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Extreme Vegan Makeover: Fried Green Tomatoes with Red Pepper Aioli Edition

“Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a plate of fried green tomatoes like we used to have at the cafe. Ooh!” – Ninny Threadgoode 
Summer is the time for green tomatoes and who can hear the name of these delicious fruits without thinking of the awesome movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” The movie is about Evelyn Couch, an unhappy housewife (played by Kathy Bates) who friends Ninny Threadgoode (played by Jessica Tandy), an old woman who lives in a nursing home. Ninny tells Evelyn the story of Idgie (played by Mary Stuart Masterson), a young woman living in Alabama in the 1920’s. Learning about Idgie’s struggles and experiences teaches Evelyn how to be assertive and improve her own life.  The movie deals with issues of love, sexism, racism, domestic violence, loyalty, perseverence and survival.
The movie is based on the novel “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe,” written by Fannie Flagg (whom I admittedly remember more from her appearances on “Match Game” than anything else 🙂
While the cafe that actually inspired the movie is located in Alabama, the movie was filmed in Juliette, Georgia in a building that was once a general store. After the filming, The Whistle Stop Cafe actually opened to the public where it serves, among other dishes, fried green tomatoes.
The first time I ever had fried green tomatoes was on my honeymoon in Wilmington, North Carolina. They were absolutely delicious. There are a lot of different recipes for this dish, some people use eggs and some don’t. Some use cornmeal, others use flour, and some use a combination of both. Ordering these at a restaurant means making sure they are Vegan and for me, gluten-free which is pretty much impossible.
Last weekend I spotted some green tomatoes at the farmer’s market so I just had to make my own fried green tomatoes.
I used a combination of fine cornmeal and chickpea flour. Instead of eggs, I mixed some flaxseed and water into a paste and added that to some “buttermilk” made from almond milk and vinegar.
“Oh it don’t make no kind of sense. Big ol’ ox like Grady won’t sit next to a colored child. But he eats eggs- shoot right outta chicken’s ass!” – Sipsey (played by Cicely Tyson)
The fried green tomatoes were crispy on the outside and tangy on the inside. I added some spicy Cajun seasoning for a kick. To cool it down, I made a red pepper aioli that was as delicious as it was pretty.
“Secret’s in the sauce.” – Sipsey 
What goes better with a feel-good movie than a feel-good dish of Southern Comfort food? So whip up some delicious fried green tomatoes and watch the movie with your friends. There’s a lot of inspiration and wisdom in this movie.  This is my favorite quote:
Ed Couch: What the hell’s this?
Evelyn Couch: That’s a low cholesterol meal. Happy Valentine’s.
Ed Couch: God! Are you trying to kill me?

Evelyn Couch: If I was gonna kill you, I’d use my hands.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Red Pepper Aioli

For the Red Pepper Aioli


Make the aioli first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator.
½ cup Vegan mayonnaise
¼ cup Vegan sour cream
½ cup roasted red peppers
2 tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste


Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Fried Green Tomatoes
5-6 green tomatoes
Salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup fine cornmeal
½ cup chickpea flour
½ cup almond milk
1 ½ tsp. vinegar
1 Tbs. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. Cajun seasoning
2-3 Tbs. vegetable oil for frying


Cut the tomatoes into ½ inch slices. Season with salt and pepper and let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a shallow bowl, add vinegar to the almond milk and let sit for a few minutes. This creates “buttermilk.”
Add water to the ground flaxseed and mix into a loose paste. This will be your binder (and your Omega-3’s). Add this to the buttermilk.

Heat the oil in a large pan or skillet.

Combine the cornmeal, the flour and the seasoning in a shallow bowl or on a plate.

Dip the tomato slices into the buttermilk/flaxseed mixture and shake off the excess. Dredge the tomato in the flour/cornmeal mixture until it is well covered. Shake off the excess.

Fry until golden brown on both sides. It should take about 3 minutes on each side.

When you remove the tomatoes from the oil, place them on a plate lined with towel paper. Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on them and then move them to a cooling rack so they stay crispy.

Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
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2 Responses to Extreme Vegan Makeover: Fried Green Tomatoes with Red Pepper Aioli Edition

  1. Rhea Parsons July 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Flavia, thank you so much. You can fry the red tomatoes too. Just pick them before they ripen while they are firm.

  2. Flavia July 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Wowee – that’s looks yummy. Now I wish I had planted green tomatoes this year instead of just the red ones. They’re so pretty. I’ve never tried the green ones fried.

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