Refreshing Summer Salad-Happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day. It’s a rather uneventful day now that my dad has passed away, but I still like to celebrate my husband’s fatherhood and remember the great memories I have of my father.  We were lucky to enjoy dinner with my husband’s oldest son and wife last night at a quaint Italian restaurant near us.  It was a great time with wonderful conversation and food.  I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day. 

In lieu of the rich food we had the previous night, I decided to make a tasty salad for dinner.  I made the Avocado and Chickpea salad from the Forks Over Knives App.  It’s super easy to make and this time I embellished it with tomatoes…what a difference that made.  This is a very versatile dish that could be placed on a bed of greens, or in an oil free tortilla.  I chose the salad option, and served some homemade lime and sea salt tortilla chips on the side.

I’m excited for the beginning of summer…so many good things are happening!

One of my favorite photos-my dad and me on my first birthday!

Jackfruit-A ‘Jack’ of All Things Plant Based

BBQ and summer holidays go together; unless you are a creative vegan, BBQ is out of the question.  Enter Jackfruit!  Jackfruit is this HUGE fruit grown in the Indian/Asian area and can grow up to super huge sizes.  I imagine you can buy it fresh in an Asian market, but I get mine canned in brine from Amazon.  I made taco’s with it a while ago and they were good, but Jackfruit is made for BBQ.  As it cooks, you shred it up and the consistency becomes that of of shredded pork or chicken.  

I found a good recipe at Minimalist Baker which in clouded  a good creamy coleslaw recipe (  I used the BBQ sauce recipe from Forks Over Knives since it’s all natural and tastes great! The slaw recipe uses avocado as a base and I doctored it up a bit, but it was yummy (says a person who is not a fan of coleslaw).  Corn on the cob was super sweet and a perfect accompaniment to the tangy-sweet BB sauce.

Hubby said this was the best sandwich of the weekend, so I know it’s a great recipe.  I encourage you to try jackfruit at your next barbeque…no one will know the difference-except you!

Jackfruit in nature:

Jackfruit in a can (Amazon):

My Memorial Day BBQ dinner:

Tofu-A Plant Based Wonder

When you tell someone you are vegan (or plant based), quite often they will tell you that they don’t like tofu…I could never go vegan.  As you’ve seen from my posts, vegans don’t just eat tofu or grass!  There are so many wonderful recipes out there that I could go months without eating tofu, or grass for that matter! Every once in a while I like to make a dish with tofu.  Unfortunately, most people experience tofu that hasn’t had anything ‘done’ to it; and yes, it’s quite bland and the texture is not for everyone.  I’ve learned that there are so many things you can do with tofu that you’d never know you were eating it.  From an italian based ricotta for my veggie lasagne to marinated in a stir fry it’s quite versatile.  The beautiful thing about tofu is it picks up flavors from whatever you put it in; I like marinating it in a little low sodium tamari (soy sauce)

Some people stay away from tofu because there has been some ‘hype’ about soy causing cancer.  This is not true and the soy in tofu and edamame can actually help prevent many lifestyle diseases.  But I’m not going in to that now…you can do your own research.

Recently I found a recipe on Fat Free Vegan’s site for Pistacio Crusted Tofu.  I had to try this as I used to make a quite delicious Pistachio Crusted Tuna dish when I was eating animals.  The recipe is pretty easy to follow and turned out quite well.  I made a creamy dill dijon sauce to go with it that went well with the fish dish.  Hubby wasn’t the biggest fan as the tofu was still rather soft after 20 minutes of baking…but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  He has decided to eat it on as a sandwich with a pickle and a little sauce and he is giving that version a thumbs up.

I was happy to try this recipe and I will certainly be making it again.  If you haven’t tried tofu lately, I encourage you to surf the web for some recipes and try it…you might like it!

Here’s the link for the recipe, and a photo of the dish.  I served it with asparagus and crinkle cut butternut squash.

Ps…the sauce is really good on asparagus too!

Easy Plant Based Dinner Ideas

I love summer; especially all the wonderful fruits and veggies that are abundant locally this time of year.  I made a really yummy summer salad for dinner on Sunday and a super easy Meatless Monday meal for Monday’s dinner.

Sunday’s dinner was composed of watermelon, tomatoes (red and yellow from Didier Farm, local farm), corn (from the same place), red onions, a little quinoa, lemony greens (from Trader Joe’s) and some vegan ‘feta’ cheese that actually had too much garlic in it.  I made up a homemade basil vinegrette to drizzle over the top (basil, white balsamic vinegar, Kite Hill Almond milk yogurt, salt, lemon zest/juice and some pine nuts).  Hubby was not a huge fan of the dressing; I’m thinking plain balsamic vinegar would have been better.  None the less it was quite yummy.

Monday’s meatless meal was an old favorite:  Potato taco salad.  I started with a base of a cooked Yukon potato, cut into one inch pieces, topped with my ‘shakeable cheese’ (nutritional yeast/sesame seeds/cashews ground up to a gritty texture), a yummy black bean salsa (from the same farm mentioned above), topped with some shredded romaine, some diced peppers, chives and cilantro- no dressing needed.  It’s such a flavorful and  filling meal!

I didn’t measure anything, just eyeball what looks/tastes good to you.

Tomato, Watermelon & Corn Salad with Basil Vinegrette 

Meatless Monday Potato Taco Salad

Easy Plant Based Mayo

There are a ton of plant based versions of Mayonaise around, but I’ve never tried them.  They typically yield way too much for one person to consume before the ingredients go bad.  Today I created my own ‘single serving’ size of plant based mayo and it doesn’t contain tofu.  Again, I have nothing against tofu, but when used for a dressing or spread, I’m left with too much of a good thing and what hasn’t been consumed usually ends up going down the drain…along with my money 😦

My recipe is very simple.  It includes Kite Hill plain almond milk yogurt, spicy mustard and a touch of Dijon mustard.  Blend everything together with a fork, and you’ve got plant based mayo!  I used about 2 tablespoons of the yogurt, and maybe 1  tsp of the spicy mustard and maybe 1/2 tsp of Dijon.  You can adjust to your liking.

We are having a summer meal of ‘BLT’s’ as this is the perfect time of the year for the tomatoes (I got some wonderful looking tomatoes at a local farm recently).  Hubby is having bacon (his once a year treat) and I am having ‘Fakin bacon’ made from tempeh.  I could make my own, but I was feeling lazy this weekend!  This ‘mayo’ will go on my sandwhich, I can’t wait to try it!

What did I do with the rest of the yogurt you ask?  It is stored safely in a reusable container for use in another dressing recipe that has yet to be created!  Stay tuned!

This is the Kite Hill plant based almond milk yogurt.  I buy it at Whole Foods.

Here’s the plant based ‘mayo’ 🙂

Here’s the finished dish. I used Trader Joe’s sprouted rye…very tasty!