Tag Archives: side dishes

Mango Summer Salad

13 May

summer salad

Ingredients: (salad) romaine lettuce, baby spinach, red onion, radish, champagne mango, avocado, cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, (dressing) olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cherry rhubarb jam, salt, pepper, garlic, and basil leaves.

It isn’t precisely summer, yet, but it’s close enough!

Combine 2 romaine hearts and a small bag of baby spinach in a large bowl. Chop 1 mango, 1 avocado and a few cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice 3 radishes and  a little red onion. Add to salad with 1/2 cup of gorgonzola and toss.

For dressing, blend 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, a spoonful of jam, 1 clove of garlic, 2 basil leaves, salt, and pepper in a blender till smooth. Pour over salad, toss, and serve.

Experiment: Try arugula instead of spinach. Try pear or grapes instead of mango. If you don’t have fresh fruit, try craisins, dried cherries, or dried apricots. Sprinkle with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. For more salad dressings, see Ranch Dressing Et Al.

Tofu Veggie Fritters

4 Mar

Tofu Veggie Fritters

Ingredients: Russet potatoes, zucchini, carrot, tofu, green onions, dried parsley, smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, dried dill, vital wheat gluten, salt, pepper, milled flaxseed, water, and oil.

You will also need: cheesecloth

Shred 4 russet potatoes, 1 medium zucchini, and 1 medium carrot. Set aside in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 8 ounces extra firm tofu (frozen, thawed, rinsed, with the liquid squeezed out, crumbled to resemble bread crumbs) with 4 green onions (minced), 1/2 TBSP dried parsley, 1/4 TSP smoked paprika, 1 TSP onion powder, 1/2 TSP granulated garlic, and 1 TSP dried dill. Next, place the shredded veggies in sturdy cheese cloth and squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can. Combine the shredded veggies with the tofu and herbs. Stir in 2 TBSP milled flaxseed whisked, with 6 TBSP warm water (this replaces egg as a binder for the fritters) and 2 TBSP vital wheat gluten. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Finally, using a 1/3 cup, scoop the mixture into a well heated frying pan with the cooking oil of your choice. (I used just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and heated it slightly below medium/high.) Flatten them to a 1/4 inch thickness with a spatula. Don’t fry more than a few at a time. If you crowd the pan, they won’t get as  crispy. The fritters should cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed, and keep cooked fritters in a warm oven while you fry the rest

This will serve a family of 7, like mine!

Experiment: Use a different kind of potato. Try different herbs, such as basil, rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano, sage, etc. Add curry powder, cumin, and raisins (omitting the dill) to the batter for a middle eastern taste. Spice them up with some cayenne, red chili paste, or wasabi. These can be served with almost any meal. Just switch up the seasonings to fit! 

Vegan Ranch

Surprise! Double recipe! 

In a blender, combine: 3/4 cup raw, soaked cashews, 1/3 cup plain almond milk, onion powder, garlic powder, chopped onion, 1/2 a lemon’s juice, 1 TBSP white wine vinegar, 1 baby dill pickle, 1/2 TSP dill pickle juice, salt, pepper, and a swirl of agave nectar.

Play with the amounts of some of the ingredients.  I don’t really measure when I make it.  I just know what flavors my family likes most. It’s fun to make it how you think it should taste.  As long as you have the base, you can be creative with the flavors!
Experiment: Try using different herbs like parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary, or basil. Use fresh cucumber instead of pickle. Substitute almond milk for another milk.

Kale and Swiss Chard Salad

18 Feb

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Ingredients: Kale, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, agave nectar, garlic, sea salt, fresh ground pepper corn, and water.

Toss 3 cups kale and 3 cups Swiss chard, torn into bite size pieces, in a large bowl. In a high power blender (I used my Vitamix), blend 1 cup pomegranate seeds, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 TBSP agave nectar, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 TSP sea salt, 3 turns fresh ground pepper corns, and 1 TBSP water for 30-60 seconds. Strain out the pulp from the seeds through a fine wire strainer.  Pour into a jar with 1/4 cup grape seed/olive oil and shake until combined. Pour as much dressing as desired over the kale and Swiss chard. Mix well and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Experiment: Use a different kind of vinegar. Add the garlic at the end for a more intense garlic taste. Use a different kind of oil, or use honey as an alternative sweetener. Add your favorite fresh herb before blending dressing for a twist. Top with your favorite cheese or sliced avocado before serving.

Creamy Thai Chowder

11 Feb

After a long break, the creative juices are flowing and we’re trying again! This is the first of (hopefully) more recipes to come. ~Mindy

Ingredients: Potato, butternut squash, yams, sweet onion, garlic, large mushrooms, scallions, vegetable broth, honey, nut butter, oil, yellow curry paste, coconut milk, salt, and Sriracha chili sauce.

Peel and cube 1 potato, 1 butternut squash, and 2 yams. Peel and slice 1 sweet onion and 4 cloves garlic. Combine all and sauté in 2 TBSP oil. Then cover in vegetable broth and simmer in 2 TBSP honey and 1 TBSP yellow curry paste till vegetables are mushy. Puree 1/2 simmered vegetables. Mash remaining and combine. Add 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk blended with 2 TBSP nut butter. Sauté 3 large chopped mushrooms in 1 TBSP oil. Add to soup along with 4 chopped fresh scallions. Season with salt and Sriracha chili sauce.

Optional: Garnish with cilantro, chopped peanuts, or fresh basil.

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Experiment: Try simmering thai red chilies in with the vegetables (remove before pureeing), or add a few spoonfuls of Savory Cilantro Sauce for a spicy kick.

Potato Soup

15 Nov

Ingredients: Potatoes, onion, olive oil, granulated garlic, sea salt, basil, spinach, dried red pepper flakes, chicken, and chicken stock.

This tasty, slightly spicy, soup is quick and easy to make. It literally took me less than thirty minutes from start to finish. It would make a great lunch with a side salad or served as an appetizer with pasta for dinner.

Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add six peeled and cubed russet potatoes, half of a diced onion, half a teaspoon of granulated garlic, one to two teaspoons of dried red pepper flakes, and half a teaspoon sea salt. Cook this for about eight minutes, stirring often.

Stir in one cup of chopped fresh basil, two cups of chopped fresh spinach, and one cup of chopped, pre-cooked chicken breast.  (I use leftover roasted chicken from the night before.) Pour in just enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for another fifteen to twenty minutes until the potatoes are soft but not quite falling apart.

Depending on the flavor of your chicken stock, you may need to add more salt to taste.

Experiment: Add fresh red bell peppers. Try kale instead of spinach. Use cooked Italian ground sausage instead of chicken. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end for an added twist. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.