Sunday, June 16, 2024

Mediterranean Orzo Salad (WFPBNO)

The weather has been so stinking hot here I've not really wanted to cook. I decided on another cold pasta salad for lunches over the weekend. I had everything I wanted to put into this salad with the exception of the baby spinach. So, off to the grocery I went and then I grabbed all the "Mediterranean" flavors in the frig and pantry and made this delicious salad. The leftovers were delicious, I did add a splash of red wine vinegar and a squeeze of lime. After a quick toss, it was ready to serve. I would consider this very friendly as far using the ingredients you have on hand.  Get your water on to boil before prepping the veggies and dressing.

  • 8 ounces orzo
  • 5-6 cups baby spinach, tear larger leaves
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained - SAVE that aquafaba water
  • 1 cup diced tomato or halved cherry tomatoes, I used a combo of both
  • 1 cup mini cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces, I used red
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup vegan feta, crumbled (you can omit this)

Be sure that water is on to boil. You will cook your orzo according to the package directions. Meanwhile add all the other salad ingredients to a large bowl. The spinach is on the very bottom.

  • 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, use fresh if you have it
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Once the orzo is cooked, drain and rinse in cool water. Let cool before adding it to the veggies in your bowl. Then give it all a good toss.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients while the orzo is cooling. Give the dressing a good whisk. Give this a taste before adding it to the salad to see if you prefer to a add a little bit more of anything.

Once the salad is ready add the dressing and give it a final toss.

We ate this immediately and had leftovers the next day. I did add a few splashes of red wine vinegar and a squeeze of lime before serving the leftovers. It was delicious at room temp but even better cold from the frig.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Chickpea Salad with Curry Peanut Dressing (WFPBNO)

I got the idea to try this from a couple of different recipes I saw online. I really like how this turned out and it's so easy to make. I've already made it twice and the leftovers are delicious. I added my baked ginger garlic tofu to this to bump up the protein content and to keep us full longer. You probably have most of these ingredients in your fridge and pantry. Go ahead and make this delicious salad during these scorching days of June. It's really nice to be able to open up the frig and have something quick and delicious ready to eat. 

For the Salad:
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2-3 cups shredded green cabbage (red would also be pretty)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (keep that aquafaba for something else)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I buy one that only has peanuts as an ingredient)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clover garlic, minced (I buy pre-minced garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons warm water, to thin the dressing
  • a few grinds of black pepper

In a large bowl, add bell pepper, carrot, cabbage, chickpeas, cilantro, green onion and jalapeno.

In a small blender or small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Be sure to add the water and if needed add a little more so it's the consistency you like. The leftovers will be a little looser as the water in the cabbage will release.

Pour the dressing over the salad.

Mix well. 

I chose to add mine to a small, pretty bowl for serving. I kept the tofu separate and added some to each bowl as we served the salad. Garnish with cashews or peanuts, more cilantro and the tofu if using.


Sunday, June 2, 2024

Pesto Pasta Salad (WFPBNO)

This is my new favorite pasta salad. It has minimal ingredients and is delicious. I make oil free pesto during the summer, freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen crack it out into freezer ziplock baggies and keep in the freezer. When you need pesto just pop out how ever many cubes you need and let it thaw. That made this salad super easy to toss together. Feel free to add the veggies and items you and your family love. It's so good and it makes a lot so you may want to cut the recipe in half. 

  • 1 16-ounce bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 2 servings tempeh bacon, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (should be bite-sized)
  • 1 smallish red onion, diced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered, I then cut each quart in half 
  • 1/2 cup olives, I used halved kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers, sliced
  • 3/4 cup pesto, can be homemade or store-bought but shoot for no oil

I made my tempeh bacon a day in advance. Start the water to cook your pasta before you being or earlier in the day. While my pasta cooked I mixed all the vegetables in a large bowl.

Once the pasta is ready drain and rinse with cold water.

Add the cooled pasta and the pesto to the bowl of veggies. Take you time and stir until everything is coated with the pesto. This took a bit but be patient. 

Sorry my pic is so blurry, not sure what happened. But this is so good and would be perfect served at any cookout.