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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Summer Potato Salad

BBQ season is upon us, and in my opinion, potato salad is the perfect side to any grilled main dish. I decided to make a potato salad to go with some veggie burgers, and it turned out dill-icious… What can I say, I like puns. And dill.

I also have to report that the ultimate veggie burger has been brought to my attention. It is by the company Soyarie, which has a few different options for flavours. I got the herb flavour, and the package looks like the picture below. The reason why I am sharing this is because they are far superior to the other ones in the tofu section at my grocery store, and I have much difficulty making my own veggie burgers that don’t squeeze out of the bun upon being eaten.

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Ingredients
4-5 cups cubed potatoes, skins on (this was about 2 1/2 large potatoes for me)
3 green onions, diced
1-2 celery stalks, minced
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of paprika

I began by placing the potatoes in a pot, covered in water by about one inch. I salted the water and gave it a stir. The potatoes cooked until a fork could be easily inserted into them, about 10 minutes. This depends on the size of the cubes. When the potatoes were cooked, I drained them and let them cool until room temperature.

All of the rest of the ingredients were added to a large bowl with the cooked potatoes.

Enjoy with anything off the BBQ or bring on a picnic! You don’t have to worry about the mayo going bad the way that you have to with real mayo. Also, Vegenaise is delicious.

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Creamy Pasta Salad

Spring has sprung, and the hot weather is slowly becoming the norm. Big salads have become one of my go-to dishes for lunches, which can last me two or three days if I make enough. I have posted other salads before, such as Everything Salad, and Asian Millet Salad, but this one is perfect for the summer time. Great for picnics, work/school lunches, potlucks, and BBQs. In case you didn’t know, hummus is a delicious addition to any salad dressing, adding protein and creaminess to the veggies. I put hummus on everything. For some other cool ideas about how to use hummus, check out this.  One of the best things about using hummus instead of mayo is that you do not have to worry about the amount of time it has been left out of the fridge if bringing it on a picnic.

Ingredients for the Salad

3 cups uncooked pasta, cooked using the package directions (I used whole wheat bow pasta)
1/2 cup chopped kale or spinach
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup finely chopped broccoli
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
3 diced green onions
Nuts and seeds of choice (I used pumkin seeds, hemp seeds, and cashews)

Ingredients for the Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup hummus
1/4 cup vegan mayo, or  hummus
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
Optional: 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

I washed and chopped all the veggies and tossed them with the nuts and seeds. I placed all the dressing ingredients in a jar, covered it with a lid and shook it until all the ingredients were combined. I poured the dressing over the veggies. Depending on how many veggies you have, you may need to adjust the dressing recipe. Also, it is very easy to substitute any veggies or leave any of them out entirely.

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Asian Millet Salad

There’s nothing like a delicious salad for lunch that has you coming back for more. This salad definitely owes a lot to the dressing, which is from Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, but the rest of the salad was created by me. I have been experimenting with millet, and wound up with a lot of leftovers last night. I decided to base this recipe off my everything salad. This is jacked with protein, from the millet, spinach, beans, edamame beans, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.

Ingredients for the salad
1 cup millet, cooked to a rice-like consistency and cooled
1/2 red cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup spinach, shredded
1 cup black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup edamame beans
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Ingredients for the dressing
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/8 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 cup maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 jalapeno, diced

After lots of chopping, dicing and shredding, I mixed all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then in a small bowl whisked the dressing ingredients, then tossed it with the salad. SO GOOD.

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Everything Salad

Two common comments I hear about a vegan diet is that cooking vegan takes more time than carnivorous meals, and that it is hard to get enough protein. In my opinion these things are not true. In the past few month Tom and I have discovered some recipes that have become staples in our diet for quick meals, and they just so happen to be packed with protein. Here is one of the recipes, which I am going to call an Eveything Salad because there are so many possibilities for what you can put in it.

Ingredients
1 or 2 cups quinoa, cooked with 2 or 4 cups water or vegetable broth, and cooled (I ate this salad warm too, and it was delicious)
x amount shredded carrots
x amount roughly chopped spinach, kale, or arugula
x amount corn (canned, or stripped from a cooked ear of corn)
amount red onion
amount toasted almonds*

Maple Dijon Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper

Basically, just toss all the veggies together with the quinoa, mix the dressing in a container and toss with the salad, and you’ve got yourself a delicious lunch or dinner (especially good on a hot day). The amount of dressing needed may vary on your taste buds; there may be too much dressing depending on how big the salad is.

I also really enjoy adding about 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast to add a cheesy flavour  and some extra nutrition (1/4 cup of nutritional yeast is 300% of your daily intake of vitamin B12, which is most commonly found in animal products).

Suggestions for other add-ons: raisins, dried cranberries, other toasted nuts, cucumber, tomato, cooked and cubed sweet potatoes, and fried tofu for the warm salad. You can also substitute other salad dressings, or just use olive oil and salt. The possibilities are endless.

Cooking quinoa takes 20 minutes, and chopping the veggies can be done during this time. If you eat the salad warm, it could take you 20 minutes to make. Furthermore, 1 cup of uncooked quinoa (which is the minimum amount in this recipe) has 24g of protein, and 1 cup of almonds has 30g of protein. Enough protein for you?!

* To toast almonds, place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until a smell comes from the oven, about 10 minutes. Let them cool completely before eating.

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