Vegan Cobb Salad and Dressing Recipe for Vegan Wednesday

IMG_6277 IMG_6276 (1)

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.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 8 August, 2013: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Avocado

vegan kale quinoa salad

vegan kale quinoa salad

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

2 cups curly kale, washed and massaged
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup roasted red pepper, cut into small pieces
1 sheet nori seaweed, crumpled into bits or cut into small strips
1 green onion, minced

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vinegar

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and massage kale, tear in to very small pieces. Combine kale in a large bowl with quinoa, green onion, and red pepper. Cut nori into small strips (I cut the nori into big strips using a clean scissor, stack them, and then cut the stacks into smaller strips right over the bowl) and add to salad. Stir salad, mixing in the quinoa.

Mix dressing ingredients together in a bowl, whisking if necessary to make sure the mustard incorporates. Pour dressing over salad. Salad lasts up to 3 days in the fridge and makes two meal-sized servings.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 7 August, 2013: Quinoa TVP Sloppy Joes

quinoa TVP sloppy joes
You could use only TVP or only quinoa in this recipe with good results, just use two cups of either one instead of one cup of each.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup dry TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein or Texturized Soy Protein)  reconstituted in water, ends up approximately 1 1/4 cups

1 cup chopped green pepper
1.5 cups chopped onion

1.5 cups tomato sauce
1/3 cup sugar

1.5 teaspoons salt, depending on saltiness of your TVP

1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano

Buns — this recipe makes enough for at least 8 sandwiches.

WHAT IS TVP?

TVP or Texturized Vegetable (Soy) Protein is a type of veggie meat that comes in dry granules ranging from light tan to dark brown.  You can get it at most health food stores or you can order it online.  Because it is dry and light, it ships very easily and cheaply.

The huge advantages of using TVP instead of say, ground round or hamburger are these:

TVP does not contain salmonella, tapeworm, camphylobacter, E. coli, insert-horrific-deadly-pathogen-here because it is not an animal product.

TVP has almost no fat in it whereas ground hamburger is 50 percent or more fat, even the so-called “lean” varieties.

TVP can last a couple of years in its dry form when stored.

TVP has as much protein as meat and pound for pound is way cheaper for both you and the beautiful Earth.

TVP does not suppurate/ give off nasty grease while cooking.

TVP saves an animal from dying!

DIRECTIONS:

Presoak the TVP by covering it in water by 1/4 inch.  The TVP will absorb the water in about 5 minutes.  In a large skillet, fry the onion in the oil until translucent on medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.  Add the green pepper, stir for 3 minutes more.  Add cooked quinoa and TVP (there won’t be much water left if any) to the pan.  Stir.  Add tomato sauce and sugar.   Stir until sugar melts, about 2 minutes.  Make a well in the center and add the spices and herbs to that well, let them fry 30 seconds, then stir them into the rest.  Add salt to taste.  Serve on buns.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 April, 2013: Kale and Sundried Tomato Quinoa or Brown Rice

sundried tomato kale quinoa or rice

It is just as good using brown rice:

sundried tomato kale and brown rice

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup uncooked quinoa or 1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups broth if using quinoa, 2.5 cups if using brown rice

1/2 an onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
1 tablespoon oil
4 cups curly kale, massaged and torn into very small pieces
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Cook quinoa or rice in broth. I use a rice cooker because it is much easier, however, if you don’t have one, put rice and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low-medium and cover. Quinoa will take about 25 – 30 minutes to absorb the water, brown rice about 40 – 50.

Fry onion in oil in a large pan over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Turn up heat and add rice or quinoa, tomatoes, and kale. Toss to heat through.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 16 April, 2013: Barbecue Chickpeas and Mushroom Cashew Quinoa

barbecue chickpeas and mushroom quinoa

BARBECUE CHICKPEA INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 an onion, minced (about 1.5 cups)
4 cups canned marinara sauce
1/3 cup molasses
2 teaspoons agave nectar or 1 Tablespoon sugar
4 cups chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

MUSHROOM CASHEW QUINOA INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 an onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
1 cup quinoa cooked in 2.5 cups water
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 cup cashew pieces
Salt to taste

BARBECUE CHICKPEA DIRECTIONS:

Fry onion in oil in the bottom of a large pot on medium heat until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add marinara, stir and heat through. Add molasses, agave or sugar, and liquid smoke, stir well. Drain and add chickpeas, heat through.

MUSHROOM CASHEW QUINOA DIRECTIONS:

Rinse quinoa (pronounced KEEN-Wah, it’s the world’s greatest, highest protein whole grain that came from the Aztecs and Mayans who used to cultivate it) in a fine mesh strainer or a bound up piece of cheesecloth. Quinoa has a bitter taste if you don’t wash it from the plant saponins on it. They won’t hurt you if you forget to wash it though. To cook quinoa on the stovetop, combine quinoa with 2.5 cups water and bring to a boil. You’ll often see quinoa recipes using less water but I don’t think it is as light and fluffy with less water. As soon as it boils, turn the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Wait 30 minutes before uncovering pot again and quinoa will have absorbed all of the water and fluffed up. I find it’s easier to cook quinoa on the stove, though this time I used the rice cooker. Either way, quinoa is one of those things you walk away from when you cook it. No stirring is necessary.

Fry the onions and mushrooms in oil in a large pan on medium high heat until onions are translucent. Add cooked quinoa and stir well until all ingredients are mixed. Salt to taste.