Saturday, June 27, 2015
It was such an early spring and summer, and the weather has been so warm, that my basil is doing wonderfully well. I had to use some of it, so I thought I'd share the two easy recipes, a spread and a salad dressing, that I came up with-- both use a whole cup of fresh basil leaves, packed down.
PS: We had the basil dressing on our whole-meal lunch salad toda. The salad was comprised of home-grown freshly-picked lettuce with snap peas, oven-broiled Crispy Tofu (or B of T- recipe at the end of this post but this time I crisped it under the broiler instead of sautéing in a skillet); sliced baby cukes, grape tomatoes, oven-grilled corn, with our first pattypan squash and onions. Mmmmmmm!
Here's the dressing recipe:
BRYANNA'S FRESH, CREAMY VEGAN BASIL SALAD DRESSING
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, sliced
6 oz. (1/2 a tetrapak) firm or extra-firm silken tofu (OR 3/4 cup well-drained cooked or canned white beans)
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use my homemade)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 clove garlic, peeled
Run all of the ingredients in your blender until smooth. If it's too thick, you can add a bit of water or non-dairy milk. Store in a covered jar in your refrigerator.
And here's the spread:
BRYANNA'S SUNDRIED TOMATO, BASIL AND KALAMATA OLIVE VEGAN RICOTTA SPREAD
Makes about 2 cups
1 lb. (2 cups) plain (no herbal seasoning) vegan ricotta (See my Tofu ricotta and Almond Ricotta recipes here-- at the very bottom of the post; and my Okara-Cashew Ricotta recipe here.)
1 cup (packed) fresh basil, sliced or chopped
2/3 cup drained and sliced pitted kalamata olives
3 oz. sliced sundried tomatoes in oil (squeeze most of the oil out, or rinse with warm water and drain well)
3 tablespoons vegan parmesan (I use Go Veggie!)
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional: a little bit of vegan milk or plain vegan creamer
Combine all of the ingredients (except Optional) in a food processor and run until mixed to your satisfaction. If it seems too thick, add a bit of nondairy milk or plain vegan creamer. Pack into a shallow container, seal and refrigerate.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
My late mother-in-law, Ruth Stuhr Clark, was very fond of Hot German Potato Salad,which I had never heard of before I married her son, my late husband Wayne Clark. It just wasn't part of my mother's culinary repertoire. Ruth was half Irish and half German and from a very large family, so I'm sure she grew up with this tasty and economical dish, which utilized leftover cooked potatoes, with little bits of ham or bacon-- a good meal-stretcher!
Southern German Potato Salad ("Kartoffelsalat") is one of a number of warm (or room temperature) potato salads from various European, Balkan, Middle Eastern, and South American countries. The addition of ham or speck (German bacon) and the sweet-tart dressing differentiates it from the warm potato salad of other cultures, such as the Greek style, using olive oil and lemon, or the Sicilian version with green beans, red onion, olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Here's an interesting article about the spread of, acceptance of and even dependence on potatoes around the world, despite a great deal of early suspicion regarding this nutritious food from South America: http://www.history-magazine.com/potato.html
And here is my vegan version of Ruth's "Kartoffelsalat".
BRYANNA'S VEGAN HOT GERMAN POTATO SALAD
2 lbs thin-skinned red or yellow potatoes, peeled or unpeeled (your choice)
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil (this oil gives the salad a smoky, "bacon-y" flavor)
1 medium onion, minced (red onion is traditional, but I use yellow onion if that's all I have)
about 4 ounces vegan "bacon", thinly sliced (here's my favorite)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup of your favorite vegan "chickeny" broth (I like Better-Than-Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Base)
2 teaspoons unbleached granulated sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Optional: If you have some, top the salad with chopped chives
Cook the potatoes (whole or in large chunks) by either simmering in water or steaming until tender but still firm. Drain them, cool until you can handle them and slice them about 1/3 of an inch thick.
In a large, deep skillet (preferably nonstick or cast iron), heat the oil over high heat. Add the onions and and sliced "bacon" saute until the onions start to brown a bit and the "bacon" gets a little crisp around the edges.
Sprinkle on the flour and stir it around a bit with a wooden spoon, then add the broth, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Stir-cook over medium heat until dressing is thick.
Add the potatoes to the skillet and gently fold everything together until coated. Cook gently until heated, and taste for salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and chives, if you have them.
Nutrition (per serving): 195.3 calories; 12% calories from fat; 2.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 479.1mg sodium; 959.8mg potassium; 34.9g carbohydrates; 3.0g fiber; 2.3g sugar; 9.4g protein; 3.5 points.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
My husband isn't crazy about quinoa. I often cook it half-and-half with bulgur wheat because he likes it better that way. But last night I made a recipe that I had devised back in 2008 for my old newsletter. It seemed like the perfect dish to accompany cutlets from my book "World Vegan Feast", topped with my low-fat vegan version of the Peruvian Salsa de Mani-- a creamy peanut sauce spiced up with aji amarillo (a Peruvian yellow chile pepper). He loved it-- success!
I hope you'll enjoy this pilaf as much as we did.
BRYANNA'S GREEN AND GOLD QUINOA-VEGETABLE PILAF
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup diced zucchini, yellow pattypan squash, peeled winter squash OR peeled orange sweet potato
1 cup chopped leeks (both green and white parts)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups vegan "chicken" style broth
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed and drained
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels, thawd and drained
3 Tbs vegan soy parmesan (I use Go Veggie!)
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the squash (or sweet potato), leeks, onion and celery and sauté until the vegetables soften. Set aside.
Toast the quinoa in a dry (ungreased) heavy saucepan until it smells toasty, stirring continually with a wooden spoon. Add the sauted vegetables, along with the broth. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
After the quinoa has cooked for 15 minutes, add the thawed and drained peas and corn and cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until the quinoa is cooked through.
Stir in the vegan parmesan and pepper to taste, and fluff with a fork before serving.
Nutrition (per serving): 202.8 calories; 20% calories from fat; 4.7g total fat; 0.0mgcholesterol; 40.9mg sodium; 422.8mg potassium; 33.5g carbohydrates; 3.9g fiber; 2.2g sugar; 7.1g protein