Monday, January 28, 2013

Veggie Grain Bowl with Shitake Sesame Dressing

Some people claim that salads are boring. Sure, that's true if you make them with the same ingredients and glop on the same dressing day in and day out. This dressing is as far from boring as the sun from the moon!

I had an inkling to recreate one of my favorite salad dressings in a bottle - Shitake Sesame Vinaigrette. There wasn't much thought that went into it, just a hunch and I struck gold! Saute some garlic and fresh shitake mushrooms, add the usual suspects and Presto, fantastic dressing that you will want to drown, I mean drizzle, over salads from now until July!

Pictured above was my take on a grain n' veggie bowl: place some cooked grains in the bottom of a bowl and pile on lots of vegetables cut into bite size pieces, and then add your favorite dressing. As you can see, nothing that out of the ordinary besides the dressing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cucumber, Pepper and Red Cabbage Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing

This was one of those gorgeous delicious salads that came together quite by accident. Accidental in that I had no plan for it to taste so good nor to be so easy to put together. It is what happens when you have red cabbage, cucumber, and a bell pepper (green in this case) hanging out in the vegetable bin and you're starving. And you want something "gourmet" but you don't want to leave the house or pay for delivery.

And then I saw the carrots and remembered I had ginger. So carrot ginger dressing was made in a flash. Pulling out my Christmas gift of an awesome red mandoline, I made quick work of the cabbage and diced up the cucumber and green pepper. Noticing some fresh mint and basil, that was added to the mix and tossed with the carrot ginger dressing. Topping it all off were a small handful of pan roasted cashews and some lime juice. Heaven in a bowl!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Faux'roni Stromboli - DIY Vegan Pepperoni

Stom-bol-i. Just saying it makes my heart sing! Pizza dough wrapped around some cheese and meaty deliciousness is what makes something a Stomboli. Here it's vegan pepperoni and some mozzarella (dairy or vegan, your choice).

This is one of those recipes that is almost not a recipe, unless you're making the dough from scratch (yeah, I did, but don't feel pressured - this is comfort food at the best, so buy the dough if that makes it easier for you).

If you grew up in the Northeast, specifically the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT) then you'll remember stromboli along with pizza and calzones usually displayed at your local mom-n-pop Italian diner place. It's sad to think that Sbarro has mostly taken over those places, but I hope there are still some locally owned places making stromboli!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vegan Pepperoni - DIY Pantry

Homemade, vegan, pepperoni.

Really, need I say more?

This is a recipe that combines various versions found around the web. It does rely on vital wheat gluten, but unlike some of the recipes I found, it is not a hard and rubbery version. With about three times the tomato paste and my own addition of chili oil because the first versions I tried lacked both fire and the tomatoey flavor that pork pepperoni has, I feel justified calling it my own recipe.

Happily this version freezes well because I ate nearly one third of the batch in one sitting, and my digestive system was screaming at me for that! It's great on pizza, sliced for snacking or tucked into your favorite pizza dough with cheese and baked in the oven (stromboli style, watch for it soon in this space!)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Raw Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Day five of your New Year's Resolutions - How's it going?

For me, I want to eat as much raw fruits and vegetables as possible, which includes raw entrees as well. Those recipes will be coming soon, but for now, here is a mainly raw dip that will blow your mind!

A few nights after the Christmas debauchery had ended, I whipped up this dip based on a vague idea of making a raw (and unprocessed) version of this recipe, which translated into no vegan mayo. My new version was even better than the last, since it was made of lots of spinach, artichokes, walnuts that had not been soaked, a little miso and lots of jalapeno. Super delicious and almost entirely raw, except for my homemade marinated artichoke hearts

Pair this with raw vegetables for dipping - sturdy ones like carrots and celery or cauliflower and jicama.  It would go equally well on crackers, tucked in a pita along with other veggie sandwich fixins, swirled into cooked grains or tossed with pasta. Whatever you fancy!