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You Can Make This: Vegan Potato Tots

There really seems to be a divide between the potato tot lover and the french fry aficionado. That divide is proven here at I Heart Veg, where Loren is soundly on the side of the tot, and Jeannie is all about the fry (but she is not picky about the cut- thick, ripple, whatever you got will do).

Jeannie has now added the tot to her potato love thanks to a great recipe from Cook’s Country for Crispy Potato Tots. Their easy to follow instructions were just the thing to get us into the kitchen and experimenting. Who knew you could make these delightful potato treats right at home? Jeannie always envisioned a special device that was secret to only the official tot makers. Now you can be that tot maker.

I know, it sounds taunting, but it really isn’t. The idea of it takes longer to absorb than the actually making of them. Just follow the instructions closely, and you’ll be sure to find success. See the photos below for our experience and twist on the recipe. Click on the photos for larger images.

There are a lot of frozen potato tots in the grocery store. There are some vegan ones, but many companies still try to throw in an egg or spray on beef fat for “flavor” or color. If you can find a vegan one, you’ll have to deal with hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils, and possibly high fructose. I recently picked up a package that had enough dairy, egg, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, and high fructose on the label that potato was the last ingredient. ??? How does that happen?

We love that they can be made up and frozen for up to a month, so you can make up a mess of them and eat at your leisure. Additionally, you can add onions, different spices, and you’ve got endless variations of tots.

If you are gonna have a fried treat, these should be it. Now get off your bum and go make some tots. Now. Don’t keep looking at me.

Processed potatoes
We processed the potatoes per the recipe, and they came out just right.
Processed potato pieces
Process the potatoes until they are uniform tiny bits. Don’t forget your water and salt!
cheesecloth bowl
We lined a bowl with cheesecloth for draining the water off the potatoes.
Cheesecloth potato drainage
Just line your bowl with cheesecloth, and dump in your potatoes.
Draining potatoes in cheesecloth
Gather your cheesecloth, pick it up, keeping the potatoes inside, and you have drained potatoes. You might need to give it a squeeze or two.
Excess water
Removing the starch from the potatoes is essential to fluffy tots. We had just a little more excess water than the recipe anticipated.
potatoes microwaved
Drained potatoes go into a bowl or plate, and we cooked ours for 8 mins. in the microwave. If you don’t get your potatoes cooked, they’ll be raw in the middle when you fry them.
potatoes cooked
Don’t forget to add your flour and pepper when the potatoes come out of the microwave. The potatoes are sticky, very much like sushi rice. Spread them out for cooling.
potatoes ready for chilling
Gather the potatoes in the center of the foil, and place in an 8×8 pan. Pop it in the freezer. Check it after 30 mins. We needed to push the potatoes down for more compression so the tots would stick together and gave them another ten mins. in the freezer. Next, you’ll cut them up.
frying potatoes
A handy thermometer helps you keep on the right temperature while you fry the tots. The oil temperature will drop dramatically when you add the frozen tots.
homemade tots
These homemade tots barely made it to a plate, as they were quickly consumed. Golden brown tots.
homemade potato tots
Homemade potato tots and ketchup were made for one another.

We think you’ll find these tots worthy of a zippered pant pocket.

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Video: Vegan Garlic Strong Guacamole Recipe

We had a great time hosting an Amazing Holiday House Party that featured Avocados from Mexico, and thought we’d keep the fun going by creating a video of one of our favorite recipes. Guacamole is a simple food, but so many people avoid making it because they are afraid something could go horribly awry. We really want you to learn to put your cooking and baking fears aside and just dive into the experience. Even is something doesn’t turn out right, you’ve learned something from it, and you are only improving. We hope you enjoy our first step into the video tutorial pool.

Some interesting facts about avocados from Avocados from Mexico:

* Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable

* Mexico is the only place in the world where avocados bloom four times a year.

* The word avocado comes from the ancient Aztec ahuacatl (meaning testicle, because avocados hang in pairs).

* Nutrients in avocados help your body metabolize food.

* Avocados can be used in place of oil or butter when baking. Its mashed pulp can substitute up to one-half the fact you’d typically use.

* On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans eat enough guacamole to cover a football field more than 30 feet thick.

* Avocados are climacteric. They don’t ripen on the tree. They actually ripen seven to ten days after they are picked.


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Vegan Tuna and Spicy Fries

We can’t say enough great things about Delicious TV’s  “Totally Vegetarian” with host Toni Fiore. She makes you see simple ingredients in a whole new way.

One of our favorite recipes is for “mock tuna.” It is so very yummy and easy to whip up. Fair warning: if you have a cat, she will gather at your feet when you make this dish. Ours does at least. She loves garbanzo beans, artichoke hearts, and seaweed, so when she smells all those tasty bits hit the pot she makes certain she close at hand for any offerings we may kindly pass her way.

We haven’t had “real” tuna in over 12 years, and this recipe always shocks me at how close it is to the real thing. It is as close as I ever want to be. Another added benefit? No mercury.

To accompany this great mock tuna recipe, we like to make our Spicy Fries.

Spicy Fries Recipe

Preheat oven: 400°F


4 – 5 Potatoes – good ol’ russet scrubbed clean and cut into 1/4 inch sticks, we leave the skins on, but feel free to peel

2-3 tablespoons of oil (we like grape seed or olive oil)

2 tablespoons garlic powder (we like a lot, but feel free to use less)

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 – 1 tablespoon Seasoned Salt (make your own or buy one without MSG)

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

All of the above ingredients can be adjusted as needed for personal preference and taste. Experiment and see what suits you.

Simply combine all the ingredients into a bowl and toss until everything is well mixed and the potatoes are evenly coated.

Turn out the potatoes onto a large cookie sheet, spreading them into a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the potatoes. Bake for another 20 minutes or until crisp on the outside and cooked through.

Serve immediately.

Mock tuna on a home-baked savory onion roll with a side of spicy fries.