avocado

Βεγκαν χωριάτικη σαλάτα με βραστή πατάτα, κάπαρη και αβοκάντο - Vegan greek salad with potatoes, caper and avocado - Vegan in Athens

Vegan greek salad with avocado, potatoes and capers

These days we are on vacation in Crete, the island with the scrumptious, juicy tomatoes and the fresh vegetables, the fluffy potatoes and the local avocados, the beautiful beaches and the warm sun! The amazing nature and the people here make me wanna spend most of the day outside, walking, swimming and talking and therefore the time left in the kitchen is minimal. However, this does not mean that we compromise on the taste and quality of our food. Simply, I choose to prepare easy, delicious and quick vegan recipes that do not require much preparation and are both nutritious and healthy.

One of them is a vegan version of the traditional Greek salad, made with potatoes and avocado. Actually this recipe is a variation of a mediterranean salad made by my grandmother during the summers, to which I replaced the animal ingredients with the delicious Cretan avocadoes and I also modified the sauce a little bit according to our taste. Although very simple in its preparation, this potato salad, which can be eaten as an accompaniment or as a light main course, is one of our favorite choices, especially when we are on vacation, when both the time and the cοoking equipment available are limited. Fortunately, all that is needed to create this recipe is freshly picked, organically grown ingredients and our happy mood 🙂

Βεγκαν χωριάτικη σαλάτα με βραστή πατάτα, κάπαρη και αβοκάντο - Vegan greek salad with potatoes, caper and avocado - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 2 medium potatoes, cooked and cut into chunks
  • 1 avocado peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium or 1big cucumber peeled and sliced
  • 1 red onion peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp. capers or olives (or both!)
  • 2-3 tbspfresh basil or spearmint leaves chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper

For the sauce

  • 2-3 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbl. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. apple or grape vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. prepared mustard

For serving (optional)

2 Cretan barley rusks (paximadia)

Βεγκαν χωριάτικη σαλάτα με βραστή πατάτα, κάπαρη και αβοκάντο - Vegan greek salad with potatoes, caper and avocado - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. In a large bowl mix all the salad ingredients slightly before serving.
2. In another bowl, mix with a fork or a mixer the ingredients for the sauce. Pour over the salad.
3. Mix the salad well and serve over barley rusks or enjoy with your favorite bread.

Βεγκαν χωριάτικη σαλάτα με βραστή πατάτα, κάπαρη και αβοκάντο - Vegan greek salad with potatoes, caper and avocado - Vegan in Athens

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Σοκολατένια, ωμοφαγική μους με αβοκάντο, γάλα καρύδας και φιστίκια Αιγίνης - Veganinathens.com

Chocolate mousse with avocado, coconut milk and pistachios

Avocados are always in our shopping list, since we use them almost every day. Both their rich flavor and their creamy texture make them extremely useful in many sweet and savory preparations. Specifically in vegan pastry, because of their high fat content, they can be used as a healthy and cruelty-free substitute for whipped cream in a wide range of recipes -from a simple, chocolaty mousse like the one we make today, up to an impressive raw vegan cake or a refreshing and fluffy ice-cream.

Usually when I find avocados at a good price, Ι buy a relatively large quantity, mostly for our salads. I keep them in the fridge and every 2-3 days I take some out and place them in the fruit bowl on our kitchen counter. The simplest way to make our avocados ripen in 2-3 days is to place them next to ripe bananas, apples, pears or other fruits that ripen after being picked from the trees. These fruits produce a natural plant hormone which makes them ripen and so does to the avocados that are placed together with them.

Chocolaty, avocando, coconut milk and pistachio mousse - Veganinathens.com

This chocolaty, raw and vegan avocado mousse is my favorite way to use overripe avocados and prepare a wonderful dessert in only 5 minutes. In order to achieve a rich and fluffy texture I also add full fat coconut milk, which, moreover, balances –together with the cacao and the vanilla- the taste of avocados that might not be welcome from everyone.

Finally, pistachios, give to our dessert an even more interesting taste and texture.

Chocolaty, avocando, coconut milk and pistachio mousse - Veganinathens.com

Ingredients
(4 servings)

  • 2 very ripe avocados, medium sized (1 ½ cup flesh)
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk homemade or store bought
  • ½ cup agave nectar or another liquid sweetener
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp natural vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raw pistachios peeled and coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Pour all the ingredients in a blender and blend on a medium speed for a few minutes until a smooth cream is formed.
  2. With a spoon add in each bowl a thick layer of the mousse, in between 1-2 Tbsp of pistachios and then end with a nice thick layer of chocolate mousse.
  3. Garnish with pistachios, cover the bowls and place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Chocolaty, avocando, coconut milk and pistachio mousse - Vegan in Athens

Note: Experiment with additional ingredients such as orange zest and orange juice instead of vanilla extract, or replace pistachios with nuts of your choice!

 

 

 

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Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Veganinathens.com

One dish – three recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad!

During spring and summer, there are plenty of tender, fresh, green zucchini in the markets and not surprisingly they are in the list of the most popular Mediterranean summer vegetables. Particularly in Greece they are used in lots of recipes. Some of the most common are “briam” -a dish similar to ratatouille- stuffed zucchini with rice and herbs, fried or grilled zucchini slices or simply steamed zucchini drizzled with lemon and olive oil.

Last weekend I bought some fresh zucchini and I wanted to use them a little more creatively than I usually do.

Since I am a huge fun of pancakes, the first thing that came to my mind was to make pancakes with grated zucchini. As I wanted a rich and earthy, nutty  flavor I used a blend of chickpea flour and whole meal, while for extra flavor I added plenty of fresh spearmint and spices.

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Veganinathens.com

Since pancakes call for a creamy accompanying, I made a refreshing avocado-based  tzatziki (avocado replaces  yoghurt) and grated zucchini instead of grated cucumber, using  a recipe I actually got from Lena -a good friend of mine.

The third part of the plate was the traditional Greek salad, in which cucumbers were also replaced by zucchini and for some extra flavor, I added a little fresh, chopped spearmint, cut directly from my pots.

To complete our lunch and let the taste lead us in the sea of memories and in the heart of the summer, we accompanied this meal with fresh fried potatoes and two glasses of cool white wine.

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

For the pancakes with zucchini

  • 400 gr zucchini coarsely grated
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 150 gr (1 ½ cups) chickpea flour
  • 100 gr (3/4 cup) semolina (I used whole-wheat)
  • 1 handful of tender, fresh spearmint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Avocado tzatziki - Τζατζίκι από αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι - Veganinathens.com

For the avocado-zucchini tzatziki

  • 200 gr zucchini (3 medium) coarsely grated (we can use cucumber instead)
  • 200 gr flesh from about 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 garlic clove crashed and minced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Greek salad - Χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Vegan in Athens

For the Greek salad

  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes cut into cubes
  • 2 tender zucchini cut into thin slices
  • 1 fresh spring onion or ½ onion cut into thin slices
  • 1 small green or red bell-pepper, sliced
  • small handful of tender, fresh spearmint leaves , finely chopped
  • 10 olives
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Veganinathens.com

Method

  1. For the pancakes: mix all the ingredients except from the spearmint with a fork in a bowl. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  2. After 3 hours, add the chopped spearmint and stir.
  3. Grease lightly a nonstick frying pan and place over medium heat.
  4. With a spoon, pour spoons of the mixture in the pan so as to form 4-5 round or oval pancakes. Once baked and get golden brown on the one side, turn them upside down with the help of a wooden spatula and let them cook on the other.
  5. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used. With this recipe you will make about 20-25 pancakes (depending on their size).
  6. Make the tzatziki: put the grated zucchini (or cucumbers) in a fine sieve, add salt and leave them for 1 hour to drain. Then press or squeeze them with your hands and transfer in a bowl.
  7. Mash the avocado or blend in a blender along with the garlic, the lemon-juice and the vinegar.
  8. Transfer the mixture into the bowl with the grated zucchini, stir with a spoon and taste, adding salt or vinegar (or even garlic if you like a stronger taste) as necessary.
  9. Put in an airtight glass container and place immediately in the fridge.
  10. Make the salad just before serving: Put all ingredients in a salad bowl, add salt, oregano, olive oil and vinegar, stir and serve.

Τhree recipes with zucchini: pancakes, avocado- tzatziki and a refreshing Greek salad΄- Τηγανίτες με κολοκυθάκια, τζατζίκι με αβοκάντο και κολοκύθι και χωριάτικη σαλάτα με κολοκυθάκια - Vegan in Athens

Note: chickpea flour is a pulse flour made ​​from ground chickpeas and is used in many Asian countries, such as India and Pakistan. Its advantage compared to common wheat flours, is that it doesn’t contain gluten and it is also higher in protein, certain vitamins, iron and trace minerals. It is easily found in organic shops or Asian stores. I buy it in bulk from an Asian store in the central market of Athens where it costs around 2 euros per kilo. It may be an “extra” material in the recipe, but it is really worthy, since not only it replaces the eggs and helps to keep our materials together, but it also gives an extra nice texture and flavor to the recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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