Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad

It’s time for summer salad season to kick in. Today’s star was a very lovely cucumber, some fennel, and chives, along with a creamy dill dressing. It was light and delicious.

Ingredients
1 cucumber, sliced
1 red bell pepper, in strips
1-2 green onions, chopped
1 fennel, cored and sliced thin
1 large carrot, shredded
1 TBSP chopped chives
1 /2 cup vegan mayo
1 /4 cup apple vinegar
1 tsp dried or fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

Process
Place the veggies in a bowl. Combine the mayo, vinegar, dill, salt, and pepper (add a little garlic if you like). Pour the dressing over and gently toss. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Vegan Orzo Salad

On yet another super toasty day in July, I was left pondering this afternoon what to make for dinner. Remembering that there was orzo in the pantry, I surfed the web looking for recipes. I came across many recipes for orzo salads, but most were not vegan friendly, and many had ingredients that I didn’t have in the house. So, after I got home from work, I gathered things that seemed like they would go well and put together this dish. It was a hit with the people in the house who aren’t completely pasta picky (i.e. only like spaghetti and mac n cheese). I loved it and am looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

Easy Vegan Orzo Salad

1 lb orzo
1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 bunch basil chopped
4-5 scallions chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 large tomato diced (or 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions, al dente, and then rinse with cold water. I add some olive oil to the pasta water, but that’s optional. While the pasta is cooking, juice your lemons, chop the basil, scallions, and tomatoes, and prep your beans. Combine lemon juice and olive oil and wisk. Place pine nuts in a skillet and toast gently. Mix all ingredients and serve at room temp or chill.

Yum!

Tofu Not-Jerky

A low-carb vegan snack, salad topping, or sandwich fixin’.

Let me start by saying clearly, this is not jerky. I know there are tofu jerky recipes out there, and this isn’t one of them.  But, it is a chewy tofu recipe that makes a good vegan snack, or sandwich filling item, or salad topper. And, it’s easy. Once you make a batch or two, it can be stuck in the fridge for quite a few days (I don’t know how many, to be honest, because it never lasts long here), and it’s very convenient to grab when you are in a rush.

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu (companies should start paying me)
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T olive oil, sesame oil, or hot chili oil (you can skip or reduce this if looking for lower fat, I often do)
  • 1/2 t liquid smoke (if you don’t have any, or don’t like it, remove and add a bit more soy or water)
  • Some combination of: 1 t minced ginger, 1-2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 t red pepper flakes

Process

Open tofu and drain. Place block on a cutting board, with the widest side down. Slice into thin slices. I aim for somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4″.  Lay out slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking stone (preferred). In a blender or food processor, mix the soy sauce, oil, liquid smoke, and spices to distribute the flavor of the spices throughout. Brush or sprinkle marinade over slices. Place in oven at 300* and cook until it reaches the texture you like. If you want it to be even chewier, reduce temp down to 250* and cook longer. Cool to room temp or chill and enjoy in whatever form strikes your fancy!