Archive for Apps and Side Dishes
I’ve always been a fan of pesto but a pesto featuring one of my favorite nuts – oh yeah. I love this flavorful pesto salad that Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg whipped up for us this week. It’s simple but so delicious and perfect for lunch or dinner.
Enjoying raw pistachios in their shell has always been one of my favorite snacks. Cracking them open takes a little effort, but the reward is well worth it. Using them as a substitute for pine nuts can add an interestingly flavorful change to what you call a customary pesto recipe, and help your budget a bit too. Pairing this untraditional pesto with protein rich quinoa, ripe heirloom tomatoes, and fresh spinach leaves is a surefire way to get your taste buds to become your best friends. You can also try this pesto recipe with other dishes, such as pastas, risotto, squash noodles or use it as a spread, topping or even make a salad dressing with it, the possibilities are countless.
~Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg
For the pesto:
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
For the quinoa salad:
- 4 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups packed and chopped spinach leaves
- 1 cup finely diced heirloom tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced orange or yellow bell pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Place all the ingredients for the pesto, except the oil, in a food processor. Start the processor and slowly pour in the oil. The pesto should be creamy but still have a bit of texture to it.
- In a large bowl mix together the quinoa and pesto until evenly coated. Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and gently toss until mixed.
- Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can easily double or triple the pesto recipe and use it in a number of different ways.
Surprise! The dressing for this salad is made with seasonal spring rhubarb. Now admit it, if the title of this recipe was Spinach Salad with Rhubarb Dressing you wouldn’t have given it a second look unless of course you are a rhubarb lover like I am. I grew up eating raw rhubarb snapped fresh from the plant even though it made me shudder a little with each bite because of the tartness. I wouldn’t do that now but I love using rhubarb as many ways as I can. This dressing in a favorite of mine because I like the sweet/savory combination of flavors. With it you can transform an ordinary spinach/strawberry salad into a thing of spring beauty.
For the salad:
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sliced white button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
For the dressing:
- 1 cup diced rhubarb (about 6 average size stalks)
- 1/2 cup diced strawberries
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp salt or to taste
- 2/3 cup neutral flavor oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Divide the salad ingredients evenly between 4 bowls. Set aside.
- Place the first 9 ingredients of the dressing into a saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until the fruit is soft and tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the oil and mustard and blend 5-10 seconds more until well mixed and creamy.
- Serve warm over the spinach salad.
Makes 4 single serving salads. The dressing makes 2 cups so there will be plenty left over for other uses.
Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Summer will be here before you know it and that means picnics, potlucks, family reunions or just some fun in the sun. This quick and easy to put together mix of summer fruit is a little different from the usual fruit salad and so delicious tossed with the bright flavors of the Lime Basil Dressing. It comes together so quick that it will leave you plenty of time to join in the summer fun.
- 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup raspberries or strawberries
- 1/4 cup toasted pistachios
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 12 basil leaves, divided
- sea salt to taste
- In a blender or food processor add the oil, lime juice, honey, 10 of the basil leaves and salt. Process until smooth.
- Place the watermelon, tomatoes and raspberries in a serving bowl and toss gently with the dressing.
- Tear the remaining pieces of basil into bits and sprinkle over the fruit along with the toasted pistachios.
This salad is best eaten right away. The dressing can be made ahead of time and kept separate from the other components in the refrigerator then mixed together just before serving.
Roasted broccoli is one of my favorite side dishes. I love how you can easily change the entire dish with just a simple sauce. I’m a big fan of miso and I love how the sweetness of this sauce brings out the flavor of the roasted broccoli. An easy and simple recipe with big flavor! What more could you ask for?!
- 6 cups broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp chickpea miso (sweet white miso works great too)
- 2 tbsp coconut nectar
- 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp Nama Shoyu, soy sauce or tamari (gluten free if needed)
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional garnish)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place the broccoli florets on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, turning over at least once.
- While the broccoli is roasting mix together the miso, coconut nectar, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce and sesame oil.
- Remove broccoli from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and garnish with sesame seeds if using.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Serves 4-6 as a side dish.
This dish is best served right away. Adjust the recipe accordingly to fit your serving amount.
Can you believe that I spent the first 24 years of my life thinking that I hated avocado?! Crazy, right?! Luckily, one fateful night at dinner I ordered an entree that didn’t mention it contained avocado and I was too hungry to send it back so I buckled down and ate it – and thus began my love of avocado. Living in California there is always an abundance of avocados and I’m always looking for fun new ways to add them to my favorite dishes. I’ve been craving pasta salad lately and the thought of a creamy pesto sauce sounded perfect. This pesto is hands down the tastiest I’ve ever had. I love how the lemon and miso add a salty and slightly tart flavor to the creamy avocado and walnuts. I only wish I had made a double batch because there were no leftovers after my family and I had this for lunch. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
For the Creamy Lemon Avo Pesto:
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 small avocado
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- large handful of spinach (about a cup)
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chickpea miso (a sweet white miso would also work well)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Pasta Salad:
- 10-12 ounces pasta of your choice
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 2 carrots, chopped or diced
- 2 ounces sliced black olives (optional)
- Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking add all the ingredients for the pesto sauce, except the olive oil, to a food process or blender. Process for a few seconds until a chunky sauce forms.
- While the machine is still running, slowly add in the olive oil until you have a smooth, creamy sauce.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to a large bowl. Add the broccoli, pepper, onion, carrots and olives if using. Stir well.
- Pour the pesto sauce over the pasta salad and stir well until throughly mixed. Place the salad in the fridge until chilled and serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This salad makes for amazing leftovers and is a great dish to have on hand for a quick and healthy lunch.
The pesto sauce is very versatile and can be used as a spread on a piece of toasted bread, a topping for a baked potato or as a veggie dip. It also makes a terrific pizza sauce!
Have you heard the birds singing lately? They always seem to me to sing most joyfully in spring. Well, all that joyful warbling got me thinking about the seeds the birds eat and seeds got me thinking about how I like seeds as much as the birds do. So, here is a little pate I whipped up to celebrate spring. Three healthful seeds combined with bright lemon and ginger and a little herbaceous parsley to add a touch of fresh green the color of new leaves budding out on the trees. It’s no wonder the birds are singing so beautifully with so much goodness and beauty to be thankful for. Enjoy!
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp Nama Shoyu or other soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chickpea miso or other yellow miso
- Soak the sunflower and pumpkin seeds overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse well. Place in the bowl of a food processor.
- Add the hemp seeds, garlic and ginger. Process until ground, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
- Spread on your favorite crackers, roll in collard greens, use as a dip for veggies, spread on bread with tomato and lettuce for a delicious sandwich or any way you choose.
Makes about 12 servings. Serving size 1/4 cup.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This is without a doubt the best soup I’ve ever had and I’ve had a lot of soup in my lifetime. I’m in love with the creamy smooth texture, the simple yet comforting flavor and the garnishes – yummy! I love that each person can make this soup be whatever they want. I love it topped with roasted fingerling potatoes, a sprinkle of Daiya cheese and dash of chives. My husband loaded his soup with Italian Sausages, caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. No matter how you serve it up it’s bound to be delicious! This soup is also oil free for those that follow a low or no oil diet. Almonds take the place of the oil without sacrificing the richness that oil normally brings plus they create an amazing creaminess. Spring might be right around the corner but there is still plenty of time to enjoy this amazing dish!
For the soup:
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- heaping 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1-2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance Organic Whipped Buttery Spread (optional)
For the optional toppings and garnish:
- Daiya Cheddar Cheese
- finely chopped chives or parsley
- fingerling potatoes, diced and roasted
- caramelized onions
- sautéed mushrooms
- diced tomatoes
- sautéed or roasted broccoli
- chopped Italian Sausages
- Place your peeled potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.
- Drain the water and potatoes from the pot and set the potatoes aside.
- Return the pot to the stove and add the vegetable broth. Heat on medium high heat. Add in the almonds and let them soften in the broth for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed to keep the broth from boiling.
- Add the potatoes, nutritional yeast, salt and Earth Balance (if using). Stir well and remove from heat.
- Using a handheld blender (you can also transfer the ingredients to a high powered blender) process until you have a thick and creamy consistency. Reheat if necessary before serving.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and load with any of the optional garnishes and toppings that you’d like. Enjoy!
Makes 6-8 servings.
This soup makes for excellent leftovers. It’s best when storing the leftovers to keep the soup and the garnishes/toppings separate. The soup will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.
SooFoo – such a fun name isn’t it? I wish I could take credit for such a creative title but SooFoo is actually a new product that just hit the shelves of my local health food store and it sounded so interesting that I just had to give it a try. SooFoo, along with being fun to say, is actually a mix of super healthy organic grains and is pretty delicious all by itself. SooFoo is a mix of barley, black beluga lentils, brown lentils, buckwheat, green lentils, long grain brown rice, steel cut oats, rye berries and Yera Cora rojo wheat berries. To get acquainted with this neat product I decided to make a simple salad. I loved the texture that all the different grains brought to this dish. You can easily substitute with any of your favorite veggies and if you can’t find SooFoo on the shelves of your local grocery store then simply use your favorite grain instead. I’ve already been playing around with different SooFoo recipes so enjoy this one for now and keep your eyes peeled for even more creative ways to get your SooFoo on!
- 3 cups cooked SooFoo
- 1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup quartered cucumber
- heaping 1/2 cup grated or julienned carrot
- 1/4 cup finely diced tomato
- 1 cup cooked kidney beans
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale (chiffonade style)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1/8 cup finely diced fresh parsley
- 1/8 cup diced green pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp basil
- sea salt to taste
- In a small bowl mix together the last 8 ingredients. Stir well and set the dressing aside.
- Add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl and pour the dressing over top. Mix well.
- Serve immediately or let chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 6-8 servings.
This salad is great for leftovers. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Jicama is so fun to work with. It’s crisp and clean and plays really well with other foods. Some of jicama’s friends, carrot, cucumber and pineapple came over to play so here they are all stacked together with a kickin’ dressing that is bright and fresh. Come join the party!
- 1 medium sized jicama
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots (peeled or unpeeled), julienned (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 medium cucumber (preferably unpeeled), julienned (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 pineapple (peeled), julienned (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 loosely packed cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup neutral flavor oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, divided
- 1 serrano chili, seeded and chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Peel the jicama and cut in half horizontally. Cut 8 thin slices from the widest part of the tuber and set aside. Julienne the remaining jicama.
- Lightly toss the jicama, carrot, cucumber and pineapple in a bowl.
- Heat a small skillet over medium high heat and add the coriander seeds and toast until fragrant about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Place in a spice mill or coffee grinder and grind.
- Transfer the ground seeds to a blender along with the 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds and the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
- Toss the vegetable mixture with the dressing.
- Place 4 slices of jicama slice on 4 serving plates and top each with a handful of the vegetables. Top with remaining slices of jicama.
- Garnish with remaining pumpkin seeds.
Makes 4 servings
Store leftovers in a sealed container for 1-2 days.
I adore spring rolls. They are so versatile and you can’t really go wrong when making them. You can add any of your favorite veggies along with rice or noodles and serve with a side of delicious dipping sauce – an easy lunch or dinner. I was playing around a few weeks ago trying to come up with a new dressing recipe and the results ended up being thicker than I wanted. I loved the flavor and realized that it would make a better spread then dressing anyways so I paired it with some crunchy vegetables, wrapped them in a spring roll wrapper and I had one delicious creation. I used the dipping sauce from my Perfect Potsticker Wraps but it would also be great with some Savory Peanut Dipping Sauce.
For the Creamy Ginger Spread:
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 3 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 6 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower or safflower are good choices)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp miso (I used chickpea miso but a sweet white miso would work too)
For the Crunchy Spring Roll:
- several bok choy leaves, dark leafy green part only
- handful snow peas, ends trim and cut into thin strips
- 1/2 an orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 2-3 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to the directions on the package
- 1/2 a cucumber, peeled if desired, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 avocado, cut into thin strips, optional
- sprouts of your choice, optional
- mushrooms, optional
- 6-8 spring roll wrappers
- Place all the ingredients for the ginger spread in a blender and process until you have a thick paste. If the mixture is too thick or won’t blend add another tbsp or so of oil or water if desired. Set aside.
- Dip each spring roll wrapper in a bowl of hot water for about 3 seconds. The wrapper should still be somewhat stiff (don’t worry – it will soften as it continues to absorb the water!).
- Lay the wrapper on a smooth work surface and add a generous dab of creamy ginger spread. Evenly distribute the spread along the middle of the wrapper.
- Add a layer of bok choy, snow peas, bell pepper, noodles and cucumber. Top with any of the optional ingredients.
- Take one end of the wrapper and fold it over your ingredients. Gently roll away from you as you tuck the filling toward you.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the spring roll in half and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Spring rolls are best when served right away. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge but be aware that they tend to stick together.
For a truly raw meal try substituting the spring roll wrapper with Pure Wraps – they are made entirely from coconut meat!