Flor de Jamaica Arepas with Guacamole

Flor de Jamiaca Arepas with Guacamole Ever since I created the recipe for my Hibiscus Tacos with Guacamole, I have been wanting to create a recipe using Flor de Jamaica as a filling for arepas. Arepas are pretty easy to make and I usually make them at least once a month. Arepas use P.A.N, which can be found at most Latin grocery stores. I have also found it at my local Kroger. P.A.N. Flour for Arepas To start with the filling, you will first need rehydrate the Jamaica {hibiscus} flowers. Flor de Jamaica can be found at your local Latin grocery store or online. The rehydrated Flor de Jamaica has a really nice meaty texture, which makes a great vegetarian filling option. Flor de Jamaica The Flor de Jamaica does need a few hours to rehydrate, so make sure to plan ahead and rehydrate them a few hours before you plan on making these delicious arepas. After the Jamaica has been rehydrated, carefully drain the water into a pitcher if you would like to make Agua de Jamaica. For the Agua de Jamaica, add in some sugar to taste and stir. It is an added bonus to making the arepas! The water does stain, so be careful when draining the water. The filling is quite simple: onion, garlic, and a jalapeno are sauteed & then the rehydrated Jamaica is added and cooked until tender and soft. Flor de Jamaica While the filling is finishing cooking, it is a good time to start making your arepa dough. You won’t believe how easy this dough is to make. The P.A.N. flour, water, and salt all get mixed together until a soft and moist dough is formed. The dough if formed into 6 patties and cooked onto a griddle or skillet. After the arepas are cooked for about 6-8 minutes on each side, they finish cooking in the oven. The outside gets nice and crisp, while the inside combines light and fluffy. So delicious! Venezuelan Arepas Once the arepas have finished cooking in the oven, they are spilt open and stuffed with the Flor de Jamaica filling. I really like to serve a simple guacamole. The creaminess of the guacamole is a perfect accompaniment to the meaty Jamaica. Flor de Jamaica Arepas with Guacamole If you are looking for a new vegetarian filling, I highly recommend trying using Flor de Jamaica at least once. I think you’ll really be surprised how good it tastes! Flor de Jamaica Arepas

Flor de Jamaica Arepas with Guacamole
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Latin
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Flor de Jamaica are rehydrated and sauteed with onion, garlic, and a jalapeno. The filling is stuffed into a warm arepa and topped with creamy guacamole.
Ingredients
For the filling:
  • 1 Cup Flor de Jamaica
  • 8 Cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ¼ White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno, finally minced
  • ½ Tsp Salt, or to taste
  • ½-1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar, or to taste
For the Arepas:
  • 2 Cups P.A.N. Harnia
  • 2¼ Cups Warm Water
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
For the Guacamole:
  • 2 Avocado
  • ½ Jalapeno, finally minced
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tablespoon Lime Juice, or to taste
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro, optional
Instructions
For the filling
  1. In a large non-reactive pot, add the dried 1 cup Flor de Jamaica and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn of the heat and set aside. Let the flowers rehydrate for 1-3hours.
  2. After the Flor de Jamaica have rehydrated, carefully drain them with a fine mesh strainer. If you are going to make Agua de Jamaica, drain the water right into a pitcher. Set the drain flowers to the side.
  3. If making the agua, stir in sugar to taste into the pitcher. Chill until ready to serve. If the Jamaica is too strong, dilute with water. If you aren't going to make the agua, just discard the water.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until it it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the drained Flor de Jamaica and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the jamaica is nice and tender. Stir in agave nectar and salt to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
For the arepas:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add in the P.A.N., salt, and warm water. Mix until a soft dough is formed. Knead with your hands until the dough forms.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Use to hands to form patties that are 3-4 inches in width.
  4. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the pan with a touch of vegetable oil. Add half of the arepas at one time. You don't want to crowd the pan. Cover the half your not using with a damp towel.
  5. Cook 6-8 minutes on each side, or until they start to have light golden spots. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Cook the rest of the arepas the same way.
  7. Once all the arepas are done cooking on the stove, cook in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, flipping half way through.
  8. While the arepas finishing cooking in the oven, make the guacamole. In a bowl mash the avocado and mix in the jalapeno, salt, and lime juice. Stir in the cilantro if using.
For Serving:
  1. Arepas are best served right out of the oven. Carefully spilt open the arepa, creating a pocket. Add in the Flor de Jamaica filling. Serve with guacamole on the side.

Flor de Jamiaca Arepas with Guacamole

The arepas do require a little bit of planning in advance, but it is worth planning ahead to make these delicious Vegan arepas.

Enjoy! XO Jeni

 

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

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Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

When Hector & I where still living in Grand Rapids, we had our good friends Angie & David over for dinner & I made my Creamy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes. For some reason the potatoes where lacking a little bit of flavor. I am not sure why, maybe because I usually only buy organic potatoes and this time I was unable to buy organic because the store was out. Anyways, the potatoes needed something a little extra.

I looked inside the fridge, hoping that something would inspire me. I had picked up a container of Trader Joe’s Vegan Cream Cheese when I was on the other side of the state earlier in the month. Thank goodness for my Rachael Ray insultated tote bag! I have used this bag so much; definitely a great purchase! It really does keep food insulated for hours. I thought that adding the cream cheese would add a nice richness. I started with just a small amount of the cream cheese, adding more until it reached a creamy texture and tasted delicious!

Trader Joe's Vegan Cream Cheese

Trader Joe's Vegan Cream Cheese

Angie, who isn’t vegan, was so surprised by the texture and taste of these potatoes. The cream cheese was able to add a little something extra; transforming regular mashed potatoes into something a little more decedent. Some Vegans shy away from using “imitation” or processed vegan cheese products. I don’t use them on a regular basis, but I believe that certain times call for using these products. These Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes would be great to serve around the holidays, which will be here before we know it.

This recipe for the Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes was inspired by those potatoes that I had made a few months ago. It is quite easy to prepare. You start with adding the potatoes, water, and coconut oil to the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker on low and cook the potatoes for about 3-4 hours, or until they are tender.

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Once the potatoes are nice and tender, use a slotted spoon and carefully transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the warmed almond milk and softened cream cheese to the potato mixture. Add in the salt, adjust according to your taste. The cream cheese is a little salty, so you might not need to add in the much salt.

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Mix the potatoes with a potato masher until everything is throughly mixed. By leaving the potato skins on, it gives the mashed potatoes a really nice texture, which pairs nicely with the smooth cream cheese.

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Comfort
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Vegan Cream Cheese add richness and decadence to Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes. Perfect for serving at family gatherings and holidays.
Ingredients
  • 3 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, preferably organic, scrubbed and cleaned
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 3 Tablespoon Refined Coconut Oil
  • 4 oz. {half a tub} Vegan Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ Almond Milk, warmed
  • ¼-1/2 Tsp Salt, or to taste.
Instructions
  1. Cut the potatoes in half. Add them to the slow cooker. Add in the water and coconut oil. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the potatoes are nice an tender.
  2. When the potatoes are done, carefully use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the warmed almond milk and softened cream cheese. Add a little bit of salt.
  4. Use a potato masher and mash everything together until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. The cream cheese is a little salty, so you might not need to add too much more.
  5. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes Do you have a favorite Vegan Cheese Product that you like to keep on hand?
I’d love to hear about it!
XOXO
Jeni