Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two for Tuesday: Avocados and Limes

A rich, buttery, soft, ripe avocado is one of my favorite foods.  Sometimes I just cut one open, sprinkle on a little Spike, and have it for lunch.  Other times I use them in the most traditional of ways: Guacamole, sliced on sandwiches or burgers, and in salads.  But every once in a while I get a wild hair up my behind and I use avocados for all sorts of other things: Chocolate pudding, pies, ice cream, and deep fried in tacos (a la Seabirds!) My two new favorite ways to use them?  Avocado Lime Mashed Potatoes and Avocado Coconut Lime Tartlets.

Avocado Coconut Lime Tart in Shortbread Crust
It is a great time to share these recipes with you.  Why?  Because in just under two weeks, on Saturday October 13, which just happens to be my birthday, my sister Kristen, and my dear friend Carrie, will be hosting the first of many of our charity fundraisers for the FNA Foundation.  (Pronounced. "Effin' Aye!") which stands for the Food 'N' Art Foundation, in which we strive for better living through food and art.  I am super excited about our inaugural event, as it is in the coolest spot, and the two recipes I am featuring on today's post are going to be offered on our menu that night, along with 6 other delicious options.

Here are the awesome details of the event:

Date: Saturday, October 13th
Time: 10:00pm (until 2 am or we sell out!)
Where: The Prospector in Long Beach
2400 East 7th Street
Long Beach, CA 90804
Entertainment: Exene Cervenka Presents: Petunia and the Vipers with full performances by Phil Alvin of the Blasters and Exene Cervenka of X. Music starts at 10pm.  There is a separate cover charge to get into the bar to see the show, and plenty of yummy drinks inside.

We are going to be set up outside, and you will be able to choose any three items from our menu for only $5!

100% of the proceeds from every delicious bite we sell will be donated to the Whole Kids Foundation  whose mission is, "To improve children's nutrition and wellness with the goal of ending the childhood obesity epidemic. Through partnerships with innovative organizations, schools and educators we work to provide children access to healthier choices. We aim to help children reach their full potential through the strength of a healthy body. Whole Kids Foundation is focusing its efforts in three areas: School Garden Grants, Salad Bars in Schools, Nutrition Education & Inspiration for Teachers."

I mean, seriously, what better way to raise money for a good cause, then to eat yummy vegan foods made by some very dedicated ladies?  But I know that not many of the readers of this blog live anywhere near Long Beach, California, so I have set up a Causes account so that you can still give to the cause!  Consider it a birthday present to me...ha!

Okay, okay!  Here are the recipes.

Avocado Lime Mashed Potatoes
You can make these light and fluffy mashed potatoes with or without the added fats.  Either way they are a super yummy spin on a traditional classic!

3 pounds of red and/or golden fingerling potatoes, cut into chunks with the skins left on.
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup nondairy butter, like Earth Balance, optional
1/2 cup nondairy sour cream, like Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, optional
Sea salt to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender.  Drain and return to the pot.  Add all of the remaining ingredients into the pot and smash until mashed, but some chunks and lumps remain.  If your potatoes are too thick, add in a little unsweetened milk until desired consistency is reached.
Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

Yield: 10 cups (10 side servings)

Avocado Coconut Lime Tartlets in Shortbread Crust

For the Shortbread Crust: (From Vegan Food Gifts)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup nondairy butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

For the Coconut Lime filling:
4 ripe avocados
1 (15 ounce) can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) tub of nondairy cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar*
Zest of 1 lime for the filling and additional zest for garnish
1/2 cup sweetened coconut shreds or flakes

To make the crusts, preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C, or gas mark 3).
Using an electric mixer, cream together the brown sugar and butter.
Add the salt and mix to combine.
Add 2 cups (250 g) of the flour and mix well. The mixture will be crumbly.
Turn the mixture out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding the remaining 1⁄4 cup (31 g) flour as needed to make a soft dough.
Usually I make these by pressing about 1/4 cup of the dough into the bottom of a cupcake tin, then pressing firmly and creating a "bowl" in the top to hold the filling.  Of course you can use mini pie tins, tart pans, ore even one of these dessert cup pans like I did for this batch.  (You can also line muffin tins with papers and press about 1/4 of dough into the bottom.  This option is nice because it leaves lots of room to fill with filling, and also makes them more package-able/portable.)
Bake the tart crusts for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.
To make the filling, add avocados, coconut cream, lime juice, cream cheese, and vanilla to the bowl of your mixer.  Mix until smooth.  This can take a few minutes.
Add in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and continue to mix until fully incorporated.  The texture should be silky and thick, like custard.  *If yours is still too runny, you can add more sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.
Sometimes, the mixer can't get me to the really smooth almost whipped consistency that I am after, so I finish the job off with my immersion blender.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a very dry pan, toast coconut flakes until lightly browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Pipe filling into the cooled tart shells.
Sprinkle the top of each tart with lime zest and toasted coconut.
Enjoy any leftover filling with a spoon while curled up on the couch in fuzzy slippers watching reruns of Supernatural.

Yield: 6 to 12 tarts depending on what size you make them.


Angela said...

Looks incredible! I added this to my "favorites of Vegan MoFo" Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/vegangela/vegan-mofo-2012/ :)

Unknown said...

THis looks and sound amazing! I am going to check out your clickable links, too! Blog hoping thru Vegan MoFo Blogs and came across yours! Lovely!

Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack! said...

Those lime Tartlets look so good! Maybe I'll be able to try them out on the 13th! :)

KitteeBee said...

what a deal! you're practically giving this awesome stuff away!

celine said...

The shortbread crust! Swoon...
I wish I could be there dude. I love the pronunciation of FNA, by the way.

Matt said...

Interesting! I find it tricky to get the avocados at that *perfect* moment when they don't taste green for desserts and things - but this looks worth trying to get it right for!

Jes said...

Those tartlettes are beautiful! And I'd never thought of mashing potatoes & avocados together--genius!

Bex @ Vegan Sparkles said...

Oh my WOW, these look amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

The tartlettes look so cute! I'm wondering if I could I make a large tart out of this recipe? Would the filling set or is it more of a pudding consistency?

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All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni