It's no secret I love avocados. I love them plain, in guacamole, mixed into sweet things, poured over pasta, and made into dressings. I love them in quinoa and tacos and potato salad and in every permutation and combination available.
But this recipe for crunchy baked avocado fries, well. Well. I don't even know what to say except that a) sometimes you don't know what you're missing in life until something is right in front of you, b) my life is now complete, and c) I am now addicted to these crunchy, delicious fries, dipped in spicy, creamy dip.
The next time you find yourself at Costco and are wondering what in the world you could do with a giant bag of avocados, well, wonder no more. Make this recipe and you won't regret it. You may regret you didn't make more.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare your breading station: put flour in one bowl, canned coconut milk in another, and Panko crumbs into the last one. Mix 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper into each 1/4 cup of flour.
Halve avocados and remove the pit. Slice lengthwise into thin strips and scoop out of the skin.
Dip avocado pieces into flour, then coconut milk, then finally Panko crumbs. Be sure that the Panko crumbs have adhered to the slices, and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Spray breaded avocado pieces lightly with cooking spray. If you are not a fan of cooking spray, brush lightly with oil.
Bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Enjoy your new addiction! These go really well with chipotle chili lime mayo for dipping.
Chipotle Chili Lime Mayo Ingredients
Whisk all ingredients together and serve.
Want more healthy fries? Try my Healthy Baked Zucchini Fries. In the mood for chips instead? Try my Dill Pickle Zucchini Chips. Wondering what to do with that leftover coconut milk? Seize the day and make Dark Chocolate Truffles.
I know how it is; I really do. Summer can be packed with activities; maybe the kids are at camp while you're frantically trying to get your work done in time to pick them up, maybe you spent the day at the splash pad with a preschooler and a toddler and now feel like you're on the verge of collapse, maybe you took the tweens to the amusement park and you feel like you lost your mind in the process. It's hot, you're sweaty, and the last thing you feel like doing is making dinner.
I know how tempting it is to pick up the phone and call for pizza, or capitulate entirely and plunk down boxes of cereal on the table. But before you do that for the rest of the summer, follow these tips to summertime dinner bliss.
I admit, I'm very much a Type A meal planner; I decide the week's meals, write them down on the calendar, and I do not deviate. This works well for a few reasons: I grocery shop based on what I need for each meal, the kids know what to expect and therefore don't pester me with "what's for dinner" questions, and I can integrate seasonal ingredients easily. The biggest argument I hear against meal planning is "I don't know what I'm going to want to eat that day." Why not plan a week's worth of meals that you love, and so every day you will look forward to the dinner du jour! In the summer, I look at the weather forecast and our week's activities, and plan my meals accordingly: if it's going to be very hot, I will plan for a lighter, no-oven-required meal. Cooler, rainy days call for homemade pizza or oven-roasted vegetables. Days spent at the pool or zoo call for something very simple and quick to prepare.
No one wants to spend time fussing around in the kitchen when it's beautiful outside. A simple pasta dish is always a good idea. I love "make your own" tortilla wraps: I simply chop up some vegetables, shred some cheese, and add sauteed chicken for the meat eaters, and everyone can choose what they like. This also works well for mini-pizzas on those cool days that you can turn on the oven without fear that your house will feel like an inferno; use pitas or naan bread as shells, and set out sauce and toppings for everyone. This is a favourite at my house, and oh-so-easy. Too hot for the oven? Put those pizzas on the grill!
Can't handle the heat? Get out of the kitchen and fire up the grill! I like to keep a stack of burgers - veggie and non-veggie - in the freezer; all you need are some sliced veggies and dip or a salad to make it a complete meal. Finish it off with this banana-based "ice cream" and you've got a healthy, fruit-and-veggie filled meal in less time than it takes to get a pizza delivered.
If you have a busy day ahead of you, take 20 minutes in the morning to prep the evening's meal. Cook up some pasta, quinoa, noodles, or rice; while it's cooking, chop up some veggies and rinse a can of beans. Put it all in the fridge and when it's time for dinner, toss them all together with a salad dressing - either store-bought or homemade - and voila! Dinner is served. Need ideas? Try my Amazing Avocado Pasta Salad, Dill-icious Pasta Salad, Fiesta Quinoa Salad, Nutty Noodle Salad, Nirvana Noodle Salad, or my always-crowd-pleasing Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad.
What can I say, I was a Girl Guide, and so I'm always prepared. Keep cans of black beans and lentils, along with crunchy shells, in the cupboard for a quick taco night. Pitas can be kept in the freezer for mini-pizzas, or fill them with hummus and veggies for a quick and easy meal. Be ready for those days when all the plans go out the window - those days happen to all of us, even those of us who are pathological meal planners!
Summer is short, so be sure to get out there and enjoy it! Healthy and quick dinners will give you energy to play on those lazy summer days, and these tips will help you make the most of the season.
Every once in a while, a new plant-based product comes around that piques my interest. Normally, I'm fairly immune to the charms of packaged foods proclaiming that they are vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, high in fibre, high in protein, high in iron, chock-full of Vitamin C, Omega-3-enriched, and/ or filled with magical unicorn dust and granulated rainbows. But every now and then, something catches my eye and I feel the need to try it.
The other day I was at the grocery store, and I noticed this product:
Mayonnaise is not a very big part of our household diet, and more often than not I find a half-full jar, expired, in my refrigerator. I was picking up a small jar for my husband to use for sandwich making, when I noticed this Hellman's Carefully Crafted vegan mayonnaise, and I was so excited I practically threw it in my cart. You see, usually vegan mayonnaise requires a) a trip to a specialty/ health food store or b) the purchase of a giant double-pack at Costco, destined to expire practically before I can open the second jar.
I was excited about it because I was going to make ranch dressing, for the first time in a long time. You too can make your own ranch dressing, as a dip for vegetables or a dressing for a pasta salad. It's easy, it's delicious, and you need this recipe in your life. If eggs are not a problem for you, go ahead and use regular mayonnaise. If you have an egg allergy or otherwise don't eat eggs, keep your eyes open for this product - it's really tasty!
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Bonus: Pasta Salad
The beauty of pasta salad is that anything can be thrown in but the kitchen sink. I use a box of colourful rotini, about four cups of chopped vegetables - whatever I have in the crisper, but usually cherry tomatoes, peppers, and mini cucumbers - and usually a can of chickpeas, black beans, or lentils for some protein. You could also add chunks of feta cheese, tofu cubes, nuts, and seeds.
Want more pasta salad? Try my Amazing Avocado Pasta Salad. How about a non-dairy sour cream? I've got you covered. Maybe you're looking for a mayo-free potato salad? Try my Roasted Potato Salad with Avocado Dill Dressing.