June 8, 2001Greetings,
Summer has almost arrived here in the Midwest, after many months of dreary and dismal weather and frigid temperatures. I, like many other Midwesterners, eagerly await the changing of the seasons and the opportunity to enjoy nature and all of its splendor, as the many living creatures and plants on this wondrous plant rejuvenate themselves. It truly makes you feel alive and a part of the big scheme of things. With the warm weather also comes the desire to eat healthier and lighter as a way of rejuvenating or revitalizing our own inner spirit and outer selves. So get out there and enjoy life to the fullest. This installment of recipes features some ideas for lighter meals which showcase the flavors of Asia, the Middle East, the western U.S., and even a few menu ideas for an afternoon brunch or casual summer dinner party. Feel free to mix and match the recipes to create other menu or theme combinations to suit your own personal tastes. As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)
12 oz. soba noodles
In a large pot, cook the soba noodles in boiling water for 7-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the noodles well and transfer them to a large bowl. In a blender or food processor, place the lime juice, tamari, sesame oil, Sucanat, jalapeno, ginger, and garlic, and process for 1 minute. Pour the dressing over the cooked soba noodles and toss well to thoroughly coat the noodles with the dressing. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well to combine. Allow the flavors to blend for 20-30 minutes before serving.
2 cups cabbage, shredded
In a large bowl, place all of the vegetables, and toss well to combine. Drizzle to taste with some of the Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing and toss gently to thoroughly coat the vegetables with the dressing. To assemble the lettuce rolls: place a lettuce leaf flat on a cutting board or large plate, depending on the size of the leaf, place 1/3-1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture in the center of the leaf near the stem end. Fold the stem end over the filling and roll slightly, folding both sides of the lettuce leaf toward the center, and continue to roll to enclose the filling completely. Secure the rolls with a toothpick, if desired, and place the rolls seam side down on a large platter for service. Serve one or two rolls per person.
1/2 cup peanut butter
In a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients, and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
3 cups water
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and tea bag to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain off any of the remaining water from the quinoa and discard the tea bag. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a bowl and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, Italian herb blend, salt, garlic powder, lemon pepper, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the cooled quinoa and toss gently to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Cover and chill for 30-60 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Yield: 7 Cups
2 - 15 oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed, and drained
In a food processor, place the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt, and process until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer the curried chickpea spread to a bowl. Serve as a dip or spread for vegetables, crackers, pita crisps, or bread, or as a sandwich filling.
Yield: 4 Cups
1 recipe Curried Chickpea Spread (see recipe above)
Begin by preparing the Curried Chickpea Spread according to the recipe instructions and set aside. To assemble the stuffed pitas: line each pita half with a lettuce leaf, then a few tablespoons of the Curried Chickpea Spread, and then layer the sliced cucumber, tomatoes, and spicy sprouts. Serve two pita halves per person.
Yield: 4 servings
1 recipe Curried Chickpea Spread (see recipe above)
Begin by preparing the Curried Chickpea Spread according to the recipe instructions and set aside. In a non-stick skillet, saute the carrot and red onion in the safflower oil for 2 minutes to soften. Add the peppers and zucchini and saute an additional 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender. Add the cilantro and parsley, stir well to combine, and set aside. To assemble the roll ups: place a tortilla on a cutting board or large plate, spoon approximately 1/3 cups of the Curried Chickpea Spread down the center of the tortilla, place approximately 3/4 cups of the sauteed vegetables mixture on top of the spread, and then roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling, leaving the ends open. Carefully transfer the roll up to a plate and garnish the plate with a little chopped lettuce and tomatoes for service.
Yield: 6 servings
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
In a blender or food processor, place the tomato paste, serrano chiles, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, cumin, Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, and 3 cups of the tomato juice, and process for 2 minutes to thoroughly blend the flavors. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the remaining tomato juice, and stir well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover and chill for several hours to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Serve chilled in chilled bowls. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
1 cup mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
In a bowl, combine the mango, pineapple, kiwi, red pepper, shallot, cilantro, and jalapeno, and toss gently. Add the avocados to the bowl, drizzle the lime juice directly over them, and toss lightly. Add 1/2 cups Mango-Herb Mojo Dressing and toss lightly. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixed baby greens evenly among 4 plates. Place 1 cup mojo-fruit mixture on top of the greens, sprinkle with 2 T. sliced almonds, and drizzle a little of the remaining Mango-Herb Mojo Dressing over the top.
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
In a blender or food processor, place the mango, apple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar, and cumin, and puree until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for 30 seconds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yield: 1 Cup
2 cups water or vegetable stock
In a medium saucepan, place the water, and bring to a boil. Add the brown and wild rice, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam. Transfer the rice to a large bowl, fluff with a fork, and allow to cool for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the rice and toss gently to combine. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the kaiser rolls and vegan cheese, and toss gently to combine.
To assemble the sandwiches, begin by slicing the top 1/3 off each of the kaiser rolls, and set the tops aside. Using your fingers, remove some of the bread from the inside of each roll, leaving a 1/2-inch border from the crust edge (save the kaiser roll trimmings for use as breadcrumbs in another recipe). Divide the rice mixture evenly among the 6 kaiser rolls and then sprinkle each with some of the shredded vegan cheese. Replace the tops of each kaiser and transfer them to a large platter for service.
Yield: 6 sandwiches
6 cups cantaloupe, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
In a blender or food processor, combine the cantaloupe, orange juice, and lemon juice, and blend well to form a smooth puree. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl and whisk in the soy yogurt and brown rice syrup. Cover and chill for several hours. Garnish individual servings with a few edible flowers or slices of melon.
Yield: 6 Cups
4 cups Boston lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
In a large bowl, place the Boston lettuce, spinach, endive, radicchio, and watercress, and toss gently to combine. Add the remaining vegetable ingredients and toss gently. Drizzle a little of the Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to thoroughly coat the vegetables with the dressing. Serve additional Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette for drizzling on individual servings, as needed.
3/4 cup lemon juice
In a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, and process for 1 minute. While the machine is running, drizzle in the olive oil and process an additional 1 minute. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use as a salad dressing or to flavor vegetables, cooked grains, or pasta.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
1 cup onion, diced
In a large non-stick skillet, saute the onion and both types of peppers in the olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the eggplant and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the dry sherry and balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the fresh herbs, salt, and pepper, and continue to simmer the vegetable mixture until the vegetables are tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool. When the mixture is cool, transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the flour and nutritional yeast, and stir well to combine.
Lightly oil a non-stick cookie sheet and set aside. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate, toss them with the paprika, and set aside. Divide the vegetable mixture into 12 portions. Using your hands, roll each portion into a ball, and flatten them slightly to form cakes. Press the cakes into the breadcrumbs, covering them evenly on all sides. Place the cakes on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the procedure for the remaining vegetable mixture. Cover and chill the cakes for 2 hours or overnight. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, flip the cakes over, and bake them an additional 5-7 minutes or until golden brown on the other side. Serve two cakes per person.
Yield: 12 cakes or 6 servings
1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled, and diced
In a non-stick skillet, saute the potatoes in the safflower oil for 5 minutes. Add the onion and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the red pepper, zucchini, and garlic, and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the green onion, tomato, and parsley, and saute an additional 1 minute to soften them. Remove the skillet from the heat. Lightly oil a 10-inch quiche pan or spring-form pan and set aside. In a food processor, place the remaining ingredients and process for 2 minutes or until it forms a smooth puree. Pour half of the tofu mixture into the prepared quiche pan, then all of the cooked vegetable mixture, and top with the remaining tofu mixture. Using a spoon, slightly swirl the two mixtures together, and then smooth the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until the filling is firm to the touch and dry on the top. Remove the frittata from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Yield: One 10-inch frittata
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