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Recipe: Chickpea Salad!

26 Aug

I recently was at the store and ran across a pre-made Chickpea Salad that was vegan. It tasted great, but I figured I could easily make my own version at home. I copied the ingredients and with the help of a few online recipes, I pieced together what turned out to be an amazing salad!

Kate’s Chickpea Salad

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves garlic (or the equivalent in garlic powder)

1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt

Pepper

1. Saute onions and peppers over medium heat for about 4-6 minutes. Onions should be slightly translucent. You can skip this step if you prefer raw veggies.

2. In a large bowl, combine veggies, garlic, chickpeas, and cilantro.

3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix and pour over salad.

4. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Refrigerate before serving so all the flavors can combine.

I also wanted to share one of the most exciting items I have received from my CSA: MELON!

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Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

21 Aug

I’m always looking for things to make for lunch at work. This cold cucumber and rice salad is the perfect thing because I can make it ahead of time, and the flavors blend beautifully by the time my lunch break rolls around. I made a batch of this and ate it two days in a row, and it was even better the second day.

I thought of this dish because i wanted something with a light flavor, that would stick my your ribs. I had a lot of cucumbers but i didn’t think my Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad would fill my up enough, and I didn’t want anything with a slot of dressing. This salad has just the right balance of flavors and texture. I’m really happy with the way it tuned out.

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

1 cup plain rice (measured uncooked rice)

2 cucumbers

1 lime

1 teaspoon white vinegar

vegan mayo

I use extra long grain white rice. I make it like sushi rice because I love it slightly sticky. I make sticky rice by rinsing the uncooked rice with really cold water. I swish the water around and scrunch the damp rice in my fists so the grains rub against each other polishing the outside of the rice. Rinse several times until the water is pretty much clear. Drain rinsing water and add fresh water to the pot. Bring water and rice to a boil. Then turn the heat down and cover the pot to steam the rice. Simmer (watch out for boiling over) for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking cut cucumbers into bite sized pieces.

When rice is cooked remove from heat and place in mixing bowl, add white vinegar and fold into the rice.

Add Cucumbers to the bowl.

Add the juice from one lime.

Add a small amount of vegan mayo. Just enough to bring the mixture together. Taste test the salad until you get the right amount. People are very picky about how much mayo to use. Remember you can always add more if you want, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.

You want to fold the ingredients together while the rice is warm and then place the batch in the refrigerator. I suggest making this at least 20 minutes before serving, but you can do it a day in advance. The flavor is better when its had time to blend.

Enjoy!

I’d love a comment if you try this recipe.

-Kerri

Kate’s Cookout Goodies

19 Aug

I attended a super fun cookout yesterday and made sure there were plenty of vegan options for me that others could try out. I made this Lemon Cilantro Avocado Pasta Salad and received many compliments. The recipe can found here.

I also made a large bowl of Kale Chips. Believe it or not, those went faster than the pasta salad! Toward the end of the night, they weren’t as crisp, which was disappointing. I’m not sure if it was the humidity or if they were under-cooked.

I made sure to bring a couple of vegan veggie burgers for myself and made a vegan dip using Tastefully Simple’s Fiesta Party Dip Mix, Vegan Sour Cream, and Vegan Mayonnaise. Delicious!

~Kate

Vegan Caesar Salad

7 Aug

Generally, when I want a salad, I want it to be filled with veggies. Every now and then, though, it’s nice to enjoy a simple Caesar salad… well, unless you are a vegan, right? WRONG! Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction cookbook. Check out her website to see some of her delicious recipes, at Post Punk Kitchen.

I will admit that when I first tasted this dressing, I found it a little too salty. Once I put it into the salad, though, the lettuce and croutons really balanced out the flavor. I also added a dash of Galaxy soy Parmesan. A perfect side for my leftover meatballs and pasta from last night.

A word of advice: When buying croutons, look for all-natural or organic. All the regular brands had milk in them. The ones in the picture are by Olivia’s Croutons. VERY delicious!

~Kate

What To Do About Cookouts

4 Aug

So far my family has tried to be accommodating about my new vegan lifestyle. Mike’s sister, Beth, has gone out of her way to cook me meat free sauce at a family pasta dinner, and at her barbeque she grilled veggies before the meat went on the gill (so thoughtful). However it is ultimately up to me to make sure there are vegan options.

Mike’s youngest sister, Sarah, graduated from high school this year, and the family celebrated with a pool party cookout. Most cookout food is just grilled meat, and if there is a veggie it’s mostly mayo potato salad, or bacon fat beans. I decided it would be best to bring something to ensure I didn’t spent the day eating empty hot dog buns just in case.

I had a few cucumbers from my CSA and not a lot of other ingredients, so I decided to make cucumber salad, and to bring enough for everyone. That way when everyone eats it and tells me how good it is I can see the looks on their faces when I say “and it’s vegan too”. So congratulations to Sarah for graduation high school, and congratulations to me for whipping up an awesome summertime side dish!

Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad:

notes:

  • I didn’t measure any of the ingredients, just keep tasting it til it’s awesome.
  • For milk I used Almond Breeze original unsweetened almond milk, but you can use whatever milk you have handy
  • A lemon could be used instead of the lime. I only had limes at the time and it ended up pairing quite well with the cucumbers believe it or not.
  • I used about 4 cucumbers, for variety I cut them all into small chunks but not uniform size, just smallish.
  • I also varied how much peel I left on each cucumber, this added dimension to the flavor, look, and texture of the dish.