Posted in Bowls, Grains, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Graffiti Eggplant & Courgette Couscous Salad ~ Easy Vegan Meals

Have any of you noticed that it’s not as easy to find all the foods you need at one supermarket these days? I used to be able to hit up Kaufland and get most of what I needed, using a delivery service for the rest. But given everything going on in the world, it seems to be hit or miss with lots of things.

At the top of that list I would put lettuce. Romaine lettuce has been gone for months, which leaves very few options because I’m not a fan of bagged lettuce or salad mix. There have just been too many problems over the years so I try to stay away from those. But I LOVE to eat a big, hearty salad for lunch on most days.

So, what am I to do?

Improvise, of course.

This warm couscous salad with graffiti eggplant and zucchini fits the technical definition of a salad, and it was delicious to boot, so here we go!

I came across some beautiful graffiti eggplant and my husband asked me to get some because he loves the stuff. I, on the other hand, have just started to like eggplant and not out of necessity. Here in Romania there’s a dish called vinete, which is basically an eggplant dip. For me, it’s hit or miss but we were recently visiting Sinaia and I actually slathered it on two slices of bread…and ate them both.

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Posted in Bowls, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Grilled Corn & Smoked Tofu Salad

Are we back on salads, again? Yes! Yes, we are.

It’s still hot and last time I checked, salad was still delicious. And today, we have a completely different salad for you test out, tweak and enjoy.

There isn’t much to say about making vegan salads that I haven’t said already, so let’s keep this post short & yummy, shall we?

Grilled corn and smoked tofu…what?

I know, right?

But hear me out, you get to eat corn, which is delicious, and grilled smoked tofu which is smoky and delicious and the perfect thing to eat after an exhausting strength training workout.

I used a grill pan because I REALLY wanted to get the grill marks on the corn, even though I totally cut it all of the fresh corn cob. What can I say, I’m complicated. The grill pan isn’t completely necessary but I was trying to be more creative so there you have it.

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Posted in Plant Based, Salads, Sandwiches, Sides, Vegan

Vegan Summer Salad ~ Apple, Kohlrabi & Carrot Salad with Dill Yogurt Dressing

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Romania it has been hot.

Really hot.

Super hot.

Hot as balls, hot.

Did I mention it’s been hot?

Anyway, when it’s too hot to focus on writing, or television or anything else, it is definitely too hot to think about turning on the oven or the stove. Since I love salads, it’s not hardship to go salad crazy when the weather is warm and there’s an abundance of produce options.

With all that’s happening in the world, it’s been a little difficult to get certain produce without ordering online and hopping from one grocery store to the next, so when I found some kohlrabi, I figured it was time to give it a shot. I went to the Google Machine to find out what kohlrabi tasted like and how to make it raw, and came up with his easy vegan summer salad.

You can eat this vegan salad as a side dish with your favorite vegan sandwich, or just make a big ass bowl and eat it on its own. It’s low calorie, nutrient rich and incredibly delicious.

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Posted in Cheese, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Easy Vegan Lunch ~ Chickpea Caesar Salad

To me, salad are magic. How else can you eat as much food as your belly can hold, pack your body with nutrients and do it all with very few calories? If there’s another way, I don’t know it and I’m not sure that I want to. But, seriously, if you know another way, I’m all ears because I’m in love with food and I need to know.

Anyway, I was waxing poetic about salad. Going vegan really opened my eyes to what a salad could be and I am happy to report that I never frown at a big bowl of colorful veggies anymore. Well, unless someone else made it and they consider salad best when drenched in oil.

One of my favorite salads had always been Caesar salad. It’s creamy and tangy and really, quite simple. But until recently, I haven’t been bold enough or brave enough to veganize it.

Welcome to today, folks and the chickpea Caesar salad.

This is a simple vegan salad but it will definitely satisfy your appetite and impress your palette.

Let’s start with the list of ingredients. It seems daunting, but I promise it’s not. The dressing requires a few ingredients but that’s mostly measuring and mixing.

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Posted in Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Salads, Sides, Vegan

Sometimes You Just Want A Salad ~ Vegan Salad Hacks

As some of my closest friends will tell you, salad is not food. It is torture in a bowl to those who;

A. Hate veggies
B. Are children
C. Aren’t adventurous

Those are some pretty bold statements, right? I know. But c’mon. Seriously, how can any adult human say they ‘don’t like’ or ‘hate’ salad? Is it all salad or just those without creamy dressing on top? Is it a particular type of lettuce or just the fact that you are literally eating a bowl full of vegetables?

I’ll admit that as a former teenage girl, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with salad for most of my life. Then about a decade ago, maybe more, I became an actual adult, you know, eating foods that are good for you and finding ways to make them more flavorful. Now, I try to eat a salad every day and if not, every other day.

Why?

That’s easy. Salad is packed with fiber thanks to all the raw veggies, which has several amazing benefits. First, the fiber makes you FEEL full which means a calorie-friendly salad is a great tool to put in your weight loss arsenal. Then there’s the fact that every vegetable in your salad has health benefits such as the antioxidant beta-carotene in tomatoes, the dark leafy greens that contain vitamin K along with a host of other antioxidants is another great reason to add a salad to your diet.

Raw veggies can help reduce your risk of cancer, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.

Plus making salad is…EASY.

All you need to do is grab a handful of your favorite salad veggies, or better yet, try out some new ones and see what strikes your fancy. Above is a spiced chickpea salad with corn and that only out of the ordinary ingredients I used were the chickpeas and corn, otherwise it was your basic lettuce (butter), tomatoes, scallions, black olives and bell peppers. I added some curry and turmeric to the salad dressing and a quick and easy, calorie friendly lunch.

The best thing about a yummy vegan salad for lunch? You can splurge (occasionally) on a creamy yogurt based dressing…if you make it yourself. You won’t get the same calorie content if you slather ranch or blue cheese on your veggies. Personally, I prefer a quick oil-free vinaigrette because it adds a TON of flavor without all the calories.

Then there are the days where you know you need some fresh, raw veg in your diet but you’re feeling lazy. Bored. Not in the mood to eat healthy. What do you do then?

Easy…compromise.

I recently came across some delicious beefsteak tomatoes, totally out of season but flavorful nonetheless. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any fresh basil so I made do with the dried stuff, added a few shavings of vegan cheese and created a quick & easy Caprese salad…sort of.

The photo isn’t all that pretty, I know, but it was delicious. All you need is tomatoes, cheese, basil, salt & pepper and garlic granules and a splash of balsamic vinegar. It was the perfect side dish to a chickpea burger.

I like to call this a Happy & Healthy Meal.

But don’t go patting me on the back just yet because one of my vegan salad hacks is to add fresh veggies wherever I can and one of my favorite places to do it is Asian dishes. Add a handful of lettuce tossed in scallions and rice vinegar to a noodle or curry dish. But I find it easiest with Mexican cuisines.

Not technically a salad, but these nachos have raw lettuce, tomatoes, onion and garlic (in the fresh salsa & guacamole). Sometimes when I really want to clear toxins from my body–thanks to too much junk food or booze–I’ll add cucumber and shaved carrots to my nachos or tacos, or burrito/fajita bowls.

The point is, sometimes your body just needs a little salad to keep it functioning like the well-oiled machine it is, so make sure to give your body the fuel it needs.