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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category


Vegan Creamy Ranch Dressing

Creamy Vegan Ranch Dressing

Bottled dressings don’t compare to homemade. Making salad dressing from scratch is much easier than you might think. This creamy ranch dressing was so delicious I had to share it on the blog. AND it is vegan and easy to make.

Creamy Vegan Ranch Dressing

4 tbsp. Vegenaise
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. parsley flakes

1) Whisk all ingredients together.
2) Pour over salad and toss. Toss with greens about 10 minutes before serving for best taste. Delicious with any types of greens but stands up well to hearty lettuces and sliced veggies like cucumbers. Great with a chopped salad.

DELICIOUS!

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Fresh StrawberriesSure you can find strawberries in the supermarket year round, but nothing tastes like fresh, local strawberries. In the mid-Atlantic, they are available in late spring. Berry farms let you pick them yourself and allow you to eat as many as you like while picking. Farmer’s markets have tables of fresh berries and even some of the supermarkets choose to carry local berries over the ones hauled in from far away.

Take advantage of the season with one of the recipes below.

Strawberry Cobbler

This recipe works with peaches or other berries as well. Tastes like it was really hard to make, but it’s easy. Make it ahead of time and pop in the oven just before dinner. The whole house will smell delicious.

Heat oven to 375 degrees

3 cups fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Dash of salt
½ cup melted Smart Balance

1) Mix berries and sugar in medium bowl.
2) Add flour, baking powder and milk to medium-size mixing bowl. Blend in melted smart balance or butter substitute. Spread into medium-sized baking pan. Add blackberry/sugar mixture on top of batter.
3) Bake about 40 minutes. Dough will rise to the top!
4) Delicious with soy or coconut ice cream.

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Fruit Turnovers

These mini fruit pies are relatively easy to make, will make your house smell wonderful and will delight your lucky guests.

Fruit Turnover

Fruit Turnover

2 vegetarian frozen pie shells (choose the kind that come in rolls, in the refrigerator section)
2-3 cups of fresh or frozen fruit (choose chopped peaches, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries or a mixture)
¼ cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1) Mix fruit, ¼ cup sugar, flour and spices in a medium-sized bowl. Let rest for at about 15 minutes.
2) Unroll pie shell and spread out. Divide into four even pieces.
3) Grease a cookie sheet. Place each pastry piece on the cookie sheet. Fill with about ¼ cup of the fruit mixture. Roll up the edges of the pie shell to form a little package. Sprinkle with sugar.
4) Bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Will be golden brown on the outside. Delicious!

Makes 8 turnovers

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Spinach Salad with Orange peppers and Strawberries

With its vibrant colors, this salad is as pretty to look at as it is tasty and healthy to eat.

Fruits and berries macro6 cups of washed baby spinach
1/2 orange pepper
About 15 strawberries
1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Dressing (I use Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette)

1) Slice orange pepper into thin 2 inch slices.Cut strawberries into quarters.

2) Purchase toasted almonds or toast them in preheated 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

3) Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Add dressing. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

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Berry Banana Smoothie, 2 ways

Smoothie

Smoothie

If you have kids around, give them the ingredients and let them make their own.

8-10 fresh or frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. honey
1 banana, frozen and broken into chunks
4 or 5 cubes of ice

For 1st way, use: 1 cup juice made from dark fruit (I used pomegranate/cranberry juice blend—I think it is blended with apple juice to take away the bitterness of the pomegranate)

For 2nd way, use: 1 cup berry or banana or vanilla yogurt and 1/2 cup almond milk

1) Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until well blended.
2) Pour into 2 glasses and add straws.

Makes 2 smoothies

 

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beachbike_summerMemorial Day weekend kicks off Summer. For the next three glorious months, we can enjoy warm weather, beach trips and laxy evenings catching up with friends and family under the stars. It’s time to celebrate with a picnic. We’ve spent all winter inside, let’s get outdoors and enjoy a vegetarian cookout this weekend. Here are a few recipes to get you started on your start of summer celebration.

Vegetarian Hotdog Chili

Vegetarians don’t have to deprive themselves of delicious chili on their veg dogs.

1 cup ground veggie burger

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. onion, chopped fine

1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Salt & pepper

1) Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sauté about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer, until translucent.

2) Add ground veggie burger and spices. Stir together and cook in the pan about another 5 minutes.

3) Add to your veggie dog.

Makes plenty of chili for two hot dogs. A nice topping of chili for four dogs.

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Sara’s Veggie Kebabs

Perfect for Summer grilling.

Choose 3 or 4 of the following:

1 pepper, your choice of color

1 onion

8 button mushrooms

½ package extra firm tofu

1 Quorn “naked” vegetarian chicken

1 Yellow squash

1 Zucchini squash

1 Eggplant

Marinade:

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup olive oil

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. basil

Salt & pepper

1Barbecue) Cut chosen ingredients into about 1 inch pieces.

2) Mix together marinade ingredients and pour into large ziplock bag.

3) Add vegetables to bag and shake. Let sit in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours.

4) Place on skewers alternating vegetables

5) Grill

Makes 4 kebabs

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Susie’s Baked Beans

Essential side dish for your Summer cookout.

2 cans (15 oz.) vegetarian baked beans

l can fat-free navy or great northern beans (drained)

1 can fat-free pinto beans (drained)

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

Sauce

2/3 cup catsup

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1/3 cup brown sugar (more if you like it sweeter)

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 tsp. Worstershire sauce

2 tbsp. barbecue sauce (Such as Sauers or Jack Daniel’s)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Mix first five ingredients together in large oven-safe pot.

2) Add sauce ingredients and stir together.

3) Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce heat in oven to 250 degrees. Bake uncovered for an additional one hour. Cover dish with foil and bake another 30 minutes.

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Easy Pasta Salad

When you need to bring a dish to your Summer party, this pasta salad is a good choice. You probably already have the ingredients on hand and it pulls together in minutes. Also, it’s great for tailgate parties and picnics because it’s mayo free.

2 ½ cups uncooked tri-colored Rotini pasta

¼ red bell pepper, chopped

¼ green bell pepper, chopped

¼ broccoli crown (just the florets), chopped

8 radishes, chopped

1 cup of your favorite Italian dressing

¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)

1)

pasta salad

pasta salad

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Don’t overcook. Drain.

2) Wash and prepare vegetables.

3) Combine drained pasta, chopped vegetables and dressing in a medium-large bowl. Stir everything together.

4) Stir in Parmesan cheese, if desired.

5) Serve right away or refrigerate for about an hour before serving. Keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator. Okay to serve at room temperature.

Note: These are the veggies I used, but feel free to substitute your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This salad may sound unusual but it is a hit at our family gatherings. It combines sweet and salty and everyone loves it.

2 cups pretzels, crushed

½ cup sugar

¾ cup butter or butter substitute, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

10 ounces whipped topping

6 ounces vegetarian gelatin* substitute, preferably strawberry flavored

2 cups boiling water

20 ounces frozen strawberries, sliced, with juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Mix pretzels, ½ cup sugar and butter and spread in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.

2) Mix cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar and whipped topping together. Spread on top of cooled pretzel layer.

3) Dissolve vegetarian gelatin in boiling water and add strawberries. Let it partially set. When gelatin mixture is partially firm, spread it on top of the cream cheese layer.

4) Chill thoroughly.

5) Cut into slices and serve.

*Jello is not vegetarian.

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Berry Peach Crisp

Berry Crisp

Berry Crisp

Healthy, light, delicious way to enjoy fresh peaches and berries

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, blackberries, sliced peaches or a mixture of these

1¼ cup oatmeal- quick cooking works well, don’t use instant

3 tbsp. Smart Balance, softened

2 tbsp. Canola oil

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. sugar (omit or reduce if limiting sugar)

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1) Add berries with white sugar and stir. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

2) Mix together Smart Balance, Canola oil, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add oatmeal and stir together.

3) Pour berries, peaches or berry and peach mixture into a medium casserole dish that you have greased with Canola oil. Top evenly with oatmeal mixture.

4) Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

5) Serve hot with vanilla soy ice cream.

Six servings

Celebrate Summer!

Follow Vegetarian Light on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VegetarianLight

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Did you know that authentic Greek salad does not contain lettuce as an ingredient? I did not know this until last week.

Greek Salad

Authentic Greek Salad

While on vacation in the Outer Banks, my friend Eleni (who is from Greece) created a Greek feast for our group. Her menu included:

  • Homemade Spanikopita
  • Pastichio (she made the traditional casserole, but made a mini version that substituted spinach for the meat for the three vegetarians in our group – it was delicious!)
  • Homemade bread (seriously)
  • Greek Salad

I helped with the cooking and Eleni assigned me to cut up vegetables for the Greek salad. She informed me that the real deal does not have lettuce as an ingredient. Seriously. But it was truly delicious, and a great accompaniment to the pasta.

Authentic Greek Salad

3 or 4 tomatoes, chopped into wedges
1 English cucumber, cut into slices
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2/3 cup of pitted calamata olives
1 large handful of fresh parsley leaves
About ½ cup of reduced fat feta cheese, broken into small pieces
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (add more or less to your taste)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar (add more or less to your taste)
Salt & pepper to taste

1)    Prepare vegetables and add to a large bowl.

2)    Mix in the feta cheese, olives and parsley.

3)    In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour onto the salad and mix well.

Makes enough salad (as a side salad) for about 6 people.

Life is good at the beach
Friends at the Beach (Eleni is in the middle)

Follow Vegetarian Light on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VegetarianLight

 

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