Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pineapple Papaya Salad with Dried Apricots and Coconut

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

1 medium fresh pineapple (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
1 large papaya (about 1 lb.)
2 medium barely ripe bananas
1 large tart, crisp apple (such as Granny Smith)
12 halves dried apricots (about 3 oz.), chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup flaked coconut

Slice off both ends of the pineapple, then cut the pineapple in half crosswise.  Holding the flat side of one pineapple half against a cutting board, use a sharp knife to slice off the peel in a downward motion toward the board.  Peel the other half.  Cut each half into lengthwise quarters and slice off and discard the tough core portion.  Cut the quartered pineapple into small, uniform chunks.  Place the pineapple in a large mixing bowl.

Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  Peel the papaya and chop the fruit into uniform pieces about the same size as the pineapple chunks.  Add the papaya to the pineapple in the bowl.

Peel the bananas and chop them into small uniform pieces.  Core the apple and chop it into bite-size pieces.  Toss the bananas and apple with the pineapple and papaya.  Add the apricots, orange juice, and lime juice to the bowl and toss.  Transfer to a pretty serving bowl.

Place the coconut in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Toast for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the coconut is uniformly tan in color.  Immediately remove the coconut from the pan, sprinkle it evenly over the fruit, and serve.

Root Vegetable & Apple Slaw

(recipe from Clean Eating magazine)

1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus additional, to taste
1 golden beet, peeled and grated
3 to 4 multicolored carrots, peeled and grated
2 Granny Smith apples, grated
6 radishes, trimmed and grated
Ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. peeled and grated ginger
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. honey
3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus additional to taste

Prepare dressing:  In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients.  Set aside at room temperature.

Prepare slaw:  To a small saucepan, add 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 cups water; bring to a boil.  Add grated beet and blanch for 30 seconds, until water returns to a boil.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Dry; add to a large bowl.  (Note: Blanching the beet helps to mellow its earthy flavor; skip this step if you prefer it raw.)

To bowl with the beet, add the carrots, apples, and radishes.  Add dressing and toss.  Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

(A food processor's grating attachment makes for quick preparation.  I used a raw beet - the gold beets are pretty mild in their earthiness. Eat the slaw over a bed of greens for a nice salad option.)

Monday, October 9, 2017

California Miso, Avocado, and Lima Bean Salad

(recipe from 101cookbooks.com)

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.