idea not to get ahead of myself in my lazy kitchen persona. So, again, I improvised. Instead of aquafina I coated the avocado lightly in olive oil. This worked surprisingly well to keep the almond meal attached to the avocado during the air drying process and they stayed on after while I was eating them. Overall I was pretty happy with the result.

    Now some people wouldn’t call these real fries. Ok, point taken. But they are quite yummy. That’s why I called my recipe Almond-crusted Avocado Crispies instead. Something really cool happens to the avocado in the Air Fryer. The almond meal on the outside gets crispy and then the outer layer of the avocado turns into a kind of protective layer and changes color ever so slightly. Then, the inside is the warm juicy super green avocado that seems to get even more creamy in contrast to the crispy layer outside. I’d recommend sprinkling with a finely ground sea salt, either in the crusting stage or immediately after they’re ready. You could eat these on their own and serve with an aioli or even plain old ketchup and mustard. Or, they’d be great to top off a salad to add another layer or richness.

    Prep time: 5-10 minutes
    Cook time: 10 minutes

    Recipe

    Ingredients:
    Almond meal or panko bread crumbs
    1 ripe but firm avocado
    Olive oil or aquafaba
    Sea salt

    Instructions:

    1. Grind up a small handful of almonds with a pinch of sea salt and place in bowl. I used soaked and sprouted almonds because I’m obsessed with sprouted nuts. I used my Vitamix blender on the dry setting to pulverize the almonds. You could use ready made almond meal if you have it or roasted or raw almonds, or really any nut works. I’m thinking of trying it with Macadamia nuts next time. And of course you could also use bread crumbs. If you’re sensitive to salt you could wait to salt them until after.

    2. Cut one whole ripe but firm avocado into bite-sized wedges.

    3. Lightly coat the avocado in olive oil (or aquafaba).

    4. Place the avocado in the bowl with the almond meal and gently coat each piece with the almond meal.

    5. Line the bottom of your air fryer basket with the coated avocado pieces and get ready.

    6. Turn the Air Fryer on 390F and set the timer for 10 minutes. At 5 minutes you might want to shake them or turn them over.

    7. Reach gently into the Air Fryer with tongs and collect your avocado crispies. One small thing to note is that if you haven’t used an Air Fryer before they get really hot so be careful Let the Air Fryer fully cool down before you start thinking about cleaning it. The basket can easily be washed by hand or usually put right in the dishwasher (always check your Air Fryer manual to be sure that your basket is dishwasher safe).

    By Kino MacGregor

    Try More Vegan Recipes On OMstars – The Yoga Network

    Kino MacGregor is a world renowned yoga teacher, the youngest ever teacher to be certified in Ashtanga Yoga by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, author of several yoga books, and the founder of OMstars.com

  • Cucumber Pasta – Not Your Average Pesto

    Contrary to what many people believe, eating an entirely plant based diet is not difficult at all! There are all sorts of great recipes out there for you to try if your experimenting with a vegan lifestyle change, or jumping in head first. We love sharing plant-based recipes from awesome foodies like Adam Kenworthy, and today we are sharing his recipe for Cucumber Pasta with a homemade pesto sauce.

    Robust flavor, unbelievably hydrating.  Will leave you refreshed and vibrant.

    Ingredients:

    • Parsley
    • Cilantro
    • Basil
    • Pumpkin Seeds
    • Pine Nuts
    • Hemp Seeds
    • Coriander Seeds
    • Pink Himalayan Salt
    • 1 Jalapeno (no seeds)
    • Black pepper
    • Lemon
    • 3 Cucumbers
    • Garlic
    • V.O.O

    Noodle Preparation:

    Begin with grating the cucumbers. If the cucumber is organic I grate with the skin.  If it is not organic cut the skin off and toss it.  Many of the chemical residues are found in the skin.  Just another reason to buy organic, because the skin of the cucumber contains many vitamins and minerals.   I find the best way is to grate into a strainer.  Use a pot underneath the strainer to catch the cucumber juice coming from the grated cucumber noodles.  Once all three are grated gently press to remove the rest of the juice.  pour the juice into a glass.

    Pesto Preparation:

    Toss the parsley, cilantro and basil into a food processor or blender. Add in the hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts.  Next throw in the pink himalayan salt, black pepper,  jalapeno sliced with no seeds and one clove of garlic.  Finish off by adding juice squeezed from half of a lemon and extra virgin olive oil (a friendly dash).  Add a touch of the cucumber juice set aside.   If it is too thick, the cucumber juice does a great job of making it a lighter more whipped pesto which I find it great not only with pasta but also as a spread or a dip.

    Plating

    Add the noodles which have much of the juice squeezed out through a strainer into a separate bowl.  Add a generous amount of pesto and mix together.  Put the noodles and pesto mixture onto a plate. Optional garnish on top is halved grape or cherry tomatoes.  Place a peice of parsley on top to finish off the plate.  Lightly sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top for the finishing touch.

    By Adam Kenworthy

    Adam is a private chef & healthy living coach who divides his time between working in New York City and Nicaragua, where he has founded a non-profit organic fruit farm (Finca Santa Marta.) In his spare time, he can be found trail running in Central park and finding serenity in the waves of Long Island.

    See More From Adam On Instagram

    Find Plant Based Recipes On OmStars

  • Gut-Friendly Marrakesh Casserole

    As a practice, yoga asks us to explore the deepest regions, capabilities, and limitations of our bodies, minds, and spirits (among other things). As such, the practice of yoga asks us to take good care of our bodies and stay in optimum health, so that we can move through practice with more ease, and sit comfortably in meditation for longer periods of time. That means only feeding our bodies with the most nourishing foods available. Today’s recipe, by Lee Holmes, is a probiotic-rich Marrakesh Casserole that when eaten slowly and mindfully, will help nourish you from the inside out so that you can engage in a stronger, more comfortable, and all around better practice.

    Ingredients:

    • 60 ml (2 fl oz or ¼ cup) cold-presses extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion roughly chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves minced
    • 2 cm (¾ inch) piece of ginger, minced
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 tablespoon turmeric
    • ¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
    • 2-3 teaspoons dried harissa
    • 400 g (14 oz) tin diced tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • ¼ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
    • ¼ cup chopped mint leaves
    • 1 small pumpkin (winter squash), peeled and cut into 5 cm (2-inch) pieces
    • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 5 cm (2-inch) pieces
    • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 5 cm (2-inch) pieces
    • 1 zucchini (courgetti), cut into 5 cm (2-inch) pieces
    • 400 g (14 oz) tin chickpeas
    • Cooked quinoa to serve
    • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, to serve
    • Mint leaves to serve
    • 80 g (½ cup) almonds to serve

    Directions

    • Heat the olive oil in a flame-proof tagine pot or casserole dish over medium heat, and sauté the onion for 5 minutes (until translucent).
    • Add the garlic, ginger and spices. Stir well to combine.
    • Add the harissa, tomatoes, rice malt syrup, lemon juice, coriander and mint. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat.
    • Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and zucchini. Stir well so they are all covered in the sauce, and simmer with a lid, for 1-hour
    • Add the chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes more.
    • Serve on a bed of quinoa, topped with coriander, lemon zest, and roasted almonds.

    Recipe by Lee Holmes

    Check Out Lee’s Gut-Healing Post That Goes With This Recipe

    Follow her on instagram for more inspiration