vegan

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~

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I belonged to a book club many years ago.  There were about 7 of us and each month one of us would pick the book and host the dinner/discussion.  The club dissolved with my friend Helen’s quick and very unexpected passing.   Without Helen (whose book choices the rest of us always questioned) it was just too hard to regain momentum.  Skip forward several years and one of the original book club members decided to revive it but with a slightly different cast of characters.  After much debate a book (My Brilliant Friend) and a date for the meeting was chosen.

I confess that, as is/was usually the case, I put off reading the book until the last minute.  Three days before the meeting I started reading – and I’m happy to report I finished it with 2 hours to spare.  The dinner was to be at the organizer’s home and then, of the seven reading the book, only 3 of us (host + me + 1 other) made it to the discussion/dinner.

All this is just leading up to the fact that our host had prepared a wonderful dinner including my new favorite-salad-ever.  She found the recipe on a blog

kale and brussel sprout salad from www.onceuponachef.com
I went to the blog only to find that the blogger, Jen Segall, took and altered the recipe from Bon Appetit  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale-and-brussels-sprout-salad
The recipes at both sites use Parmesan style cheese which, being paleo, I omitted.   They both make really big batches (Bon Appetit serves 8 to 10 and Once Upon a Chef serves 6 to 8) and I wanted a more normal sized yield (mine serves 4 to 6).  Proportionally, they both used more dressing, but I honestly feel the amount here is PLENTY!  And, I went with the Bon Appetit choice of almonds rather than walnuts.
Here are some of the things that make this my new favorite salad
It’s DELICIOUS!
It’s easy to prepare – I found already shaves Brussels Spouts and washed and chopped kale at Trader Joe’s, making this salad a snap to make.
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It’s versatile –  add cooked chicken for a whole meal salad; add chopped apples and raisins/craisons/currents for a sweeter version; add beans for a heartier vegetarian/vegan salad
It can be prepared in advance – unlike many salads that just get soggy/slimy when dressed too soon, this one gets even better when allowed to stand
Hope this becomes your most favorite new salad too!   Enjoy!

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Noodles with Sunflower Seed Sauce

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

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My goodness but I miss Noodles in Peanut Sauce – so I did what any food blogger would do…I made a recipe using different ingredients but yielding a sauce just as delicious as the original (maybe even better).

I have a long history with Noodles in Peanut sauce.  I first published a recipe for it in 1992 for my book “Wholesome Harvest” – in it I used a combination of peanut butter and tahini along with soy sauce, vinegar and a few other ingredients.  Next was in “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” (1996) where I have a recipe for Peanut Noodles as well as one for Sesame Noodles.  Next came “Something for Everyone” (1997) that had Peanut Noodles in it.  But my big breakthrough came when I entered a cooking contest with my friend Valentine.  The contest was for Lawry’s Marinades.  I created, and Valentine filmed preparation of the recipes for several of the products. My favorite was a very simple recipe for Peanut Noodles:   equal parts Lawry’s Sesame Ginger marinade and smooth peanut butter.  Amazing.  I used that recipe from then on and always got high praise from guests.

Now that I’m Paleo, Peanut Noodles are problematic on so many levels:  I don’t eat peanuts, I don’t use soy sauce (or tamari), no sugar (though I am a little loosey goosey on that one), and of course no “normal” noodles.  But the mad scientist in me was determined to make this work.

Let’s start with the noodles.  I’ve made this with noodles made from sweet potato starch, but I’ve also made this using blanched shredded cabbage.

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If you are not Paleo, you could use gluten-free spaghetti or mung bean vermicelli or thin rice noodles.  If you have no dietary restrictions – and you’re only reading this blog because we are friends : ) feel free to use regular thin spaghetti or lo mein noodles.

The other substitutions I have made are coconut aminos instead of the usual soy sauce.  Coconut aminos are similar in flavor to teriyaki sauce and you could use that if you do not have coconut aminos.

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I love Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed butter it’s not as thick as peanut butter but not as thin as tahini.  It has cane sugar in it (as I said earlier I am not too rigid about having some sugar in my diet) so you can use another brand that doesn’t contain sugar but you may want a little extra maple syrup.  You could also use cashew butter instead of the sunflower if that is what you have on hand, but cashew butter tends to be thicker than my sunflower seed butter so you may have to thin the sauce down.

So, enough about the technical stuff; here’s the recipe…it’s really DELICIOUS! (more…)

Cauliflower, Carrot and Turnip Soup

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

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I’m already into the third week of my CSA (community supported agriculture) so I am knee deep in organic vegetables.  I got lovely little white turnips, and divine basil and very fresh parsley.  I combined that with carrots and cauliflower I had on hand and made this delicious soup.  Besides being delicious an added plus is although it’s a thick, rich soup, there are no starches in it.

Just to let you know, I’m giving my apartment a facelift (restoring my floors and painting) and I’ve been just a crazy woman putting away the tons (and I mean TONS!!!) of junk that I have acquired over the years.  Of course this would have been a great time to purge and, in fact I have given away a fair amount of books, etc. but my theory is “if you have the room to store it, and you might need it in the future, keep it.”  I formed this policy when I first moved into this apartment and did a major clean out/give away only to find I had given away stuff that I needed only a month later  : (

So, I hope you enjoy this soup and that your summer is delightful.
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Acar Kuning (Indonesian Vegetables)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~

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Many, many years ago I vacationed in Sint Maarten (the Dutch name) aka Saint-Martin (the French name), an island in the Caribbean that is half French and half Dutch.  While visiting the Dutch side, my friend and I discovered how delicious Indonesian food was, and we ate at several restaurants that served riistafel (Indonesian banquets).  I came home craving more of that delicious food, but alas could not find any Indonesian restaurants in the NYC area (don’t forget, this was eons ago – now there are a few to be found).  If this had been in the memorable past, I would then have gone online and looked up Indonesian recipes, but since this predated the internet I was pretty much out of luck as I don’t think there were even any Indonesian cookbooks on the market.  That’s when I came across a class being offered in Indonesian cooking and I signed up immediately.

The good news was that the instructor (sorry I don’t remember his name) was excellent and I learned a good deal about Indonesian cooking, as well as where to buy Indonesian ingredients (there are 2 stores in Chinatown).  This was one of the recipes I learned in that class, I was a little leery when I first read the recipe as it had never occurred to me to cook cucumbers but after we made it I was completely sold.  The recipe was titled Acar Campur – however after checking out other recipes online, it looks like Acar Campur is actually pickled vegetables and this recipe is more like a stir-fry with some elements of pickling (ie sugar and vinegar).  Whatever you call it, this is a delicious and unusual way to serve vegetables. (more…)

Paleo Hummus (Hummos)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

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Sometimes I just want a snack or light lunch.  Hummos was a great go-to but now that I don’t eat beans, it’s out or should I say “was out”.  In my quest for a replacement I’ve developed a paleo version of hummos made with potatoes and cauliflower that is just as good as the one made with beans (if you eat beans I have a recipe for Lemony White Bean Hummos here).  To be honest with you, traditional hummos is easier to make – especially if you start with canned beans – because you do have to prep and cook the cauliflower and potatoes for this version.  But if you are longing for a satisfying dip or snack, this hummos will fill the bill.  If you want a paleo dip but don’t want to bother with cooking the cauliflower and potatoes – don’t forget the Tahini I posted last June. (more…)

Roasted Peppers

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~

CIMG4300  flaxseed crackers with roasted peppers and scallion

There’s nothing like homemade roasted peppers for making tasty sauces, dips, for antipasto or toppings for bruschetta, in salads or on sandwiches.  The ones you buy in jars pale in comparison to homemade; and they are so easy to do.   Although you can roast green or purple peppers, it is more common to use red, orange or yellow pepper because they have a lovely sweetness once they are cooked.  You can roast peppers on a grill as well as under the broiler.

The first and very important step is to select fleshy peppers.  Unfortunately these are usually the ones that are the more expensive ones from Holland.  You’ll recognize them by the big green stem and they should be heavy when you pick one up.  The peppers that are not as fleshy don’t roast particularly well and I just skip it if I can’t find the fleshy ones.

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Preheat the broiler.  After you’ve rinsed your peppers, cut them in half through the stem

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Then remove the stem, seeds, and any white pith.

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Cut the halves in half to make quarters and place on a baking sheet lined generously with foil.

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Place under broiler and cook until charred.

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Turn and cook second side until charred.

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Immediately roll up the cooked pepper in the foil that was lining the pan.  This lets the peppers steam as they cool, making it easy to remove the skins.

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When the peppers have cooled, open the foil packet and peel the papery/blistered skin from the fleshy part of the peppers.

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Now you have peppers ready to eat or cook with.

My favorite thing to do them them is chop them up; add plenty of garlic, some fresh or dried herbs, and some extra virgin olive oil, a little salt to taste and you are good to go.

CIMG4320   flaxseed crackers with roasted peppers and scallion