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

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! 🙂

 

 

 

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