Thursday, June 25, 2020

Peach Salad w/Oil-free Creamy Vinaigrette

Peach Salad w/Oil-free Creamy Vinaigrette is a refreshing and luscious salad when the fragrant and juicy peaches ripen in the summer. The creamy vinaigrette pairs perfectly with the sweet peaches, buttery avocados and the fresh greens. 

Oil-free Creamy Vinaigrette is a snap to prepare and is delicious on any salad. The wholesome and mild tasting oatmeal and hemp hearts help make it creamy. This dressing is so good that we love to make daily salads just to enjoy it! The vianigrette is oil, gluten, and dairy free.

Oil-free Creamy Vinaigrette maybe prepared ahead and will stay fresh for 1 week. Use this dressing to season your favorite salads.

Spinach, Arugula, Butter/Green/Red Leaf Lettuces, Curly or Belgian Endive, etc all work well as salad greens. Readily available Spring mix consisting of baby greens is another easy option.

4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1/4 cup Hemp Hearts
1 medium Shallot
2 cloves Garlic
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Date OR 1 tsp Maple Syrup
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Water
1-2 pinches Dried Italian herbs

Salad
4 large handfuls of Salad greens
1 Carrot, shredded
1-2 large ripe Peaches, sliced
1 ripe Avocado, sliced
1 small handful fresh Basil/Mint leaves, cut into chiffonade

METHOD:

Combine all the ingredients (except the dried herbs) for the vinaigrette in the blender jar and blitz until creamy and smooth. Pour into a clean jar. Add a tablespoon or two of  water to the blender jar to gather up all the dressing clinging to it. Add to the jar along with the dried herbs. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Combine salad greens and carrots in a bowl when ready to eat. Divide among 4 bowls.

Arrange the peach and avocado slices on top. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.Sprinkethe basil/mint on top and serve immediately.

Enjoy!!



Monday, June 22, 2020

Easy & Tasty Zucchini Kimchi


Zucchini Kimchi
Easy Zucchini Kimchi is exactly that and tasty as can be. This is a fantastic recipe for a beginner's first foray into kimchi making; it goes together in minutes and the results are very impressive. Another great way to enjoy the abundant harvest especially if you grow these generous veggies or know someone who does! The tasty kimchi maybe served with any meal that needs a flavorful side.

We love fresh small batches of kimchi. I slice and salt the zucchini while preparing a meal or cooking. When the rest of the work is done, it takes a couple of minutes to finish the kimchi.

This recipe is gluten and dairy free; and oil free too if the sesame oil is not used.

Once you start making and enjoying this kimchi, you will find many ways to enjoy every morsel. I love to pile them on my avocado or peanut butter toast for a lovely savory breakfast, brunch or snack! You may like to double the recipe because it disappears very fast!

NOTES:

If Korean red pepper is not available, use about 1/4 tsp Cayenne or more to taste.

If you don't like ginger or green onions, they maybe left out. 

2-3 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 large Zucchini
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 small Onion, thinly sliced 
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 thin slices fresh Ginger, minced (optional)
1-2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp - 1 Tbsp ground Korean Red Pepper
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil (optional)
1 tsp toasted Sesame Seeds

METHOD:

Cut each zucchini lengthwise and then slice crosswise into half moons. Place zucchini in a large bowl and add in salt. Shake and stir until all zucchini pieces are  coated with salt. Let sit for approximately 25 - 30 minutes until zucchini gets wilted slightly. 

Press the zucchini firmly but gently without squeezing or breaking them to remove all the moisture; but doesn't have to be completely dry. Taste one piece to check for saltiness; if it is too salty, swirl with a little fresh water and drain thoroughly again. Blot dry with paper towels and place into large clean and dry bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients except the oil if using and the sesame seeds and stir until well to coat thoroughly.

Yay! You just made KIMCHI!

Place the kimchi in a clean, dry, sterile jar and cover with an airtight lid.

Although the kimchi is delicious to enjoy immediately, it is even better if it is allowed to ferment one or two days. To ferment, leave the jar on the counter. Shake or stir daily with a clean spoon to mix well and push all the veggies down so the liquid coats everything.  After one or two days, put kimchi in the fridge. 

Serve the fresh kimchi right away or wait one or two days. Drizzle with the sesame oil if using and sprinkle the sesame seeds just before serving. Delicious served with rice, other grains, or any way you like.

Enjoy!!
Zucchini Kimchi

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Chopped Salad With Non-Dairy Raita Dressing

Simple yet luscious Chopped Salad With Non-Dairy Raita Dressing came into being when I wanted a salad to coordinate with an Indian themed meal. The salad turned out fabulous with requests for more!
Chopped Salad With Raita Dressing
Chopped Salad With Non-Dairy Raita Dressing is a wonderful recipe good and good for you with all the pro- and pre- biotic components. The radishes and grapes add spicy crunch and cool sweetness to this wonderful and satisfying salad.

The dressing and salad (without the tomatoes) maybe prepared a day ahead and reserved in the fridge separately. Add the tomatoes and the dressing to the salad just before serving.

NOTES:

Watermelon instead of or in addition to the grapes is wonderful in this salad especially on a warm day or evening.

Spinach or other greens maybe used instead of the romaine lettuce.

4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Raita Dressing
1/4 cup Raw Cashews, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
1/2 cup thick non-dairy Plain Yogurt
1-2 pinches Salt
1 juicy Lime, juiced
1/2 small Red Onion, finely chopped
1 small Zucchini, shredded
2 Tbsp Fresh Coriander/Cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1 tiny pinch Asafetida
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, finely grated
1/2 - 1 Jalapeño/Serrano Chile, cored and finely minced
2 stem fresh Curry Leaves, minced

Salad
1 Romaine heart, finely sliced
1-2 Persian type Cucumbers or 1/2 Hothouse cuke, diced
1 large Carrot, shredded
1-2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
6-8 sprigs fresh Mint
6-8 Sprigs fresh Coriander/Cilantro
1 generous Handful Roasted Cashews, coarsely chopped
1 large handful Seedless Red or Black Grapes, halved
Fresh Radish Slices (optional)

METHOD:

Raita Dressing:

Blend together the cashews, yogurt and lime juice until smooth. Spoon out the yogurt mixture into a bowl; sluice the blender with a couple of tablespoons of water to gather all of the yogurt mixture and add to the bowl.

Heat a small pan and add oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook on low heat until the seeds begin to pop. Stir in the asafetida, ginger, chile, and curry leaves and cook for a few seconds until the chiles trun bright green and soften. Remove from heat and let cool for a minute or two. Add the spiced chile mixture to the cashew-yogurt mixture in the bowl along with the onions, zucchini, coriander/cilantro, and a pinch or two of salt. Stir well, taste, and adjust seasonings.

Store the Raita Dressing in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Salad:

Combine the lettuce, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, and herbs in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Assembly:

Check the dressing; if it is too thick, add a little non-dairy milk or water a teaspoon at a time to get the right consistency. Adjust the seasonings if necessary with salt and lime juice.

Divide the salad among 4 bowls/plates, drizzle with dressing, sprinkle the cashews, a few grapes and slices of radish on top.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!!


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Simple and Delicious Quick Zucchini/Yellow Squash Sauté

Simple and Delicious Zucchini/Yellow Squash is a quick side dish to accompany any meal. Although fine with any meal, it is particularly wonderful served as part of Indian, Chinese, Korean type meals with warm rice, quinoa, or other grains. The sesame adds a lovely nutty crunch. Since this is a veggie dish, it is naturally gluten/dairy free and oil-free as well.

Enjoy with warm cooked rice/grains, roti or other flatbreads and dal/bean dishes such as Simple Dal, Lemony Dal, Sambar, Chole, one of the fresh veggie dishes like Raita, Salad, etc.

Delicious with warm cooked rice or other grains and with other side dishes or simply put the zucchini on top of the rice along with some sautéed tofu. 

NOTES: 

A combination of zucchini and yellow squash maybe used or only one type of veggie. 

If you like the Zucchini/Yellow Squash on the dry side without a lot of liquid, sprinkle the cut veggies with a pinch of salt and set aside until the rest of the veggies are prepared. Just before cooking, press and drain any accumulated liquid and proceed with the recipe.

Other sweet veggies like Summer or Chayote Squash also maybe prepared this way.

4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 cloves Garlic, chopped (optional)
1/2 small Onion, thinly sliced
4-5 medium Zucchini/Yellow Squash
1 generous pinch Turmeric
Salt/Tamari, to taste
1/8 -1 tsp Ground Red Pepper (cayenne)
2-3 Green Onions, sliced
A small handful fresh Coriander/Cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp Roasted Sesame Seeds for garnish

METHOD:

Cut zucchinis/yellow squash in half or quarters lengthwise and cut into coin thick slices crosswise. If using other squashes, cut them into bite sized pieces. See note for salting the veggies for a drier result.

Place all ingredients in a wok or large skillet except sesame seeds, green onions and Cilantro.

Turn the heat up to medium high heat and stir fry for about 4-5 minutes, or until veggies are hot and done to your liking. They taste best if they still retain a bit of firmness and a little crunch. 

If the veggies were not salted and drained, there maybe some juices collected in the bottom of the wok/skillet and that is perfectly fine. If you try to evaporate the liquid, the veggies will get overcooked and turn mushy. Mushy = Not Tasty!

Turn out onto a serving plate, garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Palak Kadhi (Spinach & Besan (Chickpea flour) Non-dairy Curry)

Palak Kadhi, Spinach & Besan (Chickpea flour) Non-dairy Curry, is an easy and delicious recipe that is also naturally gluten free. I have veganized it by fermenting the besan mixture overnight thus eliminating the necessity for yogurt. But if you have old plain, unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt you want to use up on hand, about 1 cup of the yogurt maybe stirred in at the end. The final seasoned oil based on Hema's suggestions is what makes this kadhi so exceptionally tasty! I added the smoked paprika to the seasoned oil to take the flavor to another level.

Frozen spinach makes it very quick and easy to prepare this Palak Kadhi (Spinach Curry); one large bunch of fresh spinach maybe used instead of the frozen spinach if you prefer. This kadhi is similar to Non-Dairy Kadhi which has a different flavor profile and no spinach.

NOTES:

Use the larger amount of the besan (chickpea flour) for thicker curry.

Use higher amounts of the spices for the seasoned oil if you like the kadhi spicy; the lower amounts result in a mild kadhi. Increase the spices for spicier kadhi.

For extra tanginess, a little lime or lemon juice maybe added before serving.

Traditionally the kadhi is served with cooked rice (the classic combination is known as "kadhi-chawal") but kadhi maybe served with other grains or roti if desired.

4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

2-4 Tbsp Besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1-2 dried Red Chiles
8 oz frozen Spinach

Seasoned Chile Oil
1 tsp oil
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground Red Pepper (cayenne)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/8 - 1/4 tsp Asafetida

METHOD:

Combine besan, turmeric, 1 tsp salt and 1 cup of water in a clean jar. No worries if there are some lumps; they dissolve after soaking. Keep the besan mixture at room temperature preferrably overnight or at least 8 hours.

Cook the spinach and if it is coarsely chopped, use a food processor, blender, or a sharp knife to finely chop it.

Heat a 2-3 quart (liter) pan and add the cumin, mustard, and fenugreek seeds along with the chiles. Shake and swirl the spices for about a minute or so until the spices darken and mustard pops.

Whisk the besan slurry thoroughly and stir it into the pot; add another cup of water to the jar, stir to gather any besan left in and pour into the pot.

Bring to a boil while stirring/whisking often, reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and mix well. Add a little boiling water if you like to thin the kadhi. Remove the kadhi from heat.

Heat the oil in a small pan and add the spices; swirl or stir until spices are toasty and deepen in color slightly but do not burn.

Pour the seasoned oil over the top of the curry and immediately cover. Allow the kadhi to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Taste the kadhi and adjust the seasonings. Remove and discard the whole red chiles so no one chews on them inadvertently.

Serve the Palak Kadhi (Spinach & Non-dairy Curry) hot over warm rice or other grains.

Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Frijoles Negros (The Best Ever Seasoned Black Beans)

Frijoles Negros or Seasoned Black Beans are amazingly delicious; just a handful of ingredients produce lip smackingly yummy beans! With a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot, cooking beans becomes so easy and quick. Do try to cook the beans if possible rather than using canned for the wonderful and rich taste. See Ode to Beans or Basic Black Beans for more ideas on cooking beans. Any leftovers maybe used as filling for tacos/burritos/tostadas etc. or in the delicious Black Bean and Corn Casserole, BurgersCuban Black Bean Soup, or Casamiento

Black Beans belong to the superfood family of legumes; they are typically served as part of meals in Mexican, Central & South American, and other cuisines. Cooking beans is quite simple and very cost effective. Similar to most beans, black beans have negligible amounts of fat. They are a great source of protein, fiber, and thiamin. Black beans are loaded with anthocyanins and also contain good amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, manganese and folate.

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect food than beans. One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber, which is something most people do not get very much in a typical diet in most developed countries. Beans are packed with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many cancers. The latest dietary guidelines from World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research recommend that we make whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans the major part of the diet to prevent many types of cancer as well as other diseases. So do enjoy delicious and diverse vareities of beans: pintos, mung, black, white, kidney, lentils, and numerous other ones. Use them in snacks, starters, soups/stews, casseroles, salads, as topings for baked potatoes, and for sandwich spreads.

Served with rice and/or warm corn tortillas, a bit of salsa and one's favorite hot sauce, Frijoles Negros makes a comforting and hearty meal. Besides being wonderful served simply, black beans are delicious in may recipes. The beauty of beans is that they freeze well also. Freeze the cooled beans in freezer containers for up to 3 months.

NOTES:

Chile Morita (smoked dried jalapeño chile) adds a lovely deep and smoky flavor to the beans.

Soaking is not a prerequisite; but soaked beans do cook faster and I find them tastier.

If you don't have the Mexican Seasoning Mix, a chili spice mix maybe used instead. If using a purchased spice mix, you may need to add more cumin and oregano to taste.

12 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb Black Beans
Salt for soaking
1 Chile Morita (optional)
1 Bay Leaf
1 small Onion, finely diced
1-2 Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
3-4 cloves Garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp EACH, dried Oregano and ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 small bunch Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
3-4 Green Onions, finely sliced
Lime Cilantro Rice or Plain rice to serve

METHOD:

Sort the beans for debris; rinse well, add 2 tsp of salt, and soak in plenty of water to cover for a few hours. 

Drain the soaked beans and place in a large pot with the bay leaf and morita chile if using. Add water to cover them; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until very soft. Remove and discard the chile if you wish; I mash it into the beans.

Alternately, pressure cook the beans, usually they are done in less than 20 minutes using a pressure cooker or the Instant Pot!

Cook the onion, bell pepper, garlic with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of water until the vegetables are softened.

Stir in the spices and herbs along with the beans and cooking liquid.

Mash the beans slightly with the back of the spoon and cook for a few minutes stirring often until slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and let rest for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cilantro and green onions.

Serve hot with the Lime Cilantro, plain rice, or warm tortillas.

Buen Provecho!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Hidden Gems Buckwheat Pancakes Kerala Style with Blueberry Coulis (Geetha's Pazham Pori)

Hidden Gem Buckwheat Pancakes With Blueberry Coulis are delightfully tasty and fun with the hidden slices of fruit! They are the easy and healthy version of the fritters known as Pazham Pori, immensely popular in Kerala. Pazham Pori, typically enjoyed as tea time snacks, are made with ripe plantains dipped in batter and deep fried. I have made them as pancakes for a healthier option. These special pancakes are not only oil free, they are also naturally dairy and gluten free!

Hidden Gems Buckwheat Pancakes maybe prepared with either the plantains or regular bananas. I like adding round slices of the plantain/banana in the pancackes instead of the traditional longitudinal slices; pancakes maybe prepared with long slices if preferred. The ripe fruit adds to the sweetness and along with the coulis and the whipped topping, could very well be a dessert! This fun and great tasting recipe is perfect for a special occasion breakfast, brunch, or snack.

NOTES:

Do keep the batter slightly on the thick side to coat the fruit well. But, if unavoidably made thin, pancakes maybe folded or rolled up with the fruit inside. These pancakes taste absolutely fabulous either way.

Apples, pears, or another fruit maybe substituted for the bananas in the pancakes. Instead of the blueberries, another fruit maybe used to prepare a coulis.

Leftover pancakes maybe stored in the fridge or frozen for longer storage. Pancakes maybe reheated in the skillet or oven.

About 6 pancakes
2 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Coulis:
1 Cup Blueberries
1 Tbsp Lime/Lemon Juice
1 pinch Salt
2-3 Tbsp Maple Syrup/Coconut Sugar

Pancakes:

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Non-dairy Milk
1 Tbsp Cconut Sugar or other sweetener
3/4 cup Buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp Flaxseed meal
1 pinch Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 ripe Plantain OR Banana, sliced

Powdered sugar for serving
Maple Syrup for serving
Non-dairy Whipped Topping

DIRECTIONS:

Coulis:

Wash and drain the berries. Reserve a few for garnishing. Dice the rest of the berries and place them in a bowl. Mash slightly with a fork and stir in the salt, maple syrup/sugar and lemon. Mix well and if made ahead, reserve in the fridge.

Pancakes:

Whisk together the vinegar, milk and coconut sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine the flour, flax seed meal, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in a mixing bowl.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir together just until combined to get a thick but pourable batter. Let the batter rest for about 10-15 minutes. If batter is very thick, a little more milk or water maybe added.

Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with a little oil using a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low-medium heat.

Prepare pancakes by pouring a little less than 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet; you can quickly spread the batter gently in a swirling motion with the back of  a spoon to desired thickness.

Place 4-5 slices of the plantain/banana quickly on top of the pancake and add a little batter to cover the fruit. It is fine if the fruit is not completely covered since this side is usually not seen when served.

Cook until bubbles appear and edges of the pancake are a little dry. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so. Remove the pancake from skillet and place on platter.

Continue cooking the pancakes until all the batter is used up stacking the pancakes as they are cooked.

Plate the pancakes while still hot with some of the coulis on top. Dust the pancakes with powdered sugar and a little drizzle of maple syrup if desired. Add a dollop of whipped topping.

Serve immediately and eat.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Lettuce Wraps W/Spiced Tofu

Lettuce Wraps W/Spiced Tofu are irresistible and make a lovely light meal or starter. The fresh crisp lettuce and pickled vegetable topping add freshness to the slightly sweet but savory filling. Be warned - one taste and you'd want to make a meal of the wraps!

Lettuce Wraps with Spiced Tofu
Notes:
The tofu filling, pickled carrots and daikon, and the lettuce wraps maybe prepared a day ahead and the filling reheated before serving.
While any regular mushrooms maybe used, fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms are lovely. If using dried shiitake, soak in a little water for about 20 minutes to soften.
I use cauliflower rice (chopped cauliflower) as I don't always have access to water chestnuts.
1/3 cup Hoisin Sauce maybe used instead of the cooking sauce; please be sure to check the ingredients in the sauce as not all hoisin sauces are gluten free. 

Picked Carrots & Daikon Radish
1 large Carrot, cut in fine match sticks
1 medium Daikon Radish, cut in fine match sticks
1 pinch Salt
2 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar


Filling:

Cooking sauce
1 Tbsp Cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp Water
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2-3 Tbsp Tamari/Coconut Aminos/Soy Sauce (gf)
1-3 Tbsp Coconut Or Brown Sugar

Tofu
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 block Firn or extra-firm Tofu, finely diced/shredded
1/2 cup Mushrooms, minced
1-2 Tbsp Ginger, grated
1 Serrano or Thai Chile, cored and minced
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 small Carrot, shredded
1/2 cup Water Chestnuts, chopped OR Cauliflower rice
2 Tbsp toasted Sesame seeds
1/2 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced

For Serving:
1-2 Heads Butter/Romaine lettuce
Cilantro sprigs
Green Onions, thinly sliced diagonally

METHOD:

Pickled Carrots & Daikon
Prepare the pickled carrots and daikon at least a couple of hours ahead of serving so that the veggies have a chance to marinate; they maybe prepared a day or two ahead. Combine the veggies, salt and vinegar in a container and mix well. Reserve in the fridge until ready to serve.

Lettuce Wraps
Separate the inner leaves of the lettuces carefully, wash and drain thorougly. This maybe done a day ahead and carefully stored in the fridge until needed.

Tofu Filling
Combine all the ingredients under cooking sauce in a bowl.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. 

Add the tofu, onion and ginger and cook for about 3-4 minutes stirring to keep things from sticking or burning. 

When tofu begins to brown a little, stir in the mushrooms, chile, bell pepper, garlic, carrot, water chestnuts, and the cooking sauce; cook until all the liquids evaporate or are absorbed - abouit 3-4 minutes or so. 

Remove from heat and let rest for about 5 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds, cilantro and green onions. 

Taste and adjust the seasonings. If made ahead, cool and chill. Reheat until warm just before serving.

Assembly
Place about 1-2 Tbsp of the warm filling on the leaves, sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. 

Pass the bowl of pickled carrots and daikon to top the wraps as desired.

Eat right away while the lettuce is crisp and the filling warm.

Enjoy!!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Everyday Lentil Soup

We love all things lentils and this Everyday Lentil Soup is a favorite! Lentil soup can serve as a main dish, light meal/snack, or starter. This luscious soup enriched with the trio of onions, garlic, and carrots can stand alone or served with grains or bread. According to Hema, this soup is based on Mauritian recipe where Indian and local ingredients are combined to produce the unique dishes reminiscent of Indian cuisine.

The soup begins with preparing a flavorful basic seasoning of toasted cumin seeds, onions and garlic common to most dals along with carrots which add color, texture, and sweetness plus tomato for a little tang. I like to cook the lentils by themselves and add them to the soup after the seasonings are ready. Then the soup is simmered with fragrant thyme and finished with a sprinkle of parsley or cilantro. 

Leftovers are fabulous for about a week in the fridge or maybe frozen for up to 3 months. Or, turn the delicious leftovers into a yummy casserole: stir the soup into cooked grains and bake under a light blanket of your favorite vegan cheese and/or a sprinkle of seasoned regular/gluten-free bread or cracker crumbs until heated through and the crumbs are golden and crisp.


Notes: 

Parsnips maybe subbed for some or all of the carrots. Celery is another great addition. 

8 Servings

Ingredients:

2 cups Lentils, soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed
1 medium Onion, finely diced
1 large Carrot, finely diced
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
1 or 2 Tomatoes, diced
2-3 Tbsp fresh Thyme, finely chopped (or 1-2 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/8 - 1/2 tsp Cayenne 
4-5 cups water or as needed
1 large handful Flatleaf Parsley/Cilantro, finely chopped
Lime/Lemon wedges to serve (optional)

Directions:

Sort, rinse and soak the lentils in lots of water to cover for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain soaking water and rinse.

Cook the lentils until quite tender in enough fresh water to cover. Cooking maybe done using a regular pot, a pressure cooker or an instant pot. Lentils maybe cooked a day or two ahead and reserved in the fridge until ready to prepare the soup.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. 

Add  the cumin seeds, and when they begin to change color and begin to be fragrant, add onion with a pinch of salt, and cook covered until soft but not browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes over low heat. Sprinkle a little water if the onions dry out.

Stir in the garlic and carrot and cook covered, stirring occasionally for a few seconds.

Add the tomato into the onion mixture and cook for a minute or two, stirring well until hot and well mixed.

Add the thyme, turmeric, and cayenne if using, cooked lentils with the cooking broth, salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Stir in extra boiling water as needed to get the right consistency. Bring the soup to a boil. 

When the soup comes a boil, lower the heat, and simmer partially covered for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Turn off the heat, stir in the parsley, cover, and let rest for 5-10 minutes. 

Taste the soup and add more seasonings if needed. Add the parsley or cilantro.

Serve hot by itself or over freshly cooked rice or other grains and pass lemon wedges if desired.

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Light & Easy Buckwheat Pancakes With Strawberry Coulis

These Buckwheat Pancakes With Strawberry Coulis are light and easy; they are naturally dairy, gluten and oil free! These delicious buckwheat pancakes make any breakfast truly special. This great tasting recipe is perfect for a special occasion breakfast or brunch for company as well as the family.

NOTES:

Purchased or homemade buckwheat flour maybe used. 

Depending on the amount of liquid added to the batter, the pancakes maybe thick or thin; if thick they maybe served in a stack. If made thin, they maybe rolled up with the coulis inside. The pancakes taste absolutely fabulous either way. 

Apples, pears, bananas, or blueberries maybe added to the batter just before preparing the pancakes. Instead of the strawberries, other fruit maybe prepared as a coulis.

Leftover pancakes maybe stored in the fridge or frozen for longer storage. Pancakes maybe reheated in the skillet or oven.

Buckwheat pancakes 
About 12 pancakes
3-4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Coulis:
2 cups Straberries
2-3 Tbsp Maple Sugar/Syrup
1 pinch Sea Salt
1 squeeze Lemon juice (1 tsp)

Pancakes:
1 1/2 cups Buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp ground Flax seeds
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 -2 cups unsweetened Nondairy Milk 
1 tsp Vanilla extract
3 tbsp Coconut Sugar/Maple syrup

Powdered sugar for serving
Maple Syrup for serving

DIRECTIONS:

Coulis: 

Wash and drain the strawberries. Reserve a few for garnishing. Dice the rest of the berries and place them in a bowl. Mash slightly with a fork and stir in the salt, maple sugar/syrup and lemon. Mix well and reserve.

Pancakes:

Whisk together the lemon juice, 1 cup of milk, vanilla and coconut sugar or maple syrup in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine the flour, flax seeds, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl. 

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir together just until combined adding the rest of the milk as needed to get a thick but pourable batter. Let the batter rest for about 10-15 minutes. If batter is very thick, a little more milk or water maybe added.

Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with a little oil using a paper towel. Heat the skillet over medium heat.

Prepare pancakes by pouring about 1/4 cup of the batter into the skillet; you can quickly spread the batter gently in a swirling motion with the back of  a spoon to desired thickness.

Cook until bubbles appear and burst all over each pancake and the edges lift up slightly. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute. Remove the pancake from skillet and place on platter.

Continue cooking the pancakes until all the batter is used stacking the pancakes as they are cooked.

Serve the pancakes hot with some of the coulis on top. Dust with powdered sugar. Drizzle a little maple syrup over the pancakes.

Enjoy!!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Mushroom Fazzoletti With Soft Creamy Polenta

Mushroom Fazzoletti is delicious over polenta, pasta, toast, or other grains. This recipe is my recreation of a lovely dish made with trumpet mushrooms we enjoyed in a lovely vegan restaurant in Washington DC. Although it is delicious served over any pasta or purchased/homemade regular polenta, we particularly enjoy it served over soft creamy polenta. I make the polenta in the Instant Pot which makes it a breeze to have everything ready in record time without undue attention or stirring; plenta could be made in a regular pressure cooker as well.

While the commonly available mushrooms work fine, other flavorful mushrooms would be awsome additions if you can get them. Fresh herbs and tomatoes are important for Fazzoletti, as they lend a more delicate flavor than dried or canned.

If you are serving over pasta, you can use the water in which it was cooked as needed to finish the sauce for a velvety finish.

4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Fazzoletti:
2 lbs Mushrooms - Baby Bella, Cremini, etc thinly sliced
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves fresh Garlic, minced
1 cup fresh Basil Leaves, chopped finely
Salt and Freshly ground Pepper
1 cup Vegetable Stock (or purchased)
2 heaping cups Grape, Cherry or Plum Tomatoes, diced

Soft Creamy Polenta  1 recipe to Serve
1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan or Toasted coarsely ground Almonds
Basil sprigs for garnish

METHOD:

Prepare the polenta and keep warm. 

Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic and stir for about 30-40 seconds. 

Stir in the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper; they will exude a lot of moisture. Keep cooking until the juices evaporate and the mushrooms start to brown a little.

Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they soften and get juicy. 

Stir in the basil and the veggie stock and cook until hot. Add a little water (or pasta water if making pasta) as needed so that the mushrooms are coated and there is some sauce.

Divide the hot polenta among 4 wide bowls and top each the mushroom fazzoletti.

Sprinkle the vegan Parmesan or toasted Almonds and garnish with the basil.

Serve immediately. 

Enjoy!!



Sunday, April 12, 2020

Stress-free Soft Creamy Polenta

Soft Creamy Polenta is very similar to soft Indian Upma and one of the untlimate comfort foods! Instead of slaving over the stove trying to stir the thickening polenta which bubbles and spits blobs of boiling hot stuff everywhere including the chef, just pop it in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker and... Et Viola! Delicious Polenta without stress!

Baked polenta is an alternative to this recipe; it works well but requires 1.5 hours of baking time and needs a little more oversight. 

Top warm polenta with your favorite Indian curries or Italian ragus and you will have a sumptuous dinner. Try Pepperonata, Mushroom Ragu or Borlotti Bolognese over piping hot creamy polenta for a hearty warming meal.

NOTES:

Adjust the amount of water to make the polenta firmer or softer.

The cooked polenta solidifies when cold. It maybe warmed with a small amount of water or sliced and pan-toasted and served with your favorite toppings.

Fresh or reheated polenta sprinkled with sweet spices, toasted nuts, and fresh or dried fruit makes a fantastic breakfast/brunch treat.

4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup dry Polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1 tsp Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
3-4 cups boiling water
3-4 Tbsp Fresh Herbs (Sage and Basil)
2 Tbsp Vegan Butter Sub or Olive Oil (optional)
2-4 oz Vegan Parmesan (optional)

METHOD:

Place polenta in the Instant Pot bowl. Add salt and a generous amount of pepper. 

Stir in the boiling water and whisk thoroughly to combine.

Follow manufacturer's directions to cook the polenta for 9 minutes at high pressure in the Instant Pot. When timer goes off, allow the pressure to decrease naturally and completely before opening. Alternately, use a regular pressure cooker for 9 minutes after pressurizing according to manufacturer's directions. 

Stir in the fresh herbs and any of the optional ingredients into the hot polenta. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Serve hot with additional pepper and your favorite toppings of stews or sauces.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Southwest Kale Salad With Spicy Chickpeas & Lime Dressing

Delicious Southwest Kale Salad is one of our favorite daily salads; so full of hearty ingredients, one can make a meal of it! Love Kale salads; there are so many ways to enjoy the lovely silky kale and here's one that we enjoy.

When massaged gently for a few moments, kale becomes silky, soft, and eminently edible.The massaging with a couple of drops of oil and salt tames the rough unruly kale into sweet and demure.

Notes:

Please do save the stems from kale; they are delicious stir-cooked simply or with a bit of coconut as a Thoran. The stems maybe added to soups or stews also.

The spicy chickpeas and tortilla strips maybe prepared a day ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to use; but might need to be refreshed by stir cooking for a few minutes to crisp them up a bit.

The Spicy Chickpeas and tortilla strips maybe done on stove top; stir the chickpeas with the oil and a generous pinch of salt in a skillet. When the chickpeas are dry and start getting brown spots, stir in the seasoning mix. The procedure is the same for tortilla strips also. Any extra chickpeas/tortillas strips leftover make a nice topping for soups too - Sizzling Tortilla Soup, Fiesta Soup, Blackbean Soup, etc.

Instead of making the tortilla strips, crushed purchased chips maybe used.

Cooked black beans maybe substituted for the spicy chickpeas.

If you don't have the Mexican Seasoning Mix handy, use a purchased taco seasoning mix.

4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1 large bunch Kale
a few drops Extra Virgin Olive Oil for massaging Kale
2-3 leaves Romaine Lettuce, chopped
1/4 small Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1/2 firm Pear/Apple or 1/4 small Jicama, diced
4 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, coarsely chopped

Toppings:
Lime Wedges for serving (optional)
1 Avocado, diced
1 Jalapeño, cored and thinly sliced (optional)
2 Corn on the cob, grilled OR 1 1/2 cups frozen Corn kernels
1 1/2 cups cooked Chickpeas
2 Corn Tortillas, cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Mexican Seasoning Mix
Salt and Pepper

Dressing
1-2 Limes, Juiced
1 clove Garlic, mashed
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1-2 tsp Mexican Seasoning Mix
Salt to taste

METHOD:

Heat the oven to 400 F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Drain the chickpeas thoroughly, blot dry. Place them in a bowl and add half the oil, a pinch of salt and half the Mexican seasonings.Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Put the tortilla strips in the same bowl, add the other half of the oil, a pinch of salt and half the Mexican seasonings.Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the chickpeas and tortilla pieces stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes until browned a little and beginning to crisp. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan.

If using fresh corn, grill them or cut off the cobs and pan toast until flecked with a few brown spots. If using frozen, pan toast as fresh ones. Reserve.

Make the dressing; taste to adjust seasonings and reserve.

Strip of the leaves from the stems of kale and chop. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle a few drops of the Olive oil with a pinch of salt. Squeeze and mix with fingers until the kale has softened; this should take just a few seconds. Set aside.

When ready to serve, add the rest of the salad ingredients to the kale and mix well. Drizzle some of the dressing and mix well, taste and add more as needed.

Divide the salad into shallow bowls. Top with all the toppings and pass lime wedges if desired.

Enjoy!!


Pulled Broccoli Salad With Balsamic Dressing


Pulled Broccoli Salad is the brainchild of havng to figure out how to eat healthy with a few ingredients ready at hand. We all are trying to stay and eat healthy despite being in isolation and having to make do with available ingredients.

I had a couple of handfuls of kale, half a carrot, and some broccoli and a few other odds and ends. I was trying to create different ways of making and presenting salads to make them more interesting, delicious and nutritious. On a whim, I thought of just pulling off bits of the broccoli rather than chopping .... and I really liked the way they looked. Long story short, here's the Pulled Broc Salad!

Pulled Broccoli Salad is gluten/dairy free; it has barely much oil - only the few drops to massage the kale. It was really awesome - gorgeousl colors as well as tasty - was gobbled up in record time by a very appreciative family :).

Note: if the almond slices are raw, just heat them in a small pan and stir until lightly browned and toasted. Immediately pour them into a small bowl to prevent burning in the hot pan.

Please do save the Kale stems - they are delicious stir-cooked simply or in thoran like in Radish Greens Thoran. The stems maybe added to soups or stews also.

4 Servings

Ingredients:

Salad
2 medium Stalks Broccoli
1 small Bunch Kale, torn or chopped
a few drops of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for massaging Kale
1 small bunch Arugula, sliced
1/2-1 Carrot, coarsely grated
3-4 Button Mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Orange, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
3-4 Tbsp sliced Almonds, toasted
2-3 Tbsp Sun dried Tomatoes, not in oil

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
2-3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
1 small clove Garlic, finely minced and mashed
1/2 small Shallot, finely minced
1 Tbsp Prepared Mustard
2-3  tsp Maple Syrup or Coconut Sugar (optional)

Method:

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and mix well.Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Steam or microwave the broccoli  until bright green and barely tender; I microwaved them for 90 seconds and let cool. They maybe plunged into iced water if you like to keep the broc super crunchy. I did not put them in iced water and they were quite crunchy.

While broccoli is cooling, strip of the leaves from the stems of kale and chop or tear. Save the stems for thoran or a stir-fry. Place kale in a large bowl and add just a few drops of the oil - about 4-5 - along with a pinch of salt and squeeze them gently and keep turning them with your fingers for a about half a minute until all the leaves are shiny and softened.

Add all the other salad ingredients except the orange segments and almonds to the bowl.

When broccoli is cool, pull the florets into small bits and add to bowl. Cut the stems into small bits and add them to the bowl also.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad along with any juice collected from the orange. Mix well and divide among bowls.

Top with orange pieces and the toasted almonds.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Potatoes/Yuca/Veggies With Vegan GF Huancaina Sauce

Vegan Huancaina Sauce, a lovely silky, creamy, and nicely but not overly spicy Peruvian sauce, is typically served over steamed potatoes. Yuca (aka cassava roots aka tapioca), Sweet Potatoes, and other vegetables are also delicious with the Huancaina sauce. Peruvians sometimes serve the sauce over french-fried potatoes or yuca. I love serving it over all sorts of veggies, steamed or roasted. The sauce and vegetables maybe prepared a day or two ahead. Store any leftovers to use later; the sauce will stay fresh for about 5-7 days..

This sauce is traditionally prepared with the wonderful a Peruvian yellow chile - aji amarillo; if it is available fresh or canned, add it instead of the Jalapeño and yellow bell pepper. Although usually not very spicy,  one can spice it up by adding more chiles or cayenne to taste.

The chickpeas and quinoa/ potatoes add body and silkiness to the sauce and the result is fabulous.

4 Servings

Ingredients:

Huancaina Sauce:
½ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ -1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove Garlic
1 shallot or 1/2 small Onion, chopped
½ -1 Jalapeño Chile (or more, depending on your taste)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup Cooked Chickpeas (Garbanzo)
½ cup cooked Potato/Quinoa, warm
1 cup unsweetened unflavored non-dairy milk or water 
¼ cup water (if needed)
Salt and pepper, to taste

To Serve:
2-4 regular Potatoes and/or 1-2 Yuca, cooked 
1 Sweet Potato, cooked
1-2 cups roasted Cauliflower Slabs

Optional Garnishes:
4 radishes
12 Kalamata Olives
3-4 handfuls Arugaula, Spinach, and/or baby Kale, or a mixture

Method:

Prepare the Huancaina Sauce: Cook the garlic, shallot, chile, and bell pepper until soft and slightly caramelized; cool. Drain and rinse the cashews. Process all the sauce ingredients using a good blender until smooth and silky; taste and add more of any ingredient necessary to get the right consistency and taste. The sauce should be thick to coat the veggies, yet pourable. Store the sauce in the fridge until needed.

Wash the yuca roots if using, cut into two or three pieces, peel both the outer bark-like brown layer and the inner thicker one and drop into a large bowl of water. Drain and rinse the cassava roots and add to a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until the tapioca is tender but not mushy and turn off the heat. When cool enough to handle, remove the veggies from the cooking water using a slotted spoon into a colander and drain well. Break up the tapioca pieces apart into segments and remove and discard the woody cordon in the middle.

Roast or steam the potatoes and sweet potato whole or in slices, wedges, thick juliennes, etc. Keep warm. If roasted or cooked whole, slice the potatoes into thick slabs for serving.

Gently tear the greens into bite-sized pieces. 

Divide the greens among 4 plates. Arrange equal portions of both types of the potatoes, yuca slices, and the cauliflower on top of the greens, and spoon the Huancaina sauce over them. Garnish with olives and radish slices.

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Creamy Mushroom Soup, Gluten & Dairy Free

Creamy Mushroom Soup, is so delicious and rich flavored that it is hard to believe there's no cream! The cashews and most of the mushrooms are pureed to a silky and creamy scrumptiousness. The garlicky topping gives the diner a hint of the treat that they are about to enjoy and finishes off the soup so elegantly!

Use whatever mushrooms are available, while a mixture is great (such as baby Bella, Cremini, Button etc), the soup maybe made with only one type also.
Creamy Mushroom Soup

4-6 servings

Ingredients:

SOUP:
1.5 lbs Mixed Fresh Mushrooms, sliced (reserve a few for topping)
3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
4-6 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
4 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour
4 cups Vegetable Broth or Water
1/4 cup Raw Cashews
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp Tamari or Coconut Aminos
1-2 pinches Cayenne, to taste

Garlicky Topping:
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 Shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
A handful of the mushrooms
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme
Salt & Pepper

Method:

Soak the cahews in clean water for at least 30 minutes.

Clean the mushrooms by quickly washing them, drain well, and spread on a clean towel. Slice them reserving about a cup for the topping.

Toast the rice flour and the pepper until browned and fragrant. Add the garlic to the flour and stir for a few seconds. Stir in the mushrooms and thyme. Cook stirring until mushrooms cook down a bit. Stir in the the broth or water along with the salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Drain cashews, rinse well and place in the blender with a little of the soup broth. Process until smooth. Add the soup in batches and process until smooth.

Pour the soup back into the pot and heat gently until hot and steaming. Stir in the tamari and a pinch of cayenne. Taste for seasonings and add more salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.

While the soup is cooking, heat a small skillet with the oil, garlic, shallots, mushrooms, a pinch of salt, and pepper along with the thyme. Cook stirring until mushrooms are slightly browned and caramelized. Let cool.

Divide the soup into bowls, add a little of the topping, and eat while still steaming hot!

Enjoy!!







Friday, March 6, 2020

Citrus Salad With Pistachios & Balsamic Reduction

Citrus Salad With Pistachios is a refreshing, sunny salad celebrating the abundance of delicious citrus fruits of all kinds. Mix and match your favorites to create a lovely composition that is a delight to the palate as well as the eyes!

Citrus Salad is a great as a potluck offering as well as accompaniment to any meal. Serve it cool but not cold to enjoy the fragrant fruit.

The Balsamic vinegar reduction is a simple, lovely, tangy-sweet sauce that makes anything it is drizzled on tastier. If you like a sweeter sauce, maple syrup or sugar, brown or regular sugar etc maybe added while making the reduction. Save the extras for drizzling or adding to salads, veggies, fruit, berries, etc.

Pomelo maybe used in place of the grapefruit. Kiwi fruit is another tasty and lovely addition.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Grapefruit
1 Blood Orange
1 Navel or other Orange
2 Mandarins/Tangerines
2 Sweet Limes
1/2 cup pitted Dates
1 small bunch Cilantro
1/2 cup shelled, roasted and salted Pistachios
1/2 Pomegranate, arils gathered (optional)
1 Tbsp Balsamic Reduction for drizzling (optional)

Method:

Peel and trim the citrus fruits and cut into thick slices using a sharp knife; catching and combining all the juices. Make sure to remove all white pith especially from the grapefruit. Arrange the fruit on a platter and drizzle with the juices. 

Sprinkle the cilantro, pistachios, and the pomegranate arils on top. Cover with a wrap and chill the salad until ready to serve. 

Remove the salad from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so that it is not so cold. Drizzle the balsamic reduction on top just before serving.

Balsamic Reduction

1 cup good quality Balsamic Vinegar

Heat the vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Lower the heat so the vinegar is just simmering; cook stirring ocassionally until reduced and thickened slightly. Cool and store in the fridge for up to one month.  

Enjoy!!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Southwestern Layered Salad With Chipotle Dressing

This lovely and delicious salad is fabulous in large communal bowls or individual containers; layer the colorful ingredients in glass bowls or jars so you can feast the eyes as well as the palate!

 NOTES: If freshly cooked beans are not an option, use a 15 ounce can black/pinto beans, rinsed and drained. You may use a vinaigrette or Italian dressing instead of the Chipotle dressing given below.

Salsa maybe homemade or purchased. Here are a few options for preparing at home: Salsa ISalsa II or Salsa Roja.

Vegenaise is vegan eggless mayonaise; you can use purchased or homemade.

Add the avocado just before serving.

4-6 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS:

CHIPOTLE DRESSING
½ cup Vegenaise
1 clove Garlic, finely mashed
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed Lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
1-2 Chipotle Chiles in adobo sauce
1 tsp Adobo sauce (from chipotles chiles)
1 tsp Maple syrup or Agave nectar
½ tsp ground Cumin
½ tsp salt
Unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk/beverage, as needed 

SALAD
2 cups Freshly cooked Black OR Pinto Beans
1/4 cup Salsa, homemade or purchased
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped, divided
3 cups Romaine Lettuce, thinly sliced
2 cups Fresh or Frozen Corn kernels
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 Bellpepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
½ cup Vegan Cheddar-type cheese, shredded (optional)
½ cup Manznilla Green Olives, sliced
1 Avocado, diced
1/4 cup Dressing

METHOD:

CHIPOTLE DRESSING
Place the dressing ingredients in your blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If you are not sure about the spiciness, use 1 chipotle chili for a mild dressing (remember that the flavors are diluted when mixed with the salad) and 2 or more for spicier flavor.

Thin the dressing with the non-dairy milk/beverage, 1 teaspoon at a time until just right. Taste and adjust all the ingredients necessary to get the dressing perfect. Store in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use.

SALAD
If using frozen corn, thaw to room temperature.

In a small bowl, stir together beans, salsa, and half the cilantro.

Layer the ingredinets in a glass bowl in this order: black bean mixture, lettuce, corn, tomatoes, bellpepper, cheese, olives, etc. The salad maybe prepared upto this point and reserved in the fridge upto one day ahead. 

Top with avocado and drizzle the dressing over the top when ready to serve.

Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve immediately. Pass the extra dressing at the table.

Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Artichoke & White Bean Salad

Turn frozen artichoke hearts into this fabulous salad that can be served warm, cool, or cold with just a few ingredients. You may use canned beans also; about 2 standard cans should do it. 

Ingredients:

1 cup Great Northern Beans
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
1 Lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp Olive oil
1/2 medium Onion, diced
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Ripe Tomatoes, diced
2 (9 oz) pckges frozen Artichoke Hearts
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1/2 tsp Salt, to taste
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives
8-10 fresh Basil leaves, torn
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Method:

Prepare the beans: sort, soak overnight, and rinse the beans. Cook in water to cover until soft but not mushy. Drain the beans while still warm and add the garlic, shallot, salt and pepper, and lemon to taste. 

Heat oil with the garlic and onions; when they soften and become translucent, add tomatoes, artichoke, lemon and a sprinkle of water. Cook covered for about 5-7 minutes until artichokes are done. Remove from heat, stir in  the rest of the ingredients - olives, basil, and pepper to taste.

Pour the artichoke salad into a large platter or shallow bowl and pour the marinated beans over. 

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!!



Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Waldorf Salad With Balsamic Dressing

Irresistible and treat-filled Waldorf Salad has so many colorful and favorite components – crisp apples, juicy grapes, tangy 'cheese', and sweet crisp walnuts – all topped with a delicious balsamic dressing! I love this type of salad which makes a filling meal - perfect for a lovely lunch to linger over with company or by oneself.

NOTES: The cheese and walnuts maybe prepared at home ahead of time or purchased.

4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Dressing
2-3 Tbsp olive oil 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/2 tsp sugar or Maple Syrup to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt, to taste

Salad
1 block (14-16 oz) Extra-firm Tofu, diced or coarsely chopped
1 Apple, diced
1/2 cup seedless red grapes, quartered
1/2 cup celery,  diced
6-7 cups Spinach OR mixed Baby Salad Greens
1/2 cup toasted/glazed walnuts
1/4 cup crumbled Vegan Gorgonzola cheese

METHOD:

Dressing: whisk mustard, oil and vinegar together. Add remaining ingredients, and whisk until combined. Taste and adjust the ingredients and seasonings until just right. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing maybe made a couple of days ahead.

Salad: gently toss tofu, grapes, apple, and celery together; add enough dressing (about half) to moisten. Chill until ready to serve.

Toss together the spinach or salad greens and required amount of dressing and divide among 4 plates. Divide the tofu mixture and place on top of the greens. Drizzle any leftover dressing over the salad.

Sprinkle with walnuts and Gorgonzola, and serve immediately. 

Enjoy!!