Monday, August 12, 2013
Better-Than-Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are one of my favorite foods of all time—a singular southern summer pleasure. The crisp, salty crust; the tickle of acidity in the ripening tomato; the melt-in-your mouth texture—just the thought of these juicy, tangy morsels sends my taste buds dancing!
But alas, Jeff and I can't grow tomatoes, green or otherwise, at our house, because we don't have enough sun. So imagine my delight when, while Jeff and I were working on the front yard, my across-the-street neighbor invited me over to her garden and treated me to not only fresh cucumbers, but two gorgeous green tomatoes.
I was over the moon—the only thing I like more than fried green tomatoes is cupcakes! (Although I'm not quite as likely to go on a fried green tomato rampage as I am on a baked goods bender.) But I simply couldn't bring myself to boil my tomatoes in oil. (Which is actually really gross when you stop and think about it.) I may fall off the wagon more than I care to admit, but I draw the line at cooking my vegetables in the most concentrated source of calories on the planet.
Luckily, there's a better way.
Kalyn's Kitchen to the Rescue
So I hopped online and turned up a delicious-looking—and deliciously simple—recipe for oven-fried green tomatoes. (Behold the power of the interwebs!) I found it on Kalyn's Kitchen, and you can check out the original recipe here.
Given that I'm plant-based, I adjusted Kalyn's recipe, swapping out eggs for flax seed and modifying some of the other ingredients to suit what I had on hand.
Deeelicious! In fact, these tomatoes capture everything I love about fried green tomatoes, minus the slippery, oily mouth-feel of the pan-fried version. Kalyn's sneaky-awesome, crispy-crust ingredient, almond flour, really made these taste just like the original. Only better.
Also, while we're on the subject of delectable summer treats, check back this coming Monday for a vegan chocolate milkshake—with a secret vegetable ingredient—that will transport you right back to childhood. I'll be guest posting the recipe on Yummly.com's blog, so stay tuned for the link and cool, creamy deliciousness!
Better-Than-Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
While not fried in oil, these tomatoes are still a special treat, higher in fat* and salt than most of my recipes. That said, summer is short, and for me, they're worth the splurge! Eat straight out of the oven, or dip in marinara sauce or Dijon mustard for even more zing.
Prep Time: 50 min (10 min hands-on) Serves: 2 (5-6 slices per person)
2 large green tomatoes, cut into slices a little more than ¼-inch thick
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp water
½ c almond meal
½ tsp seasoned salt
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flax seed and water in a flat, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds, or until texture resembles egg whites.
In a medium bowl, mix almond meal and seasoned salt (or Mrs. Dash, for a salt-free version).
Dredge each tomato slice first in the flax goo (it's okay if not much sticks), then in the almond meal. Be sure to press each side of the tomato slice into the almond meal so the good stuff sticks. Place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip each slice, and then bake for another 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
*Lower-fat version: Replace half of the almond meal with chickpea flour. I haven't tried it yet, but chickpea flour works pretty well for oven-fried okra (yeah, my family's from the south), so it will likely work here too. Let me know how it turns out!
Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, one hip blog hop!
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