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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

Dear Leftovers,

We’ve had a rough relationship. You provide good eats on some days, but too often you smack me in the face with some nasty smell you’ve kept tucked under your lid. Unless I consume you within a day of your creation, I don’t trust you to behave well towards my nose or my stomach. You’ve wronged me so many times that it’s not easy picking between you and one of those freezer-burned burritos from Trader Joe’s…although you have been winning by a small margin.

Unfortunately, you and I have been forced to become closer this past month ever since the hubby and I started tracking our expenses. Like counting my calories on the LoseIt App makes me not want to eat, tracking our expense calories in a spread sheet takes all the fun out of spending. That means you and I need to learn to get along. Normally I can bury you in the dark space of the fridge behind a suspect batch of refried beans and a bagful of veggies and try to forget about you. But ever since I instituted a ban on impulsive lunches, I’ve had to turn to you for lunchtime support.

Then yesterday, you helped me produce this:

A crunchy salad with fresh cilantro and mint, tossed with a peanut sauce.

 

Fresh lettuce, carrots, cilantro, mint, and rice noodles leftover from our vegan spring rolls the other night tossed together with a peanut sauce dressing and some cut up squares of marinated Wildwood Tofu made a fabulous salad. 24 hours later, I sit here in my cube eating leftover homemade panang curry (tasty but a losing second compared to that salad) and I am still thinking about you. In fact, I want to elevate your salad concoction to main course status so I can eat you again for dinner and then dream about you as my lunch the next day.

So thank you for the memorable meal and bless you for not rotting the noodles. Keep up the good behavior and you may start spending more time in the brighter side of the fridge.

Sincerely,

Your Reluctant Eater

Peanut Sauce Salad Dressing
This recipe is an adaptation to the peanut sauce we make for spring rolls, and can serve as a fresh break from the heavy holiday meals. In your blender or Vitamix, combine the following ingredients:

2 heaping spoonfuls of smooth peanut butter (not the sweetened kind)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
1 medium garlic clove (remember it is blending up raw, so be careful about the quantity . . . unless you want to be tasting repeats the rest of the day)
1/4 cup tamari
A splash or two of  mirin
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup orange juice

Blend together and adjust for salty and tangy. It is really hard to mess up a peanut sauce so don’t worry too much about the measurements. Serve with your favorite leftover Asian-style salad fixin’s.

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My hubby is at a conference for three days, and he is my saving grace when it comes to feeding me. I truly have a hard time coming up with palate inspiring meals when he is out of town. Sure, I can crank out a healthy, bland kid meal, but I can’t say that it is a meal I want to consume myself. One can only eat noodles with vegan cheesy sauce and broccoli so many times before losing all interest in food. After an eight hour work day ending with the task of negotiating two dirty kids away from school and into a car, it is really hard to muster up the energy and inspiration to create some totally fabulous vegan meal in the time equivalent of one Dora the Explorer episode. When Scott is gone, my food ideas dwindle down to burritos and noodles. Someone save me from bland self!

Last night I really wanted try out the new Italian Tofurkey sausages I had just purchased. I thought they would go nice with a box of rice pilaf and a tossed salad. But after wrestling the kids to bed, I didn’t have the energy to cook. So I settled with just the tossed salad. That tossed salad became my saving grace. Literally. Otherwise I might have made some nasty concoction involving a can of baked beans, corn and a cup of soygurt. Or a can of refried beans and leftover polenta. Really, it’s happened before. I shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen when I am cooking for one.

Hobo Tossed Salad—your mealtime friend made from whatever you have leftover in the fridge

Ingredients: (what I used last night but really, don’t hold back on the creativity)

Romaine lettuce (I like to mix in some leafy greens so there is some variety and crunch)
kidney beans
corn
avocado
cucumbers
carrots
fake bacon bits
vegan Parmesan cheese
ground pepper
Annie’s Goddess dressing

Directions (I am being lazy here…)
Tear it up, cut it up, add it to a bowl and toss. Really, there is no excuse not to fall back on a salad when you are tired and need to eat something filling (she says, scolding herself.)

Enjoy!

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