Vegan Quinoa Caesar

This recipe was next up on my list of salads to try from my new cookbook Isa Does It. I was really intrigued by the idea of a vegan caesar salad made heartier by some extra ingredients. In addition to lettuce and dressing, Isa adds tempeh croutons, avocado, and quinoa to make this salad not just a full meal, but truly indulgent. She also adds some arugula to make the salad a bit healthier.

I really really liked this salad. Once I made it, it was all I wanted to eat all week. I actually had it for lunch and dinner on the same day! The dressing was delicious and the smoky flavor of the tempeh was complex and satisfying.

I will definitely make this again. The only change I will make is to increase the romaine a bit. I thought the quinoa, romaine, arugula recipe was just a bit too heavy on the arugula and quinoa. I think I’d use 10 ounces of romaine instead of the 8 called for by the recipe and 5 cups of quinoa instead of 6.

This link is the same as far as the salad ingredients and dressing from the cookbook. But it exchanges the marinated tempeh for breaded tofu.

Stewed Black Eyed Peas

I wanted to make something really simple to enjoy my last black eyed pea harvest of the season. I looked at a recipe for stewed black eyed peas on the New York Times and, using this recipe as my inspiration, made this recipe for stewed black eyed peas:

2 cups Fresh Black Eyed Peas

6 cups water

2 Leek Tops (Green Part Only)

1 onion, cut in quarters

Tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, peeled

I put everything in my small slow cooker and cooked on high for 5 hours. The result was delicious. Flavorful, soothing, and with surprising depth of flavor. This is my favorite black eyed pea recipe I made all summer.

There was enough broth to use in another recipe. I used it in this one, and I suspect that’s the reason that the recipe was so flavorful.

Farro with Mushrooms

I was looking for a recipe to use up the remainder of the mushrooms I had bought for a recipe I’d made the week before. I came upon this recipe on the New York Times and was intrigued. I used the mushrooms I had (fresh cremini and chanterelle and dried shitake) instead of those that were called for. I used half white and half red wine since I ran out of white.

Dried shitake was not a great choice. They were too chewy for the recipe. The chanterelles worked well. Even with all my changes and the odd dried mushroom choice, the recipe was very good. It is sort of reminiscent of a risotto with farro, but much faster to make since you add the liquid all at once. The flavor is really deep and rich and the fresh parsley adds complexity. I only used 5 cups of broth instead of the 6 that were called for. I’ll be making this again.Ā®ion=all&rank=5

Note: I used the broth from this recipe. I think it’s one of the main reasons the recipe came out so flavorful.

Hummus with Fennel and Golden Beets

I was looking for a recipe that would feature my homegrown beets without overpowering them. I saw this recipe from page 76 of The Greek Vegetarian Cookbook and was sold immediately. I love fennel and the pomegranate seeds sounds yummy too. Since I’m lactose intolerant I left out the fennel and didn’t miss it. The recipe came out really well. I’ll definitely be making it again. It was super yummy, healthy, and looked pretty too. The only issue was that I ran out of beets before everything else. Next time I make it I’ll add an extra beet. The recipe is intended to be paired with chickpea hummus. I used a the walnut hummus recipe from Fresh Food Fast. The pairing was very good.

Masoor Dal

I have a very old, well-loved 1981 copy of Madhur Jeffry’s World of the East Vegetarian Cooking. The pages are yellow and a whole chunk of the book has come unbound. Yet, it’s such a standby for me that I’d never think of replacing it. This week I wanted to make masoor dal and turned to Madhur Jeffry. Her very simple recipe for massor dal on page 96 did not disappoint. The recipe only contains 8 ingredients but the result was so interesting and full of flavor I would never have known.

The original version is meant to be made on the stove, but I adapted it to go in my slow cooker. Instead of adding the ginger an tumeric immediately after the lentils started boiling, I let the lentil cook in my slow cooker for an hour before adding them. In total the lentils were in my slow cooker for about 4 hours. Instead of turning off the heat before adding the fried cumin seeds and dried red pepper in asefetida, I left the slow cooker on for another 10 minutes after adding them. I’ll be making this again.

1 cup massor dal

1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

pinch of asafetida

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 whole, hot dried peppers

Warm Green Beans and New Potatoes with Sliced Eggs and Grilled Onion

I was looking or a recipe to highlight my homegrown summer green beans. This recipe from page 102 of Fresh Food Fast fit the bill. I don’t love mustard, so I wasn’t sure how it would come out. But I have to say, I really liked it. It was fresh, filling, and wholesome, with a little bit of surprising flavor to boot. The new potatoes really added a level of indulgence that the average summer salad doesn’t have. It’s intended to be served warm, but I think I liked it even more cold. I’ll be making this again.

Update: I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe:

I use 1 tbsp of oil instead of 3

I prefer to put the green beans in a bowl with the salt and then pour boiling water over them. The green beans remain crisper this way than by cooking them for 3 minutes as the recipe calls for.

Rice, Beans, and Peas

This recipe is from page 29 of Fresh Food Fast. I LOVE it and make it often. It’s easy and tasty enough to eat all week. the original recipe is very starchy and cheesy. I’ve adapted it to lower the calories and increase the veggie content. Here are my ratios:

11/2 cups basmati rice

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil (I skip the butter altogether)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

11/2 medium onion

1 cup dried kidney beans precooked (I use dry beans instead of canned)

2 cups frozen peas (I use frozen instead of fresh)

1/5 pound monterey jack cheese

1 tsp cumin seeds

Brown Rice and Vegetable Paella

This is on page 314 of Diet for a New World. I love this recipe. It’s just so full of thinks I like. It’s really hard to go wrong in my book with any recipe that has bell pepper, artichoke hearts, and green olives. The only problem is that the timing is off. If you make it with the timing from the recipe you end up with undercooked rice. The recipe says only to pre-cook the rice on the stove for 5 minutes. I usually do it for more. I think 15-20?