A Lovely Fall Lentil Salad

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My friends, welcome to fall! This may be my favorite season – that crispness in the air, a slight bite to the wind, but the most dreamy color schemes a lady could ask for all around. It’s also time for a welcome return to roasted veggies and heartier meals. Huzzah!

This particular dish was photographed my Mr. Adam Reitano. He’s wonderful and incredibly talented, and you should definitely check out his website to see some of his other work.

Now, onto the food. There are two things that I love about lentils: 1) they’re tasty; and 2) they’re cheap. I’ll add a number 3: 3) they’re easy to make. If you haven’t spent time with my dear friends the de Puys or the browns, then please, please, go to your local market and meet them. You’ll like them.

This particular lentil salad is really a mish-mosh of whatever veggies you have on hand. The combination of some cooked veggies with some raw gives the dish some nice variety and texture. That said, you have sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes? Awesome! You have parsnips? Cool! You really don’t like radishes? Fine! Well, promise me you’ll at least try them sauteed before you axe them completely – they’re realllllly nice that way. You want to add green beans or broccoli? Do it! A handful of greens would also be sooooo good here. Same goes for spices, folks. Mix it up, be creative. This is a hard thing to totally mess up because there’s really no “right” way to do it.

What you need:

DSC_81812 cups rinsed and drained lentils (I like de Puys, but any type could be good here)

1 small onion, chopped and sauteed

6 cloves garlic, chopped and sauteed

2 russet potatoes, diced and roasted

1-2 cups white mushroomes, sliced and sauteed

1 head of cauliflower, chopped and either roasted or left raw (if I roast cauliflower, I eat it all in about 5 minutes, so it’s left raw in this recipe)

I bunch radishes, cleaned, sliced, and sauteed

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 yellow pepper, chopped

Handful cilantro, chopped

2 heaping Tbsp whole grain mustard

Olive oil, enough for lots of sauteeing and roasting and about an 2-3 Tbs for dressing

Champagne vinegar, about 1/8 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Whew, that’s a lot of ingredients. Stay with me, this is easier than it seems.

What to do:

First, preheateth thine oven. To 375.

Second, begin boiling 5 cups of water on the stove. Once the boiling has occurred, put your rinsed and drained lentils into the pot, keep at a rollingboil for about 30 seconds, then reduce to a low boil, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes-ish. Keep checking back on these guys. If there seems to be too much water, take the lid off and let some evaporate off. The real thing to avoid here is mushy lentils.

This is how many people like a mushy lentil salad: 0. Ew. So, watch your lentils like little lentil-loving hawks!

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While your lentils cook, dice your potatoes, coat in about 1-2Tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper, then spread out on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven when ready and roast for about 15-20 minutes, flip them, and roast another 5-10 minutes.

While these guys are roasting, begin the sautee.DSC_8265

Chop your onion, garlic, and sautee in olive oil (or veggie broth if you’d rather) until tender and golden brown, then add your mushrooms and radishes.DSC_8661

Once everything is tender and luscious looking in your sautee pan, remove from heat. Check your potatoes and your lentils. Once ready, remove both from heat as well. Chop the rest of your raw ingredients.DSC_8783

Mix it all in a bowl!DSC_8790

Add olive oil, vinegar, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, and eat! Serves about 4 as a main meal, or 6 as side dishes. Enjoy and happy fall, bloggernet!DSC_8809

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Simple, Light, and Luscious Potato Salad

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Oh, my friends, it’s been a heck of a summer. Good weather since March, and the sunshine continues. At the farmer’s market there are lots of little potatoes appearing along with all the summer regulars. Combined with some Styrian Pumpkin Oil (fancy, I know, but my man knows the way to this lady’s heart), champagne vinegar, and whole grain mustard, and these little potato buddies are your new best friends for simple late summer side dishes on hot days. 

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What you need:

8 baby potatoes, quartered and boiled until tender (not mushy. Don’t nobody like a mushy potato)

1 huge, heaping Tbsp of whole grain mustard

1-2 Tbsp champagne vinegar (depending on how much tanginess you like)

2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seed Oil (or high quality dark, dark, olive oil)

Salt and Pepper to taste

IMG_9379IMG_9386 After you’ve boiled your potatoes, rinse them immediately with cold water. Combine oil, vinegar, and mustard in a bowl. Mix liquid and potatoes and salt and pepper to taste! That’s it. For reals. AND, keep this in the fridge overnight and it’s even better tasting once the potatoes have had a nice chance to marinate. IMG_9390 

 Eat and enjoy the rest of the summer, my friends! 🙂

 

 

 

Summer Rolls! Fresh, tasty, fast, easy, and cheap! YES!

IMG_9085Summer in the PNW is the best. Days are long, luscious fruits and veggies are plentiful, and this has been a particularly sunny one so far. Warm days mean light fresh meals and one of our favorite summer dinners ins also one of the cheapest, easiest, and fastest things we make around here. Even better, it’s full of veggie goodness and can be based around whatever you have on hand for the most part.

IMG_9075Even just looking at the stuff that goes into it is nice!IMG_9081What you need:

Buckwheat noodles (if you’re doing this gluten-free)

Rice paper wrappers, about 3-4 per person

1 red bell peppers, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

1 avocado, sliced

1 small head of green leave or romaine lettuce

1 package extra-firm tofu (I got mine at Trader Joe’s – the organic sprouted kind is so good!)

Handful of fresh cilantro

Handful of fresh basil

Hot (HOT!) water to soak the rice papers in

Peanut sauce!!!! – San J gluten-free peanut sauce is AMAZING!!!!!!IMG_9077Slice all them veggies just like you see here in this picture. Prepare your noodles per package instructions, normally about 8 minutes in boiling water will get them set.IMG_9083Soak a rice paper in HOT water. Add veggies, noodles, and tofu to taste, wrap it up and dip it in some peanut-y goodness. IMG_9087This one looks a little sad because by the time I remembered to take a picture, I was in a state of blissful unawareness of how badly my roll-making skillz had gotten. They’re just that tasty.

VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK!!!! Green and White and Delicious All Over: Spring Salad with Shaved Fennel, Zucchini, Cauliflower, Peas, and Avocodo

IMG_9015I’m so proud to be participating in this years Virtual Vegan Potluck with so many fantastic food bloggers! Over 170 bloggers around the world are uniting to bring the veggie-friendly foodlovers of the world some deIiciousness. I RSVP’d that I’d “bring” a salad to this interweb party, and here’s what I’ve created….a little dish that’s quick to throw together and full of spring veggie goodness and starring my good friend fennel.IMG_9011What you need:

1 bulb fennel, THINLY sliced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced (yes, this is a trend…when in doubt, slice even thinner)

1/2 head cauliflower, thinly sliced

1 bunch asparagus, lightly steamed and chopped

1.5 avocados, thinly sliced

1 cup snap peas, chopped

1 head green romaine lettuce, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp good-quality olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9012Start by very gently steaming your asparagus so that it remains crisp, but turns bright, beautiful green.IMG_9013

After that, slice and chop your way to vegetable perfection and toss it all in a bowl.IMG_9016Add lemon juice and olive oil to your salad bowl, toss so that everything is lightly coated. The dressing should be SUPER light to show-off all them veggies in their glory, but you could also add a little whole grain mustard to kick it up a notch. Salt and pepper to taste, and bam! You have a beautiful green salad for your potluck and your belly!IMG_9019Just look how happy this salad made Lori of Crown Hill Day by Day. (I won’t lie, the joy was also due to some incredibly fuzzy socks).

Happy potlucking friends!

For more tasty salad ideas go back to Emmy Cooks and forward to Veg Bon Vivant. To see the rest of the Virtual Vegan Potluck participants, click here. vvplogo

Back in Action With Spicy Slaw and Baked Plantain Chips. Woot! (Gf and Vegan)

IMG_8997Well, my friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and I apologize. I’ve been thinking about recipes, but the last couple of weeks have been, um, let’s say dynamic and challenging. That sounds diplomatic, right? Job changes (my new gig starts tomorrow!), forced entry into the constant pain-in-the-ass realm of real estate, and midterms. Whew. So, I won’t lie, I’ve been putting my energy into other things. 

The bug to cook and post came back today though. Hooray! So, I present you with this little dish. It’s light and spicy, but hearty enough to be lunch. It’s also fantastic on tacos and aside from a lot of chopping, it doesn’t take much. IMG_8994What you need:

For the plantains:

well, you need plantains. 🙂 2 medium very, very ripe (and pretty much black)

1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

For the slaw:

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped roughly

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 zucchini, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, chopped

1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped

1 mango, chopped

1.5 cups cooked pinto beans (or 1 can)

1/2 cup salsa verde, as spicy as you like

2 Tbsp white whine vinegar

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

salt and pepper to tasteP1030173_2First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the plantains…remember, the thinner you slice them, the crispier they’ll be. I like mine slightly chewy, so they weren’t super thinly sliced. Pour melted coconut oil over slices and spread onto large baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 min, flip plantains, and bake another 10 minutes. They should be golden brown or slightly darker. Soooooo delicious. IMG_8993P1030169To make the slaw, chop the veggies! I’ve started growing cilantro in my apartment, and it’s been so nice just  to walk over and grab what I need. Who knew indoor spices could grow so well? IMG_8996Once all the slaw fixings are chopped, add beans, salsa, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper and toss. Serve with plantains and enjoy! 🙂IMG_8997

Dream Team: Roasted Beets, Beans, Greens, and Grapefruit Salad.

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Some days, I spend literally half the day thinking about the salad I’m going to eat for dinner. Well, not half the day, but periodically throughout the day.  This particular salad had been in my head for a few days, and I’ve been waiting for a few spare moments to actually make it happen. Well, today was that day, and I’m so glad it was. Beets, green beans, black rice, pear, white beans, kale, romaine, and sweet, sweet meyer lemons all mixed up with a little goat cheese and walnuts to round it out and dressed with meyer lemon vinagrette….it’s a party in a bowl. And you just can’t beet (pardon the pun) eating food that looks like a rainbow. It’s also surprisingly filling and rich, so it works best as a main dish.

So, you also want to have a rainbow party in a bowl? Fortunately this is VERY easy.

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What you need:

1 large beet, cubed

1.5 cups of cooked white beans or 1 can (garbonzo, navy, canellini, great northern, or butter beans would all work)

2 cups of green beans, chopped into 1 inch segments

1 grapefruit, sliced or chopped

1/2 bosc pear, chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 Tbsp goat cheese (omit if doing this vegan-style)

1 cup black rice, cooked

2 cups baby kale

zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon

2-3 cups washed and cut romaine

For the dressing:

juice of 1 meyer lemon

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1 tbsp whole grain mustard

1/8 cup chopped red onion

4 Tbsp champagne vinegar

2 Tbsp water

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First, roast them beets! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, toss the beet in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and the juice of 1 meyer lemon. Spread the beets  on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, until firm, but cooked through.

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While the beets roast, prepare the black rice. Black rice is not only really, really tasty with a slightly nutty flavor and gorgeous dark purple color, but is higher in antioxidants than other rices. Combine 1 cup rice with 1 and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 30 minutes until done.

Saute the green beans over medium-high heat until they reach a vibrant green color (this is only about 3-4 minutes), but are still nice and crunchy. Remove from heat.

Combine all the vegetables and fruits in a large bowl, toss with the zest and juice of a meyer lemon. Add goat cheese, walnuts, beans, and about 3/4 cup of the black rice .

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients, and blend in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet (that little machine is the best). Dress the salad, toss, salt and pepper to taste, and serve! *Note* The only thing I’d change here, is that I wouldn’t have forgotten to add 1/2 of an avocado! Don’t make my mistake!!!!!

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Millet-Quinoa-Rainbow-Veggie Salad of Happiness (in F Major)

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This name sounds ridiculous, I know. We debated both what the name should be and what note it would be for awhile and never really came up with a great name (as evidenced by the above, which while not concise, it is accurate), but did decide that F Major was definitely the note. G Major was the other option, both would work. That led to playing notes on the iphone to double check. What you can do on an iPhone is amazing. Yeesh. For those of you who don’t know me, yes, you are correct, I ere on the side of nerd. For those of you who do know me, you knew that already and are shaking your heads at my nerdiness.

Anyway, I digress. This meal was inspired by my need for color on another grey Seattle day, and by the abundance of absurdly beautiful veggies in my kitchen from Full Circle Farms. It incorporates a mix of veggies, fruit, and whole grains that may sound a little strange, but they work together like….like….well, it’s late and I can’t think of anything specific, so I’ll say it’s like something really delicious, filling, easy, and nutritious. It’s a magical and happy salad, and it will be repeated.

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SO. To make you need (and this makes about 6-8 servings):

1 butternut squash, cubed and roasted

1 celery root, diced and roasted

1 bunch rainbow chard, stems chopped and set aside, leaves sauteed

1/2 red onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 apple, chopped

1 cup of millet

1 cup of quinoa

1 cup of black beans

1 tomato, chopped

handful of fresh parsley, chopped

knob of coconut oil

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

For dressing:

1 1/2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

3 Tbsp champagne vinegar

small handful fresh parsley, chopped

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To start, slice your squash, scoop out the seeds, and chop. Peel and chop the celery root. Toss both with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheets and roast at 450 until golden brown on outside and cooked through.

To prepare your grains, bring 4 cups of water to a boil with chopped parsley. When boiling, add quinoa and millet, boil for 1 minute and reduce heat and simmer til cooked (about 20 min).

Place onion and garlic in a pan with coconut oil on medium-high heat. When onions browned and softened, add chard leaves along with 5 Tbsp water. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, remove lid, and saute.

Add squash, celery root, grains, greens, onions, and garlic to a large bowl along with tomato, apple, and black beans. Whisk together dressing and pour over salad and stir together. Garnish with avocado, and bask in the warm deliciousness of what you just made.  Also, keep away from hyper-focused dog in background. 🙂

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