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.

20160307_191558

Chickpea & Cashew Curry

I could not be more grateful for my father’s acceptance of my vegan lifestyle. In the past few months he has adopted a vegetarian diet, eating vegan during our shared meals together, and has developed a curiosity in vegan recipes. He bought a cookbook called The Vegan Cookbook, which has simple and delicious no nonsense recipes. This chickpea and cashew curry is amazingly delicious and made a great packed lunch the next day. It attracted some attention from the people I was eating lunch with, and prompted me to type out and share the recipe. This is the first recipe that I will post that I have not actually made myself.

Here is one hearty winter dish to get through the cold months.

Ingredients
1 cup diced potatoes
3 tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish

First, cook potatoes in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until tender but still firm. Next, heat oil in a saucepan, then saute onions, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, chili powder, tumeric, and cinnamon until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the drained potatoes, chickpeas, and cashews, and cook for three minutes.

Stir in the stock and coconut milk, then reduce the heat and cook for another 15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Garnish with cilantro and serve with cooked rice.

I can’t seem to find the cookbook online, as I have no author to google, and the title of the book is quite vague. If you do happen to come across it, I also tried and enjoyed the spicy stuffed bell peppers and thai vermicelli soup. Also, I wish I had my own picture, but here is the one from the book.

20131203_210015

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese has been my favorite food pretty much since I was able to eat solid food. As such, I was pretty excited to try making a vegan version of my favorite dish. One of the people I am living with right now has been vegan for two years, and has a cookbook called Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton. I decided to make the recipe called “Mac-oh-geez”.

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups elbow macaroni (don’t use much more than that)
Sauce:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk (I used soy milk)
3/4 cups cashews
1/2 cups almonds
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
2 tsp arrowroot powder (my vegan housemate had this in her pantry and let me use it, but I think cornstarch would work too)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil (I used grape seed oil)

Bread Crumb Topping:
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp oil

I preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly greased an 8 by 12 inch baking dish.

I cooked the pasta in slightly salted boiling water for 6-8 minutes, until al dente. It is important to remember that the pasta will keep cooking in the oven.

I put all the sauce ingredients in a blender, but reserved 1 cup of the soy milk. I blended the mixture until smooth, then added  the rest of the soy milk and blended it some more.

I put the cooked noodles into the prepared baking dish, and poured the sauce on top. It looked very saucy, but it really thickened up in the oven.

I mixed the bread crumbs and oil together and poured on top of the casserole, then covered it in tinfoil and baked it for 17 minutes. Then, I removed the tinfoil and baked it for another 7 minutes, until the top started to turn golden brown.

Overall, the mac and cheese looked exactly like the casserole I make with cheese, butter, and milk, and it tasted similar, but of course, not bang on. There was a slight sweetness to it that I am trying to understand; maybe the soy milk is responsible for this, even though it was unsweetened. But, with a little bit of pepper on top, and this dish can definitely satisfy the mac and cheese craving.

20130608_184532 20130608_184637

Funny side note: with my peanut allergy, it can be very difficult to find nuts that were not processed on the same equipment as peanuts. Usually pistachios are easy to find in the grocery store, but not much else. Thankfully, Costco sells a brand called Kirkland that has many different options that are not processed with peanuts. I was able to buy a bag of almonds, but the bag of cashews had the “may contain” label on it. However, I found a bag of mixed nuts and fruit that were safe and had cashews in it! So, for this mac and cheese recipe, I picked out the cashews one by one. Yes, these are the lengths I will go to to try out a new recipe.