Four Fast and Wholesome Plant-Primarily based Recipes to Make in Your Air Fryer

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My friend recently bought me an air fryer as a surprise gift and at first I wasn’t even sure I wanted it. I know i know what was i thinking I’d heard the hype and it sounded great in theory, but I was reluctant to welcome a new appliance to my already small condo-size kitchen. I mean, it took me years to finally get an instant pot after thinking back and forth. But the temptation of a delicious air-fried tofu was too great to resist, so I got busy clearing up space on my counter. Many air fryers are actually quite compact and since mine can serve as a toaster, I swapped the old ones for the new ones.

The first week was all about the tofu. I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to get crispy tofu without a lot of oil. Air fryers are practical and versatile because other methods can often make delicious food in less than half the time. But for me it was more about the health aspect, as I don’t cook with a lot of oil and I have never fried anything.

Air fryers quickly circulate hot air around foods with minimal oil traditionally used in fried foods, yet still allow you to get crispiness in your creation. Not only does this help you avoid a messy hob with hot oil, the air fryers are quick and you don’t have to wait for them to heat up like a traditional oven.

I am now addicted and love discovering new healthy foods to air fry. Since the models of air fryer vary slightly, you may need to adjust the times to suit your device. Here are some of my favorites to get you started.

1. Perfectly seasoned tofu cubes

This versatile bean curd made from ground soybeans is a healthy source of protein, contains nine essential amino acids, and is full of vitamins and minerals. I buy extra firm organic non-GMO tofu and while reading online that a tofu press is needed to make air fried tofu, it isn’t strictly necessary as I don’t have a press and my air fried tofu has become amazing.

You can press your tofu with a heavy pan if you want to get the water out, but I never did. I used a casserole dish with a lid so my tofu could marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour. Tofu goes great with so many meals, and I added mine to a bowl of brown rice with steamed broccoli and green beans. Tofu makes a wonderful meat substitute in virtually any dish, so get creative!

Crunchy tofu cubes

ingredients

  • 1 block of tofu
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

manual

  1. Cut the tofu into bite-sized squares
  2. Put in the bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil (I used avocado oil, but you can use sesame oil or olive oil)
  3. 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  4. Salt and pepper to taste (I use ½ teaspoon)
  5. Optional: I added a generous pinch of onion and garlic powder, but you can add turmeric, cayenne pepper, or paprika depending on your preference
  6. Set the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and add tofu to the basket in a single layer. A block of tofu fits perfectly in mine (454 g package). Depending on how crispy you want your tofu to be, cook for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Halfway through cooking, open the fryer and turn the tofu slightly with tongs to ensure even cooking
  8. Tip: Some recipes recommend shaking or throwing the tofu in the basket. This doesn’t work on my type of air fryer and results in spices flying around my kitchen – be warned!

2. Crispy Brussels sprouts

I despised those weird green mini cabbages that grew up, but with the right seasoning, I’ve always liked them more. These low-calorie cruciferous vegetables are packed with nutrients, including vitamin K, which is good for bone health, and vitamin C, which helps you absorb iron and boosts immune defenses. They’re also high in fiber and make a nutritious addition to pasta, rice noodles, tempeh, quinoa, or vegetarian burgers. My son loved them which is a bonus as they are so healthy.

Crunchy Brussels sprouts

ingredients

  • 1 stem of Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

manual

  1. After you’ve rinsed them well and cut off the stems, cut them in half and place them in a medium-sized bowl (about 1 pound of Brussels sprouts).
  2. Mix with 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice and either 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  3. Salt (I use Himalayan pink salt) and pepper to taste, ¼ to ½ teaspoon
  4. Finely chopped garlic or garlic powder (optional)
  5. Set the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and add the sprouts to the frying basket in a single layer
  6. Cook for 8-10 minutes, turn halfway carefully with tongs (do not throw!) And cook until golden brown
  7. Tip: peel off the withered outer leaves, the first time I didn’t do that and in the end I got slightly burnt Brussels sprout chips!

3. Crispy roasted chickpeas

Creating crispy chickpeas was exciting because my son loves them and I actually had no idea that these are so easy to make at home. They are a type of legume in the same family as kidney beans and peanuts, often referred to as garbanzo beans. Chickpeas are high in protein, high in energy, low in calories, can help lower cholesterol, and contain nutrients for strong bones. They are ideal as a healthy snack in themselves, sprinkled as a topping on your favorite salad, grain bowl and pasta starter and especially added to traditional Mediterranean plant-based dishes.

Crispy roasted chickpeas

ingredients

  • 1 19 oz. Can of drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cracked black pepper, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, optional

manual

  1. Put the chickpeas in a bowl and mix with the avocado or olive oil
  2. Season with salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika, ¼ teaspoon each, and whisk until the chickpeas are evenly coated
  3. Cook at 390 F for 10 minutes, checking the last few minutes so they don’t burn
  4. Tip: When I cook chickpeas in the oven, drying them is important, and I read conflicting information about drying them first before air-frying – I didn’t dry mine and they turned out crispy and tasty

4. Sweet potato fries

Needless to say, one of my favorite treats got a lot healthier when my air fryer moved in. I’ve never met a french fry that I didn’t like, and sweet potato fries are no exception. These root vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Sweet potatoes are also good for intestinal health and contain antioxidants. They’re the perfect accompaniment to so many meals, including vegetarian burgers, grilled paninis, wraps, or a large hearty salad.

Sweet potato fries

ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

manual

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into ½ inch wide fries.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle oil over sliced ​​potatoes.
  3. Season with pink Himalayan salt (or salt of your choice) and sprinkle with a generous pinch of dried rosemary, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.
  4. Distribute the fries evenly in the fries basket
  5. Cook between 375 F and 400 F for 12-15 minutes, checking halfway to turn the fries with tongs. They’ll be golden brown when you’re done.
  6. Serve with your favorite dips like vegan garlic mayo, ketchup or chipotle lime.
  7. Tip: I cut my skin off before frying, but I’ve heard from friends who left the skin on with successful results

You can also replace rust-red potatoes with sweet potatoes. Soak in water for 15 minutes to remove excess starches, dry with a paper towel, then season to your taste and cut in half as described above. Finally, season with salt and serve with a delicious dip.