The long weekend is upon us, allowing us to bask in the warm weather with friends, family, fireworks… and of course, food. These gluten-free, vegan dishes are perfect to add to your outdoor feast while firing up the grill and enjoying the outdoor warmth.
Baked Chili-Lime Corn Chips with Edamame Guacamole
Baking the tortillas cuts a load of fat and still offers a lot of taste. Keep your eye on the tortillas – if they start to brown, remove them sooner, as ovens vary. The addition of edamame in the guacamole adds heart-healthy soy protein and complements the creamy avocado and kicks of flavour.
makes 4 to 6 servings
For the Baked Chili-Lime Corn Chips:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I like Food For Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Stir together lime juice and canola oil, and either using a baster or your fingers (they work just as well), brush on both sides of each tortilla. In a small container, mix together cumin, chili powder and salt.
Stack tortillas, and cut into 6 to 8 triangles (if you like them larger or smaller, it’s up to you). Spread out on a baking sheet, and sprinkle generously with spice mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
For the Edamame Guacamole:
2 large avocados, pitted, and pulp removed
1 1/4 cups (185g) shelled edamame
2-3 cloves garlic
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon sea salt
a pinch (or more) cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Place avocado pulp, edamame, garlic, lime juice, sea salt, cayenne pepper and ground cumin in a food processor, and whizz until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in onion, tomatoes, and cilantro. Refrigerate for most of the day or overnight. Stir, and test for seasonings before serving. Garnish with additional cilantro. Do note that if you allow it to meld overnight, it might discolour a little if the air hits it – if you don’t mind, enjoy! Otherwise, try to just make it early in the morning.
Grilled Zucchini Stuffed with Garden Pate
The mish-mash of carrots, celery, garlic, onions, and zucchini provide a colourful array of vegetables providing optimal amounts of vitamins and nutrients, highlighting fibre, and vitamin C. Not only that, but we mustn’t forget the beta-carotene of carrots, which converts to vitamin A in our body, and the cancer-fighting prevention of garlic and onions. Lemon contains additional antioxidant compounds and the gingerols found in fresh ginger have been proven to help with digestion and nausea. Almonds are a nutrient-dense powerhouse, rich in fibre, protein, calcium, antioxidants, magnesium, and vitamin E.
1 c. almonds**
1 tbsp. fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 celery stalks, cut in chunks
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 c. zucchini innards
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of 1 small lemon
4 large zucchini
**for tree nut allergies, this is just as delicious with sunflower seeds.
Using a melon baller, remove the inside of four zucchini, creating a hollowed zucchini tube. Reserve 1 c. of innards and save the rest for another recipe (soup, loaves, or salads). In a food processor, process almonds until they are finely ground. Put in bowl.
Pulse remaining ingredients in processor, adding olive oil and lemon juice at the end, once vegetables are finely ground into a smooth mixture. Stir together with almonds.
Preheat grill to medium-low heat, and grill zucchini on all sides, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly and stuff with pate mixture. Alternatively, do not grill zucchini and enjoy raw, or serve pate with crackers, fresh vegetables, or atop a bed of greens.
Vegetable Skewers with Currant-Agave Marinade
The tartness of fresh red currants combined with the sweetness of agave nectar, the zing of fresh ginger and the salty-ness of soy sauce balances this ayurvedic-inspired marinade. Also perfect for mild fish, chicken, and tofu, the skewers feature red bell peppers and broccoli, rounding out as nutritional winners. One cup of broccoli contains double our daily intake of vitamin C and potassium, is high in fibre, calcium, and vitamin A. Red bell peppers contain three times our daily intake of vitamin C, 100% of vitamin A, are high in fibre, and rich in lycopene, which helps protect against cancer and heart disease. With the aforementioned benefits of honey, ginger, onions and garlic, the marinade also features currants, which are high in vitamin C and potassium. Finally, the ante is boosted with sweetness stemming from apple juice, a healthier alternative to calorie-laden sugar syrups. If you aren’t vegan, you can use honey instead.
Ingredients for marinade:
½ c. fresh red currants
2 tbsp. honey
½ c. apple juice
½ red onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp. bold mustard
2 tbsp. soy sauce**
1 ½ tsp. fresh ginger
vegetables of choice (recommend: broccoli and bell peppers)
** for soy allergies, simply omit but add salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, mash currants. Add apple juice and honey, bring to a boil. Stir in remaining ingredients and let simmer, about ten minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, chop vegetables into large pieces. After mixture is cooled, marinate vegetables for 30 minutes to two hours.
When ready to grill, lightly oil grill and set for indirect heat, with the other side at medium-high. Grill for about 8-10 minutes, until vegetables are grilled to desired doneness.
Grilled Corn Salad
Try this scooped in tortillas, on a bed of lettuce, or stuffed in a pita. Fresh local ingredients really highlight this dish. A key to healthy eating is enjoying a wide variety of colours, which truly shines through with this vibrant display.
3 tbsp. of fresh lime juice
3 tbsp of hemp, flax, or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
4 fresh corn on the cobs, cleaned with husks pulled back but not removed
2 tsp of chilli powder
1 avocado, pit removed and chopped
1/2 medium red pepper, chopped
1/2 medium yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
additional salt to taste
Soak the corn (while in the cob) for about an hour before grilling. Preheat grill to medium heat.
In a bowl, stir together lime juice, oil, garlic powder and sea salt. Brush corn with mixture, then sprinkle with chili powder. Fold the husks back up to cover the cobs. Reserve the rest of the mixture.
Place corn on preheated grill, close lid, and let grill about 10 minutes, turning everything few minutes, until corn is tender.
Meanwhile, stir together remaining lime juice mixture with the rest of the ingredients. When the corn is finished, cut corn kernels from the cob, and toss everything together.
Grilled corn image courtesy of barbequemaster.blogspot.com
Currant image courtesy of allsorts.typepad.com
Zucchini image courtesy of examiner.com