Broccoli Salad

The last bakery I worked at made soup and salad every day. One day I was blown away by a delicious broccoli cheddar salad; I had never explored broccoli as the central ingredient to a salad. I have recently been making a vegan version of it and I wanted to share it here. Broccoli is a wonderful vegetable filled with vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, potassium, protein, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

This salad is creamy, crunchy, and delicious. It can be served on its own as a light lunch or a snack, or as a side to a veggie burger or any other delicious bbq-type food.

Ingredients for the salad
1 large head of broccoli (about 4 cups of the florets)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
handful pecan pieces, raw or toasted
handful cashews, raw or toasted
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

Ingredients for the dressing
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp vegan mayo (I use the brand Vegenaise)
1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

I started by removing the stems from the broccoli (I save those for juicing) and tearing the broccoli florets into small, bite-sized pieced. I placed them in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients for the salad.

In a small bowl, I whisked all the dressing ingredients together and mixed it with the veggies and nuts.

If the salad seems too liquidy, I add more vegan mayo and nutritional yeast. Also, the quantities of the salad ingredients can be played with. I like having lots of dried cranberries (though in the photo I didn’t have nearly enough), and I am usually generous with the nutritional yeast. I have also subbed hummus for some of the mayo.

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Vegan Cauliflower Creamy Pasta

Creamy pasta is one of my favourite comfort foods, and I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe that I found on ohsheglows.com. This is a website I use very frequently to find new interesting vegan recipes, especially when I am not sure what I want to make for dinner.

Let’s face it – typical alfredo sauce has nothing particularly healthy in it. This recipe takes vitamin-rich cauliflower and turns it into a delightful pasta companion, without using butter, parmesan, or cream. I love using vegetables creatively, especially to create comfort food; for example, I used spaghetti squash as cheese on vegan pizza.

Ingredients for the sauce
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy milk)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice from 1/2 small lemon
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
Box of pasta, cooked
Optional: broccoli, cut into small pieces

I began by steaming the cauliflower until I could easily insert a fork into the florets. In a small pan I heated the oil and lightly sauteed the garlic. I put all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and pureed it until smooth. I steamed the broccoli separately, then added the sauce and broccoli to the cooked pasta, and heated the dish until hot. This is a simple, delicious, and nutritious meal. Comfort food with a healthy twist.

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Green Juice

I was super excited to get a juicer for Christmas, as well as Kris Carr’s cookbook, called Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I have been following her blog for months now, getting all sorts of plant advice. Apparently juicing gets adictive, and can replace coffee in the morning. Today I tried making her Morning Glorious green juice. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but is filled with lots of health-benefits. I followed the ingredients but not all the measurements.

Ingredients
1/2 cucumber
Handful of kale
Handful of lettuce
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 green apple, cored
1 broccoli stem

I prepared and juiced these ingredients, and now I have two cups of green juice for tomorrow morning to kick start my first day back to school. I have 7 hours of class, so I think I’ll need the boost.

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