Vegan Fresh Vegetable Pasta Salad

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This salad is really simple, it does require some prep, however. So, put on a great podcast and prep away. It makes a big bowl of salad, adjust quantities to your needs, but it keeps well in the fridge. It’s a great salad to make on a day when you have leftover plain pasta or vegetables in the fridge – then incorporate those and skip a step or two.

Ingredients

2 cups vegetables, steamed and cooled (green beans or broccoli florets are good choices)

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces wholewheat pasta spirals, boiled, drained and cooled

2 – 3 plum tomatoes, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 1/2 cups kidney beans** (or chick peas, or black beans)

1 lemon juiced, or more, to taste

Method

Snip the ends of the green beans* off and cut into 2 inch pieces. Rinse the beans then add about 1 inch of water to the bottom of a medium saucepan and put the minced garlic into the water with the beans and stir. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and keep covered until just tender, approximately 4-5 minutes, drain. Allow to cool.

Cook the pasta, drain and allow to cool.

Dice the tomato, onion, carrot, bell pepper into a large bowl. Add the kidney beans and toss with the lemon juice. Add the cooled pasta and green beans and toss again. Taste, add more lemon if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste (we don’t add any).

* If using broccoli, cut into florets or slice into somewhat uniform pieces. Rinse and put in a medium saucepan with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Mix garlic into the water and stir around. Bring to a boil with the lid on, reduce heat and steam for about 5 min, or until just tender.

** Boil your own kidney beans or chick peas. For black beans, follow the directions on the package.

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Boil Your Own Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

It may seem like a lot of trouble to go to, but the texture and taste of home-boiled kidney beans is worth the extra effort. I soak and boil about 1 1/2 pounds of beans, and freeze it in 1 1/2 cup portions. Then it’s ready for quick meals all week long. Add it to lentils, soups, tacos, or a salad.

How to Soak and Cook Kidney Beans:

Pick over dry kidney beans to remove any debris. Rinse the beans, discarding the water and then soak in plenty of cold water for several hours or overnight.

Drain* and rinse the kidney beans, refill the pot with plenty of fresh water and bring to a full boil and boil at least 10 minutes*. Skim off any foam, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for one to two hours, or until beans are soft.

Remove from heat, add a bit of salt to taste and let sit for 10 minutes or so. Drain and cool. Use directly or freeze in portions.

*It is important to discard the soaking water and to boil at least 10 minutes to remove toxic effects of kidney beans. Click the ‘Kidney Beans’ link, above, to learn more.

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Roasted Eggplant Dip

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Ingredients

1 medium eggplant, roasted

1 head garlic, roasted

Juice from half a lemon

A sprinkle of salt, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Roast the eggplant and garlic at the same time.

To roast the eggplant, rinse it and pierce the skin a few times. Then place it directly on the oven rack and bake for 45 minutes, or until it becomes soft and wrinkling, as if it’s collapsing.

At the same time, roast the garlic by cutting about ¼ inch of the tips off, place it in a foil tent, tip side up, and place the foil packet in a baking dish. Bake alongside the eggplant for 45 minutes.

Allow the eggplant and garlic head to cool so that you can handle it.

Remove each clove of garlic from the skin and place it in a bowl. Cut the stem off the eggplant and remove the skin. Chop the eggplant pulp roughly and add it to the garlic.

Blend the eggplant pulp and garlic cloves together with a hand blender. Stir in the juice from half a lemon and give it a sprinkle of salt.

Spread the dip on toast or enjoy with toasted pita bread.

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Cut the tips off the garlic head and place in foil.

 

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Bake in a 350° F oven for 45 minutes.

 

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Allow to cool.

 

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Take the cloves of garlic out of the head and peel the eggplant

 

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Blended and ready to eat.

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Garlic Walnut Spread

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With three simple ingredients, this garlic nut spread is delicious on toast, mixed into pasta, or used as a sandwich spread.

Ingredients

3 heads of garlic, roasted (see method below)

1 cup walnuts, ground

1/3 cup almond milk

Method

To roast the garlic: slice about ¼ inch off the tips then place in a foil packet, tip side up. Place the foil packet in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before removing the garlic cloves from the skin.

Blend the roasted garlic, walnuts, and almond milk until smooth.

Store the spread in a jar and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Spread it on toast, thin it for a salad topping, mix with pasta, or use as a sandwich spread.

 

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Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This chewy cookie is actually a Whole Foods Plant Based one. Best of all, it uses the leftover pulp from homemade almond milk as a substitute for the butter that you’d normally use in a cookie (I hate throwing out the pulp and this is a yummy way to use it). It uses a flax egg instead of a chicken egg, chopped dates in place of sugar, and oat flour instead of white flour.

Ingredients
1 cup oat flour (you can grind your own)
1 1/4 cups uncooked oats, (old fashioned or quick cooking)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup dates, pitted and finely chopped
3/4 to 1 cup wet almond meal (leftover pulp from homemade almond milk)
1 flax egg (3 Tablespoons water mixed with 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Stir dry ingredients together. Add dates, almond meal, flax egg and stir well, kneading with your hands if necessary. Mix in walnuts and raisins. If the mixture seems too crumbly, you could add a bit of almond milk.

Place balls of dough on parchment lined baking trays, then flatten into a circle. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Makes approximately 2 dozen small cookies.

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Cabbage Salad with Roasted Garbanzos from one of my favorite blogs: Recipemuse

Crunchy, subtly sweet, mild, savory, and a tasty nutrient powerhouse. I’m talking about cabbage, of course! This stalwart vegetable deserves some love, especially in the winter when quality salad greens can be scarce. But cabbage — it’s there for you! I paired mine with a zingy, savory tahini dressing and added roasted garbanzos and pepitas […]

via RecipemuseRecipemuseCabbage Salad with Roasted Garbanzos and Spicy Tahini dressing — Recipemuse

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Lentils (Dal)

LentilsLentils (Dal)

This is a big batch, approximately 8 servings. Half the recipe, or make the whole amount and freeze any leftovers.

2 cups lentils (1 c. red masoor dal + 1 c. small yellow dal)

7 cups water

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ to ¾ teaspoon turmeric

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 teaspoons salt

Rinse and pick over lentils. Soak them for 15 – 30 min. Drain and add the 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, skim off foam. Reduce heat and add the turmeric and chopped garlic. Simmer covered for ½ hour. Then add plum tomatoes and salt and simmer, uncovered for ½ hour more.

For the Tarka:

3 Tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat the oil on medium-high heat, when heated up add the cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle and pop but are not too browned then add the garlic and then the cayenne and cook for about a minute more, careful not to burn the garlic. Then add this mixture to the lentils and stir in. It’s ready to serve with rice or Naan.

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