Tis the Season…for Jalapenos

Admittedly, I’ve been a bit of a slacker in recording all of the yummy food that I’ve been lucky enough to create over the past few weeks. But last week’s recipe lit a fire under me, and it wasn’t just my attitude towards writing! Our little backyard garden has been suffering this year–the tomatoes never quite ripened (a problem that occurred across the Lowcountry due to too much rain and not enough sun), my basil grew faster than I could use it and got tough, and there’s a mysterious flowered vine trailing across the ENTIRE yard. However, my bare trees have been taken over by said vine, and it makes them look pretty and lush!

But neither heat, nor rain, nor clouds nor bugs could stop my jalapeno plant…the same jalapeno plant we kind of ignored after tasting the first few back in June and deeming them no hotter than a standard bell pepper. Well, those babies came back with a vengeance and when the plant started falling over with peppers, I did what anyone would do– I started handing them out to random strangers (and friends). Below is about 1/3 of what was ripe on the plant when I did a trimming session last week:

Jalapenos for everyone!

Jalapenos for everyone!

When my friends, coworkers, mailman, and office security officer had all of the jalapenos THEY could eat, I jumped online to find a way to use up all of these HOT peppers in one fell swoop. Seems I’m not the only one to have these problems!

I wanted to make jalapeno poppers, but didn’t want to stuff them entirely with cheese-I DO have a wedding dress to fit into in just 6 days! Tofu seemed like a perfect filling, and by adapting Awesome.Vegan.Rad’s recipe to my own needs, we were in business!

I followed her recipe pretty closely, but I DID press my tofu. I used a softer tofu than I do for stirfry and baking, which worked perfectly for us. I omitted the nutritional yeast because I wasn’t worried about staying vegan, but I did ADD some chive cream cheese that I had in the house; I was worried about the heat of the peppers and wanted some dairy to balance out the kick and spice. The cumin, lime, and paprika give this filling GREAT flavor, and I challenge you to use these with non-vegetarian friends and see if they even notice the tofu! The best part about this is that they cook for so long (35 minutes) that the peppers start to blister and soften and they loose a lot of the heat. I am the least spice-loving person I know, so I was a little wary of making a jalapeno-centric dish, but this is one we’ll save for seasons to come. The filling is easy to assemble, and while it takes a little while to seed and remove the membrane of the peppers, the prep work is worth it for a healthy, simple, and taste-filled jalapeno popper!

Creamy, nutty, a punch of lime juice, and the gentle heat of the peppers--YUMM

Creamy, nutty, a punch of lime juice, and the gentle heat of the peppers–YUMM

One of the best things about this dish was that there was so much filling left over that we started eating it as a spread. We dipped our hearts out– bell peppers, carrots, pita wedges– you name it! The tofu and cashews make it creamy, but it’s overall VERY healthy. Try it at your next party– either cold or warm. Your secret is safe with me 😉

We’ll be taking a little break over the next 2 weeks for our upcoming wedding, but promise a full blog post afterwards about making a vegetarian wedding satisfying, filling, and tasty for everyone–even your non-veggie friends!

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