Seitan Curry Salad

Another Beans and Barley recipe- I was trying to nail down how to recreate the tofu curry salad at Whole Foods. This was a super awesome alternative, and, I think, maybe even better than the whole foods one. I love the texture of their tofu or whatever they use, so that's one point in their column, but this one has so many amazing flavors, that it wins. I used the "chicken-style" seitan from RFD's book, the sauce (for lack of a better word) is Veganaise based, which I truly would not have thought of on my own. Then there's; carrot, celery, scallions, garlic, parsley, ginger, curry, turmeric, salt and pepa, and the seitan. Shockingly, even Davey liked it (he hates mayo with a passion). Thanks again to that fella who sent me the Beans cookbook- it continues to be awesome!

Mediterranean "Chicken" Salad

Yum. I think that the Beans and Barley cookbooks have such great salads in them because a) they have a deli, and b) it's so cold all winter that people in Milwaukee get really excited in summer to be outside and have cookouts and eat great picnic food. Like the Mexican Quinoa from book two or ...this salad! It's from the Beans book Volume 3 (thank you again, Nicholas V!)

This was intended to be a salad using chicken along with parmesan cheese. I skipped the cheese (although I could tell from the flavors of the salad that it would be really excellent on it), and I veganized it by using the "chicken style" seitan from Real Food Daily's book.

The salad is pretty quick to mix up (after spending 2+ hours making the seitan). Just some noodles, fresh spinach, diced tomatoes, red bell and red onion and some pine nuts. The dressing is good too, a teeny bit goes a long way. Also, since Davey hates vinegar, I reduced that by 1T and it was pretty great. Unless you love vinegar, I'd recommend cutting the recommended 3T down to 2, it's a nice balance of flavors with less.

This would be great to take on a picnic or to make for a summer meal, it's nice and light but still pretty filling with the faux chick, noodles and pine nuts. So the verdict is, I'm super happy to have more Beans and Barley books!

Mexican Quinoa Salad

This is a recipe from Milwaukee's Beans and Barley café. It's a great place that I utterly miss not living closer to. This is from their teeny book "Another Little Book of Beans". I have no idea if they still sell their cookbooks, this is from the year 2000. I hope that they do, though, b/c this is volume 2, and I'd like to get #1.

Anyway, this is delicious. It's great as a side, great alone, would be great as a pot luck or picnic dish, it's amazing. For such a little salad, there's a ton of nutritious goodness in it; the qunioa, black beans, peppers, tomato, avocado, etc. It made a TON (I noticed after the fact that it said that it made 8-12 servings), and I made it only for Davey and me. So, right now, I'm tired of it and won't be making it probably until summer when we have a picnic to go to where I want everyone to be asking who made the tasty salad.

Indian Quinoa Salad

This. Is Good. This is the Indian Quinoa Salad from RFD's book. I had never made Quinoa, or, I think even had it before. It's a nutty but light little grain that tends to get everywhere when you cook from onto your clean dishes to the bottom of your feet.

This dish is delicious! It's very light, and would be a great side. I tended to just devour it by the bowl, though. It doesn't have a really distinct Indian flavor, though- the only real spice is garam masala. S'good- it'd be great at picnics, and I'll for sure keep it in my pocket to use for such occasions.

Ying (sic) Yang Salad with Peanut Sesame Dressing

This is the Ying (sic) Yang Salad and Peanut-Sesame dressing from Real Food Daily's cookbook (see Enchiladas). This is where I found out how vast the difference between a food processor and a blender really is. I have a blender. I needed a food processor. A peanut butter based dressing in a relatively cheap blender is not a good combo at all. Still, it was fine. Probably not at all what it should've been, but fine.

This is typical of the recipes in the book where when you set out to make one thing, you need to actually make 3 things (for this one it was; the dressing, marinated ginger tofu, and the salad itself. The salad has amazing fresh ingredients that are primarily things that we don't eat regularly (daikon radish, red cabbage, etc). The tofu was way too salty for my taste. The peanut dressing balanced it a tad, but not enough to make a day long tofu-making process worth it (there's a 2 hour long draining of the tofu, plus a 4 hour marinade).

I would try it again, but would skip the uber tofu and just add some tj's stuff or something marinaded for less time (?). Also, I'm going to be needing a food processor before attempting the dressing again since a moratorium has been effected which prevents me from putting peanut butter in the blender ever again (Davey got stuck with the dishes and said that was a huge pain). Sorry, honey!

Peanut Noodles

This is great for summer, as you really don't have to cook anything except the noodles, and it's really delicious. Also, it's a cold dish. For left overs, you just pop it out of the fridge and eat.

It's the "Noodle Salad with Spicy Nut Dressing" from La Dolce Vegan p81. The author doesn't specify which nuts to use, I chose peanuts because I'm on a super peanut kick lately. My only change to the recipe is to use 1/2 c of nuts instead of 1/4 c because the chopped nut bits in the salad are my favorite part.

It makes quite a bit, enough for 4 meals. Particularly if you pair it with some Trader Joe's pot stickers or a soup or something.