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 26 December, 2013: Avocado Mandarin Salad

This was lovely as-is but to bulk it up, some roasted veggie unchicken like Beyond Meat, for instance, would have been great.

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INGREDIENTS FOR ONE SALAD:

2 mandarin oranges or tangerines, peeled and sectioned
2 cups romaine salad mix or chopped romaine leaves
1/2 an avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup green onion, chopped

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons oil
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Combine mandarin slices, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, and green onion in a bowl.  In a smaller bowl, whip together oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.  Drizzle over the salad.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 12 December, 2013: Three Bean Salad

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INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cup cooked kidney beans
1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1.5 cups cooked cannellini or navy beans (any white bean will do)
1 cup chopped green onion
2 cups chopped celery
1.5 cups chopped red radishes

1/3 cup any kind of vinegar except balsamic
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse and drain beans and place them in a bowl with celery, green onion, and chopped radishes.  In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, vinegar, salt, and oil, whisk with a fork.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the bean mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.  Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours for best taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 8 December, 2013: Chef’s Salad

vegan chef's salad

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SALAD INGREDIENTS:

4 cups green salad mix (I used an organic one by Earthbound Farms)
2 cups shredded red or other color cabbage
1.5 cups chickpeas
1 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (I used some from a jar)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup sliced radishes
1 cup green onions, chopped

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese or sour cream
2 teaspoons vinegar (any kind will work except balsamic)
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup plant milk (I used almond milk)
1.5 teaspoons salt or to taste

Mix the salad ingredients — green mix, cabbage, rinsed and drained chickpeas, radishes, tomato, red pepper, and green onions — in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine vegan mayo, cream cheese, vinegar, mustard, garlic, plant milk, and salt and fork whip until smooth.  Pour the dressing over the salad right before you plan on eating it.  This would have been good with black or green olives but I forgot I had some in the cupboard.

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.