Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quinoa Tabouli

In the spirit of light and refreshing summer dishes, here's my favorite kind of tabouli. I like it well balanced between the veggie and grain components, rather than a grain dish with a weak garnish of parsley and tomato.

this plus this. . .


2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1 generous pinch salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 or 4 roma tomatoes
1 large cucumber, peeled
1 bunch pf green onions
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

1. Bring the water to boil then add the quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is done. Let it cool and fluff with a fork. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Set aside.

3. Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, and the green onions and add them to the olive oil/lemon juice dressing. Chop the parsley. I'm always too lazy to remove all the leaves and I don't really mind the stems, but I still pick out the bigger stems. Add the parsley to the bowl, then mix in the cooled quinoa. 

. . . makes this!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

During these hot summer months when it's too hot to fire up the stove, these spring rolls are just the thing. They're refreshing, healthy, delicious, and most importantly cold. They're also pretty fun to make.

For the spring rolls:
Large bowl or pot of really hot water
1 block fried tofu (if frying the tofu yourself, allow to cool completely)
4 ounces rice vermicelli, cooked according to package directions
1 large carrot, shredded
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
3 or 4 green onions, sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
1 package rice spring roll wrappers (depending on how big you make your rolls, you will probably only need about a dozen or so wrappers for this recipe)

Step One
Bring water just to boiling then remove from heat. While the water is heating up prep the carrot, cilantro, basil and green onions. Combine together in a large bowl. Rinse the bean sprouts and set aside in a separate bowl. Slice tofu into strips about as thick as a domino and set aside. 

Step Two
Set up your workstation so that all your ingredients are within reach. Use a clean dish towel to assemble the rolls. Pour the hot water into a bowl large enough to soak the wrappers in. Keep the cooked vermicelli in a bowl of cold water so that they stay hydrated while you work. 

Step Three
Soak one rice wrapper in the hot water for about 15 to 20 seconds. Lay it out flat on the towel and place on it a slice or two of tofu and a very small handful of the vermicelli (squeeze out excess water with your hands), the veggie mixture and some bean sprouts. 

Step Four
Roll it up and repeat. 

Step Five
Cover the spring rolls and refrigerate while you whip up this amazing peanut dipping sauce. Just whisk all these ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Now grab a couple spring rolls out of the fridge and enjoy a great summertime lunch!

For the peanut dipping sauce:
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder