Vegan Caesar Salad

Vegan Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad is one of my favorite salad. It is creamy, tasty and crunchy especially with fresh crisp romaine heart and croutons on top.  Becoming Vegan, I find fresh raw vegetable are necessity. I can’t go one day without it. I try to find way to add more green in my meal and salad is a good way to go. Caesar Salad can be made vegan easily, the key is to reach the creaminess, the garlicky, the saltiness and fishy smell ( from seaweed and caper instead of anchovy) then you can have the same taste and texture you enjoy without using animals product. It is super easy to make as well, here is the recipes.

Caesar Salad

Ingredients

Romaine heart leaves
Caeser Salad Dressing (recipe below)
Cashew Parmesan Cheese ( Optional)
Homemade croutons (recipe below)

Salad Dressing Ingredients

Half a block of silken tofu
2 tsp of olive oil or water
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
3 pieces of Seaweed Snack
1 tsp caper with juice, crashed
1 tsp dijon mustard
Lemon Juice
Salt and Peper
Extra water to thin the dressing out (if needed)

Instructions

  • To make Croutons – cut an old bread slices into small dices ( I used gluten free Rudi), drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic power. Toss the diced bread for the seasoning to cover. Bake in 350 degree preheat oven for about 15 mins until the diced bread crispy. Set aside.
  • To make Dressing – Put tofu, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, seaweed and caper in the blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Season with dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Adjust the taste. Add more water if you want the dressing thinner.
  • To make Caeser Salad –  In a salad mixing bowl, put chopped romain heart and salad dressing together, toss for the dressing to cover leaves.  Transfer to a bowl or plate then put homemade garlic croutons on top. ( never toss croutons with salad dressing, they will become soft and lose crispiness) sprinkle with cashew parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Baked Samosa with Tamarind Chutney

Baked Samosa with Tamarind Chutney 

I love appetizer 🙂 I would , if I could, order 5 different appetizers instead of main course when I eat out. I like it that much!  The other day, I was craving indian appetizer Samosa. In india, samosa is a snack that you can find on the road side. It is cheap and you can get just a few to snack on. Similar to other asian countries, such as Thailand where I came from, there are a lot of street side food that you can buy when you want to snack on something but do not want to eat a lot.  However, there is no cheap street food in the States, at least the kind I want to eat unless you go to international restaurant.  That is not a problem because I can make it myself cheaper. The problem is that I can’t make just a few pieces. So my husband and I ended up having samosa for dinner 🙂 and left over for lunch the next day!  It would be perfect appetizer recipe for a party though. It make about 16 samosas.

Samosa stuffing usually made of potatoes, onion, green pea and indian spices. I modified the ingredients a little bit using lemon juice instead of mango powder ( because I don’t have it in the pantry) I also choose to bake my samosa instead of deep frying them, which is how it is usually prepared. Though deep frying food tastes good, I try to stay away from it for health reason. It is still does taste good without all the extra fat. Here is the recipe.

samosa

Ingredients 

Samosa Dough
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2/3 up warmed water
1 package of active dry yeast

Filling
3 1/2 cups dice potatoes, boiled ( about 4 potatoes)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup frozen green pea
3 tablespoons oil
2 tsp green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Tamarind Chutney

1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp tamarind paste
5 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water

Instructions

  • To make the dough,; mix warm water, sugar and active dry yeast together and let it stand for 10 minutes . In the medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt . Add olive oil and rub the mixture with your fingers to evenly distribute, Continue rubbing until the flour is evenly coated with oil. Add the water mixture a little bit at a time, and work until the dough comes together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a firm dough. Divide a dough into equal size balls ( about 8 balls)  and cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • To make the Filling; in a saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and coriander powder, stir for 10 seconds. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chili, stir for another 5 minutes until onion is soften. Add garam masala and curry powder, and stir until fragrant about 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir and use spatula to mash the potatoes to reach the texture of a little chunky and a little mashed potatoes. When the potatoes become dryer, add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Add the cilantro and lemon juice. Stir to combine, then season with salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let the filling cool down. 
  • To make the samosa; roll each ball into thin oval shape. use the knife to cut the rolling dough into semi-circle. Rub a little bit of water onto the cut side and seal it together to make a cone shape. Hold it between your thumb and your index fingers with your palm holding the bottom of the cone and fill the cone dough with 2-3 tsp of filling. Wet your finger and run it along the edges of the dough with water and press the end firmly to seal the stuffing. The sealing lines should resemble “T” and make a triangle shape samosa. Brush the samosa with olive oil and bake in 400 degree F preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy it hot with Tamarind Chutney.
  • To make the Chutney ; Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, ginger, cayenne pepper,and garam masala; cook or about 2 minutes to release the flavors. Stir the water into the pan along with the sugar and tamarind paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the mixture is thick about 15 mins.

Guacamole Dip

It has been a week since my last recipe posted. I have been busy with our new rescue chihuahua in getting him to settle in his new home. I finally had good sleep last night after sleepless for 3 nights tried to work out dynamic between cat and dog. Now I am ready to post some recipe!  Last weekend, I made mango salsa and guacamole dip for the family BBQ and it was a big hit. I have already share mango salsa recipe, which guarantee everyone will love. Now it is time for easy, healthy guacamole dip.

guacamole

Ingredients

3 avocados
1 tomato, seeded and cut into small cube
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp minced jalapeno pepper

Directions

  • Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel and mash it roughly with fork
  • Add chopped tomato, onion, cilantro and jalapeno
  • Season it with cumin, salt and lime juice. Mix it throughly

Salsa for 4th of July

I love chips and salsa but I am very particular about it. I don’t like salsa from the jar ( it doesn’t look appetizing to me) and I am concern about all the preservatives that they put in there. Though my version still use canned tomato, I choose one that has only ingredients I can pronounce.  Making Salsa myself, I am able to use other fresh ingredients like lime, cilantro, onion and jalapeno and be able to control the amount of salt I put in. ( no vinegar or other acid in my salsa)

salsa

I made this for forth of july celebration. The red color of salsa and the color of corn tortilla chip ( blue and yellow) make a perfect presentation for this special day.  You can also sprinkle vegan cheese ( such as Daiya Cheese) on top of tortilla and pop it in the oven for a few minutes. You will have melt cheesy tortilla to dip in refreshing salsa. Here is how I made my salsa.

salsa ingredients

Ingredients

1 canned tomatoes in juice
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 clove of garlic
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice ( about 1 lime)
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 chopped jalapeno pepper ( more if you like spicy)

salsa 2

Directions

  • Put all the ingredients in food processor or blender, blend it all together for a few minutes
  • Give it a taste and adjust salt, lime juice, pepper as you like
  • Enjoy it with tortilla chips or pita chips

Pretty easy, huh? it taste good and fresh too. Me and my husband already finish half of the batches right after I finished making it. It is good with beer too! 🙂 perfect for 4th of July celebration and any other BBQ or Party. Hope you like it.

Mango Salsa Fresca (Pico de gallo)

Mango Salsa Fresca (Pico de gallo) 

Pico de gallo and Salsa is one of the easiest yet most flavorful thing you could ever made. The only skill you need is chopping vegetables and mixing them all together. It is such a perfect combination of  ingredients that can develop a flavorful, refreshing dish. The different between Pico de gallo and Salsa is that Pico de gallo is made from fresh uncooked ingredients and usually presented in a chunky pieces. Salsa Recipe can be found here. What I am sharing today is one of my favorite Pico de gallo that people raving about when I served this at dinner party. Mango really helps bring the flavor to another level. Try this recipe or if you have your favorite recipe, try incorporate mango in and you will know what  I am talking about. 🙂

mango salsa

Ingredients

2 tomatoes, cored and dice
1 ripe mango, peel and dice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp of lime juice ( about half a lime)
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of cilantro
1 tsp chopped jalapeno pepper (optional, if you like some kick)

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine diced tomato, diced mango, chopped onion, cilantro and jalapeno together
  • season with salt and lime juice. Stir to mix and let it stand in refrigerator for about 15 mins for ingredients to release juices and develop flavor
  • Give it a taste of the juice and adjust salt, lime and jalapeno (if you want spicier, but the flavor should be already well balance)
  • Serve with your favorite quesadilla, burrito, taco or tortilla chips

Hope you enjoy!