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Posts tagged 'vegan'

Italian Parsley Salad

Italian Parsley Salad

I found a version of this recipe on the inside of a matchbook, in a shoebox labeled “think outside the box," a collection of ideas and inspiration that had been growing over the years. It hadn't occurred to me to use parsley as a salad green until I came across this recipe, and boy am I glad I did. It makes a great partner for the red onion and capers, with some tomatoes thrown in for freshness. So simple, yet so delicious.

Italian Parsley Salad

Turn this salad into a meal by serving it atop thick slices of grilled whole grain bread.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 small red onion, halved, 1/2 thinly sliced lengthwise (reserve other half)
  • 4 Italian plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise ⅛ inch thick
  • ¼ cup small capers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, toss together parsley, basil, red onion, sliced tomatoes, capers and red pepper flakes. Add olive oil and lemon juice, and toss until evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with grilled bread.

vegetarian  vegan  tomatoes  red onion  parsley


Fresh Fig Salad with Watercress, Pears, and Pecans


If you’ve never tried a fresh fig, this is a great place to start! Chewy, smooth, crunchy, and sweet, they’re a real treat in season. A great source of fiber, and rich in antioxidants. They pair well with pears in this new take on the fruit salad. 

Fresh Fig Salad with Watercress, Pears and Pecans

Here’s an easy way to prepare watercress: Cut off the bottom third of the stems and discard; transfer the watercress to a bowl of cold water and wash well. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Serves 4

  • 2 ripe Anjou pears, cut in half, cored and cut into ¼ inch dice. (I prefer to leave the skin on for the contrast in color and added nutrients)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 Black Mission figs; stems trimmed, figs cut lengthwise into eighths
  • 2 heads watercress, washed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl toss together the diced pears and lemon juice (While adding citrus to the dressing, the acid in the lemon juice will help prevent the pears from oxidizing).

Add the figs, watercress, pecans and olive oil to pears and toss together to combine.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

watercress  vegetarian  vegan  pecans  pears  figs


Two Beet Salad with Pickled Onions and Pistachios


Here’s an easy way to cook beets, no peeling required (the skins just slip off after boiling). They are then diced and topped with pickled red onions, and pistachios for a salad that’s earthy, tart, and crunchy in every bite.

Two Beet Salad with Pickled Onions and Pistachios

The small amount of sugar in the pickling mixture helps balance out the vinegar, but you can leave it out if you like. Serve this salad at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Serves 4

  • 3 medium red beets, trimmed on both root and stem ends
  • 3 medium yellow beets, trimmed on both root and stem ends
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral white vinegar (rice, white wine, champagne)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ⅛” slices (as thin as possible)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Place beets and 2 teaspoons of salt in a medium saucepan; add enough cool water to cover, plus an extra inch of water. Bring beets to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beets are easily pierced with a fork or knife, approximately 45 minutes.

Combine ½ teaspoon salt, sugar, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and water in a nonreactive container and stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Break up onion into individual slices and place in pickling liquid. If necessary add warm water to cover. Let sit for at least an hour before using. (Can be prepared ahead. Store refrigerated in pickling liquid).

When beets are fork tender, pour off liquid, run beets under cool water and gently rub the skin off the beets. Dice beets into ¼ inch pieces. Toss with olive oil, and chopped pistachio nuts. Season with salt and pepper.

Place beet/pistachio mixture on a platter and garnish with drained pickled onions.

vegetarian  vegan  red onions  pistachios  beets


Brussels Sprout Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries


Here is a wonderful autumn salad that takes advantage of the new crop of Brussels sprouts. They are used like cabbage in a fresh crunchy slaw--a nice change from the overcooked and sad Brussels some of us may be more familiar with.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

There’s an easy knife technique here for cutting Brussels sprouts to resemble shredded cabbage--once you are comfortable with it, I’m betting you’ll come back to it often.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, tough, dark green, blemished outer leaves removed
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. With the tip of your knife carefully cut along the outside of the core to remove. Lay each half cut side down and thinly slice crosswise. Place in large bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle the dressing over the sliced Brussels sprouts and toss together to coat evenly. Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes; the vinegar and mustard will slightly soften the sprouts

Add the chopped pecans and dried cranberries to the slaw, toss to combine.

vegan  pecans  dried cranberries  brussels sprouts


Avocado, Jicama, and Black Bean Salad


The clean, crisp flavors of this salad make it delicious; the fact that it's packed with good fats, carbohydrates and proteins means it's healthy. In fact, the health benefits of avocado and beans make both ingredients mainstays in my weekly meal planning.

Avocado, Jicama, and Black Bean Salad

To pit and dice an avocado, cut in half lengthwise, seperate and gently strike the pit with the heal of your chef knife. Twist to remove. Once the pit is removed, place each avocado half in the palm of your hand. Using a small knife, cut into the flesh in a crosshatch pattern. Run your thumb between the avocado flesh and peel to release the diced avocado into a bowl.

Serves 4 to 6 as side salad

  • 3 ripe avocados, cut in half, pitted and diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small jicama (about 1 pound), peeled and diced
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeno, thinly sliced widthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Combine avocado, lime juice, jicama, black beans, cilantro, and jalapeno in a large bowl.

Drizzle olive oil on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss.

vegan  jicama  black beans  avocado


Grilled Sweet Peppers


This salad is incredibly versatile. Serve it warm or cold. As a topping for bruschetta or pizza. Tossed with pasta or beans. Mix it with a favorite protein or a handful of greens.

Grilled Sweet Peppers

Preheating the grill is key to the success of this recipe. If the grill is not hot enough there is a good chance of overcooking the food before there is any caramelization (grill marks). You also lose out on that “smokey” grilled flavor. Turn the grill to medium and heat for 15 minutes. Clean the grill surface with either a wire brush or metallic scruppy to remove any residual grit. You may also substitute a 450 degree oven, roasting the peppers for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 each whole red, yellow, and orange sweet bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons whole flat Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Combine the peppers, 2 teaspoons olive oil and kosher salt in a large bowl and toss to coat.

Place the peppers on a preheated grill, and cook until they begin to char 4 to 6 minutes.

Carefully turn the peppers on grill to evenly char on all sides, 15 to 18 minutes.

Place peppers back in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit 10 to 12 minutes. The trapped steam from the roasted peppers helps loosen the skin.

When peppers have cooled, carefully remove charred skin by gently rubbing with fingers.

Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and stem then slice peppers ¼ inch thick. Return to bowl.

Add olive oil, capers, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes and sherry vinegar. Toss well.

vegan  parsley  capers  bell peppers  basil


Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds, Raisins and Baby Spinach


Roasting vegetables has three benefits: the water evaporates, intensifying the flavor; the nutrients aren't lost in the cooking liquid; and  the caramelization of the natural sugars both sweetens them and makes them GBD (golden brown and delicious).

Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds, Raisins and Baby Spinach

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 head of cauliflower (2 ½ to 3 pounds), cut into 1 ½ to 2 -inch florets
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • Juice of one medium lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss together cauliflower, garlic, red pepper flakes and oil. Place on a cookie sheet and roast until florets begin to caramelize, 35 to 40 minutes.

Sprinkle almonds on top of cauliflower and roast for another 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer ingredients to a large bowl using a rubber spatula. Toss with spinach and raisins while still warm.

Cover with plastic wrap until spinach wilts, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove plastic. Drizzle cauliflower with lemon juice and oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir gently to incorporate. Serve while still warm or refrigerate.

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

vegan  spinach  raisins  cauliflower  almonds


“It seems more common than not that there is a disconnect between the information the medical profession provides, and the realities of shopping, preparing, cooking, and actually enjoying a meal based on a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle. I will show others how to bridge that gap."