It is beautiful in Philadelphia, sunny, breezy, early-summery and also sometimes hot and humid. The vegetables are overflowing the raised beds and tumbling out of the CSA box and my fridge is packed. And I’m loving every minute of it. But I need to eat a lot of vegetables to keep up, and lately I just haven’t really felt like curries or stirfry or braises or casseroles. Why turn on the oven?
So I’ve been enjoying a whole lot of raw salads. The secret about raw salads is that you can eat almost any green raw. If it is particularly tough, just marinate and massage it a bit. I currently have lots of vegetables in the cabbage family, so I thought it would be fun to combine them for varying textures and colors. The above salad I made one evening and ate un-marinated, then poured the dressing over top, marinated overnight, and took for lunch the next day. For lunch (and the above photo) I added some cubed and fried tempeh chunks, and half of an avocado. YUM.
Raw Cabbages Salad
4 heads baby bok choi, sliced thinly
1/4 purple cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
3 kholrabi, loosely diced
1 cup sprouted mung beans
2 garlic scapes
2 tsp. toasted black sesame seeds
3 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
4 Tbs. rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. safflower or other light oil
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbs. diced fresh ginger or 1 tsp. dried ginger
pinch of roasted chili powder or flakes
Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing on top or, for a “softer” salad with less crunch, add dressing, mix well (use your hands!) and allow to rest for at least an hour. This recipe allows for 4 large servings. For a heartier meal, add tempeh, tofu, or avocado!
Lately I’ve been loving cold grain salads with fresh vegetables. For this salad I boiled some of the red Incan Quinoa that I like, and added to it fresh heirloom tomatoes, green pepper and corn cut right off the cob. Just a dash of olive oil and some fresh lime juice, and this became a delicious cold salad full of grains, proteins and vegetables. The recipe was loosely based on that of the “stoplight salad” (red, yellow and green vegetables – get it?) from Simply in Season, which I’ve been turning to lately when trying to figure out how to quickly use as many seasonal vegetables as I can.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s too hot to cook. But I wasn’t going to let my beautiful swiss chard, soon to wilt, go to waste. I made this quick salad with bulgar (or cracked wheat) that is an easy-to-cook whole grain. Much like couscous, you just have to cover it with hot water and let it soak until it gets soft (between 15 and 30 minutes). I lightly fried the chard stems with garlic and olive oil, then add thinly sliced chard leaves and a little white white to soften them. Baby heirloom tomatoes sliced in half, a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar, half a handful of fresh chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese, sea salt and fresh ground pepper and I was ready to eat. I suspect the salad will be even better for lunch tomorrow, after it has had time to chill in the refrigerator.
I’ve been a bad blogger, I know. I know. But I spent the last week eating from the YMCA of the Rockies cafeteria, and let me tell you, there was not a lot of exciting and photogenic vegetarian food to share with you. And I could of taken photos of the gas station dill pickle and jalepeno Combos I ate during the road trip, but really?
That said, I’m back! I picked up my CSA last night and celebrated with a great work salad today. This salad is much like my Mexican Chopped Salad, except it’s made with what I already had in my fridge – sprouted black beans, corn I actually cut off the cob myself and lightly fried with the beans, a baby red onion, and some garlic and cumin. It’s also got green CSA lettuce instead of romaine, avocado (yum!) and I skipped the fried tortilla strips. I dressed the salad with a simple vinaigrette I made with half a habenero pepper, a dash of olive oil, and some white wine vinegar. Delicious, but choose a milder pepper unless you’re serious about spice!
I’ve been meaning to post this salad I made for a work lunch, but since I originally made it for 30 people, it took some motivation to decide to cut the recipe down. Michelle, the assistant to the director, says it tastes just like a Chipotle burrito, but without all the fat! Warning – it’s spicy!
roasted red pepper, garbanzo and chipotle salad
6 cups of mixed baby greens or red leaf lettuce
1 12 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
6 oz. roasted red peppers, sliced thinly
3 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 oz. (or two small) canned chipotle peppers
1 Tsb. olive oil
2 Tbs. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
Lightly toss together all of the salad ingredients. Spray a medium saucepan with a touch of olive oil (or Pam), and warm over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and cumin, tossing to coat. Toast the seed gently until they brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Add to the salad.
In a food processor or blender, add all of the dressing ingredients, pulsing until the peppers are chopped very finely. The texture should be smooth, and the color a creamy red. Add to the salad and toss well to coat.
I have to keep shaking the salads up for the lunch programs I make at work, otherwise our guests (and our staff, and me!) will get bored.
This salad was made with baby greens, some arugula, pears roasted in the oven for 10 minutes with fresh tarragon and just a sprinkle of sugar, toasted walnuts (also sprinkles with sugar), a hard, rosemary crusted goat cheese called “Rosey Goat,” and a simple dressing, pictured above, made with cider vinegar, shallots, vegetable oil (how I wish I had grapeseed oil) and fresh tarragon.
I tossed the greens with the dressing first, then added the walnuts, pears, and cheese. It was a subtle salad, but delicious.
“I’ll just pick up a seaweed salad at work,” Señor Lanky said.
“No!” I said. “I have seaweed in the fridge!”
And I did, hidden behind some soy milk and next to the stuffed olives. I purchased it long ago at H-Mart, and just never got around to using it. Luckily, seaweed lasts forever. This particular kind is a brown seaweed comes crusted in sea salt, and needed to be soaked for about 30 minutes it plumped up and I could chop it. Sadly, I had no fresh scallions, so I substituted red onions. It was actually so easy, I’d like to experiment with other types of seaweed and additions like kimchi and cucumber. It’s so cost effective to buy seaweed dried or bagged, I can’t imagine buying pre-made seaweed salad again.