Friday, July 29, 2016


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Golden oregano in flower

While I was picking oregano, I spotted this little green tree frog nestling in an old oyster shell on the deck railing.  He has since been spotted there (and under the shell, as well) several times.

This salad was was made with ingredients that I need to use up. I wanted to make a luncheon salad for the two of us, plus a visitor. In the refrigerator I found small amounts of my favorite homemade balsamic vinaigrette and homemade low-fat vegan mayo left, some leftover lightly-steamed broccoli, a few slices of veggie "bacon", a couple of little mini English cucumbers, 1/2 a red onion and slightly less than 2 cups of home-cooked white beans. I also had a jar of pitted Kalamata olives, which I love. I had fresh golden (miniature) oregano (which was flowering nicely) and chives out on the deck, and a few handfuls of grape tomatoes left. It all sounded like it would make a great, crunchy, colorful new  salad, and it did!  I'll be making it again, and I hope you'll enjoy it, too.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 4

1 1/2  cups (or 1 15 oz can) white beans (white kidney, Great Northern or cannellini), rinsed and drained
2 cups lightly-cooked broccoli (al dente), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
2 small edible-peel cucumbers, sliced
8 to 12 red grape tomatoes (or more to your taste) cut into quarters
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 slices veggie "bacon" or "ham", slivered (your favorite)-- you can leave this out if you prefer
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves (NOT powdered)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 Tbsp of your favorite vinaigrette-- I like a balsamic vinaigrette (See my favorite vinaigrette recipe below)
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise (See my delicious low-fat oil-free homemade version and a link to a nut-free version here.)
Garnish (optional)
chopped fresh chives or the green part of green onions/scallions
chive flowers

Place all of the salad ingredients (except the Dressing ingredients) in a salad bowl.

Whisk together the vinaigrette and the mayonnaise until smooth.  Pour the dressing into the bowl of salad ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly.  Serve at room temperature or slightly cold.  Garnish each serving as desired.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 268 calories, 72 calories from fat, 8.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 692.4mg sodium, 778.5mg potassium, 33.9g carbohydrates, 11.5g fiber, 3.4g sugar, 18.3g protein, 7.8 points.

Auxiliary Recipes:
Bryanna's Favorite Low-Fat Balsamic Dressing:
(Yield 1 3/4 cups)

1 cup aquafaba (chickpea cooking water) or Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings (see recipe below)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (I prefer Costco's Kirkland  Signature brand, which is affordable, yet aged for 3 years and contains no wine vinegar or caramel color, unlike the 60-day-aged supermarket IGP brands.)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt

Whisk, shake, or blend the ingredients together well, bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Bryanna's Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings:
(Yield: 1 cup)

Use this simple mixture in place of oil in salad dressing recipes. Unlike plain juice or water, it will help the dressing stick to the greens. This recipe is easily multiplied. NOTE: Other options instead of this mixture-- cooking liquid from cooking chickpeas or white beans (aquafaba).

1 cup water
1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetarian broth powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch (organic variety is available)

Whisk the broth powder and starch into the cold water in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear.

Microwave Option: In a microwave-safe pitcher or bowl with room to bubble up (4-cup capacity), whisk the ingredients together.  Microwave on High for 1 minute.  Whisk and repeat twice, or until the mixture is thickened and clear.

Use immediately in a salad dressing, or store in a covered jar and refrigerate.


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