Friday, July 31, 2009

Tasty Salads

I make salads. I make good salads. I make tasty salads. Back in the old days, I made salads with poached eggs or cottage cheese or other things that would just about kill me now. Now, I make tasty vegan salads when I need a good meal on a hot day. There's usually a lot of chopping involved, because I like a lot of stuff in my salad, so it's not always quick, but I usually chop more than I need for *this* salad, so that I can have another one with less work tomorrow.

I don't actually have a recipe--it's more like a list.

Butter, Herb, Romaine, Whatever. I usually used the packaged stuff. I get two salads out of one bag. I like a lot of lettuce. Lately, butter lettuce has been a favorite.
The tastier the better. It's especially nice when the neighbor drops off tomatoes from her garden. I nearly always put chopped tomatoes in my salad.
I nearly always put avocado in my salad, because I love avocado so bad!
Lately, it's been sunflower seeds. I like 'em for the crunch and the salt. If you can eat nuts (I can't), you could choose a nut instead of a seed.
I almost always chop up an apple for my salad. It's good crunch. I will usually add another fruit, too. Nectarines and blueberries are current favorites. Chopped pineapple does great, as does mango. A special bonus with mango and pineapple or other juicy fruits is that you'll use less dressing.
I use scissors to cut up green onions for the salad or I'll chop up some red onions really finely.
Again with the scissors. I love to add fresh herbs to my salad. Especially cilantro. Cilantro is sooo good. Basil or dill or whatever you like would be great, too.
I like to add bell peppers. Grated Carrots rock. Of course, use anything you like. Some people like cucumbers, but not me. I do not like cucumbers.
Salad dressing:
I've not been making my own lately. I used to back when I could eat balsamic vinegar, but that's out... So, I've found a couple of vegan bottled choices. Goddess dressing is goodness dressing. I buy it for about $2 a bottle at Trader Joes. There's a poppy seed one that I like and can usually get at Safeway. I've printed out some recipes for vegan thousand island and vegan ranch, but I've not made them, yet.
A lot of people like croutons. Not me. I think that they generally taste like wood. A whole bunch of calories in exchange for eating wood? No, thanks!

I will usually serve this with some tasty baguette slices, but not always. My non-vegan Mom gets some fake crab or low-salt chopped deli turkey or chicken added to hers.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A sad day for vegan ice cream in my house...

My freezer pog/thing broke. The top broke off, spewing icky gray gritty stuff all over my kitchen and making the making of ice cream a thing of the past...


Hopefully, craigslist will help me out, again! It's so worth the sale price of an ice cream maker to never pay $6 a pint again!

Yummy Green Curry

This is my absolute favorite recipe. I picked it up from reading a whole bunch of green curry recipes and then fixing this and that until I liked it just fine. It's my go-to recipe when I have people over for dinner and it freezes great. Just freeze the rice separately.

Make some rice or, if you don't want rice, put on some water for some rice noodles (I do not know how rice noodles freeze as I never have any leftover!)

Rice or Rice Noodles
green onions
shredded carrots
lite soy sauce
sesame oil
siracha (surely spelled wrong)
coconut milk (if you're cooking for me, use the kind with no sulfites, please!)

Into a food processor goes:
2 bunches of basil with most of the stems removed
1 bunch of cilantro (I try to take out the big stems, but the little stems go in)
a couple of cloves of garlic
4 green onions (chop 'em into 4 inch pieces or something, just so the food processor will like them)
about a tablespoon or so of lite-salt soy sauce
a big ol' piece of tasty ginger, peeled and chopped large
some sesame oil
a small amount of siracha or, you know, however much you like

Blend it up and put it in a pan with just a little bit of olive oil.

Heat it up a bit and then add a can of tasty, sulfite-free coconut milk. You can use the low fat kind, but it tastes better when there's fat!

Then add the equivalent of a bag of baby carrots, shredded, and then cook that down, so that they are all tasty and soft. They should be disappearing into the sauce by the time you're done cooking.

Add as much spinach as you'll be able to stand. I love spinach. I usually add a whole bag.

Add in 4 sliced zucchini's. I cut them into 4 length-wise and then chop 'em up.

Serve over rice or rice noodles with wedges of lime---this is really important, even though it seems like, "How much of a difference could a squeeze of lime make?" Yeah... Lots. :-)

Oh! If you're looking for some tofu, this is great with some fried tofu in little cubes. At it at the end, nearly like a garnish, otherwise it gets soggy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pseudo-Mexican Vegan Casserole

I'm not a big one for packaged, prepared foods, but it's hard to cook from scratch every day of the week. :-) This is easy and tasty.
  • some leftover cooked rice--maybe 2 cups or so?
  • 1 28-oz can red enchilada sauce (i use mild)
  • 1 12-oz can corn, drained
  • 1-2 4 oz cans diced green chiles (not drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (mostly kind of drained)
  • 1 can sliced black olives (drained)
  • 1/2 package firm tofu
  • 1 package Soy-rizo
  • 1 package vegan shredded faux-cheese
  • 1 diced avocado
  • Tofutti sour cream
  • Rectangular Glass Casserole Dish.
Preheat your oven to 350.

This is a whole lot of opening cans and layering stuff all up. It's a flurry of activity, followed by 45 minutes to an hour of whatever you'd like---having a glass of something, making a salad, completely ignoring the kitchen or, what I usually do, the dishes. LOL!

Prepare a tofu/Soyrizo mixture by squishing up the tofu, crumbling it, and mixing it up with the soyrizo (remove the casing!)---you can skip this step if you like to eat things that are spicier than I would like to eat. You can mix it up in a pan or in a bowl or whatever you'd like. I usually heat up the mixture, but I'm not so sure it's necessary!

Put the rice in the bottom of the casserole pan.
Put tofu/soyrizo mixture on top of that
Put 1/2 can of enchila sauce on top of that
Put nearly all of the faux-cheese on top of that
Put the tomatoes on top of that
Put the chiles on top of that
Put the corn on top of that
Put the olives on top of that
Put the rest of the enchilada sauce on top of that
Put the rest of the faux-cheese on top of that

Put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You'll know it's done when it smells good and is all bubbling and tempting you to eat it right now. Don't do it. Wait about 15 minutes for things to set up and cool down. Then serve with some diced avocados and Toffutti sour cream or, you know, whatever you'd like. A simple salad is usually good with this and gives you some freshness that this casserole isn't going to give you.

I freeze individual portions in sandwich bags for meals that I'm just not into preparing! They last a long time. Longer if I would do the whole two layers of plastic wrap and 2 layers of tinfoil, but I'm just too lazy to do that and I know I'll eat it up soon enough!

If you, unlike me, don't live with someone that is allergic to beans, some canned beans would probably be a tasty addition.

Sometimes, when I feel like I'd like some more crunchy, I will also put thin ribbons of flour tortillas on top before the cheese, but that's not necessary.