Sunday, June 29, 2008

Big Salad of the Week and Lentils &Rice

I think as long as we're getting so many salad greens from the CSA, I'll do a "Big Salad of the Week" post each week. I think it's fun! Hmmmm. I was thinking they would always involve tofu, but I just started thinking of making some chickpea cutlets, but cutting them into strips and making a "chick'n salad." One like you'd get in a restaurant with chicken tenders on it. I may do that at some point. Or, making some black bean burgers and doing something similar. With a homemade chipotle ranch dressing. I may have to do one of those this week. Okay, enough of the daydreaming and on to food that I've already made.

So, this week's big salad was a barbeque tofu salad with homemade croutons. I made the Backyard BBQ sauce from V-con, and just used the Baked BBQ Tofu from the same cookbook. It's a fantastic BBQ sauce. Much better than your run-of-the mill bottled, store-bought kind. So easy to make too. For the croutons, I bought a loaf of french bread from the supermarket deli. I sliced the bread, peeled off the crust, and cut the bread slices into cubes. I put them in a large bowl and drizzled just a little oil on them, sprinkled with sea salt and garlic powder, and baked them at 350 degrees until lightly brown. I'm guessing it was 20-25 minutes? They were very good croutons. Usually the croutons you get in a restaurant or store are a little greasy, but not these. Perfectly crisp without too much oil. For the dressing...I didn't have everything I needed to make my homemade ranch, so I cheated and used Newman's Own ranch. I mixed it with a little bbq sauce to make a tasty BBQ ranch.

The next night, I made the Lentils & Rice recipe from V-con. It's a really easy, one-pot meal. Pretty much toss the water, lentils rice and seasonings into the pot and cook them. At the end, you fold in some onions which have roasted in the oven and become very brown/black and caramelized. I was worried that it would be a bit bland, but it was perfectly spiced and one of my favorite things I've made recently. To go with it, I threw together a simple side salad with a honey-dijon dressing. I mixed about a TBS of honey, a TBS dijon mustard, a dollop of Vegenaise and a splash of cider vinegar. Whisk it together, and you have a very tasty dressing. You can make it according to your taste too. For a sweeter dressing, just add a little extra honey. If you like it spicier, just add some more dijon. You could even make it extra creamy by adding some extra mayo.


carrie said...

You know what would be great....chicken fried seitan on a salad with some vegan ranch. Oh man, I'm going to have to make that soon. we're inundated with lettuce from the CSA as well....and kale, I have kale coming out my ears and can't come up with enough things to do with it that'll get my kids to eat it, any ideas???

The Dalai Mama said...

I've never had seitan, but dang, that does sound good! I may look for some at the co-op. As for the kale, Annelies won't touch it in any way, shape or form. Julian will have it in a smoothie. In VWaV, there's a recipe for garlicky kale with tahini dressing. I've heard it's one of the highlights from that book. I've not tried it yet, but I probably will soon. I've also heard people rave about kale chips. It involves lightly brushing with oil, seasoning and baking until crunchy. Sounds like something maybe a kid would eat. Probably not MY kids, but maybe some other kids. LOL

SleekPelt said...

I'm loving all of these greens we're having!

carrie said...

I've tried the kale chips, kids wouldn't even try them. Honestly, for all of the raves I've read about them, I have to say, they were just ok. I'll try the VwaV recipe. I'msure I'll like it, but I highly doubt the kids will!!

The best seitan I've found for making "fried chicken" is White Waves Chicken Style Wheat Meat. It comes frozen, so look in your freezer section. You might also be able to get it on-line. If you can get your hands on some, check out the PETA recipe on my blog. You'll be eatin' it all the time, I swear.

The Dalai Mama said...

Carrie: Good to know about the kale chips. I won't even waste my kale trying that. Julian will eat it in smoothies, and honestly he'd probably eat it steamed if it had some good seasoning on it. He'll eat pretty much anything. Not Annelies. Broccoli is still her only vegetable.

I'll look for that seitan at the co-op. Unfortunately, our co-op is struggling right now. After over 20 years of being quite successful! I'll be devastated if they have to close. I'll have to either start ordering things online, or making a monthly trip to Pittsburgh to shop at the East-End Co-op, Whole Foods and Trader Joes.