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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

I got a bunch of local grapes last week from Greenling, but they weren’t very sweet and were full of seeds. So, I had to find a way to cook them, and fast, before they went bad.

This jam is not only quick and easy (it took less than 25 minutes to make), but has some wonderful fall flavors from a bit of nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice, and cloves. In the picture above it was still warm and fresh from the stovetop, but as it cools it thickens to a more jam-like texture. I think I’m going to use it as a glaze over pork chops.

I adapted this recipe from the Wild Grape Butter recipe that came in the Greenling box ingredient list last week – I just made some tweaks based on my own tastes.

Quick Spiced Grape Jam

About 1.5 cups grapes, pulled from their stems
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3-inch piece of orange peel
Dash each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cloves

Combine grapes and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Pour grapes and juice into a strainer over a large bowl. Using the back of a large spoon, press grapes through strainer. The pulp will go through and the peel and seeds will stay behind.

Pour pulp and juice back into saucepan. Add peel and spices. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency. It’ll bubble a lot at the end. Use warm as a glaze, or cool to spread on toast.

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Grain-based salads are filling, versatile, and wonderful picnic foods. For this one, I mixed barley with some maple-roasted carrots and tomatoes and pan-glazed tempeh, and then sprinkled with a bit of sliced basil to brighten up the flavors a bit. It’s just slightly sweet. Wheat berries would also work instead of the barley, or even brown rice. If you’re not a fan of tempeh, just use chicken instead.

Barley Salad with Sweet Roasted Vegetables

1 cup barley
3 cups water

8 oz carrots, cut into small pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz tempeh, cut into thin slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sliced basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine water and barley in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 40 minutes. If there’s any water left in the pan, drain it off. Set the barley aside in a large bowl.

Combine vegetables, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until veggies are browned and tender. Add to the barley.

In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, broth, salt, and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and fry about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add vinegar mixture and cook, stirring as necessary to keep tempeh from sticking, until liquid thickens into a glaze. It’ll take about 10 minutes.

Add tempeh to barley mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

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Fruit salsas scream summer. I love the combo of sweet peaches and mangoes with spicy peppers, and it goes well with more than just tortilla chips. Try this salsa on grilled chicken or pork, or as a dip for mild vegetables like squash. I like salsa spicy enough to make my nose run, so if that’s a little too hot for you, remove the seeds from the jalapenos before you add them, or just cut down on the amount of peppers you use.

One more thing — I didn’t peel the peaches for this recipe, although you are certainly welcome to. It’s kind of a pain, but if you want to go the extra mile, check out my peach-peeling instructions at the bottom of this post. I don’t mind a little peach fuzz, and once everything’s mixed up you don’t even notice it. If I was cooking the peaches I’d peel them, but for this recipe it’s not necessary.

Fresh Peach-Mango Salsa

1.5 lbs peaches, pitted and chopped
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Chill at least an hour before eating. You can eat it right away, but chilling for a little bit lets the flavors combine nicely.

How to Peel Peaches (or any stone fruit, or tomatoes, for that matter)

Bring a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut an X on the bottom of each peach. Fill a large bowl with ice water. When the water reaches a boil, drop the peaches in and let them boil for 45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately drop into the ice water. Wait a few minutes until you can handle them, then peel. The skin will start to pull away at the X you cut, and it’ll slide right off.

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I really, really don’t like mayo, so I don’t eat most people’s versions of potato salad. This one, however, is perfect. It’s fresh, easy, and absolutely mayo-free, coated instead with a dressing made of whole-grain mustard, spring onions, and olive oil. If you are still finalizing your Memorial Day menu (like me), try adding this salad to the list.

Red Potato-Green Bean Salad (adapted from Epicurious)

8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
2 tablespoons champagne (or white wine) vinegar
1 spring onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon whole-grain (or Dijon) mustard
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes* and boil about 15 minutes, until tender. Add green beans to the water about 4 minutes before potatoes finish cooking. Empty potatoes and green beans into a colander to drain.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing. Combine onion, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small food processor and process until smooth. Place potatoes and green beans in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. You can make this a day ahead, but I like it warm.

*I used to avoid boiling potatoes because I hated getting splattered by boiling water when I dropped the potatoes in. Then, I realized that if I used a small strainer like this to lower the potatoes into the water, I’d stop being splattered. Now, my family gets mashed potatoes a lot more often. Try it if you have a strainer laying around and are also tired of being splattered.

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I don’t consider summer to have fully arrived until it is so hot out that all I have to do is step outside to break a sweat. This week was full of days like that, and after spending some time in my garden today, you couldn’t have paid me to turn on my oven or stove.

Enter this simple salad. It’s for arugula lovers, and is full of that green’s peppery bite. I used raspberry white balsamic vinegar for the dressing, which I found at HEB, but if you can’t find it, substitute regular white balsamic or red wine vinegar instead. Add grilled shrimp to make it an entree.

Arugula and Pea Salad (adapted from Recipezaar)

2 cups green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup green onions, cut in 3 inch strips
6 cups arugula or baby spinach
4 cups Swiss chard
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add peas, return to a boil, and cook 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Combine peas, green onions, arugula and Swiss chard in a large platter or in a serving bowl.

Whisk together raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper until well-combined. Drizzle over salad.

Makes 6-8 servings.

*If you aren’t planning to serve the salad immediately, wait to dress it until it’s time to eat.

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I’ve been getting a ton of baby carrots in my box lately, as opposed to full-sized adult carrots. Rather than spend a lot of time chopping them up to use as a base in other dishes, I tossed them together with a few other ingredients to create this sweet, simple side dish.

You can probably leave most of the carrots whole, but cut the larger ones in half lengthwise to ensure that they all cook evenly. Also, when you trim the carrots, you can certainly cut the tops off, but I left them on because I like how they look. I added leftover carrots to my lunch salad the next day.

Maple-Glazed Roast Carrots

1 large bunch of baby carrots, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to coat carrots evenly with syrup. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Spread carrots on the sheet, place in oven, and bake 20-25 minutes, stirring once, until carrots are tender. You should be able to slide a fork easily into them. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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I love me a good slaw. This one has extra crunch from both jicama and green apples, and a citrusy dressing provides just the right amount of tartness. You can find jicama by the potatoes in the grocery store, and it does kind of look like a russet potato. It has a very mild flavor, so it’s great for recipes like this where you just want something that adds a bit of crunch but doesn’t overpower the dish.

If you have a food processor, this recipe will come together in about 15 minutes. I use mine all the time, and you don’t need to go all Williams Sonoma and spend $500 on one. I’ve used my cheapo Black and Decker for about 10 years with no problems. I couldn’t find a link to mine online (like I said, it’s old) but this one is similar. If you don’t have a food processor, use the large holes on a box grater to shred the veggies.

Anyway, enjoy this slaw with grilled shrimp or grilled bbq tofu kebabs. Or pretty much anything else grilled. Heck, it was so good I just ate a big bowl of it as a snack.

Jicama, Apple, and Cabbage Slaw

2 cups shredded cabbage (I used green, but Napa is fine)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and shredded
1 jicama, shredded (about 12 oz)
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup sliced spring onion tops (or green onions)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Juice of two oranges (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of two limes (about 4 tbsp)
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine cabbage, apples, jicama, carrots and onion tops in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine orange juice, lime juice, and olive oil. Pour over veggies and toss to combine.

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