Garden of eatin’

A few shots of simple, summer meals.

From bottom to top: Swiss Chard; black and pinto beans with corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and leeks; avocado and pineapple salsa with cilantro. Homemade chips on the side.

Pickled cabbage with beans, corn, cucumber, and tomatoes, topped with guacamole. Side of sauteed zucchini and squash with cumin and oregano.

Best lettuce of the season with lemon vinaigrette, topped with fresh green pea dip.

Roasted veggies, side of harissa hummus and chard.

Spiced red lentils with cabbage and spinach AND potato-cado salad

For the cabbage and spinach: Heat Earth Balance in a dutch oven and add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, allow the seeds to pop. Then add 1 diced onion with 2 garlic cloves and saute 1-2 minutes. Add ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Add 2 cups cabbage and 2 cups spinach. Cover and cook on medium-low for 1 hour until soft. Do not add water.

For the lentils: Saute 1 diced onion with 3-4 garlic cloves and 1 inch of chopped fresh ginger. Add 1 TBL paprika, 1 TBL cayenne, and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Add 2 cups red lentils, 6 cups water, and 1 faux chicken bullion. Bring to a boil, the cook covered on medium until lentils are soft. Uncover slightly and allow lentils to thicken about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve with potato-cado salad.

This picture sucks, which is the main reason I didn’t give this dish its own post. Sorry about that.

Chop 4 yukon gold potatoes and boil 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water.

While the potatoes cook, chop 4 TBL fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup white onion, and 1 ripe avocado. Pour 2 TBL lemon juice and 2 TBL white vinegar into a small bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add onion and cilantro and mix well.

When the potatoes are done, mix them together with the avocado and salad dressing. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Super salad meal

Like most other people who write or don’t write food blogs, we’re ready to eat lighter again. This spring salad is a complete meal for nights when you don’t have time to prepare, but you want something filling and easy.

Super salad meal

2 green onions, chopped for dressing
2 TBL rice vinegar
1 TBL white vinegar
pinch of salt
1 TBL peanut butter
2 cups baby arugula
2 TBL fresh basil, chopped into ribbons
1 avocado, chopped
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh pineapple pieces

6-8 grape tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, sliced thinly
Black pepper to taste

Hot sauce to taste

Blend 2 green onions (reserve 1 for salad topping), rice vinegar, white vinegar, peanut butter, and salt with an immersion blender. Arrange arugula on plates, then layer basil, avocado slices, beans, pineapple, and reserved green onion. Pour dressing over the salad and season with black pepper and hot sauce.


We took the night off

We took the night off from testing, but we’ve been so delighted with all of Taymer’s recipes, that we ended up with a Caribbean inspired dinner anyway. We made an amazing bean soup, incorporating some of the seasonings and cooking techniques we’ve learned recently, and a zesty salad: swiss chard, oranges, avocado, hearts of palm, radishes, and a dressing made of Tay’s bajan seasoning and tahini.

Mattar tofu and spicy, crunchy salad

We were planning to eat palak tofu paneer and finally use up a bag of frozen spinach. Then we opened the freezer and realized we had already eaten the spinach. Luckily, we had a bag of frozen peas, which are much more exciting anyway. Frozen spinach just does nothing for us lately, particularly in contrast to beet greens, kale, chard, or collards.

Mattar tofu

1/2 block firm tofu, sliced, pressed for 10 minutes and dried

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp Earth Balance

1 onion diced

2 TBL tomato paste

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ginger

3 TBL cilantro (we had some in the freezer)

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1.5 – 2 cups rice milk

3/4-1 package of frozen peas (we had most of a package)

salt to taste

After you have pressed the tofu, pat it dry, and cut into bite sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven, when sizzling, fry tofu with a little salt until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add Earth Balance to the pan and saute onions until soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add spices and tomato paste, cook 2-3 minutes. Add rice milk and bring to a boil. Add tofu and peas, return to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

This crunchy salad contains sliced radishes, carrots, green onions, as well as grape tomatoes and avocado. The dressing is our special mixture of Siracha, Tofutti, spices, lemon juice, and vinegar.

Avocado and corn salsa, with black beans and rice

I would like to say I invented this most amazing of salads all by myself, but the truth is that there are lots of variations of this incredibly delicious concoction. Stef made her signature black beans and rice, which I can’t fully reveal here, but I will say that part of why it’s so good is that there is a very good proportion of beans to rice and that the texture is still fluffy, never gluey or gummy.

 

Avocado and corn salsa

1 avocado

1 large tomato

1 cup of corn (thawed if using frozen corn)

2 jalapenos

4 green onions

2 TBL lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Chop up the vegetables, stir everything together in a bowl. Let it sit in the fridge while the beans and rice cook. Serve and enjoy.

 

Vegan spinach dip with black beans and rice

I wanted a giant veggie burger with lots of gloppy toppings and a mountain of beer battered fries. However, there were no veggie burgers in the freezer and I was not going to the store as we just shopped yesterday. Also, store bought veggie burgers are kind of lame compared to delicious, homemade burgers. So while I wasted time before yoga, I decided we should have beans and rice AND some kind of creamy spinach dip. Highly skilled information professional that I am, I ignored all the cookbooks to my right and left, and set about googling such things as “spinach dip” and “vegan spinach.” The boolean operator gods smiled upon me and I thought I had two great recipes that when combined would become the world’s greatest baked dip known to vegans and omnis alike.

Again, with the howevers. First, our hand blender died. It wasn’t a total FAIL in that it still turned on, but it sounded puny and it wouldn’t actually grind up anything. We then had to resort to the cuisinart, which means getting it out of the cabinet, etc. Then nothing tasted the way I imagined it would (I don’t know why I thought something with cream cheese and shredded monteray jack would taste exactly like cashews and rice milk, but I had an idea, just roll with it.) So we added and mixed and fussed and tasted. Finally we baked it and that was that.

spinach dip