Gado Gado

I discovered Gado Gado a couple summers ago when I was looking for vegetarian Indonesian recipes. I love it because there it’s cool and fresh for hot summer days, while I’ll being very filling. It’s pretty much been a hit with everyone I’ve made it for, from my four-year-old niece to my brother’s Persian father-in-law. It was my mom’s number one request for my parent’s 50th anniversary party.

I use this recipe for the peanut sauce, but follow my own sense of what to do for the salad its self from reading a lot of different recipes. One note. This makes A LOT of peanut sauce. You can make the whole batch and freeze it. Otherwise I recommend cutting it in half, or possibly even in a quarter if you’re only making it for one or two people. (It appears the mooswoodcooks website is down. Here’s an alternative:)

For the salad my favorite combination uses the following:

Vermicelli rice noodles

Firm Tofu

Long beans

Julienned Cucumber

Julienned Carrot

Bean Sprouts

Shredded Chinese Cabbage

My favorite way to prepare the tofu is to bake it. I brush it with a small amount of oil, cut it into small cubes, and cook it in the oven, turning it over every 20 minutes or so until all sides are brown.

To cook the long beans and vermicelli, I boil a kettle of water and pour the boiling water over them, letting them sit in the boiling water for about three minutes before draining.

Everything else should be served raw.

In my experience the best ratio is as follows: 2/8 noodles, 1/8 tofu, 2/8 cooked veggies, 3/8 raw veggies


Beets and Greens with Lemon-Basil Dressing

This recipe is from page 277 of Diet for a New World. I had beets in my garden and was looking for a recipe that would put them front and center without too much fuss because I really like beets on their own. This looked like a good way to use up some of my basil plants as well. I’ll fess up. I only made the beets part of this because I really don’t like beet greens. I liked the dressing but felt that the recipe was missing crunch. Maybe it would have been different with the greens. But they wouldn’t be crunchy so I doubt it. I ended up throwing in cucumbers halfway through the week, which helped. I plan to play around with the dressing and a new salad recipe.

Kenyan Polenta with Peanut Sauce

This recipe is from page 36 of The Ethnic Vegetarian.

Polenta polenta polenta. I love polenta. I love polenta so much that I can’t keep it in the house because if I do it’s all I’ll eat. I’m perfectly happy to eat three meals a day polenta… anyways…what was I saying? Oh right, so when I saw POLENTA in The Ethnic Vegetarian I was in. Very interesting idea. I’d never think of paring pairing peanut sauce and polenta. Indeed the pairing was quite yummy. I really enjoyed the recipe. Solid.

Sierra Leone Jollof Rice

This recipe is on page 44 of The Ethnic Vegetarian. It is very very good. I made it because I was looking for something to use what I had in the garden. This recipe had black-eyed peas, eggplant, green beans, and tomatoes, all of which I had growing. I honestly didn’t expect much because my experience with this cookbook has been a bit hit or miss. But I was so pleasantly surprised. It is so flavorful and had the exact right amount of spice. I made a few modifications. I was out of ginger so left it out. I used brown basmati rice instead of white basmati rice. And I used fresh black eyed peas instead of canned ones. No complaints at all. I’ll be making this again.


It’s that time of year. I’m desperate for zucchini recipes to keep up with my garden’s production. Since zucchini is originally native to Central America, I wanted to try a Central American recipe for them. I found this calabacitas recipe for Mexican-style zucchini. The recipe is more of a guide than an actual exact recipe. I made it with some adjustments. I didn’t have jalapeƱo so I used dried chilis. I didn’t have Mexican oregano and left it out. The result was fine, but a little bland an underwhelming. I would have like it to be more tomatoey. Next time I might add some tomato paste. Also, maybe the swapped/left out ingredients made the difference.

Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas

This recipe from page 85 of Peter Barley’s Fresh Food Fast is a standby for me and a great way to use up a ton of zucchini from my garden. The mixture is super fast to make and can be premade, allowing for super fast dinner all week. I make a few adjustments to up the veggie factor and lower calories:

  1. Black Beans: The original recipe calls for 2 cans or 3.5 cups of black beans. I make the recipe from dry beans and use 4 cups cooked.
  2. Zucchini: The original recipe calls for 2 lbs zucchini, which should be about 4 cups pressed and shredded. I use 6 cups.
  3. Cheese: The original recipes calls for 12 ounces Monterrey jack cheese. I use 8 ounces.
  4. Tortillas: The recipe calls for flour. I use whole wheat.

My sister has transcribed the recipe on her blog the Captious Vegetarian. Here’s the link:

Tomato and Cabbage Tabbouleh

This tabbouleh is veggie-forward and very yummy. I had totally forgotten about it. My sister forwarded my email so I could add it to the blog. I have everything necessary to make it in my garden and am going to make it ASAP! used 2 cups mint packed. I know I would have cut down the olive oil but I don’t remember how much I used. My best guess is 1/4 cup? TBD