Sunday, May 15, 2011

Roasted Veggie Salad

This is a salad I took for our Mother's Day BBQ. Everyone raved about it. When people don't know tofu is in something, they'll eat it all up. Don't tell. The dressing for this is better if you make it ahead, more than an hour, to let the flavors fully combine. If you taste it early, it tastes powdery.

This colorful salad features roasted and raw vegetables, beans, and a creamy dressing made with fresh dill, green onions and tofu. This salad is great for parties and potlucks.


½ cup soft-medium tofu
3 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup non-dairy milk
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ avocado, diced
2 green onions, chopped
2-3 tablespoons fresh dill


6 small golden beets, washed, with skins on
1 small-medium red onion, diced
1 green and 1 yellow zucchini, diced
1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 ½ avocado, diced
1 can salt-free Cannellini beans

Dressing: Combine the tofu, lemon juice, non-dairy milk, garlic powder, and avocado in a blender until smooth. Add in the chopped green onion and dill and blend for just a couple of seconds more (so little green pieces of dill and onion are still visible). Set aside. You can also make this ahead of time (or the night before) so that the flavors blend more thoroughly.

Roasting the vegetables: Preheat your oven to 375. Place the whole beets on a non-stick baking pan (with sides) and roast uncovered for 30 minutes. While the beets are roasting, dice the onion, zucchini, and bell pepper. Remove the pan, turn the beets over, and add the diced vegetables to the pan and roast everything for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the diced vegetables start to brown slightly at their tips, and a knife slides into the beets easily. While the vegetables are finishing roasting, place the tomatoes, avocado and beans into a large mixing bowl. Cool the beets a little before peeling and dicing them.

Assembling the salad: Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl of tomatoes, avocado and beans, and toss with about half the dressing (add more dressing to your taste). Serve warm or cold.

Preparation: 20 minutes; cooking time: 50 minutes; serves: 6

Notes: You can use red beets, but they will color your salad red. / If you use larger beets, they will need longer cooking time. / This salad may also be made with all the same salad ingredients, but raw (grate the peeled beets and zucchini, and dice the onion and bell pepper). / Use any leftover dressing on green salads or baked potatoes, or as a vegetable dip.

Thought I'd throw in a close up of it.

Raw Apple Crumble

This is one of the dishes I took for our Mother's day BBQ. Everyone loved it.

This is a great dessert because it’s easier and faster to make than an apple pie or crisp, and requires no baking. Instead of refined sugars, this recipe uses dates for sweetness, and lemon juice and nutmeg for that extra zing.


1 cup walnuts
4 pitted dates

Apple filling:

3 apples, peeled, sliced and large diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 apples, peeled, sliced and large diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 pitted Medjool dates
¼ cup raisins
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Topping: Blend the walnuts and 4 dates in a food processor until the texture is a little smaller than Grape Nuts. Spoon into a small bowl and set aside.

Filling: Toss the 3 peeled, sliced and diced apples with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and set aside in a bowl. Next, in the food processor, blend the remaining 2 apples, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 6 pitted dates, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss this mixture with the sliced apples.

Serve: Place one-fourth of the apple filling into a small dessert dish and sprinkle with date-nut topping.

I doubled the recipe for everything, except for where the 3 apples were called for, I used 8 apples instead of 6. I also didnt use nutmeg as I don't care for it. I used allspice in it's place. I also didn't use medjool dates. There were two kinds at Costco and I didn't know the difference except for cost, so I just got the regular kind.

Potato soup

This is my favourite soup. We make it often. The amount I am listing makes alot of soup. You can half the recipe to make a smaller amount. This is also a very kid friendly soup. I found that my kids do better when soups are blended than with big chunks.

6 large russet potatoes, cooked cubed small
3 small red potatoes, cooked, diced small
1 large yellow onion
1 cup unsweetened soy milk or other milk substitute.
2.5 cups water
4 T nutritional yeast
2 t rosemary
1/8 t white pepper
1/4-1/2 t salt, if desired.

Water saute onion in large pot. While onion is cooking, peel and cube the russets and dice the reds. I peel my reds as the skins to me are bitter, set the reds aside for later.

Once the onion is cooked, add the potatoes, nutritional yeast, rosemary, white pepper, and the water and milk. Let simmer for about 5 minutes or so.

Using an immersion blender (can put in a regular one if you don't have an immersion blender) blend until the potato isn't chunky. Add more water or milk if needed. Once the desired consistency is reached, add the diced red potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. If the soup is too watery, allowing it to simmer will make it thicker. Frozen corn can also be added if desired.

I am not sure where the original recipe came from as we have been making it for so long now, but it isn't the same anymore. I know it called for veggie broth, but we just stopped using it.

Oh, and go easy on the white pepper. It will make it very spicy and strong. I also add extra nutritional yeast depending on strong I want it.

Yam and black bean chili

With it being winter again, chili seemed in order, but I didn't want my normal kidney bean chili. I've heard for years about people using yams or sweet potatoes in their chili, so looked around at several recipes and decided to just go freehand with what I had on hand.

1 large yellow onion, diced
1 each yellow, red, and orange sweet pepper, chopped
1 large yam or sweet potato, diced
4 large cloves of garlic, grated
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 cans of black beans or 3 cups cooked, rinsed and drained
2 cups of water
2-3 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1 t cayenne pepper (or desired amount)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup frozen corn

Take the first 4 ingredients and water saute for 10 minutes in a large pot. Add the tomatoes, water, and spices except for the cilantro and simmer for about 20 or until the yams are cooked. Once the yams are cooked, add the beans, corn and cilantro and simmer for about 5-10 mins for all the flavors to blend.

Very good all by itself, but you can put over a baked potato or a bowl of rice. The combination of sweet from the yams and the spicy from the cayenne pepper is one of my favourite flavors.

PS, I need to upload the picture to my folder. I took it then posted it on facebook and I can't make it larger, but I can from the photo folder. I was trying to avoid uploading more pics. Itunes freezes on me and it bugs me. But I will fix the photo.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Revised Tacoless Taco Salad

I have no picture of this, because my bowl isn't see through glass, but I revised my taco salad a bit.

One of the things about a restaurant taco salad that I really like, besides the shell of course, is the refried beans.

So today I took my crockpot beans, put them in a large bowl and heated through. Then mashed with a fork to make them "refried" like. Then layered the ingredients on top.

I had the beans on the bottom, then layered shredded lettuce, then hot rice, then sprinkled salsa on that, then took a large Roma tomato and a 1/4 of an avocado on that. Squeezed a lime and called it lunch!!

There is something so calming about warm mashed beans all over lettuce, I cant explain it. And while I like the original, I really love this more:O)

And I can now say, after having eaten only half of this salad, my eyes were WAY bigger then my stomach!!!