Cold Spaghetti Salad

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This is my mom’s recipe and it remains one of my favorites. It’s a light dish that’s great for summer or those unexpectedly warm fall days. The ingredients are flexible: I leave out the olives and my mom substitues 1 cup of steamed broccoli for the zucchini, so mix and match with alternate veggies as you prefer. To make it a little healthier, use whole wheat spaghetti.

The original recipe had feta in it. I have replaced that with a link to a vegan feta recipe, which I have not tried. These days, I usually just add a bit of sea salt to help get the saltiness that the feta added to the dish.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

for the salad…

  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 tbsp dried)
  • 8 oz. spaghetti or fettuccine, cooked, drained
  • 1 cup crumbled tofu feta (4 oz.) or sea salt, to taste
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped

for the dressing…

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. white wine
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Dash Tobasco sauce

Directions

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing, drizzle over salad, and toss. Chill for an hour.

Mommy VegBlog

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Garlic and Leek Ditalini

This is far from a healthy dish, but it is a nice rich pasta that’s worth treating yourself to periodically. The recipe as printed below serves 4.

This recipe was submitted to, and published at, AllRecipes.com. However, I have modified it here to make it vegan-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces ditalini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup chopped leek
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. silken tofu blended until thick and creamy with 3/8 cup plain soy milk (this replaces a 1/2 cup of heavy cream… the heavy cream replacement came from this recipe)
  • 1 cup soy parmesan cheese
  • a pinch of black pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Melt Earth Balance in a large skillet over low heat. Sautée leeks and garlic until tender and translucent.
  3. Stir in cream, and simmer until thickened. Toss with pasta and parmesan until evenly coated and parmesan is melted. Season with pepper.

Source: VegBlog.org

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Light and Bright Pepper Delight

This bright and colorful dish will please the palate of pepper lovers. Served over rice with faux meat strips, it can be a satisfying meal in its own right. It would also work well as a side dish.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 13-15 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 small-medium of each: orange, red, yellow, and green bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin slices
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 1/4 head cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy or tamari sauce
  • Basil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 or 4 scrapes of lemon zest
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 package of faux-meat strips (Smart Strips) (optional)

* Have preferred rice prepared beforehand.

Directions

  1. Heat the oil for a few moments, then add the onions and garlic. Allow them to sautee on medium heat until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the cabbage, stir, and allow to cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the carrots, peppers, basil, salt, and ground pepper. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. If using faux meat strips, cook according to package (allow about six minutes preparation).
  5. Add lemon zest and tomatoes. If desired, add another splash of soy/tamari sauce. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. If using faux meat, squeeze lemon juice on strips, then add to the vegetable mixture.
  7. Serve hot over rice. Spoon juices over rice for some extra flavor.

The colorful peppers
The colorful peppers

The food cooks
The food cooks

The final product
The final product

Source: VegBlog.org

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Paella

Paella is a spanish rice dish with vegetables, chorizo, chicken, seafood, and saffron. Personally, I’ve never tried paella before, but this recipe sounded mighty good, so I decided to adapt the recipe and make it vegetarian. Since I’ve never had paella, I don’t know what it’s “supposed” to taste like, but I must say that this vegetarian version is incredibly good. The faux chorizo adds a nice kick to the dish. This tastes excellent heated up the next day, too. The recipe below serves six.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 oz. faux chorizo sausage*, cut into pieces
  • 2 faux chicken cutlets (7 oz.), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 package (12 oz) uncooked Arborio rice
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or a few sprinkles of dried thyme)
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 8 slices lemon, for garnish

* I used Sunergia Soy Foods Chorizo (organic and vegan), though Soyrizo or a homemade version would also work.

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in paella pan (I just used a large saucepan) over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes to soften up the vegetables.
  2. Add faux chorizo, diced faux chicken, and rice, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the rice from burning or sticking.
  3. Stir in 3 1/2 cups stock, wine, thyme leaves or dried thyme, and crumbled saffron. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, as is required for Arborio rice. Taste the rice occasionally to see if it’s ready, adding 1/2 cup more stock at a time until the rice is ready (up to 2 additional cups). The rice should be firm, but not crunchy.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and peas, cooking for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and leave for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Scatter parsley over the food. Serve in paella pan or in bowls, garnished with lemon wedges.

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

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Simple Tomato Salad

This recipe is a vegan-adapted version of Alice Waters Simple Tomato Salad. It’s a great summer side dish that’s very easy to make.

Yields 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ripe juicy tomatoes
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • handful fresh basil leaves, torn in half
  • garlic croutons or torn pieces of crusty bread, toasted or not (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash and core tomatoes. Cut into thick slices.
  2. Peel the garlic. In the serving bowl, rub the garlic using the tips of a fork, to make a puree, then add the vinegar and oil.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tossing gently to coat with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Scatter top of salad with the torn basil leaves.
  5. Add croutons or pieces of bread, if using, to soak up the delicious juices.

Adapted from Alice Waters Simple Tomato Salad

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