Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Potato and Artichoke Salad with a Parsley and Lemon Vinaigrette

I developed this recipe when I needed a non-mayonnaise based potato salad. Since lemons are one of my favorite things I decided to incorporate them into the dressing. I discovered years ago that if you use big flavors with a lot of acid you can make dishes with a lot less fat that still taste great. I have also made this salad with drained marinated artichokes with sucesss.

Potato and Artichoke Salad with a Parsley and Lemon Vinaigrette
makes 6 large servings


2 pounds of red new potatoes, skins on
cold water to cover potatoes
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
zest and juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of brined capers or 2 tablespoons of diced olives
¼ cup of fresh parsley, finely mined
1 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
salt and pepper to taste


Clean the potatoes and put them in a large pot with a lid and cover them with cold water. Add the kosher salt, cover the pot and heat it over high heat until the water is boiling, then remove lid. Don’t be tempted to cut the potatoes before cooking them as they retrain more vitamins if cooked whole.

Prepare the vinaigrette will the potatoes are cooking so that it is ready to use when the potatoes are done. The warm potatoes will absorb the dressing much more than cold potatoes.

Boil the potatoes until they are easily pierced with the tip of paring knife. Then remove the potatoes from the water and cut them into bite size pieces. Toss the hot potatoes with the vinaigrette. Add the capers and artichoke hearts to the potatoes and toss to combine. Add the parsley once the potatoes just before serving if eating hot, or after cooling completely if eating cold. This salad is good hot, cold or room temperate.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 196.8
Calories From Fat (21%) - 42.15
Total Fat - 4.79g
Saturated Fat - 0.65g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 628.53mg
Potassium - 1084.05mg
Total Carbohydrates - 35.88g
Fiber - 6.3g
Sugar - 0.31g
Protein - 5.62g


I have served this salad to flexitarians and omnivores and it has been universally enjoyed. If you need a potato salad that is good at room temperature this is a nice one to try.

Blanched Amonds

Blanched Almonds

What do you do when you have a recipe that calls for blanched almonds and all you have in the house are almonds with skins? Simple, you blanch your own almonds.

In the current issue of Vegetarian Times there is a recipe for an almond based feta that I wanted to try, but it called for blanched almonds that I never have in my pantry. I decided it couldn’t be that hard to blanch almonds and decided to experiment. To my surprise it was much easier than I had anticipated.
Blanched Almonds
serving equals 1 cup


1 cup of almonds with skins
Enough water to cover to almonds (approximately 3 cups)


Put almonds in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cover with cold water. Over medium heat cook the almonds until the skins begin to loosen. The skins began to loosen in 15 minutes in my kitchen. Turn off the heat and allow the nuts to cool enough to handle. When the nuts have cooled pinch the nut between your finger and the skin will loosen.

You can dry the nuts and skins on different sheet pans in a low oven (200 degrees) until they are completely dry. The almonds can be used in any recipe that calls for blanched almonds.

The dried almonds skins can be pulverized in a blender or food processor and added to veggie burgers or seitan for extra flavor.
Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 842.45
Calories From Fat (73%) - 614.37
Calories From Protein (13%) - 110.4
Calories From Carbohydrates (14%)- 117.68
Total Fat - 73.4g
Saturated Fat - 5.64g
Monounsaturated Fat - 46.82g
Polyunsaturated Fat - 17.48g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 40.6mg
Potassium - 996.15mg
Total Carbohydrates - 28.91g
Fiber - 15.08g
Sugar - 7.19g
Net Carbohydrates - 13.83g
Protein - 31.81g
Vitamin A - 10.15IU
Vitamin C - 0mg
Calcium - 313.2mg
Iron - 5.39mg
Vitamin E - 35.83mg
Thiamin - 0.29mg
Riboflavin - 0.81mg
Niacin - 5.31mg
Vitamin B6 - 0.17mg
Folate - 43.5mcg
Vitamin B12 - 0mcg
Pantothenic Acid - 0.45mg
Vitamin K - 0mcg
Phosphorus - 696mg
Magnesium - 398.75mg
Zinc - 4.52mg
Copper - 1.7mg
Manganese - 3.25mg
Selenium - 4.06mcg
Alcohol 0g
Caffeine 0mg
Water - 6.48g

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bulgur Salad with Walnuts, Bell Pepper and Cucumber

If you are looking for a cold bulgur salad that is big on flavor this dish fits the bill. This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in a middle eastern cookbook. My version has a lot less olive oil, and I think more flavor. The salad actually improves as it sits in the refrigerator overnight. I like to have this around for a quick lunch with mesclun.

Bulgur Salad with Walnuts, Red Bell Pepper and Cucumber
Makes 6 entrée sized servings


For the bulgur:
1 ½ cups of bulgur, uncooked
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
3 –4 cups of water to cook bulgur

Salad dressing:
zest and juice from one lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon of cumin seed, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon of coriander seed, toasted and ground
½ teaspoon of sweet paprika
½ teaspoon of allspice berries, ground
½ teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground

Fresh uncooked items to be added to the salad once cold:
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 English cucumber, finely diced
kosher salt for pepper and cucumber

Optional ingredients for garnish:
Parsley sprigs
Toasted pine nuts
Pomegranate molasses to drizzle on top


Cook bulgur in simmering water with kosher salt until tender. This should take approximately 20 minutes. Drain the bulgur in a fine wire sieve before proceeding.

Make the dressing so that it can be added the bulgur while it is still hot. Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well to combine. The warm bulgur will absorb the dressing more completely than a cooled grain. Place the bulgur in the refrigerator to thoroughly chill before proceeding.

Chop the fresh ingredients finely. Lightly salt the bell pepper and cucumber and place in a colander for them to release some of their liquid. If the vegetables seem very wet it wouldn’t hurt to pat them with a couple of dry paper towels to remove additional moisture before adding them to the grain. In fifteen to thirty minutes add the fresh ingredients to the salad provided the dressed grain is completely cold. Toss the ingredients and check for seasoning before returning to the refrigerator.

To serve:

This salad needs to sit a few hours to absorb all the flavors and allow them to marry. This bulgur salad is good served with warm pita bread and/or falafel or a green salad with a lemon and tahini dressing. I would pair this with a dry white wine, like a Pinot Grigio.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 245.58
Calories From Fat (33%) - 80.4
Total Fat - 9.48g
Saturated Fat - 1.03g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 482.19mg
Potassium - 373.18mg
Total Carbohydrates - 37.58g
Fiber - 8.64g
Sugar - 5.5g
Protein - 6.72g


This salad has a lot of flavor. The allspice adds something unusal to the dish that is not prominent enough to pick out. The pomegranate molasses really shines in this recipe. If you haven't had it is tart and somewhat sweet at the same time. Once you try pomegranate molasses you will find yourself reaching for it often. If you are new to pomegranat molasses and have difficulty getting it out of the bottle try warming it in a tall pan of simmering water on the stove. If that doesn't work use a chop stick to coax the molasses out of the bottle. It can be difficult to get starting flowing but is very worth the effort.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Soy Ice Cream

The weather on the east coast is ridiculously hot this week. We have reached 90 degrees for the last few days. This type of weather brings thoughts of ice cream to mind for many of us that are young at heart. The soy ice cream below is a staple at our house in hot weather. The orange and vanilla flavor is a particular favorite. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Soy Milk Ice Cream
makes 6 servings


3 cups soymilk
½ cup of agave or ¾ cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of arrowroot
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Mix ¼ cup of the soy milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside. It is important to thoroughly mix the arrowroot with the soy milk to avoid clumps in your ice cream.

Whisk the soymilk and agave (or sugar) together in a saucepan. When the mixture has just started to bubble (reached approximately 185 degrees), take off the heat and stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will continue to thicken as it cools). Note: according to Harold McGee arrowroot gels best between 140 and 170 degrees. To expedite the cooling drop the pot into an ice bath and continue to whisk as the mixture cools. Stir in vanilla extract once the mixture has thoroughly cooled.

Set the ice cream mixture into the refrigerator to thoroughly chill before being placed in the ice cream maker. Freeze ice cream mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. In the last five minutes of freezing, drop in the individually frozen pieces of cookie dough or other additives into the ice cream maker.


Chocolate: mix 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder into the soymilk to make chocolate ice cream.

Orange and Vanilla (pictured above): add 1 vanilla pod (scraped) and 1 teaspoon of orange extract to the soymilk for orange vanilla ice cream.

Cookie Dough: While the ice cream mixture is cooling, drop small bite size lumps of cookie dough (totaling approximately ¾ cup, onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or silpat. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze the cookie dough. Freeze ice cream mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. In the last few minutes of freezing, drop in the individually frozen pieces of cookie dough.

Peanut Butter: mix ¾ cup of natural peanut butter with a couple tablespoons of confectioners sugar until it is thicken enough to hold its shape. Drop lumps of sweetened peanut butter onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or silpat. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze the cookie dough. Freeze ice cream mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. In the last few minutes of freezing, drop in the individually frozen pieces of cookie dough.

Nutritional Information (for vanilla):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 96.19
Calories From Fat (20%) -19.56

Total Fat - 2.17g
Saturated Fat - 0.25g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 66mg
Potassium - 180.27mg
Total Carbohydrates - 14.62g
Fiber - 2.67g
Sugar - 5.66g
Protein - 4.13g

My first post

I have learned so much about vegan cooking from the very generous and talented people that have posted their recipes. Many of my friends have been receiving my recipes via email for some time now. I finally decided to take the time and start my own blog to share my creations with everyone. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to let me know.
Related Posts with Thumbnails