Baked Jalapeno Poppers with Cilantro Lime Mayo
Okay, we're doing it again. Getting a little splurgy, right? Well, when you want to be the vegan hostess with the mostest, somtimes you've gotta pull out all the stops! This is a 'WOW' appetizer. I mean it! Your friends will be impressed. It takes a little prep time, but takes a classically bad-for-you appetizer and makes it better for you, vegan, and full of gooey, melty cheese. YUM. They're perfect for Sunday sports games, upcoming Cinco de Mayo, and finger food for dinner parties.
I was inspired by a hormonal craving for spicy, fried food (surprise, surprise), and was so incredibly pleased with the results. We used a similar flax wash/ breading recipe as we did in our Crispy Cauliflower Nuggets, and kept it gluten-free with GF breadcrumbs...but you can use whatever you want/ have on hand. I'm betting using panko here would be pretty delicious, too. Plus they're baked, so you get to feel much better about mowing them than if they were fried. Enough talk, I'm getting hungry again. Let's eat!
10-12 medium sized jalapeno peppers, washed
3/4 - 1 cup vegan cheese (we used Daiya Pepperjack cheese)
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (GF or regular)
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Cilantro Lime Mayo Dip:
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, to taste
1 lime, squeezed (about 2 tablespoons of juice)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash jalapenos and pat dry. Using a small sharp knife, cut off the very top of the pepper (where the stem is). Set aside, and use the knife to de-seed the pepper. Try not to cut into the actual pepper as this will be holding all the melty, gooey cheese later. Repeat with all the jalapenos until each has been de-seeded. Fill each pepper with about a tablespoon of cheese each, not packing them completely full. Using toothpicks, attach the stemmed cap of the pepper back onto it, pushing the toothpick into the jalapenos flesh to hold the pieces together. Lay on their sides until breading is ready.
To prepare the flax wash combine the ground flax, almond meal, and warm water. Whisk together and set aside to thicken.
To prepare the breading mixture, mix in a large bowl the breadcrumbs, almond meal, nutritional yeast, garlic salt, smoked paprika, and cumin until combined.
To ready the cilantro lime mayo, simple mix together the lime, chopped cilantro, and lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Once all the steps are ready, dip the cheese-filled jalapenos into the flax wash, using a spoon to help evenly coat the pepper. Next dip the peppers into the breadcrumb mixture, rolling them so they are evenly coated. Be gentle, as you want the toothpick-attached tops to stay where they are. Once coated in breadcrumbs, lay peppers onto a waxed papered or lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat until all peppers are coated & breaded.
Bake stuffed, coated pepper poppers for 30 minutes, until peppers soften and cheese melts. Remove from oven & serve with your chilled Cilantro Lime Mayo to balance out the spiciness. Enjoy!
Note: If they don't all get eaten, feel free to reheat later for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Be warned: they are best eaten sooner than later & reheating is probably best done only once.