Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fried Rice Salad - Vegan & Gluten Free

During our last bout of warm weather I was craving fried rice, but I didn't want anything hot.  That got me thinking on how I could incorporate the flavors of fried rice into a salad.  This recipe is the one I came up with.

I started with some cooked brown rice I had in the freezer.  I thawed it and started adding veggies I had on hand until I reached the desired rice-to-veggie ratio, then started mixing and matching liquids for a dressing. 

I like to have more veggies than rice.  To me it is healthier and more filling, but you don't have to add as many veggies as I have.  Pick your veggies and their quantities to suit your tastes.

For a gluten free salad use gluten free tamari in place of soy sauce.


3 cups cooked Brown Rice, chilled or room temperature
3/4 C frozen Peas, thawed
2 small Carrots, sliced
5 brown Mushrooms, sliced
1 Zucchini, sliced into rounds or diced
1 cup small Cauliflower florets
1 cup small Broccoli florets
5 stalks of Asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1 cup shredded Cabbage, red or green
5 Green Onions, trimmed and sliced
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil,
1-2 minced Garlic


1. In a large mixing bowl combine the brown rice, peas, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, and green onions.  Toss to combine.

2.  In small bowl whisk together the soy sauce or tamari, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, and garlic.

3.  Pour dressing over rice/veggie mixture and stir.  I added half at a time to make sure I brought all the rice and veggies up from the bottom to get coated.  If you like a moister salad, feel free to double the dressing recipe.

This salad is best on the day it is prepared. While you can eat it the next day, the rice will absorb the dressing and you may need to refresh it with a little more soy sauce, tamari, or rice wine vinegar.

- Bon Appetit

" The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and vegetable.  I am not alone and unacknowledged.  They nod to me and I to them." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Almost Raw Carrot Cake Nibbles

Who doesn't love carrot cake, but wishes there was a healthier version?  

This recipe was inspired by one published on VegWeb by TriEmili.  I have changed it in a few ways to suit our tastes. I like that it has no refined sugar added and that it is gluten free if you use a gluten free vegan cream cheese.  I also appreciate the fact they are easy to make with no fussing.

You can make these two ways: 1) to roll them into balls and make a thumbprint for the cream cheese; or 2) you could like a small baking pan lined with plastic wrap and press the nibble dough into it and spread the cream cheese on top and cut into tiny squares after removing from the pan.



 3-4 Tbsp vegan Cream Cheese
1/4 tsp Vanilla (to mix with cream cheese)

1/2 cup Pecans
2/3 cup shredded Carrot
3/4 cup, Dates, pitted and coarse chopped (I use Deglet Noor)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1-2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
  *  Optional - a few tbsp ground almonds for rolling


1.  In a small bowl mix cream cheese with 1/4 tsp vanilla and set aside.

2.  In a food processor or high speed blender (I used the dry container of my Vitamix) combine pecans, shredded carrot, dates, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.  Process until all ingredients are combined. Scrape into small bowl.

(Dough ready for rolling)
3.  Pinch off small sections and roll into balls and place on a foil lined tray.  In the alternative roll each ball in almond flour or ground almonds and place on tray.  If you find the mixture a little sticky, wet your hands prior to rolling each ball. 

4.  Using your thumb or index finger press an indent into each nibble to make a well for the cream cheese.

(Ready for cream cheese)
5.  Using a teaspoon, fill each indent with cream cheese/vanilla mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  I took these out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes prior to eating and put them on a pretty serving plate so they weren't too firm from chilling.

(Ready to eat - get in my belly)
** One batch makes 12 nibbles, depending on how large you roll them. 

*** An alternative to cinnamon and ginger would be to substitute pumpkin pie spice for a bit more of a clove and nutmeg taste as well.

- Bon Appetit

"Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie." - Jim Davis

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Broccoli Salad w/Tangy Peanut Dressing - vegan/gluten free

Back in June 2013 I posted a favorite recipe of ours called Peanut Sesame Pasta Salad.  While it is a favorite, we don't like to eat pasta very often and I've experimented with ways to make it a little less calorie heavy and more carb friendly.

I finally decided to replace the pasta with fresh crunchy raw broccoli and also cut back on the soy sauce a bit to reduce sodium levels.  I also added 1 more tablespoon of vinegar to compensate for that.

I always thought the peanut sauce was the best part of that recipe so this new one retains the pea-nutty goodness.

GLUTEN FREE:  To make it gluten free use a gluten free tamari in place of the soy sauce.  

Add as many or as little veggies as you like depending on how many people you are feeding.  We like to make enough to have  bowls of it for dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day.



1 cup Peanut Butter
5 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce (or tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos)
1/3 cup Warm Water
2 Tbsp peeled, chopped Ginger (or jarred pureed ginger)
2 Tbsp peeled, minced Garlic
5 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
4 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
 ** optional - Hot Sauce such as Sriracha

3 - 4 large Broccoli Crowns, rinsed and cut into mini florets
Red or Green Pepper, chopped
1 cup Snow or Snap Peas, cut in 1" sections
1 medium Carrot, sliced
4 - 6 Green Onions, sliced including whites and greens
1- 15.5 oz can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 - 15.5 oz can of Baby Corn, cut into sections
      Sesame Seeds and Red Pepper Flakes for sprinkling


1.  In a food processor, blender, or with a whisk mix all dressing ingredients together and process until smooth.  I like to add a little hot sauce as well.  Pour into large mixing bowl.  I use the largest stainless steel one I have.  Mixture might look slightly runny but will firm up when chilling.  Put dressing in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the rest of the ingredients.  If you prefer a thinner dressing, do not refrigerate.

2.  Chop all veggies and drain and rinse the chickpeas and baby corn.  I place all of the veggie ingredients, except for the broccoli in one large bowl as I prepare them.

3.  Remove dressing from the refrigerator.  Add broccoli. Toss to coat making sure you bring up all the dressing from the bottom of the bowl.

4.  Add the rest of the veggies to the broccoli/dressing mixture and toss again. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss again repeating this a few times to incorporate the sesame seeds and make sure all of the veggies are coated.

5.  Serve sprinkled with additional sesame seeds and red pepper flakes if desired.

This is a very versatile recipe.  I have been known to add other veggies if I have them such as mushrooms or cucumbers.  Whatever veggies you fancy or have on hand, go ahead and add them. Water chestnuts are also a good addition.

- Au Revoir

"A well-made salad must have a certain uniformity; it should make perfect sense for those ingredients to share a bowl." - Yotam Ottolenghi