Friday, May 31, 2013

Finishing up Vegan on the Cheap

Somehow it is almost June. With the new month comes a new VegCookbook Club selection, Meatless: More than 200 of the Very Best Vegetarian Recipes by Martha Stewart. This should be interesting!  

Meanwhile, here are the last items that I made from Vegan on the Cheap, May's club pick. This book has been rather anti-Martha Stewart. That is to say, there are no glossy photo spreads or elaborate food stylings here. Just short, to-the-point recipes and pragmatic cooking advice, similar to what you can find on Robin Robertson's own media empire.  
The beans are hidden inside.
Nacho Taco Salad
This was a fun, creative recipe, one I'd never heard of before this cookbook. There is memorable greasy taco salad in Joe Hill's short story, "You Will Hear the Locust Sing." That one features "big flaps of lettuce, soggy with taco juices." This is a much fresher take, assembled right before serving. Plus it has "nacho cheese."

Basically, you layer a shallow bowl with tortilla chips. (I used Garden of Eatin' Red Hot Blues but an unflavored chip would suffice.) Then you layer a mound of spicy hot beans, prepared with salsa and chili powder. Next you pour on some warm Cheezee Sauce, using the same great recipe Robertson uses for the Wheatball sandwiches. Finally, you add your salad and any other nacho toppings that suit.

The recipe calls for iceberg lettuce but I went with Russian red kale for my salad, plus extra chopped tomatoes, jalapeƱos, and onions. I also added more Cheezee Sauce to the top, because I thought the sturdier greens could handle it. This recipe would be great at a buffet-style dinner because each person could tailor it to taste.      
Inner Goddess
Inner Goddess Dressing
I'm not a fan of pasta salads but this dressing (from the recipe for Garden Rotini and Chickpea Salad) was also listed as an all-around dressing and sounded worth a go. It uses cashews, tahini, and some vegan milk to add creamy Goddess-style flavor. I'm not sure if it would please true die-hard Annie's fans. It could use some chives and parsley.
Beware of the blob.
House Salad Dressing
I also tried the mustard vinaigrette variation for this basic house salad dressing recipe. It was very oily but quick to throw together. As instructed, I stored the dressing in a tightly covered container. However on the second day, the dressing congealed into a strange blob. I've never had that happen with a dressing before.


Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to trying those dressings! They do intrigue me. :-)

Babette said...

I made that nacho salad once or twice and it is so good! I should definitely make it again. It must be tasty too with the kale.

As for your dressing, did it have olive oil, good quality olive oil in it? Olive oil becomes thick in the fridge. Usually, you can take your dressing out in advance, or just shake it a bit with a tight-fitting lid and it should because oily again,

Lydia Paterson said...

This is a great tip. I'll try letting the dressing come back to proper temperature. Yes, good quality olive oil is key. It's one thing I don't do "on the cheap."