Kumquats!

No peach pavlova thing today. Sorry SMSrs, I did not have the time this week.

I heart kumquats.  They are so cool–from their name to their taste. The lazy person in me loves that you eat them whole and don’t have to peel them. I re-visited Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking and made the Clemenquat Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Shavings. It’s a salad of celery, clementines, and yes, kumquats dressed in simple mix of lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil and topped with toasted walnuts and some parmesan. It’s fresh, sour, sweet, and very easy to make. The hardest part was slicing the celery.

Find the recipe here: Clemenquat Salad with Walnuts and Parmesan Shavings

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Ten in 2010: Two Healthy, Vegan Salads

I stayed on track this week with my Ten in 2010 goals. I did my runs and yoga classes, I exercised 6/7 days, and ate 100% vegan AND healthy. I also lost a 1/3rd of my vacation and holiday weight gain.

The secret to eating healthy (and vegan) and maybe just life in general, is to plan ahead and always have food you can eat available.

This week to help me along I made two healthy, vegan salads. The recipes come from the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. The first recipe is Couscous Confetti Salad. A colorful mix of whole-wheat couscous, chopped vegetables, and golden raisins.  The dressing is seasoned with curry powder to give a bit of a kick and the flavor combines well with the sweet raisins. This was a big hit, not just with me, but with my friends too.

The second recipe is a Hoppin’ John Salad. Made with black-eyed peas (the first time I’ve had them!), Hoppin’ John is a traditional New Year’s dish. This version was made with brown rice and served cold with a lemon-garlic dressing. This was a big hit too, but only with me. Because I didn’t share it. 😛

I also made a big pot of Cinnamon-Raisin Oatmeal for breakfast. When I didn’t have my oatmeal, I ate fruit with a non-dairy yogurt and 7-grain puffed cereal.

If you would like to join the the Ten in 2010 group, visit Lori at the RecipeGirl blog HERE.

Sweet Potatoes!!

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I heart sweet potatoes and was considering holding a Sweet Potato Week just like my recent Pumpkin Week. I decided against it because I didn’t want to get sick of sweet potatoes like I did with pumpkin. I’m just getting over my pumpkin ennui.

For a change, I’ve been going back to some of my cookbooks that I haven’t cooked or baked from in awhile. I recently made  Sweet Potato Muffins with Crystallized Ginger from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I also busted out my book that started me off, the original version How to Cook Everything to make some of the sauces for my pizza party.

This week’s Vegan Tuesday recipe~Morrocan Sweet Potato Salad~ comes from The Art of Simple Food. I changed the recipe a bit. I added a red onion, used lime juice instead of lemon, and doubled the cilantro.  The salad is spiced with saffron, paprika, and cumin.

Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad

Adapted from The Art of Simple Food
  • 1 pound of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Toss sweet potatoes and onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in 375º F oven and roast until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together saffron, cumin, paprika, salt, and lime juice. Slowly add in olive oil. Pour over sweet potatoes while they are still warm. Stir in cilantro. Let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Serve at room temperature.

The salad is good, but not as good as Mark Bittman’s Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans and Chili Dressing. I made it for a pot luck a few weeks ago, took pictures, and never blogged it. So here it is:

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While googling it for the recipe, I found another Mark Bittman sweet potato salad that sounds delicious: Southwestern Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad. I’m going to make this for another potluck in a couple weeks.

Grilled Avocado

Grilled avocado is a wonder and you’ve got to try it.This months Gourmet has a recipe for a Romaine, Grilled Avocado, and Smoky Corn Sald with Chipotle-Caesar Dressing.  It sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

I grilled the corn and avocado on Sunday and have been bringing the salad to work for lunch. I made the dressing without Parmesan to keep it vegan. This time instead of bringing my camera to work, I just took a picture with my Blackberry and called it a day.

Get the recipe for the salad and dressing HERE.

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Check out Michele’s Vegan Tuesday, Big Veggie Casserole, at Veggie Num Nums.

Baby Shower

cupcake

At work yesterday we threw a surprise baby shower for a close friend and coworker. I made cupcakes, rolls, salad, and veggie sandwiches. I was up until 1 am the morning the night before making the rolls. I got up at 5 am to frost the cupcakes, make the salad and dressing, assemble the sandwiches. It was well worth it. My friend D, was surprised. {I still can’t believe we pulled it off}. And the food was delicious!

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For the cupcakes, I used Ina Garten’s famous Coconut Cupcake recipe. They certainly lived up to their reputation and were a big hit.  For the rolls, I used Peter Reinhart’s formula for white bread variation #2 (which uses buttermilk) from The Bread Bakers Apprentice. The sandwiches were easy to assemble: pesto, fire-roasted red peppers, and goat cheese (how can you go wrong with goat cheese? 😛 ).

The salad was inspired by a Hipcooks Greek cooking class the soon-to-be mommy, another friend, and I took earlier in the year. It very delicious and easy to make.

Not-so traditional Greek Salad

Adapted from Hipcooks

  • A bunch of grapes
  • 1 bag baby lettuce mix from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 bag spring lettuce mix from Trader Joe’s
  • 4 ounces crumbled Haloumi cheese (You can find it at Whole Foods, Armenian markets, or gourmet grocery stores)
  • a bunch of fresh tarragon
  • Olive oil
  • Lemons
  • Salt, to taste

Toss the first five ingredients. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Taste as you go and stop when it reaches the  flavors of the incredients reach the right balance.

This salad is very easy to make and very delicious. Yum!

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