Cucumber-Avocado Salad

I bought several avocados for another recipe, since I was going to make dinner for Ian and he eats a lot. But he didn’t end up coming over and I found myself with a bunch of avocado I needed to use up. The cucumbers in my garden have been very prolific this year, so I thought I’d try this New York times salad recipe.

Alas, I really messed this up. So I can’t report on how the salad should be. My score is for my terrible version. But I can report on my mistakes so that you don’t repeat them. I put the lemon juice in first and then added the salt. Then I left the salted lemony cucumbers to sit for hours instead of minutes. The result was somewhat slimy salty cucumbers. If you make this be sure not to leave the cucumbers for more than the maximum 15 minutes allotted and wait to add the lemon juice! I’ve been forcing myself to eat this but it hasn’t been good. I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to try making it again.

I ate this with Asian marinated tofu from Veganomicon. The two really didn’t go together. Again, just not a win all around.

Advertisement

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

Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant Parmesan. I usually make my mother’s vegan version of the recipe. But I felt like trying something new, so I tried a recipe I found on the ny times. I used vegan Parmesan, which worked well. But the recipe had issues. The big issue was that there just wasn’t enough sauce. It calls for 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes. I think it probably needs 1.5x or 2x that. The other issue was that the eggplant didn’t get cooked all the way through, but since my oven is broken, I’m not going to blame the recipe for this. I was able to fix it by pouring tomato sauce over the dish, covering it, and cooking it on the stove until it was cooked through. It made a little mess, but was quite yummy. I honestly think I could make eggplant parmesan without using the oven. And since I really try not to use my oven in he summer, that is quite an appealing prospect. I’m going to try it an report back. I also want to experiment with a gluten free replacement for the breadcrumbs. Lots to try.

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

Tempeh Chorizo

I’ve really been enjoying tempeh recently. So I decided to try a tempeh chorizo recipe. The recipe uses chopped walnuts along with tempeh for a somewhat crunchy texture. I’m not sure that real chorizo is crunchy, but I enjoyed the texture in my tacos. I made this along with kidney beans and this veggie filling recipe. The combination was quite yummy. My only issue with this recipe was that it ended up somewhat sweet, which I didn’t like. I suspect cinnamon was the culprit. So I’ll leave it out next time. Also, I used tomato paste and a tsp of agave instead of ketchup since I don’t eat ketchup. I guess the agave was a mistake. Next time I’ll just use the tomato paste.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

In my second attempt to make my own desserts, I decided to try a no-bake cookie recipe. I started with this recipe but made a ton of changes. The result was pretty yummy. It makes about 40 cookies that are 100 calories each. Not a bad treat.

1 cup sugar

1/2 butter or vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

3/4 cup milk (I used 2% but I think any vegan milk would work fine)

4 1/2 cup oats

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Combine sugar, milk, and oats in a saucepan. Cook on medium-low, stirring constantly for 20 minutes
  2. Stir in cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, cooking for a couple more minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract
  4. Drop spoonfulls of batter onto baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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.

Leek, Kale, and Potato Latkes

My kale is starting to go to seed so I was looking for recipes to use it up. But most of the kale recipes I could find were for soups and hearty stews, and with the weather so hot I just couldn’t get in the mood for that. So I was intrigued when I found this recipe for latkes that uses both kale and leeks, two things I had in my garden.

The result was mixed. The first few I made would not hold together. The 1/4 cup flour just wasn’t enough to hold them. So I added an additional 1/3 cup, and that worked much better. The latkes weren’t amazing or anything. And mine were much less beautiful than the ones on the website (which was likely due to a combination of the fact that I didn’t deep fry and my less thin slicing of the veggies). But they were tasty enough and this was a good and unique way to use up late season kale. I think next time I’d add one additional potato.

Smoky Beet and Quinoa Burgers

I have been craving a good veggie burger lately. My favorite veggie burger place closed down during Covid and I haven’t been able to find anything good enough to replace it. So I decided to try myself. I had recently made way too much quinoa for another recipe, so I looked for recipes that included quinoa. I found this recipe and was intrigued by its inclusion of beets and smoky flavors. The recipe was straight-forward enough to make, but it required quite a bit of advance planning since you need to pre-cook a number of items and then refrigerate the mixture. It calls for barbecue sauce, which I don’t keep in the house, and didn’t feel like making a whole recipe or buying a whole bottle to use the two tbsp this recipe calls for. So instead, I looked at a few recipes and approximated using these proportions:

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp vinegar

3/4 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp mustard powder

I also added several tsp of salt to taste (maybe 3?), which were missing from the recipe.

The recipe made about 11 burgers. It said to bake them for 15 minutes, but I ended up baking closer to 40. Hard to say how much of that was my broken oven and how much was the recipe though. I basically just checked ever 15 minutes until they were somewhat dried out and seemed like they would hold together.

I really enjoyed the flavor of these burgers and would definitely try making these again. However, the texture was more mushy than I would have liked. I think I’d try replacing the 1 cup almond flour with 3/4 cup gluten flour 1/4 cup almond flour and adding a kneading step. All in all, not a bad first try at a yummy veggie burger full of healthy

1 recipe made 11 burgers.

Note: I realized that I missed the tsp of soy sauce in the recipe. So that’s likely why I needed to add the salt.

Smoky Beet and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Smoky Beet and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Sesame Slaw with Warm Garlicky Seitan

It’s official: seitan is my favorite vegetarian protein. I’m such a sucker for any recipe that includes seitan. With the weather warming up, I was looking for a cold salad recipe that looked filling. And this slaw recipe from page 58 of Isa Does It fit the bill. This was fairly quick and easy to make. True to the weeknight billing of Isa Does It. Isa has you pan fry the seitan, which makes the seitan a bit tough and pretty crisp. Overall, this was tasty, but not amazing. The edamame were a nice addition. I ate it all week happily, so it couldn’t be too bad. I’d make it again if I found myself wanting to make a quick filling Asian-inspired slaw or I had the ingredients.