Potato-Zucchini Salad

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

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Okay, so maybe potato salad is SO LAST SEASON – but if you’re anything like me, then you probably still have a few stray zucchinis languishing at the bottom of your produce drawer. And as awesome as Baked Zucchini Sticks may be, a girl can only batter so many slices of zucchini. Enter: the Potato-Zucchini Salad from Simple Recipes for Joy!

I never would have thought to dress zucchinis up with Vegenaise a la potato salad, but it totally works! The mix is approximately half potatoes and half zucchinis, with a few stray green beans thrown in to liven things up. Once you add the mayo and spices, the potatoes and zucchinis are (almost) indistinguishable.

The seasonings are pretty basic – just mayo to taste, plus lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper – so I embellished with some of my own potato salad favorites:

6 tablespoons Vegenaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dill
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 red onion, finely diced
a dash of black pepper
a dash of lemon peel

Served with dill pickles on the side, natch.

In addition to the combination of potatoes and zucchini, I also love that all the veggies are steamed, which is way easier than my usual method of boiling potatoes for salad. You just need two baskets and 25 minutes and voilà! – soft, tender potatoes. And the beans – steamed for just a few minutes – add a satisfying crunch to the dish.

Carbs & Rec: Salad & Other Disgusting Things

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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SALAD. If there’s a food more universally reviled in Pawnee, I’d be hard-pressed to name it. (Dog laxative waffles, maybe?) From the manliest of meat-eaters to even those government employees who ought to know better, the cast of Parks & Rec never misses a moment to hate on leafy green meals.

First, we have the usual suspect: Ron Swanson, who refuses to eat the food that his food eats.

Chris: Ron, do you like some salad?
Ron: (giggling) Since I am a rabbit, no I do not.
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Chickpea Salad Sammies

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

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Another winner from The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Perfected Chickpea Salad Sandwiches! The best part about this recipe is how quick and easy it is to prepare – I think I spent more time mashing chickpeas than anything else – thus making it perfect for a weeknight meal in a pinch, particularly when you’ve had a hard day at work and need to smash some of the aggression out. The secret is in the dill – well, assuming you don’t hate the stuff – so don’t skimp!

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Betty Goes Vegan with a Big Greek Salad

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

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I swore I wouldn’t give in to temptation – I have more than enough vegan cookbooks to keep me busy clear through Vegan MoFo 2015, yo! – and oh, how quickly I caved. I did it. I bought a copy of Annie & Dan Shannon’s Betty Goes Vegan. With FIVE HUNDRED “classic” comfort food recipes, veganized. At first glance, it’s kind of like Vegan Junk Food, but hella thicker. Vegan junk food heaven, here I come.

In my defense, Amazon had a great discount on it, and I needed to buy a second book to get the free shipping deal, so there you go. (The other purchase? A boxed set of The Uglies, also on deep discount. Five books for under $40, yay me. In all seriousness though I miss the public library something awful. Our small town doesn’t have a library – it keeps getting voted down, boo! – and once Shane started working at home full-time, the KCMO library became more of a drive than it’s worth. I keep joking that his new boss oughta give him a book allowance. Le sigh.)

Somewhat ironically, the first recipe I tried was on the healthy side: Greek Dressing, enjoyed on a bed o’ spinach, black and Kalamata olives, carrots, and red bell peppers. Impromptu lunch, I guess I’m doing it right?

Tasty, though the lemon pepper wasn’t as strong as I expected. I ended up topping the salad with an extra 1/8 teaspoon of the stuff.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go drool over the pizza and pasta sections.

Iron Chef/Eat to the Beat: "Jalapeño Face" Spicy Waldorf Salad & Iggy Pop and the Stooges

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

 

The song: “I Want to Be Your Dog” by Iggy Pop and the Stooges, performed live at Rock the Waldorf Astoria 2010 (lyrics)

The foodstuff: “Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad (recipe below)

The connection: Is improv for Iron Chef.

 

'Jalapeno Face' Spicy Waldorf Salad for Iron Chef (0031)

 

As tempted as I was to make another pizza for this week’s Iron Chef challenge (hot peppers, sunflower seeds, and grapes!), I ix-nayed the idea-ay, since we literally just made two pizzas yesterday – and have the leftovers to prove it. Instead, I decided to go the healthy route with a Waldorf salad. (Which is to say, Shane had salad for dinner whilst watching me chow down on pizza, ’cause hot peppers? Not my scene. HE’S A SAINT.)

Though I eat a ton of salad, I almost never follow a recipe proper. For me, it’s as easy as tossing all my favorite veggies and toppings together in a ginormous Tupperware bowl (mere dinnerware cannot contain my Big Salads!) and getting my nom on. Before today, I had only the vaguest idea of what goes into a Waldorf salad.

According to the Wikis, “A Waldorf salad is a salad traditionally made of fresh apples, celery and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise, and usually served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal. […] Other ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, grapes, and dried fruit (e.g. dates or raisins) are sometimes added. Updated versions of the salad sometimes change the dressing to a seasoned mayonnaise or a yogurt dressing.”

The “Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad* I came up with is a mix of old and new. It’s got all the classic fixins of a Waldorf salad: greens, apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, and mayo – as well as a few new additions: spicy, jalapeño-roasted sunflower seeds and an equally spicy jalapeño mayo dressing. A mix of sweet and spicy, the “Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad is not for the faint of tongue!

Pro tip: The mayo is just my go-to DIY Nayonaise recipe with some diced jalapeños thrown in. You can just blend some hot peppers with your own favorite vegan mayo, if you’d rather. Make a whole batch of the stuff, or just enough for the salad – it’s super-flexible.

Paired with Iggy Pop because he and The Stooges played the Waldorf-Astoria (the birthplace of today’s meal) when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. That, and Iggy Pop is all the awesome.

 

'Jalapeno Face' Spicy Waldorf Salad for Iron Chef (0026)

 

“Jalapeño Face” Spicy Waldorf Salad

Ingredients

a bed of leafy greens
diced apples
diced celery
green grapes
walnuts
jalapeño-roasted sunflower seeds (see recipe below)
spicy vegan mayo (see recipe below)

Directions

In a large bowl, put down a layer of greens. Top with the apples, celery, grapes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and mayo and enjoy!

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Vegan Junk Food Up the Wazoo!: Creamy Ranch Dressing

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

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So here we have a batch of the Creamy Ranch Dressing from Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food. Super-yummy, and very close in taste to its dairy counterpart – or so the husband tells me. (This is the first ranch dressing I’ve tried, vegan or otherwise. Look out Thousand Islands, you’ve got competition!)

The name of the recipe is a little deceptive, actually, as Gold gives you options for creating both a dressing and a dip. You begin by making a sort of “spice packet” with garlic, onion, chives, and other goodies. (This, in turn, makes about 6 batches worth of dip/dressing.) Next, the base: one part vegan mayo to one part vegan sour cream. (There’s also a recipe for the latter, fyi. I thought I saw one for mayo, too, but I can’t seem to find it now!) Mix in a tablespoon of the spices and voilà! – you’ve got dip! Prefer dressing instead? Simply water it down with some soy milk.

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The taste of the dressing pairs especially well with sundried tomatoes and bacon bits, imho. I’ve got to find a way to work these into the recipe. I’m inclined to add the bacon bits to the spice packet, so they get nice and pulverized; but the sundried tomatoes might fare better when added at the last minute, when you’re actually making the dip/dressing. I wonder how well the base will soak up the flavor of the tomatoes if it’s allowed to sit for several days? THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT. I smell an experiment!

The dressing, though? Still makes for a nice dip, especially when chilled:

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(If you’re wondering why there are so many damned saltines around, it’s because they’re an ingredient in the spice. Seriously!)

Last night, having depleted my salad reserves, I was snacking on some potato chips and ranch dressing over the kitchen counter* when suddenly a few of the dogs started barking at me. Out of nowhere! “Put down the chips, fatty, it’s eleven o’clock!” I’m pretty sure that’s what they were saying; they’re super-rude like that. Mags especially.

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True story!

* While watching – shhhh! don’t tell! – Toddlers & Tiaras. Two of the prizes in the featured pageant? PUPPIES! Freaking PUPPIES! Gifting animals with the advantage of advanced planning is bad enough, but handing them out as door prizes? WTF! How do you know whether the winner even wants a dog? I mean, the kids do, obvs – the temper tantrums and cryfests from the losers were evidence enough – but what about their parents? You know, the ones who will actually (hopefully) be caring for these living, breathing, sentient creatures? Just when you thought the train wreck couldn’t possibly get any more twisted. Oy.

Iron Chef #3: Vegan Chicken Cashew Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

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Upon setting eyes on this week’s Iron Chef Challenge ingredient – coconut! – my mind immediately went to sweets. Coconut ice cream! (Talk about your no-brainers.) Raw coconut balls! Chocolate chip cookies coated in coconut shreds! Chocolate coconut candy, à la Almond Delights! Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! Oh, the possibilities!

And then reality set in and I opted for practicality – which, for someone with two bags of salad in the fridge set to expire soon, equals salad dressing. Coconut and lime are a natural pairing, so coconut and lime it was. Silken tofu and coconut milk form the base of this dressing, while lemon and lime juice give it that sweet tropical kick. Add in a splash of coconut extract for a little extra coco-nuttiness, and you’re good to go!

You can either use this as a salad dressing – in the picture above, it’s nestled on a bed of leafy greens, along with some shredded carrots, cashews and vegan chicken strips (Morningstar Farms Chik’n Strips, leftovers from the Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup I made on Thursday – recipe coming soon!) – or as a condiment, e.g. on a vegan chicken sammie. For a thinner or thicker consistency, tinker with the tofu-to-coconut milk ratio before adding the seasonings. (As written, the recipe makes a dressing similar in consistency to ranch.) This particular configuration yields about three cups worth, which I’m guessing you can divide and freeze for later use. But I haven’t tested that idea out yet, so experiment at your own risk!

Major props to the husband, who helped with the taste testing. I’m not all that adventurous, so it helps to have a partner who has all the fussiness of a garbage disposal!
 

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“Put the Lime in the Coconut” Salad Dressing

Ingredients

12 ounces silken tofu
1.5 cups coconut milk, room temp
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons parsley

Directions

1. In a blender or food processor, combine the silken tofu and coconut milk and process until it’s smooth and creamy.

If you’d like to tinker with the consistency of the dressing, add the coconut milk a half a cup at a time; the more milk you add, the thinner the dressing will be.

2. Add in the lemon juice, lime juice, coconut extract and parsley and process until well blended. Most likely you’ll need to stop once or twice to scrape off the sides of the bowl as you go.

Since this dressing is suited to my husband’s tastes – and your preferences may differ – you may want to add the seasonings in smaller increments, adjusting the amounts to your liking!

3. Enjoy drizzled on a colorful salad or spread on a vegan sammie! Store any leftover dressing in an airtight container and consume within several days.
 
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Sometimes vegans do eat salad

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

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…BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING DELICIOUS!

omnomnomnom crunch

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Four-Bean Salad

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

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Cold, no-cook salad is really more of a summertime snack – and, in point o’ facts, this post has been sitting in my drafts folder since June (!) – but what the hey. Sometimes you just need a fast, no hassle meal, no matter the season. Minus the epic gas such a bean-heavy dish is bound to give you, this Four-Bean Salad is just the trick.
 
Four-Bean Salad

Ingredients

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cans green beans + liquid
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can whole black olives

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, and liquid from the green beans and mix well. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and black beans and add those, as well as the green beans and black olives (minus the “juice”), and mix well. Add extra red wine vinegar and sugar to taste. Serve cold or immediately, at room temp.

Optional: Sub in your own favorite beans in place of the kidney and/or black beans.
 

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Summertime NomNomNom: "Tastes Like Pickles!" Potato Salad

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Update, 7/4/10: Upon reaching the bottom of the bowl (which happened several weeks ago, fwiw), I discovered that this potato salad recipe makes way more “sauce” than you’ll need. So you’ll either want to toss in a few extra potatoes. OR. (And this may be a radical suggestion.) Proceed as directed, and use the extra sauce thusly: 1) as a dip for potato chips (it transforms plain ole chips into a yummy DIY salt and vinegar flavor – and makes salt and vinegar chips that much more pucker-y; or 2) as an improv baked potato topping. Whichever you choose, total NOMness will ensue!

——————–

‘Cuz nothing screams “happy summertime, vegan bitches!” like egg-free potato salad! Except, maybe, an offensive PETA billboard, conveniently erected beachside so as to anger as many vacationers as possible. Potato, potahtoe.

This recipe is based on the super-yummy – but disappointingly pickle-deficient – Perfect Summertime Potato Salad recipe from VegWeb.

“Tastes Like Pickles!” Potato Salad

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Ingredients

6 large russet potatoes (or an equal amount of red potatoes)
1/4 red onion
6 large carrots, divided in half (3 and 3)
1 to 2 large dill pickles (or 4 to 6 large spears)
1/4 cup pickle “juice” (i.e., the liquid in the pickle jar)
1 to 1 1/4 cups vegan mayonnaise (Veganaise or similar)
3 to 4 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons dill (fresh or in a jar)
1 tablespoon sea salt
salt and pepper to taste

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VeganMoFo, Day 9: (Boca) Burger "Salad" / "Garbage" Plate

Friday, October 9th, 2009

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I’m feeling a little strapped for time today, so I’m gonna cheat a little and riff off of Shannon’s latest VeganMoFo post. Instead of Boca Burgers, onions and mushrooms over rice or potatoes, I give you: Boca Burger salad!

Start off by heating a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat; toss in a few tablespoons of garlic and sauté until light brown. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes – whatever veggies catch your fancy, basically – along with crumbled Boca Burgers or the faux burger patty of your choice. When done, serve in a bowl over a piece of crumbled, torn-up, or otherwise pulverized piece of freshly baked bread. (Sliced bread won’t cut it, so don’t even try, mkay?) Garnish with mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, Nayonaise, lettuce, tomatoes, Smart Bacon, pickles, relish, and/or whatever else you’d put on a whole “burger” sandwich. Voilà! You’ve just made a Boca Burger salad!

If you’re feeling especially ravenous, eat your salad on a plate (or in an extra-large bowl) with a side of (vegan) french fries, hash browns, mac salad, mac and cheese, baked beans, and/or faux hot dog or sausage links, and you’ve got yourself a homemade Garbage Plate! (Rochester native here, representin’!)

BTW, the Boca-olive-tomato-garlic-mushroom combo tastes divine served over pasta. Just add a little more olive oil than you might otherwise, to dress the pasta up.

Okay, so I’m pretty certain I’ve negated the healthfulness of my previous VeganMoFo posts with this one not-quite-a-recipe. All in a morning’s work! Alka Seltzer, anyone?

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Tahini Tofu Salad (for dogs & their people)

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Another dog food recipe, again suitable both for dog-kids and their human parents. My husband loves this dish (even with the watered-down tahini dressing) – and I love how the dishwasher smells when filled with tahini-soaked dishes. Win!

Tahini Tofu Salad (for dogs & their people)

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Ingredients

For the salad:

1 16 ounce bag of dried navy beans OR 6 cups cooked navy beans OR 3 pounds cooked navy beans OR 4 16 ounce cans of navy beans
4 bricks of tofu
2 cups mixed vegetables (I used frozen carrots, corn, green beans and peas)
2 cups broccoli
2 cups unsalted peanuts
1 cup raw sunflower seeds

For the tahini dressing:

1 cup tahini
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups water

(Adapted from Tahini “Goddess” Dressing at About.com.)

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VeganMoFo, Day 5: The Big (Vegan) Salad

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Being a lazy, tofu-averse vegan, I love me a good, big salad. No cooking, baking, measuring, instructions, books, directions or fuss involved. With a salad, nearly anything goes (as long as it’s veg*n, of course!). Prep time is nil; ditto for clean up.

Plus, I just love the phrase: Big Salad. Yes, I’m a Seinfeld fan to the nth degree! I loved my greens well before The Big Salad hit the air, but somehow Elaine just made salads seem that much cooler.

Here’s the Big (Vegan) Salad I feasted on last night:

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There are some greens on the bottom, of course; I started out with some Dole bagged salad, American style, with iceberg, romaine, red cabbage, carrots and radishes. Then I added some baby carrots, black olives, croutons, Bacos and cherry and grape tomatoes (freshly plucked from the garden, natch!). To top it off, I cooked six slices of Lightlife Smart Bacon in the toaster oven and tossed them on top of the veggie pile. (I broke them up into smaller chunks before eating.) I finished my Big (Vegan) Salad off with some Wishbone Italian dressing to taste.

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Kelly’s Egg-free Mac Salad*

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

LD and I have a tradition. Every year, I ask him what dishes he’d like me to make for his birthday, and every year – without fail – he picks mac salad.** That’s it. Just mac salad. A huge frikkin tub. Which he feasts on for like the next week.

And I have to admit, it’s pretty good. Probably not the healthiest meal I’ve ever blogged, but really effin yummy. Plus it’s a great dish to end the summer with.

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Don’t let the photo scare you. I know it looks like some scary radioactive science project, but orange macaroni isn’t all that photogenic. That, and my gourmet food critic photographic isn’t all that gourmet.

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