Monday, October 9, 2017

California Miso, Avocado, and Lima Bean Salad

(recipe from

For the dressing:
1 Tbsp. miso paste
1 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lime
4 Tbsp. dairy-free yogurt
sea salt

5 oz. broccoli, stems chopped, florets broken into little heads
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 handfuls of seasonal salad leaves, washed and dried
1 ripe avocado, pitted and halved
One 15-oz. can lima beans (or any white bean), drained [these can be pan-fried and chopped a bit]

First make the dressing.  Mix all dressing ingredients together in a bowl, adding a little salt if needed, depending on how salty your miso is.  Alternately, if the dressing is too salty, add more yogurt.

Next, blanch the broccoi in boiling, salted, water for a minute or so, until it has lost its rawness and is a lovely bright green.  Drain and let cool.

Toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds in a pan until lightly golden, then spread on a plate to cool.

Pile the leaves into a serving bowl, then chop the avocado into chunks, and add them to the bowl along with the beans.  Once the broccoli and seeds are cool, add them too.  Pour over the dressing and toss well. 

(Can be served with steamed bown rice or soba noodles for a more substantial dinner.)

Eggplant Pasta Salad with Kalamata Olives

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

2 small eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
7 green onions
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (I use coconut oil for cooking)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. mirin (or sherry)
1 lb. dried rigatoni
1/2 cup slivered kalamata olives
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Peel the eggplants and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick strips about 3 inches in length.  Trim all but about 2 inches of the tops from the green onions.  Cut in half lengthwise, then into 1-inch pieces.  [I just sliced the green onions on a diagonal.]

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the coconut oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and stir to distribute in the oil.  Add the eggplant, green onion and bell pepper; stir.  Sprinkle with the oregano and 1/4 tsp. of the salt.  Stir and saute over medium heat 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and browning nicely.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Whisk together 1 Tbsp. olive oil, the lemon juice, vinegar, mirin, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.  Pour this dressing over the eggplant mixture in the bowl, cover, and set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours so the flavors can blend.

Bring several quarts of water to a boil.  Cook the pasta until al dente.  Cool briefly in a bowl of cold water, drain very well, and toss with the eggplant mixture, olives, and parsley.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Salad

(recipe adapted from Food & Wine magazine)

1 1/2 lb cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1/8 cup coconut oil
Kosher salt
3/4 lbs. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
3/4 lbs. baby red potatoes, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I love grapeseed oil Vegenaise)
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 cup brined capers, drained, rinsed and finely chopped
1/8 cup finely chopped parsley
Grated horseradish, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400F.  On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the oil and season with salt.  Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once, until just tender and lightly browned; let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the fingerlings and red potatoes until just tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain.  Spread the potatoes on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with the vinegar.  Let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, shallots, mustard, capers, and parsley.  Add the cauliflower and potatoes and toss.  Season with salt to taste and garnish with more parsley, if desired.  Serve with horseradish.

Refrigerate; bring to room temperature just before serving.

(I just mixed some horseradish right in when whisking the other sauce ingredients, to taste.  Really delicious potato salad - makes me want to add roasted cauliflower to every potato salad recipe!)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stir Fry of Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Orange, and Fresh Basil

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1 medium head)
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/2 lb. fresh pear tomatoes, diced (about 3 medium)
1 can (13 oz.) water-packed tomatillos, drained and chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add the rice, olive oil, and garlic.  Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed and rice is tender.  Allow to stand, covered, for at least 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut and sesame oils in a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion.  Saute 2-3 minutes, until onion becomes opaque.  Add the cauliflower and stir.  Stir in the orange juice, cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes, tomatillos, and basil.  Stir to combine, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is fork-tender.  Combine 2 Tbsp. of water with the arrowroot powder in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake to dissolve, then stir into the cauliflower mixture, cooking for a moment or two to thicken the sauce.  Place equal portions of the cooked rice on warmed serving plates and spoon the cauliflower mixture over top.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

3 Tbsp. whole almonds
1 lb. summer squash, a mix of green and yellow
2 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
Baby arugula
Pecorino, shaved (optional)

Roast the almonds and coarsely crush.

Trim the ends of the squash.  Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash lengthwise into strips and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to taste.  Pour dressing over squash; let stand for a few minutes, then add a few handfuls of arugula.  Shave a little Pecorino over the squash, if desired, and toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with the crushed almonds.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Broccoli, Cucumber & Napa Slaw with Coconut Lemongrass Dressing

(recipe from Clean Eating magazine)

1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded, thinly sliced (or julienned)
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
2 cups broccoli florets, plus stems (trim and quarter florets; peel and cut stems into matchsticks)
1 tsp. coconut oil
4 green onions, sliced, whites and greens divided (reserve greens for slaw)
1/4 cup finely minced lemongrass
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
5 Tbsp. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Prepare dressing:  In a small saute pan on medium-low heat, melt oil.  Add whites of onion and lemongrass and cook until just softened and fragrant, 1 minute.  Add garlic and stir for 1 minute, until fragrant.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a blender.  Add remaining dressing ingredients and puree until smooth.  Refrigerate while preparing vegetables.

Prepare slaw:  To a large bowl, add cucumber, cabbage, and broccoli.  Pour in dressing and toss to combine.  Toss in greens of onions and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Carrot, Kasha, and Caraway Pilaf

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1 Tbsp. oil
1 medium carrot, diced small
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup whole roasted buckwheat groats (kasha)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp. salt
several grinds black pepper
2 tsp. sweet paprika

Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet that has a tight-fitting lid.  Add the carrot and onion and saute 5 minutes.  Add the kasha, garlic, and caraway and saute 3 minutes.  Stir in the stock, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow to stand 10 minutes before removing the lid.  Transfer the kasha to a bowl or platter and toss with the paprika, breaking up large clumps as you do.  Serve hot.