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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The way I cook- making two recipes each weekend that I eat all week- I have to find recipes that are interesting enough that I will want to eat them five days in a row. So I rarely make lentil soup. Usually, I find that I get bored with lentil soup after a couple days and it ends up in the trash. But this recipe from the New York times includes potatoes, leeks, and a lot of spices and seemed interesting enough to possibly eat for a full week.
I was right. The spices created much needed complexity and the potatoes added enough carb-induced instant gratification to make the recipe more satisfying than the average lentil soup. The fresh parsley really helped add extra flavor and texture to an already good recipe. This easy, cheap, and healthy stew is a winner in my book.
A couple notes for next time: It seemed silly to leave half a cup of tomatoes in the can. And after eating the stew, I was confident the extra tomatoes would only have added extra flavor. Next time I’ll just add the full can. Also, I think you could reduce the number of pots by cooking the potatoes in the same pot with the lentils. I’d just add them halfway through the lentil cooking time.
I came across this recipe for a vegan “beef” stew using porcini mushrooms and vegan sausage and had to try it. I love a hearty stew, and I’d never made a vegan beef stew before. The recipe calls for homemade vegan sausage, but I was tired so I jut bought vegan sausage instead. I want to try making this again with homemade sausage, but even with the store-bought sausage, it was very very good. It took a day for the flavors to blend and come out fully, but by day two the stew was rich, flavorful, interesting, and satisfying.
In college I lived in an apartment with my two best friends. We cooked a lot. One of my roommates, Ellen, shared this recipe for her mother’s favorite Cuban black beans with me. The recipe came from one of her mother’s cookbooks. Creamy, sour, and a tad sweet, it quickly became one of my favorites as well. But I never got a copy of the recipe from Ellen and for years afterwards I couldn’t make it. Finally, recently I got a photo of the recipe from Ellen and went about making it once again. It didn’t disappoint.
Below is the version I make. I have greatly reduced the oil (the original recipe calls for 2 cups!) and also left out the pimentos, which are called for in the original recipe but which I never have around. I’ve also changed the steps around a bit and shortened cooking times to simplify things.
Be aware! This recipe make 12-16 servings. If you don’t want that much beans, consider halving the recipe. However, it does freeze well.
2 1/4 cups dry black beans, cooked (or 3 cans) (keep the liquid)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups green bell pepper, chopped
3 cups yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup white vinegar
Blend bell pepper and onions in a food processor until they are finely ground
Heat the oil in a large stockpot
Once oil is hot, add the pepper onion mixture and sauté it for 8 minutes.
While the mixture is sautéing, blend 1 cup of the beans in the food processor
Add the whole and blended beans, sugar, and salt to the pot, gently stir
Simmer on low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally