Category Archives: dressing

Greek(ish) Salad and Humous(ish)

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I really love Greek salad and humous! I love the freshness of the vegetables in the salad and I love the wholsomeness of humous. Humous, of course, is a mainstay of a vegan’s diet and I make it weekly if not more often. And I make some version of Greek salad regularly as well. I call this one Greekish salad because it has what I consider the base of a Greek salad – cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing – then has a few other things thrown in that you wouldn’t typically find in a Greek salad. Same goes with the humous – a base of chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice –  it’s a bit “ish” because I changed the type of beans. Read on to find out more.

Greekish Salad

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1 English cucumber, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

10 (or so) grape tomatoes, cut in quarters

5 green onions, diced

1 cup of quinoa, cooked

handful of chopped green cabbage (optional)

1 tsp olive oil

2 tsps red wine vinegar

2 tsps fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, pressed

1/2 tsp salt

several sprigs fresh oregano, minced (if you can get it)

Put the vegetables and quinoa in a large bowl. Whisk the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and oregano together then pour over the vegetables. Toss together.

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Humous

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1 1/2 cups navy beans

2 tbsps tahini

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of 1/2 lemon

zest of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for at least 5 minutes until very smooth, adding water 2 tbsps at a time. I like my humous to be not too thick and not too runny.

 

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Soup and Salad From Thug Kitchen

This week, I checked out Thug Kitchen 101 from the library. This is a vegan cookbook written in an interesting style. F-bombs throughout, I had to read it in small doses as the “thug” language was rather jarring! Once I got over the liberal use of swear words, I was able to read the recipes and found several good ones that I must try over the 3 week loan period. I started with these two – Southwestern Salad and Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup.

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Southwestern Salad

Dressing:

1 avocado

1/4 cup chopped green onions, white part

1/2 cup corn kernels

3 tbsps. fresh lime juice

2 tbsps. rice vinegar (original recipe calls for 3 tbsps.)

2 tbsps. olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp chili powder

Salad:

2+ cups short pasta, cooked

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

1 cup corn kernels

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 tomato, chopped (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups mixed into salad)

(original recipe calls for 1-2 jalapenos)

Place all the dressing ingredients in the blender and blend for 5 minutes until very smooth. Combine cooked pasta, black beans, corn, carrot, onion in a large bowl. Pour in about 2/3’s of the dressing and toss. Fold in cilantro. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes. At serving time, add the chopped tomatoes to the salad.

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Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup

(See notes below the recipe for the adaptations I made).

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1 small onion, diced

1 yam, diced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

2 tsps. ground turmeric

1 1/2 tsps. dried basil

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp. tamari or Braggs

5 cups vegetable broth

1 can diced tomatoes

1 cup small pasta

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups kale

2 tbsps. lemon juice

Water saute onion for about 4 minutes over medium high. Add yam, pepper and jalapeno (if using) and cook for another 4 minutes, adding a tbsp. of water at a time to prevent sticking. Add turmeric, basil, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and tamari and stir for about 1 minute, allowing the vegetables to be coated in the spices. Add the broth and tomatoes and simmer for 8 minutes until yam is tender. Add the pasta, chickpeas and kale and simmer until pasta is cooked and kale is soft and wilted. Stir in lemon juice just before serving and warm through.

Notes:

  • I had a little bit of leftover chickpea and kale curry so I stirred this into the soup

  • I omitted the chickpeas (because there were chickpeas in the leftover curry I added)

  • I used 2 fresh, whole tomatoes, skinned, instead of the canned tomatoes

  • I omitted the pasta and used 1/3 cup red lentils instead which helped to thicken the soup nicely and provided some good nutrition

  • I used 1/2 of a yam plus 4 small, new potatoes, diced, instead of a whole yam

  • I omitted the red bell pepper

  • I omitted the basil and paprika because I didn’t want to change the flavour profile provided by the leftover chickpea curry

  • I reduced the broth to 4 cups

  • I subbed 3 large handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped, for the kale, because I didn’t have any kale, but had lots of lovely, fresh spinach!

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Another Dinner Party – White Bean Salad and Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Pie

This summer saw a few dinner parties. I posted about the party “Tom” and I had here. The next dinner party was a casual bday celebration outside on some friends’ patio. It was a potluck – not in the literal sense where everyone brings whatever, and all guests take their chances on what food is available, but where the hosts provided the main course and the guests brought complementary food. Our hosts made Puttanesca sauce with pasta, so I thought I’d bring a salad. But what kind of salad goes with the strong flavours of Puttanesca sauce? Here’s what was recommended by Moira Hodgson in Oprah Magazine:

White Bean Salad

(adapted from Moira Hodgson)

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3 cups cooked navy beans

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1/4 red onion, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsps. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1/2 tsp salt (or more)

sprinkling of black pepper

Gently toss the beans, bell pepper, onion and tomato together. Whisk the dressing ingredients together then pour over the beans. Gently mix together and let marinate in fridge for a couple of hours. Bring to room temperature to serve.

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I also decided to bring a dessert. I have been making my chocolate mousse pie for some time now, but I wanted to add in another layer … literally another layer, but also another layer of flavour. I had some late season local strawberries in the fridge so I created this:

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Pie

(my own creation)

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2 packages Oreo cookie type cookies

2 tbsps. coconut oil

1 recipe chocolate mousse

  • 1 full package (200 grams) organic fair trade baking chocolate (I use Camino semi-sweet)

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  • 1 package silken tofu

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla (liquid or powder)

  • pinch sea salt

1 cup strawberries

1 tbsp. maple syrup

several strawberries cut in slices

Crumble 1/2 of the cookies in a blender, then transfer to a pie plate. Crumble the other 1/2 of the cookies in a blender with the coconut oil until well mixed. Mix the dry and oiled cookie crumbs together and press up the sides and into the bottom of the pie plate.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

Slip the tofu into a pot of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes (helps get rid of any beany taste).

Put the tofu into the blender with the milk and blend until smooth. Add in the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt and blend for 2-3 minutes until very smooth. Pour the chocolate mousse into the pie plate on top of the cookie crumb base. Put in fridge for an hour or so until the mousse cools and firms up.

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Put the cup of strawberries into a blender and blend until liquid. Add in the maple syrup and blend briefly. Ladle the strawberry puree onto the chocolate mousse, letting the puree spread on its own to the edges.

Top with sliced strawberries.

Chill in fridge for at least an hour. Serve straight from the fridge.

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Chopped Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing

Salads are pretty great, don’t ya think? I mean, there’s gotta be an infinite number of ways you can combine some vegetables, maybe some grains or some noodles, possibly some fruit. And then there’s the dressing. You can take your same ol’, same ol’ salad and add a new dressing and it’s not so same ol’ anymore, is it? Or you can take your standby dressing and pour it on a different base of vegetables and you’ve got something new! Take this salad for example. I introduced this salad way back in April 2014 – a chopped salad with all the ingredients arranged separately in the bowl – and, last week I recreated it with a few different vegetables and a new dressing. Voila! A new salad!

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The salad ingredients choices are my own, but the dressing is inspired by Minimalist Baker’s Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing.

(http://minimalistbaker.com/mexican-quinoa-salad-with-orange-lime-dressing)

Chopped Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing

(Ingredient amounts depend on how many servings you want to make. The dressing makes about 4 servings.)

quinoa, cooked

red cabbage

carrots

orange bell pepper

green onion

lettuce

cucumber

Dressing

1/2 ripe avocado

juice of 1/2 lime  (3 tbsps.)

juice of 1/2 orange (3 tbsps.)

2 tsp agave nectar

1 tsp hot sauce

1/4 tsp cumin

a sprinkle of cayenne (less than 1/8 tsp)

2-3 tbsps. water

Arrange the quinoa and vegetables in individual bowls. I like to chop up one ingredient and arrange in the bowls, then chop up the next ingredient and arrange in bowls and so on.

Put all the dressing ingredients except the water in a tall container and blend with an immersion blender. When things start to get too thick, add in the water, 1 tbsp. at a time until the dressing blends smoothly and is pourable but not runny.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients. Admire your artistry, then toss everything together in your personal bowl!

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