Sunday, June 18, 2017

Salade Niçoise

Before social media took over how we humans connect and interact on the internet, blogs used to be an avenue for like-minded individuals to "meet," support each other, and share ideas.  I found so many cool vegetarian and locavore food blogs to follow "back then," and ended up making friends in "real life" with some of those bloggers as well!  Crystal was one of those cool internet people I actually met in real life - and although we haven't seen each other in years, we still follow each other on social media, and I still make her recipe for "Tempeh Niçoise" on the regular.  Her recipe is practically perfect as-is, (and I love love love her vinaigrette recipe, which is basically my standard vinaigrette recipe I vary salad by salad for this here blog project, and pretty much every salad we eat,) but I decided to adjust the recipe slightly for the mason jar, and also to include tuna (which is traditional in a Niçoise) for Rob, as he loves fish.  I hope you enjoy this flavorful, nutritious Salade Niçoise!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c flax oil (or more olive oil)
  • 1/4 c capers in brine, drained
  • 16-20 pitted Niçoise or other French olives
  • 2 cans chunk albacore tuna, drained well
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed and steamed until tender
  • 1 cup 1-inch pieces green beans, lightly steamed
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the vinaigrette: combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegars, and oils in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp dressing to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers; reserve the remaining dressing for another use.  Layer the capers, olives, tuna, egg, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and romaine in the jars.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute your favorite store-bought vinaigrette for the homemade vinaigrette.  Substitute frozen green beans, thawed, for the steamed green beans.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, substitute grilled or broiled tempeh for the tuna.  For a vegan salad, also substitute 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed, for the hard-boiled egg.  This salad is gluten- and nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Black Bean, Quinoa, and Mango Salad

Early into my forays of vegetarian and vegan cooking, I discovered Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks, and both Vegan with a Vengeance and Veganomicon remain favorites at my house.  Isa has the ability to make vegan food both punk rock and entirely accessible at the same time, and I appreciate her recipes for both everyday staples (pancakes, lentil soup, a million tofu and tempeh marinades, black bean burgers) and recipes that push the limits and challenge even the more seasoned cooks (seitan and veggies in mole, jambalaya, apple peanut butter caramel bars.)  Her recipe for "Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango" seems to straddle the boundary between an everyday staple and a limit-pusher - a crowd-pleaser (one of my go-to potluck recipes,) that is simple, nutritious, colorful, deliciously sweet-savory, and just a little bit unusual in its combination of ingredients.  I like this salad so much, it deserves a place in the mason jar salad rotation!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 c quinoa, bi- or tri-color (if available in your area)
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
  • 5-10 oz baby spinach


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the quinoa: combine the quinoa with 1 c water in a small saucepan; season with salt.  Bring the quinoa to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove the quinoa from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and cool.
  2. Pack the salads: add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers or mason jars; season with salt and pepper.  Layer the black beans, quinoa, red bell pepper, mango, green onion, cilantro, and spinach in the jars.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well, for the 2 cups home-cooked black beans.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Sushi Salad

We were just talking about sushi the other day - about how there is so much mediocre, overpriced sushi in the world, and about how I find it pretty easy to make sushi at home.  One of the things I most like about making my own sushi is that I can use brown rice, and can control how much salt and sugar goes into that rice.  And, sushi salads!  Sushi salads do away with the fussiness of making my own sushi rolls, and I can load up on the veggies in this Japanese-inspired rice bowl.  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp powdered wasabi
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 c short-grain brown rice, rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 c shelled edamame (thawed if from frozen)
  • 2-4 oz sushi grade tuna, grilled or broiled medium-rare
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated or julienned
  • 1 large cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 sheets toasted nori, cut into small strips


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the Ginger-Wasabi Vinaigrette: combine the canola oil, sesame oil, 2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar, soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Make the rice: combine the rice, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan.  Bring the rice to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.  Fluff the rice with a fork, uncover, and cool.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the edamame, tuna, avocado, carrot, cucumber, red bell pepper, green onions, and rice in the jars.  Divide the sesame seeds and nori evenly among four snack-sized zip-top bags or 2-oz jars, one for each salad. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with sesame seeds and nori strips.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce and prepared wasabi to taste for the Ginger-Wasabi vinaigrette.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian/vegan salad, omit the tuna and increase the shelled edamame to 2 cups.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute gluten-free tamari for the low-sodium soy sauce.  This salad is nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.