Sunday, November 25, 2012


Best Blog Tips

I had a really difficult time choosing which recipe from Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes' new book, "Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!"  This book has energy!  And its contents will fuel you through your day, morning, noon or night-- 101 new, original recipes that are not only plant-based, but seriously yummy.

Was it to be Berry-Stuffed French Toast Pockets for a luxurious breakfast? Or perhaps an elegant lunch of French Tofu Salad with Grapes on baguettes with arugula or Tofu Pomegranate Pockets?  Or a supper sandwich such as the German stuffed buns, Bierocks; or Portobello Po' Boys; or mile-high Dagwood's Special Sandwiches?  Honestly, you are spoiled for choice with this book.

In the end, I opted for a delicious-looking wrap that would fit well into our pre-Christmas low-fat, high-fiber eating regime-- Protein-Happy Quinoa Wraps.  I had most of the ingredients, and would only have to deviate slightly by using chopped green olives in place of a couple of tablespoons capers, dark raisins instead of golden, and 8-inch whole grain flour tortillas instead of white 10-inch ones. (I live on an island-- can't run to the store whenever I like!) I'm sure you could use a gluten-free wrap instead.

I made cooked the quinoa and made the sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade in the morning so that, as the recipe mentions, it would have time to develop flavor.  When the quinoa was cool, I quickly made the quinoa and bean filling, sliced the raw veggies and set everything aside, covered, until lunchtime.  Since I had smaller tortilla wraps than were called for, I made 3 wraps instead of 2 to share with my husband for lunch.  (He is quite happy to take the rest for a work lunch tomorrow.)  

The sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade really added a depth of flavor to the mild, nutty quinoa salad, and there was plenty of crunch and a little bit of chile heat there, too.  Very filling, satisfying, healthful and delicious.

Congratulations to Celine and Tamasin for this creative take on this worldwide favorite, the sandwich!

Yield: 4 wraps, generous 3/4 cup (100 g) tapenade
(From Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! Fair Winds Press, 2012)

For tapenade: (Note from BCG-- Make at least 2 hours ahead of serving)
1/2 cup (28 g) minced sun-dried tomatoes (moist vacuum-packed, not oil-packed)
1/4 cup (25 g) minced (pitted) kalamata olives
2 tablespoons (15 g) chopped capers
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For filling: (Note from BCG-- good idea to make this an hour or two ahead, as well)
1 ½ cups (355 ml) vegetable broth
1/2 cup (84 g) dry quinoa
1/4 cup (30 g) packed golden raisins (optional)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
1½ tablespoons (25 ml) olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
1 ½ tablespoons (15 g) minced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
Fine sea salt, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp.--BCG)
Cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons (15 g) roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3/4 cup (197 g) cooked cannellini beans
2 tablespoons (8 g) chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon (2 g) minced fresh basil
For wraps:
Four 10-inch (25-cm) flour tortillas (BCG-- I used whole grain)
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into strips
1 small cucumber, cut into strips

To make the tapenade:
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times, but leave it chunky. Chill for at least 2 hours to let the flavors develop.

To make the quinoa:
Bring the broth to a boil in a medium size pot. Add the quinoa and cook for 8 minutes. Add the raisins and cook for 2 to 4 minutes longer, or until the quinoa is cooked and the telltale tail appears. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside to cool completely.

In the meantime, prepare the dressing by combining the vinegar, lemon juice, oil, red pepper flakes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, pepitas, and beans in a large bowl. Add the quinoa mixture, parsley, and basil to the dressing and stir until well coated. (Note from BCG-- If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until serving time.)

To assemble the wraps:
 In the middle of each wrap, spread 3 tablespoons (25 g) tapenade. Top with a generous 1/2 cup (120 g) quinoa filling. Divide the red bell pepper and cucumber among the wraps. Fold the ends in and roll closed.


1 comment:

in2insight said...

This is one of my favs from the book!
So much so, that more often than not I just use it as a salad on top of some lettuce.