Tag Archives: vegan

Veggie Protenia Salad

Veggie Proteina Salad

I’ve recently discovered Red Brick Pizza. They have amazing gluten-free pizza. It’s quite a luxury to go to a pizza parlor and have a real, wood-fired pizza straight out of the oven. I have watched them like a hawk every time I have been and they take so many precautions when preparing a gluten-free pizza (I would also recommend going for a very early lunch when they first open to avoid further cross contamination risks). Every employee I have interacted with has known exactly what ‘gluten-free’ is and what is and isn’t safe on their menu (in extreme detail; I was very impressed). So far my favorites only pizzas I’ve tried are the Hawaiian (the addition of cashews is quite amazing) and the Prosciutto, Mushrooms and Arugula (a drizzle of balsamic and a dash of red pepper flakes; fantastic). Unfortunately, the closest restaurant is 35 miles away, which means I only get to go on the rare Target trip I make (yes, our closest Target is also 35 miles away, I live in a desolate hole), but between Target and pizza, it makes any trip almost as exciting as going to Disneyland.

As amazing as the pizzas are, and they are fantastic, I have absolutely fallen in love with the Veggie Proteina Salad. I never could have dreamed up a more perfect salad, but lucky I don’t have to try anymore, Red Brick has figured it out for me.

From the Red Brick Pizza website:

VEGGIE PROTEINA 
napa mix, artichoke hearts, red & green peppers, mushrooms, onions, kalamata olives, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, croutons, choice of dressing

Obviously to make it gluten-free, don’t get the croutons. I also leave off the corn, but keep everything else. The salad is so flavorful and so delicious and so easy to make at home, so that’s exactly what I did. I’ve made it at home several times now and every time it’s been fantastic. At the restaurant, I’ve only tried the salad with balsamic vinaigrette, but at home I’ve tried it both with balsamic and ranch dressing. I really can’t decide which is better. Unfortunately in the pictured version here, I forgot to add the cheese, it definitely wasn’t missed. I have to say that in my homemade version I usually use Monterey jack or white cheddar. I just find them tastier, but the cheese isn’t needed at all.

A little more on Red Brick. They also have gluten-free beer and ciders on tap. There are also gluten-free dessert options as well. Gelato and gelato truffles seem to be the main gluten-free dessert options, but last time I went they also offered gluten-free ice cream sandwiches made with GF chocolate chip cookies and gelato. They all look amazing, but between salad and pizza and dessert, I have to prioritize and pizza always wins in my book.

Veggie Protenia Salad

Ingredients

  • MIx of cabbage and lettuce (I used green cabbage and romaine lettuce)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 8-10 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 large tomato (or a pint of cherry tomatoes), diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional) (recommend white cheddar or monterey jack)
  • choice of dressing (recommend balsamic vinaigrette or ranch)

Instructions

  1. Place cabbage and lettuce in a large bowl.
  2. Add in all other ingredients but dressing.
  3. Toss to mix together.
  4. Add dressing of choice and toss again to coat.
  5. Serve immediately.
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Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

My wonderful friend Zack sent me this recipe last week and told me to “stop what I was doing and make this”. Zack and I have fairly similar palates, so I had a feeling that I would like this salad. I didn’t just like this salad, I loved it. I have yet to find a combination of cilantro and lime that I dislike, so I might not be the most neutral judge, but this salad was pretty close to perfect. Chickpeas make a really great neutral base, which allows the other flavors to really shine through.

I ended up accidentally doubling recipe. I was trying to use up some use it or lose it spinach, which ended up being way more than the originally suggested four cups. It turned out to be a fortunate accident since I had leftovers for days. I upped the amount of garlic and took it easier on the olive oil. I also omitted the sugar the original recipe called for, but that’s just a personal preference. I never add sugar to any type of dressing.

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 loosely packed cups fresh spinach
  • 1 onion, chopped diced
  • juice from 8 limes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (about loosely packed cup)
  • 4 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Chop the spinach very finely (feel free to use a food processor and pulse 3-4 times). Add the chickpeas, onion, and spinach to a large bowl.
  2. In the same food processor add the lime juice, cilantro, mustard, garlic, chili powder, and olive oil. Blend until it comes together into a dressing, about 30-45 seconds.
  3. Pour over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for at least 15 minutes on the counter (or overnight in the fridge) to let the flavors get friend.
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Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup With Spinach & Olives

Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup With Spinach & Olives

This soup is phenomenal. It might actually be one of the best things I’ve made recently. And it’s soup-er easy (sorry, just can’t resist a bad pun)! A bit of chopping and boiling and you have a delicious meal. The flavors are just amazing together. Granted paprika, onion and garlic are probably my favorite flavors, but really they were just made to be in this soup together.

The original recipe called for kalamatas. I ran out last week and much to my extreme disappointment, my Costco has decided to stop stocking them… At the rate I go through olives, kalamatas are just too expensive to be bought in any quantity less than Costco-sized bulk. I used green pimento stuffed olives and they were wonderful. Since they are so salty, I made sure to use low-sodium broth and didn’t add in any extra salt. It definitely was not needed.

I absolutely loved this soup. I definitely plan on making it again, hopefully the poor weather keeps up and it will be repeated sooner, rather than later. Even though this soup was great, I might make a few minor changes. I think the paprika could have used another flavor to combine with. I was thinking a bit of cayenne maybe or a squeeze of lemon perhaps or even a little drizzle of balsamic. Just a little addition could add a whole new layer of depth and deliciousness.

Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup With Spinach & Olives

Adapted from The Punk Post Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 6+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils (or green lentils)
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 2 (14.5) ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach (or chopped spinach)
  • 3/4 cup roughly salty chopped olives (I used green pimento stuffed olives)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil a large soup pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in oil until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute about a minute or so, then mix in the thyme and paprika.
  2. Add the lentils, broth, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are almost tender. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, or until lentils are very tender. Add spinach and olives and stir frequently until spinach is wilted and velvetty. Add water or more broth to thin, if necessary.
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40 Shades of Green Salad

40 Shades of Green Salad

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day! That makes me happy. I happen to particularly enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but I have yet to meet for an excuse for a party that I didn’t like. That and I’m Irish (thanks ma and da). I have some traditional (Mama CC made/approved) and not so traditional things in store for the week. Unfortunately, my celebrations can’t begin until I’m done with midterms. Hopefully dreams of potatoes and whiskey will be enough to see me through…

This salad is definitely not your stereotypical Irish fare. It’s light and healthy and vegan actually, the exact opposite of meat and potatoes.  It would be a great starter for any dinner party. It would definitely help balance out any and all corned beef and whiskey that might be consumed. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this salad. I really like salads with multiple lettuces and this had a great mixture. The crispy, cool iceberg, peppery arugula, soft butter, and some spinach just because. They all really worked together and made each bite interesting. I basically opened the fridge and grabbed anything green. It worked out to be a festive little number and perfect early spring lunch.

Johnny Cash wrote a song “Forty Shades of Green,” which I am a bit embarrassed to say that I only discovered yesterday. My Ireland born, Johnny Cash-loving father will be so disappointed. I remember flying into Dublin when I was younger, and shockingly, it wasn’t raining. I think she was trying to get me to shut up, but my mother told me to try to count the 40 shades of green out the window and that’s been the only connotation I’ve ever known until yesterday. 

 

40 Shades of Green Salad

Ingredients

    For the Cilantro Lime Dressing:
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 cups butter lettuce
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch (about 8) green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed, blanched and cut in half
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced

Instructions

    For the Cilantro Lime Dressing:
  1. In a small bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until thoroughly blended.
  2. For the Salad:
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuces, green onions, and green onions. Gently toss the greens thoroughly with about 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Place the greens onto six salad plates (white looks nice), arranging any of the little pieces that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl on top.
  4. Place several pieces of the diced avocado on each plate. Lightly drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Chili Oil

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

I’ve already shared the amazing caesar salad I had at Il Cane Rosso on my last trip to San Francisco. I finally got around to making the other part of that delicious lunch. It was love at first bite (Slurp? Spoonful?) with this soup. I liked the added chili oil drizzle so much that I stopped by Stonehouse Olive Oil after lunch and promptly bought some chili oil so I could make the soup when I got home. The soup came out so brown that you can barely see the chili oil drizzle on top, but I swear it’s there. I let the vegetables get a little too roasted. They would have been the perfect side dish, nice and crispy, but the extra brown color didn’t help the color of the soup.

This soup is so simple to make. The most involved part is chopping and peeling the butternut squash, which can be easily fixed with pre-cut, but I finally discovered a faster way to peel and chop. The vegetable peeler! Had the skin off in no time and made the whole process much easier. The soup is completely vegan. I added some queso fresco I needed to use up to add a little flavor and texture. Definitely not necessary though.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Chili Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 6+ garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • chili infused extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. With a sharp knife slice both ends off the butternut squash. Remove the skin off the squash.
  2. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds of both halves. Then cut the squash into cubes and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. After peeling and cutting the ends of the onion, slice into large cubes. Place the onion in the same bowl as the squash. Peel the garlic cloves and place in the bowl.
  4. To the squash, onions, and garlic add the olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix to evenly coat the vegetables with the herbs.
  5. Pour everything in a roasting pan or baking dish. Place in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour until the squash is very tender.
  6. Place the roasted squash, onions and garlic in the blender. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and blend on high until smooth. About one minute.
  7. Pour mixture into a large soup pot over medium heat and add the remaining 3 cups of broth. Stir and heat until combined. Top with 1 teaspoon of chili oil per bowl and crumbled queso fresco. Serve.
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Carrot-Miso Soup

Carrot-Miso Soup

 

The second I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, I knew I was going to make it. Every single ingredient in the original recipe sounded soup-er appealing. My end result ended up being a little different.  It may be the sore throat, or the stuffy nose, or the general quasi-illness induced haze I am currently living in, but I set about making this soup and then promptly forgot to include half the ingredients. Oops…

I left out the ginger. I meant to put it in. I even put it out on the counter to peel, but promptly forgot about it until I was ladling it into the bowl. I even dug out my little bottle of toasted sesame oil to drizzle over the top. Neither the ginger, nor sesame oil ended up in the soup, but I was pretty okay with that. I like carrots. I love miso. Throw in some garlic and onions, and I really don’t see how you could go wrong.

One quick note about the Miso, I used Cold Mountain Miso . I can’t find the details on their website, but as far as I can remember all but one of their miso is gluten-free (one is made with barley). I had two different types of miso on hand (I might have a slight miso soup problem), one is Kyoto White Miso and the other is the Light Yellow Miso (Japanese White). I used the Kyoto White to begin with, but I have to say it was super mild, like you could barely taste the miso mild. I had to add the same amount of  the yellow miso to get any miso flavor. If in doubt, go with the stronger miso.

Carrot-Miso Soup

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4-6 garlic clove, minced (I used double that amount)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste, or more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, very thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic sauté until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  2. Puree soup in batches in blender, or all at once with an immersion blender. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso an a half-cup of the soup. Stir the mixture back into the pot of soup. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper or additional miso to taste.
  3. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a small mound of scallions.
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Red Lentil Tomato Soup

Red Lentil & Tomato Soup

Sometimes I get a bit indecisive when it comes to making certain meals. I try to make a rough meal plan every week mainly to make both shopping and blogging a bit easier on myself, but sometimes I just don’t stick to it. Despite my best efforts to plan ahead, sometimes I just don’t feel like what I had previously planned out. On this week’s plan I had both lentil soup and tomato soup. It’s been super cold here lately, so soup is in high demand. When it came time to make lentil soup for lunch one day, it just seemed kind of blah… I really wanted tomato soup, but it didn’t really seem filling enough. Then I got wonderful idea of putting the two together. I’m quite happy it did. The end result had everything I wanted. It was tomato-y and comforting and filling and hardy all at the same time.

If I had time (aka if I wasn’t starving for lunch at the time) I would have chopped up some more veggies to add to the soup. Carrots would be perfect in this soup. I did throw a couple large handfuls of spinach at the end to add some sort of vegetable and color (hard to see in the picture, but it’s in there). The green onions were a last-minute, impulsive addition and were amazing on top. The soup itself is completely vegan. I decided to add a couple spoonfuls of greek yogurt to stir in for a little extra creaminess, but it’s definitely not necessary.

Red Lentil Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-28 ounce cans whole (or diced) tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • greek yogurt/sour cream, optional
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add onion to the pot and cook until soft, 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and cumin. Cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add in tomatoes, juices and all. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. If using whole tomatoes: With a handheld/stick blender, blend the tomatoes and onions until mixed, but still slightly chunky.
  3. Bring heat back to medium-high and add in the broth and lentils. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are soft and have absorbed some of the liquid.
  4. When lentils are soft, add in baby spinach and stir until slightly wilted.
  5. Put soup in serving bowls, top with green onions and greek yogurt, if desired, and serve.
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Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Capers

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Capers

Brussels sprouts and capers! I can’t think of anything finer. I love both brussels sprouts and capers. This dish is the stuff my dreams are made of. Roasting the sprouts is essential. Roasting gives them a nuttiness and subtle caramelized flavor that is amazing when combined with the salty, crispy capers. The red pepper flakes are a nice background note. You can adjust your red pepper usage to your own taste. I like spice, so I went a little heavy with it. With so many other wonderful flavors it remained a nice accompaniment to the dish, not overpowering and hot.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Capers

Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup drained brined capers
  • 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2-6 garlic cloves, minced (more is better)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (adjust to your own heat preference)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 425F/220C. Toss brussels sprouts with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Place sprouts on rimmed baking sheet. Roast 15-20 minutes until crispy and golden.
  2. While the sprouts are roasting, blot capers on a paper towel. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add capers and cook, stirring carefully (mixture will splatter), until capers start to open and are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chile flakes to pan and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer capers and garlic to a paper towel to drain.
  3. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with capers and a squeeze of lemon.
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