Pickled Rice Tabbouleh

I’ve been sick so much of the time lately, I haven’t felt like cooking. But one thing I have been playing with is experimenting with ways to increase the soluble fiber in my diet. Since barley is one of the few low fodmap high soluble fiber foods, I was intrigued when I saw this recipe on a list saying it was good with barley instead of rice. The recipe is rather unusual for something calling itself “tabbouleh”. It uses a pickle juice base and incorporates a raw herb sauce instead of the standard chopped herbs and veggies you’d find in tabbouleh.

I wasn’t crazy about the dish overall. I found the pickle juice flavor weird and I didn’t love the barley in it. I also really missed the usual tabbouleh veggies. I added some cherry tomatoes and found they really enhanced it.

But oh my gosh, this toasted pumpkin seed sauce…it’s like nothing I’ve ever made before. And jeeze is it good. I won’t be making this dish again but I’ll definitely incorporate this sauce into some other dishes. Plus, pumpkin seeds are also high in soluble fiber. So win win!

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pickled-rice-tabbouleh

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Roasted Veggie Tahini Bowl

I found a recipe for roasted broccoli and mushroom bowls in the New York Times, which gave me the idea for this recipe. I adapted it to be vegan, low fodmap, and gluten free and made it for Ian. We both loved it! Ian had thirds. I’d definitely make this again, but next time I’d add a third (and 4th?) veggie to reduce the fodmap content, since this ended up being too much broccoli and mushroom for me to tolerate.

For the bowls:

2 cups cooked rice

Prepare the tofu:

2 blocks tofu

1 tbsp canola or olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 425

Drain and press the tofu

Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch squares

Use half the oil to oil a cookie sheet

Spread the tofu out on the cookie sheet

Brush the rest of the oil on the tofu and sprinkle the salt

Cook for 30-40 minutes, flipping half way through

Prepare the veggies:

1.5 lbs broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 lb mushrooms (I used baby bella), cut into thick slices

3-4 tbsp olive oil

3/4 to 1.5 tsp salt

Mix half the olive oil and salt into the broccoli and spread it onto a cookie sheet

Mix the second half of the olive oil and salt into the mushrooms and spread them out onto a second cookie sheet

Put in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes

While the veggies are cooking, make the dressing (I didn’t measure so this is approximate)

Combine together and blend:

3-4 tbsp tahini

1/2-3/4 tsp salt

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh sage

1 tbsp wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

water or broth as needed to reach dressing consistency (I think I used 4 tbsp)

Serve with walnuts on top of the bowls.

Summer Squash Capponata

Now that I’m a gardener, every summer I find myself scouring the internet for novel things to do with zucchini and summer squash. This recipe from the New York Times looked interesting. I love olives and capers, and since I’m avoiding beans at the moment, I liked that it included eggs as a protein source.

The recipe was simple enough to make. It does use quite a few dishes and pots, but isn’t super time consuming. I left out the red pepper flakes since I’m avoiding spice. And I used white wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar since that’s what I had. And finally, I used maple syrup instead of sugar so that Ian would eat it (turns out he’s off maple syrup now too so that was a bust). Since the recipe give no guidance on salt, that required quite a bit of trial and error to get right. And the step where you pre-soak the capers seemed pointless to me since I ended up adding a lot of salt after.

In general I object to recipes that don’t offer at least a salt range. But otherwise, I really enjoyed this recipe. It was definitely better after it had marinated at least a day. I recommend turning it occasionally to ensure it marinates throughout. Without the red pepper flakes, it was just the tiniest bit on the bland side (maybe I’d try paprika next time?). But overall, this was a hit. I happily ate it all week without complaint. And Ian’s mom Sally ate Ian’s portion and said she liked it a lot. I’ll make this one again for sure, maybe with just a bit of tweaking on the flavors.

Tomato Salad with Cucumber and Ginger

Since my garden is overflowing with cucumbers and tomatoes right now, I’ve been looking for salad recipes to keep up with the onslaught. This very simple Asian salad recipe seemed promising since it would use both veggies as well as my end-of-season basil.

Indeed, this was a real winner. After the mushy cucumber disaster of the cucumber avocado salad, I just made the dressing ahead of time and chopped the cucumber and tomato I needed for a single meal. This strategy worked well. I used Thai basil, which was quite yummy as well. I added Marinated Asian Tofu from Veganomicon to make this a meal. And voila! A very simple tasty fresh lunch was born. I’ll definitely make this again next summer.

Marinated Asian Tofu

I’ve had Veganomicon for years, but had never tried the marinated Asian tofu recipe, since I assumed it was baked. However, recently I noticed that the recipe actually called for either grilling the tofu or making it in a skillet. I haven’t experimented much with skillet-made marinated tofu, and it was the high heat of summer, so this caught my eye.

I was honestly thrilled with this recipe. The marinade came together really fast and I was able to just stick the tofu in it and leave it in the fridge overnight until I was ready to cook it. In some cases I’ve left the tofu in the marinade for days. It seems the longer it marinades the better it is. Then when I’m read to make it, I just throw it in the pan and ta da- delicious marinated tofu with very little effort. I made this with Pan Seared Summer Squash with Garlic and Mint for my neighbors and my neighbor discovered it made a delicious pho-type sandwich. Generally, I consider this one of my new stand by dishes. All around winner.

Corn and Green Bean Salad with Tomatillo Dressing

I didn’t plant tomatillos this year. But two volunteer plants sprouted up and they have been super prolific. So I found myself with more tomatillos than knew what to do with and looking for something other than enchiladas to do with them. I found this recipe for a summer salad with tomatillo dressing on the New York times.

This was super easy to make, and really yummy. Since it uses the broiler, it doesn’t heat up the house too much. I left out the cheese and found I didn’t miss it. Since I’m eating low FODMAP right now, I used half a deseeded jalepeno, which added flavor but not spice. Again, I didn’t find that the lack of spice messed up the recipe at all. This is definitely something I’ll make again. I was eating it as a main course and found their serving sizes were off. I doubled the recipe and I think I got 3 or 4 meals out of it. So next time if I want to eat this all week I’ll make it as a side or triple the recipe. I found adding avocado made it more of a meal and was extra tasty.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014218-corn-and-green-bean-salad-with-tomatillo-dressing?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=tomatillo&rank=0

Baked Eggs in Cream

Usually when I make baked eggs, I make them in a tomato-based sauce. This recipe for baked eggs in a creme based sauce seemed intriguing, and used a lot of fresh herbs that I had on hand in my garden. For the herbs I used a mixture of parsley, basil, and scallions. The recipe also gives you the option of adding veggies. I added kale, which worked quite well. It also says you can use either half and half or heavy creme. Since I can only find lactose free half and half, that is what I used and it worked fine. This is a very tasty and easy recipe that can easily be adapted to whatever veggies and herbs you have on hand. A good weeknight dinner.

Green Tacos

I needed to use up kale from my garden before it went to seed. And I was in the mood for tacos. So I decided to try this recipe for sweet potato and kale taco filling. The recipe calls for grated sweet potatoes. I was a little skeptical of this, but I was pleasantly surprised. The texture was great in the tacos. The recipe is super fast and easy and very tasty. I made it with this tempeh chorizo recipe and kidney beans. The combo was great. I’ll definitely make this again. In fact I already bought another sweet potato!

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/green-tacos

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

I have a robust sweet tooth. For years I’ve been purchasing my sweets. My go-tos were frozen yogurt bars and bittersweet chocolate, with the occasional pint of lactose free ice cream thrown in. But recently, I listened to a Science Vs. podcast episode on processed foods. The episode featured a scientist describing ultra-processed foods as Clorox for your gut, taking all the good bacteria with them as they went through. That image really stuck with me. I have a lot of issues with my gut. So I decided to start making my own desserts.

This recipe for “vegan chocolate pudding” was my first attempt. The recipe calls for Mexican spices, but since I had fruit in the chococate I was using, I left those spices out. I used 1/2 cup of sugar instead of the 3/4 cup called for and found that to be enough. But I like super dark bittersweet chocolate. The recipe is ridiculously simple, essentially just chocolate, sugar, and silken tofu. But oh my goodness the result. It wasn’t really a pudding, but rather an ultra thick, rich, chocolate mousse. The kind that you only need a bit of to feel satisfied. I think in order to make it more like a pudding, you’d need to add an extra 4 oz of silken tofu.

I honestly cannot believe how good this was. I particularly enjoyed dipping strawberries in it. And amazingly, it was so rich that I found I had fewer sweets cravings throughout the day when I ate a bit of this at night. So far my homemade desserts experiment is looking like a success.

Next time I’m going to use baking chocolate so that I can better control the sweetness level. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Creamy White Beans with Herb Oil

I accidentally bought way too much cilantro for another recipe and needed to find ways to use it up. I found this intriguing recipe for white beans in an herb oil sauce on New York Times Cooking. Instead of using half cup cilantro and half cup basil, I just used 1 cup cilantro. I really try not to use canned beans, but I couldn’t find dried butter beans or cannellini so I ended up using canned cannellini. This made the recipe really fast to make.

I’d definitely make this again. It was fresh, tasty, and unusual. A solid way to dress up plain beans to make them feel indulgent.