elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: vegan

IMG_6081Are you tired of sautéing or steaming your green beans? Well, the temperature finally dropped below 80 degrees, so now is a great time to make some soup.

This is a protein-packed vegan soup with a mild flavor and very few ingredients.

Thank you to Chocolate & Zucchini for this wonderful recipe, which I adapted only a little bit based on what I had in my fridge this morning!

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onions, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

12 baby carrots,  sliced

About a pound of green beans, rinsed and trimmed

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup vegetable broth

3 cups water

1.5 cups sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onions and carrots, and cook over medium heat, stirring every now and then, until softened and very lightly golden. Add the garlic and stir for minute. Add the green beans to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  2. Pour in the broth and water, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. In the meantime, pour the sliced almonds in a dry skillet. Set over medium-high heat and toast for about two minutes, stirring constantly and watching closely, until golden and fragrant. Set aside in a bowl to prevent overtoasting.
  3. When the vegetables are soft, add the  almonds to the pot and stir well. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Use a high powered or immersion blender to mix all ingredients until velvety smooth. Taste, adjust the seasoning, reheat over gentle heat if necessary, and serve.

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This Japanese-inspired dressing is good on top of most fresh vegetables. If you use less water, it can make a great dip, too. I used this recipe on Epicurious, and only adjusted the amounts of each ingredient. Also, rather than use both a food processor and a blender, I put all the ingredients in the Vitamix at the same time and blended for about a minute until smooth. 

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water (or more to thin out as necessary)

It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so. The salad in the picture has lettuce, roma beans, cherry tomatoes, sprouts, and thinly sliced cucumbers. I actually think a great appetizer would be thicker cucumber slices with a dollop of this orange gold on top.


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This post features a bunch of recipes. Not only is there the salad and dressing, but I also want to share  this simple way to make baked chips. I served it with leftover vegan cashew avocado “cream” from these incredible tofu tacos I discovered on Love and Lemons. 

To make the salad (I measured nothing):

Put some chopped romaine lettuce in a bowl.

Top with the following: I chose to do it cobb-salad style, but you can toss it all together, too. Go loco.

  • radishes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grilled corn (Soak it first for about a half an hour. Grill on medium-high for about 10 minutes, rotating a few times. Then, let it cool and cut it off the cob)
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped red bell peppers
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • drained black beans
  • optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • You can also do: avocado, jicama, etc.

Basic cilantro-lime dressing:

Blend the following until smooth:

  • 2 handfuls of cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • a little bit of honey (or agave or sweetener of your choice)
  • salt/pepper
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • water to thin out as needed

For the chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare oil: Mix together a few tablespoons of olive oil with spices of your choice. I did a few shakes of cumin and paprika, and then a few pinches of salt.
  3. Put a stack of corn tortillas on a cutting board and cut them into sixths (first cut in half and then cut each half into thirds)
  4. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on a cookie sheet (no overlapping) and brush both sides with the oil mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy.
  5. Serve with salad and dip of choice.

This cashew pesto is really easy, and can be put on anything. It complemented smoky grilled eggplant.

All measurements are approximate, so adjust according to taste.

Ingredients:
1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least an hour
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
A handful of basil
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Water to thin out as needed (1/2 cup?)
1/2 t salt

Blend all ingredients until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.

For the eggplant…

Turn heat on grill to medium/high.

Slice into planks and brush with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Grill for 4-5 minutes a side.

Wrap in foil for 10 minutes to evenly cook the eggplant.

To serve, spoon some pesto on the plate and place a few slices of eggplant on the pesto.Top with basil or fresh slices of tomato.

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It was one of those perfect-weather weekends in Brooklyn. Even though yesterday included a devastating playoff loss for the  Nets, nothing was going to bring me down. We were so inspired by the weather that we grilled for the first time. You can roast this asparagus in the oven if a grill is not nearby. This recipe makes more than enough dressing for 1 bunch of asparagus, and I figure it would taste great on any green salad throughout the week. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 T honey or brown sugar
  • 2 T peeled and minced ginger (I’m a big fan of the ready-to-go minced ginger in glass jars)
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • sesame seeds, for garnish (optional) (Really, everything is optional…let’s be honest here)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody stems removed

Directions:

  1. Heat a grill to high heat.
  2. Place the first 7 ingredients (through the sesame oil) in a food processor (a mini one works) and blend until smooth. Add water to thin out if necessary. Set aside.
  3. Lightly coat asparagus with cooking spray or a touch of olive oil, and put in a grill basket. Heat on a grill for 2-4 minutes, shaking the basket once or twice, until spears are slightly tender and starting to brown. Remove from grill.
  4. Place asparagus in a large bowl, and coat with a few tablespoons of the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using, and serve.

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As a follow-up from yesterday, here is a flavorful and simple asparagus recipe. This makes enough for 4 servings. Thanks to Bev Cooks for this recipe. I discovered that green lentils make for a nice weeknight meal because the whole thing took less than 30 minutes. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green lentils
  •  2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 Tbs. freshly minced fresh ginger
  •  1 Tbs Indian curry powder
  •  1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  •  1 bunch kale, chopped
  •  1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  •  1 lemon
  •  coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the onion and saute until it starts to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook the spices for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the asparagus and saute until bright green, 2 minutes. Add the kale and continue to saute until wilted, another 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the lentils and add them to the kale mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with lots of cilantro and a good squeeze of the lemon juice. Add more salt to taste.
  5. Serve with more cilantro and lemon juice

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Here’s another vegan winner from Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It was refreshing and well-balanced, with a little bit of heat (especially since we kept all the seeds in the serrano pepper). This salad can be a meal by itself, but we had some edamame with it for a little more protein.

Ingredients:

  • One 8-ounce package of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/2 cup thinly shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 1/4 cup thinly julienned snow peas
  • 2 carrots, thinly julienned, or shredded
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat sprouts, sunflower sprouts, or pea shoots (my choice), plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted (just realized I didn’t toast mine…oops!), plus more for garnish

For the dressing: Whisk the following ingredients in a small bowl and set aside:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave (I used honey, so this recipe is only mostly vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • a tiny bit of minced chile pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the buckwheat according to the package instructions. Do not overcook; buckwheat is very temperamental and falls apart if cooked too long. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking further. 
  2. Toss the cooked noodles with cabbage, red and yellow bell pepper, snow peas, carrots, sprouts, and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl. Set aside some sprouts and sesame seeds for a garnish.
  3. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad, toss gently, and serve.
  4. Before serving, garnish with leftover sprouts and sesame seeds.