Vegan Cobb Salad and Dressing Recipe for Vegan Wednesday

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Now that the weather is heating up and local produce is getting cheaper, I figured it a vegan cobb salad would be just the thing.  This really hit the spot today for lunch.  It’s delicious, fresh, and filling.

Traditional cobb salad (ick) contains eggs, bacon, chicken, and blue cheese along with lettuce and onions.  Mostly it’s just gross, obesity and heart attack causing animal flesh and secretions on some greens, no thanks.  Reminds me of this meme I made:

Cobb salad in theory is great though, and of course it’s very customizable, so that is why this one tops a bed of purple and green lettuce with quinoa, pan-fried asparagus, avocado, cucumber, and veggie meat (actually Field Roast Lentil Sage deli slices fried in oil, soy sauce, and maple syrup) with homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing.

Vegan Cobb Salad Ingredients

Makes 3 large salads

6 cups lettuces or lettuce blend, romaine, dark lettuce, etc., torn into bite size pieces.  I used Artisan Lettuce pack from ALDI
1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and cubed
1 whole cucumber, peeled and cubed
Veggie meat of your choice or beans (rinse if canned)
Asparagus, pan-fried or roasted
1/2 cup quinoa cooked in 3/4 cup vegetable broth

Directions:

1. Bring 3/4 cup of vegetable broth to a soft boil on the stove while washing 1/2 cup of quinoa in a fine sieve or cheesecloth.  Washing helps to prevent the bitter taste of saponin, which quinoa is coated in until you wash it.  Add washed quinoa, turn heat to low, and cover with pot lid.

2. While the quinoa cooks, fry the asparagus.  Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil (I used corn oil) in a wide pan on medium high heat.  Add chopped asparagus and fry for about 7 minutes while quinoa cooks, tossing gently every two minutes or so.  Add salt to taste.

3. Once asparagus is finished, check quinoa for doneness.  Meaning, taste it.  If it’s hard, put the cover back on and let it steam a few more minutes.  When quinoa is fluffy and appears to have little tails, it is ready to eat.  Empty the asparagus in a bowl and put it aside.  Use the same pan to fry or reheat the veggie meat of your choice.  Gardein or Beyond Meat chicken would also be good, or try tofu.  Or skip veggie meat altogether and add another vegetable, such as roasted or pickled beets.  It’s up to you.

3. Make a layer of lettuce in the bottom of 3 salad bowls — a large, flat bowl works the best — and add stripes of cucumber, asparagus, avocado.  Your quinoa should be done by now, so add a stripe of that along with a stripe of veggie meat.

4. Make the dressing and serve it on the side.  Dressing recipe follows:

Basic Vinaigrette for Vegan Cobb Salad

Ingredients:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar or any vinegar, such as champagne, ACV, balsamic, whatever
1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup any color miso OR 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard or 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sweetener (I used sugar) or to taste
1 clove garlic

Dressing directions

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until garlic bits are no longer visible.  Serve on the side of Vegan Cobb Salad.

Tofu Scramble Burritos for Vegan Wednesday

Yes, Vegan Wednesday is actually Vegan Everyday in my case as I have been vegan for the animals since July 26, 2010.

Still, I figure people are looking for some easy, cheap vegan recipes.

This is a tofu burrito and a couple of homemade salads, creamy cucumber and fast coleslaw, I took to work.  I eat dinner at work because of my hours, so brown-bagging it is a much cheaper, healthier, and better alternative to making a run outside the building for food.

Tofu Scramble Burritos

1 package firm tofu, usually about 13 to 16 ounces, drained
1/2 a small onion, chopped
1/2 cup frozen bell peppers, I use the tri-color frozen pepper mix from Trader Joes
Oil for frying, about 2 teaspoons

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, adds Vitamin B spectrum and flavor)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (provides pretty yellow color and antioxidants)
2 teaspoons salt or to taste

Burrito shells – I used fajita shells from Aldi that cost less than a dollar per package

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The tofu mixture in the fry pan

Directions:

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat for about a minute and a half.  Add onions and fry them until slightly translucent, about 1 minute.  Thaw the peppers in the microwave for one minute in a small bowl and squeeze off the pepper water.  Drain tofu and crumble it directly into the frying pan with the onions, or just flop the whole cube in there and mash it with a fork once it is sitting amongst the onions.  Add bell pepper, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and additional spices or herbs that you enjoy.  Mix until the turmeric is evenly distributed and then salt to taste.  I like a lot of salt and I have never had blood pressure problems, so I use 2 teaspoons of black salt, a type of sulphured salt from the Indian grocery store that imparts an eggy flavor.

Heat the burrito shells gently in a dry pan or microwave them for 20 seconds to make them pliable.  Dump about a cup of tofu filling into the burrito shell and then roll it up, or eat it like a soft taco.

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Creamy Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers
1 tablespoon chopped green, red, yellow, or white onion (I used red onion)
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (I used Just Mayo I found at Target for under $4)
1 teaspoon dried dill, thyme, basil, etc. (I used a premade mix of Herbes de Provence)
1/2 teaspoon salt plus salt to taste

Finely slice the cucumbers by hand or use a cucumber slicer — I used the cucumber slicer on the side of a four-sided cheese and vegetable shredder.  Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of salt on the cucumbers, let them sit 5 to 10 minutes.  Press them in a colander over a sink, squeezing as much of their water out as you can with your clean hands.

Mix squeezed, drained cucumbers in a large bowl with onion, mayonnaise, and herbs.  Mix and add salt to taste.

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Fast Coleslaw

1/2 head of cabbage, any kind, finely chopped into shreds (I used white)
1/4 cup onion, chopped (I used red onion)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste

Chop the cabbage and onion finely and mix them together in a large bowl.  Add vinegar, sugar, and oil, toss and add salt to taste.

Wait about an hour for cabbage to marinate and soften.

Can be eaten room temperature or chilled.

 

Daily Vegan Lunch for 3 December, 2013: Teriyaki Unchicken Salad

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INGREDIENTS for 2 salads or one huge salad:

5 – 6 cups salad greens
2.5 cups tofu unchicken pieces

Teriyaki dressing, to taste

TERIYAKI DRESSING INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice or other vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar or 1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons sesame oil or regular oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the tofu unchicken according to this recipe or use a store-bought unchicken, seitan, tempeh, or other veggie protein.

Combine teriyaki dressing ingredients in a small pan on the stovetop on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients dissolve. Once it heats up, about 3 minutes, stir until the dressing thickens.

Mix the tofu unchicken and salad greens in a bowl and top with teriyaki dressing to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 1 December, 2013: Unchicken and Greens with Sesame-Miso Dressing

unchicken salad tahini-miso dressing

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FOR ONE SALAD

4 – 5 cups salad greens
1.5 cups raw broccoli
3/4 cup chopped green onion
2 Gardein chicken tenders or other veggie unchicken

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons miso, any color
2 teaspoons sugar or 1 teaspoon agave
1 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini

Bake unchicken on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flip and cook 5 minutes more or cook according to package directions.
Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
Assemble salad (greens, broccoli, and onion) in a bowl.  Mix by hand.  Chop baked unchicken into bite sized pieces place them on top of the salad.  Add dressing to taste and toss.

Daily Vegan Lunch for August 31, 2013: Auntie Pasta’s Salad

vegan antipasto macaroni salad

INGREDIENTS:

1 vegan sausage
1 teaspoon oil for frying

2 cups cooked macaroni

1 cup artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup Greek olives, pitted and chopped

1.5 cups fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-fry sausage by cutting the sausage (I used Tofurky Italian sausage) into 1/2 inch slices and browning on each side in a pan, set aside. Prepare macaroni according to package directions, drain and put in a large bowl. Add sausage, artichoke hearts, chopped olives, basil, and olive oil to macaroni and stir to combine. Salt to taste. Chill before serving.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 July, 2013: Cole Slaw

I had a peanut butter sandwich with my cole slaw, I didn’t want anyone to think coleslaw was all I ate for lunch!

vegan cole slaw

INGREDIENTS:

8 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded or julienned
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup sugar or 2 tablespoons agave nectar

1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise

Mix mustard with sugar and mayo in a small bowl. Combine with cabbage and carrot large bowl and mix extremely well. Chill for 2 hours plus. Lasts about 3 days in the fridge.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 5 July, 2013: Taco Salad

vegan taco salad

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INGREDIENTS FOR ONE LARGE SALAD TO SERVE 4:

Cashew-Garlic Dressing (recipe below)
6 – 8 cups dark lettuce
2 cups corn chips, crumbled or Fritos
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup corn, thawed and drained if it was frozen
1/2 cup black olives (optional)
1/4 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (optional)

CASHEW-GARLIC DRESSING INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight
1/3 cup water (you can use reserved cashew water or just start fresh)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon or more taco seasoning (any mix of cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic

Make salad by combining all salad ingredients except for avocado and chips, which you will save until just before serving.

Make dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a blender and pureeing until very, very smooth. Depending on your blender, this can take up to five minutes.

Add avocado and chips to salad and serve with dressing.