Quinoa-Rice Salad with Tempeh and “Feta”

20130704_172152

We had a fabulous July 4th holiday feast with great friends and family. Our friends made these incredible grilled vegetable sandwiches and an outstanding gazpacho! (recipe soon to come, for sure).

20130704_185522

Cold quinoa and/or rice salads tend to be ideal for outdoor get togethers, plus, being vegan AND gluten-free, makes it so everyone can enjoy. Granted, there was a lot of prep work for this salad, but you can save yourself some time by making certain things ahead of time. I love the different flavors in this salad, as well as the crunch from the nuts. I made quite a big batch, so feel free to halve the recipe for a smaller crowd.

INGREDIENTS:

Salad:

2 C wild rice mix (cooked in 2-1/4 C vegetable broth)
1 C quinoa (cooked in 1-1/4 C vegetable broth)
1-1/2 C dried apricots, diced
1-1/2 C toasted nuts, chopped (I used walnuts and pecans, but I think pepitas and almond slivers would be great too)
1 C fresh parsley, chopped

Tempeh + marinade:
8-oz pkg. tempeh, cut into small cubes
1/4 C tamari
1 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced

Tofu “feta”: (adapted)
1 14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/4 C cashews
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp yellow or mellow miso
2 Tbs reserved marinade (below)

Marinade:
3 Tbs lemon juice
5 Tbs white wine vinegar
1-1/2 Tbs yellow or mellow miso
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, minced

Dressing:
1/2 C lime juice
4 Tbs red wine vinegar
4 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

I recommend making the feta and marinating the tempeh ahead of time, even a day or two ahead if you can. I didn’t, and I think the salad still turned out great, but it’ll bring out the flavors even more. We’ll start with the feta.

20130704_172139

Slice the tofu into 1/2″ slabs and place into a large dish. Whisk together the feta marinade and coat the tofu thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or preferably over a night or two. Next, blend the cashews, olive oil, miso, and reserved marinade. I used my blender, but I couldn’t get a smooth consistency, so I transferred the mixture to a mortar and pestle, to mash it up even more.

20130704_171252

Crumble up the tofu with your fingers, then add the cashew mixture; combine well. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

To make the tempeh, combine all of the marinade ingredients in a medium zip bag and add the tempeh. Let it marinade for several hours to overnight.

20130704_112510

When ready, heat a tiny bit of olive oil to a small skillet and add the tempeh. Saute over medium heat until the tempeh has crispy edges.

20130704_122131

Meanwhile, cook the rice and quinoa (separately) according to package instructions. I tend to use veggie broth for added flavor. I also used what quinoa I had: some red, some regular.

20130704_113419

Combine the two in a large bowl and refrigerate until cooled. (Be sure to place a hot pad or trivet underneath the bowl when placing directly onto a cold, glass refrigerator shelf.) Once cooled, fold in all of the ingredients: nuts, feta, parsley, tempeh, and apricots. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad; fold gently to incorporate everything. Enjoy!

20130704_172158

Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad

I’ve never had anything with wheat berries in it . . . at least I don’t think so. I had bought a bag a while ago for another recipe (that I can’t even remember now) and so when I saw this recipe in Vegetarian Times, I decided to give it a try. Wheat berries refer to the entire kernel, or whole grain form of the wheat. They’re a great source of fiber and are used in breads, pilaf mixes, stir-fry . . . you name it. It usually needs to be soaked for several hours ahead of time, so keep that in mind, otherwise, they’ll take forever to cook! This salad is delicious warm or cold and was great as a side dish for Thanksgiving.

INGREDIENTS:

Salad

1 C wheat berries

1 2″ cinnamon stick

1/4 tsp salt

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice

1 heaping cup thinly sliced dried apricots

1/2 C toasted slivered almonds

6 Tbs chopped cilantro

Dressing

3 Tbs apple cider vinegar

3 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the wheat berries and cinnamon stick in 3 cups of water for 8 hours or overnight. I didn’t have any cinnamon sticks, so I added a dash or two of cinnamon later on. Transfer the wheat berries and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. (This is where I added the cinnamon).

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour. Drain any leftover liquid and remove cinnamon stick. In a small saucepan, blanch the carrots, then drain. Toss the carrots with the wheat berries, apricots, almonds, and cilantro.

For the dressing, blend all of the ingredients until creamy and season with salt and pepper. Stir into the salad, cover, and chill for about an hour. Enjoy!

Wild Rice and Blueberry Salad

 

This recipe comes from Big Vegan cookbook and I thought, what a great combination of ingredients and flavors. The original recipe calls for raspberry vinegar, but after a long search at the grocery store, I found one bottle . . . for $5.99. The fact that I only needed 2 Tbs, and that I rarely come across recipes that call for this fancy vin, I decided to use rice vinegar. Besides, with the maple syrup, I wonder if the raspberry vinegar would make this salad a tad too sweet. Also, may I suggest you buy wild rice in bulk. I went to a regular grocery store (as opposed to Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage) and they don’t have much in bulk. I picked up a small box of wild rice, but failed to notice (until I got home) that it’s only 4-oz. I needed 6 for this recipe. Who makes 4-oz boxes of rice?! Who needs only 4 ounces?! For 2.69 a box, I find it ridiculous that it’s under a cup of rice per box.

This reminded me of the hilarious scene in Father of the Bride where Steve Martin loses it in the grocery store over hotdogs and hotdog buns. I think the people at the rice factory, got together with the people at the grocery store, and said, let’s make a small box of rice so that customers have to buy two boxes to reach a cup of rice, thus, leaving them with a little bit of rice left . . . Ok, it’s an exaggeration. Just outsmart the rice people and the grocery store people by buying wild rice in bulk.

 

Anyhow, this is an outstanding salad. I love the combination of flavors and is very simple to make. It’s got a unique sweet and tangy flavor and great for summer.

INGREDIENTS:

6-oz wild rice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 C canola oil

2 Tbs raspberry (or rice) vinegar

2 Tbs maple syrup

1 C fresh raspberries

1 C fresh blurberries

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 large green onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the salt and rice. Let it cook anywhere from 25-45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover and let it sit about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, and syrup together. It’ll get slightly thick.

Combine the celery and green onions with the rice.

Fold in the berries, then toss with the dressing. Enjoy!

Chickpea Salad

I got this recipe from Luminous Vegans who called it “Chick-Peace Salad.” Great name—I didn’t want to steal it, so mine’s just plain old Chickpea Salad. Regardless of the name, it’s a delicious vegan version of tuna salad. LV added crumbled up nori to the mix to give it that tuna taste, but I didn’t have any. I still think it had amazing flavor without it. I did add some carrots and parsley. Just because. I also used Earth Balance’s vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free mayo that my good friend, Angela of The Veracious Vegan turned me on to. It’s fabulous!

I also served the salad on Food For Life’s brown rice tortillas.

I have to say, they’re ok. Heated up, they’re better, but you have to eat it fast before it gets crispy and falls apart. I’m wondering if steaming them would be better, or make it worse. The taste is chewy, but crunchy at the same time. Is that possible? Apparently so. Anyway, they’re not horrible, but they made eating this sandwich a bit tough because they tend to crack and split.

INGREDIENTS:

1 15-oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1-2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped

2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

1 carrot, shredded

2 Tbs vegan mayo

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

Veggies, crackers, tortilla, etc

DIRECTIONS:

Mash the chickpeas. I used a pastry blender. You can also pulse them in the food processor.

Stir in all of the other ingredients and combine well. I layered the salad on some lettuce inside one of the tortillas and added some sliced cucumber and tomato.

This salad would also be great on crackers, or sliced veggies. Enjoy!

Kale & Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing

Ok, this is probably my favorite dressing I’ve made so far. Love it! It has just a hint of lemon and with the ginger, goes fabulous with the almond butter. There’s some prep work involved here, but if can, make this the night before and you won’t be able to wait for lunch!

INGREDIENTS:

Salad:

2 large bunches of kale, stems removed and chopped

1/4 of a red/purple cabbage, diced

1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), diced

1 C carrot, shredded or finely chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 small red onion, diced small

1/3 C sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1/4 C tahini

1/3 C + 1 Tbs almond butter

1″ piece of ginger, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs miso (light, yellow or red)

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/8 C water

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in the blender—except the water—just start with a little and add more as you blend it to reach the consistency you want. You may need more than the 1/8 cup. It also depends on how lemony you want it—you can thin it out with more lemon juice if you’d like. Blend until smooth.

You can pour the dressing over the salad, just a little at time to coat the salad, or serve on the side and mix into individual servings. Yields about 1-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Couscous and Roasted Asparagus Salad

This salad is great because it can be served hot or cold—perfect for a pot luck or feeding a crowd.

INGREDIENTS:

1-3/4 C Israeli/pearl couscous (I used a mixture of whole wheat and regular)

2 shallots, minced

2-1/2 C vegetable broth

3 green onions, sliced

1 small bunch asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces

2 tomatoes, diced

1/2 C pumpkin seeds, toasted

zest from one medium lemon

Dash of cinnamon

2 Tbs fresh basil, minced

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1 Tbs garlic

White pepper, black pepper, and salt

Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. In a small bowl combine the asparagus, black pepper, salt, and enough oil to coat the asparagus. Line a baking sheet with foil; layer on the asparagus and roast for 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool.


Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, melt the margarine and add the shallots and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the shallots begin to brown. Add the couscous and combine with the shallots. Pour in the broth, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Dry-toast the pumpkin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until they begin to brown.


Remove from the heat and stir in the zest, basil, and cinnamon. Transfer to a bowl and stir in green onions, asparagus, and tomatoes. If serving cold, cover and chill for a few hours and stir in the pumpkin seeds before serving. If serving warm, stir the seeds in now. Season with white pepper and salt. Enjoy!


Asian Veggie Salad with Almonds

This is a simple summer salad that is ideal for parties and picnics. It’s also easy to throw together and I love the Asian dressing, too—gives it a yummy, peanutty-flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 C corn kernels, thawed (if frozen)

1-1/2 C cabbage, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 C edamame, thawed (if frozen)

1/2 a cucumber, sliced, then halved

1 C slivered almonds

1/3 C Light Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing (from Kraft)

DIRECTIONS:

In a small, dry skillet, toast the almonds for a few minutes, until they begin to brown.

In a large bowl, combine all the veggies. Add the dressing and coat thoroughly. Note: if you are making this ahead of time, stir in the nuts just before serving, as they can get mushy if they sit too long in the dressing. Enjoy!

Crispy “Chicken” Salad

This salad is a staple around my house and each time I make it, I never learn. I eat way too much of it. It’s just so damn good. Not to mention, easy to make. Bake some meatless chicken nuggets and throw some fresh veggies together and you have a healthy meal in minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag Boca nuggets, baked and diced

Romaine lettuce, torn

Fresh spinach, torn

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 cucumber, sliced, then quartered

Vegan pepper jack cheese and/or cheddar, shredded

Green onions, sliced

Tortilla chips, broken up

Vegan Ranch dressing:

1 C Vegenaise

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice

6 Tbs almond milk

1/2 tsp dried chives

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

I tend to put everything in separate bowls and let everyone create their own salads. To make the dressing, just whisk everything together in a small bowl and transfer to a pourable container. Refrigerate the leftovers. Enjoy!

Red Cabbage Slaw with Truffle Dressing

I’ve had this recipe in mind for a couple of weeks since we received a red cabbage from Green Buffalo Food. Every time I opened the fridge, it would remind me that I have to make something with it, and soon. Even after two weeks (and being organic) I was shocked that it was still in great condition. Whew!


INGREDIENTS:

Slaw:

1 red cabbage, sliced, then chopped

1 bell pepper, any variety, sliced thin

6-8 green onions, sliced

Dressing:

1/2 C Vegenaise

3 Tbs Tofutti sour cream

1 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp truffle oil

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/8 black pepper

1 Tbs water

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, bell pepper, and green onions. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and coat well. Enjoy!

Easy Cole Slaw

We received a head of cabbage in our CSA this week, and as I stared at it, wondering what to do with it, I ended up with the obvious: cole slaw. The original recipe is from Bobby Flay and all I had to do was veganize it—pretty simple. I really like the flavors in this slaw—not too tangy, but not bland like some slaws tend to be.

INGREDIENTS:

1 head green cabbage, finely shredded ( I think a combo of red and green would be great)

2 large carrots, finely shredded

3/4 cup Vegenaise

2 tablespoons Tofutti sour cream

2 tablespoons grated Spanish onion

2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

2 teaspoons celery salt,

Salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired. Enjoy!

Creamy, Tangy Potato Salad

I’ve always loved potato salads, but never realized how boring they had all been until I tried this recipe. (My mom’s recipe is an exception :) ) Plus, those made with mayo (vegan or not) can be a bit questionable at those July 4th picnics). I made some tweaks to the original recipe which consists of making a French dressing. I used only half of the dressing recipe because it made a lot more than I thought, but that’s ok. I can keep the rest as a dressing for a green salad. I would suggest that, or halving the dressing recipe, or add more potatoes (which I did already, but next time I’ll do even more potatoes).

INGREDIENTS:

5-6 cups organic potatoes (russet or Yukon Gold), peeled and diced

1 small leek, chopped small

1 green bell pepper, chopped small

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing:

1 C canola oil

1/4 C white vinegar

1/4 C lemon juice

1/2 pkg silken tofu, soft or firm

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp paprika

DIRECTIONS:

Boil potatoes for about 10-12 minutes. Drain, rinse and chill in the refrigerator. This can take a while, so if you’re in a hurry, run them under cold water for a bit. Add the leeks and bell pepper to the potatoes.

For the dressing, put tofu in a food processor and blend smooth. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, dry mustard, and paprika. Add oil mixture to the tofu and blend well until smooth.

Again, I recommend adding the dressing a little at a time to the potato mixture to reach the desired amount. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dressing into the potato mixture. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Easy, Creamy Pasta Salad

Like the title says, this pasta salad is easy and creamy, but also packed full of flavors. With summer quickly approaching, there are so many options for fresh veggies that would be perfect to add like cherry tomatoes and avocados.

INGREDIENTS:

14oz pasta (I used whole wheat penne)

3 large green onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, diced (use any variety–I used orange,  but a red one would be great for color and presentation)

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbs fresh chives, chopped

1/4 tsp dill

1/2 C vegan cheddar, diced or shredded (The Daiya wedges would be IDEAL to chop up into tiny dice–like the Havarti style)

2/3 C Tofutti sour cream

1/3 C Veganaise

1 Tbs spicy brown mustard

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Meanwhile, combine green onion, bell pepper, celery, parsley, and chives in a small bowl. In a large bowl (large enough to hold everything and serve in) combine sour cream, Veganaise, mustard, dill, white pepper, vegan cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour in drained pasta and veggies and stir to combine–it’s that easy! Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Red Wine Vinaigrette and Salad with a Kick

So long to boring salads! Between the mustard greens and the Dijon and shallots in the dressing, this salad is anything but tame.


INGREDIENTS:

Vinaigrette:

4 Tbs red wine vinegar

2 Tbs shallots, chopped fine

3 tsp Dijon mustard

4 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Salad:

2 large leaves mustard greens, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 large leaves of kale, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 big handfuls of spinach, chopped into bite sized pieces

8 mushrooms, sliced

2 small tomatoes, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced (not tiny diced–bite sized)

1 big handful sunflower seeds

2 big handfuls craisins

croutons

DIRECTIONS:

Dressing

Whisk together all ingredients, serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Makes about a 1 cup

Salad

Combine and toss–I’ll bet you know how to make a salad!

Enjoy!