The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Recipes for 'Vegan Salads'

Tofu-Cauliflower Potato SaladYield: 8 servings

After making my Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Curry Bechamel and Candied Eggplant, I had some leftover cauliflower that I had cooked before leaving town for the weekend.  We ate beautiful food al fresca while we were away, prepared and served by our generous and gracious hostess and friend, Juliane Curvin.

Though inspired to make her flavorful lentil soup, eggplant stew, and chickpea and pomegranate seed salad, with Independence Day approaching, I had more traditional picnic fare on my mind.

Essentially, this salad is what you would get if you added cooked potato to tofu egg salad, only with cauliflower replacing the potato as a lower calorie alternative.  So, it’s a kind of a potato salad-egg salad hybrid, which works beautifully, as the ingredients are similar and so compatiable: celery, (green) onion,  pickle relish, vegan mayo, mustard,  turmeric, garlic powder, and black salt with its uncannily-similar-to-boiled-egg flavor!

 

Salad:

14 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed, wrapped in paper towels, and drained

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon black salt (lends a distinctive “boiled egg” flavor–it’s magic!)

4 stalks celery hearts, finely diced

4 green onions, thinkly sliced

2 cups cooked cauliflower florets (should be quite tender)

Dressing (recipe follows)

Optional garnish: green onion and a pinch of paprika/smoked paprika

 

In a medium-large bowl, mash tofu (I like to use my fingers) with spices and then fold in celery, green onions and cauliflower using a fork.  Add dressing and toss to completely distribute.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Refrigerate until serving time to allow flavors to marry.  Garnish if desired

 

Dressing:

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise

3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (or dill pickle relish if you prefer)

1 tablespoon stone ground mustard

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds

 

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

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No-Chicken Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Smoked Almonds

Yield: 4 servings

I have created quite a few no-chicken salad recipes from seitan, tempeh, and textured vegetable protein.  (To find them, just search “chicken salad” here on The Blooming Platter or consult the index of TBP cookbook.)

This tempeh version, made with two of the glories of summer–tomatoes and basil–is made even more addicting with the addition of smoky and crunchy almonds plus a little celery.

There is something about the saltiness of the almonds playing off the sweetness of the tomatoes with a hint of that herby freshness from the basil that is utter perfection.  Every rendition I create becomes my new favorite so, for now, this no-chicken salad is my “favorite.”  I think it is destined to become a classic and hope you agree!

(I am participating in Virtual Vegan “Linky” Potluck  with this recipe.  Follow the link to discover other tasty potluck contributions.)

 

1-8 ounce package tempeh, cut into 8 pieces, lightly oiled and salted,  baked for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, and slightly cooled

1/2 cup smoked almonds

4 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped basil or chiffonade (stack leaves, roll, and slice very thinly)

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Crumble tempeh into a medium bowl.  Process smoked almonds and celery until finely chopped and add to tempeh along with remaining ingredients.  Toss all together and refrigerate to allow salad to chill and flavors to marry. Serve as you would any such salad, though I like it especially well scooped up with veggie chips.

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Chicken Salad with TVP, Grapes and PecansI grew up in the Deep South where a tasty chicken salad is a staple in every cook’s recipe files.  I haven’t eaten chicken for many years, but I still love the combination of flavors, so you will find quite a few vegan renditions here on The Blooming Platter (just enter “chicken salad” in the search box).

This version was inpired by a luscious one I saw Ina Garten prepare on “The Barefoot Contessa.”  I substituted textured vegetable protein (TVP) for the chicken–though all of my other recipes call for seitan–as that’s what I had on hand.

I loved both the flavor and texture and know you will too!

TVP got a bad rap when I was in school; we regularly mocked the “hamburger” patties made with TVP, a meat substitute and extender, favored by high-volume cooks for it’s low cost, high protein content, versatility and long shelf life.  Little did I know back then that I would grow up to seek out TVP and sing its praises!

2 cups coarse TVP (textured vegetable protein)

2 cups water

1 bouillon cube

1 bay leaf, torn in half

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup finely chopped celery (I use a food processor for this task)

1 cup lightly salted toasted chopped pecans (toast with a sprinkle of sea salt at 350 degrees in a single layer for 5-7 minutes or until slightly more golden brown and toasted in flavor)

1 1/2 cups green grapes, halved (or quartered, your preference)

3/4 cup vegan mayo (more or less to suit your preference)

In a 2-quart (medium) saucepan, bring water, bouillon cube, halved bay leave, sage, thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt together.  Stir in TVP and simmer, stirring frequently, until moisture is absored, or about 5 minutes (it goes very quickly).  Season with black pepper.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Transfer to a medium size mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients, and stir gently until completely combined.  Use as you would any chicken salad.  I love it atop cucumber slices or crackers, or in a sandwich or wrap.

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Yield: 6 servings

Purple Potato Salad for Papa’s Day (or any day)!…

A birthday gift of a bounty of purple vegetables (potatoes, cauliflower, onion, and eggplant) nestled into a green basket and tied with ribbon from my clever friend, David, inspired this addicting potato salad.

About 18 golf ball size purple new potatoes (or substitute your favorite kind), simmered in salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender, drained, cooled, and quartered

4 celery hearts, trimmed, and diced

1/2 cup chopped smoked almonds (I use a food processor for this task)

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise, Whole Foods brand, OR my own in The Blooming Platter Cookbook)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/8 teaspoon black salt (optional, but lends an flavor uncannily similar to boiled eggs

1 bunch minced chives (I cut them with kitchen shears)

Place potatoes, celery, and smoked almonds in a medium bowl.  Whisk together mayo, rice vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, and optional black salt.  Stir in chives, poor over vegetables and nuts, and fold together gently until dressing is well-distributed.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving time.

 

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Three Bean SaladYield: approximately 8 servings

I love ice cold, sweet ‘n vinegary Three-Bean Salad, a south’ren staple.  Or, rather, I used to.  I still love the idea of it, although, these days, I prefer my salads not swimming in marinade, nor doused with white sugar.  But with summer nigh upon us, and this salad among the best ever picnic foods, I decided to make it over.

There are LOTS of recipes for this salad.  My mom’s, which I enjoyed over Spring Break, calls for a can of dark red kidney beans, one of green beans, and one of wax beans, along with some onion and, I think,green bell pepper and pimento.  The marinade-like dressing calls for about a 1/2 cup each of vegetable oil, granulated sugar, and vinegar.  Oh my.

In my updated version, I use three kinds of canned cooked beans, as I’m not a fan of green veggies in a can.  But I do add some green for color and nutrition in the form of very finely chopped kale (or Swiss chard).  Though I adore raw onion, there is never a socially acceptable time to eat it, as best I can tell.  So, I substitute some onion powder, along with some garlic powder for good measure.  And for the bell pepper and pimento, why eat something from a jar when you can eat it fresh?  So, I combine the idea of the fresh bell pepper with the pimento by substituting a whole roasted red bell pepper, leaving the charred skin on for depth of flavor. But it is equally good raw when pressed for time (as in the photograph).

Wanting to stay somewhat true to the salad, the marinade is a bit sweeter than I would normally opt for, but it is WAY toned down and I think just right.  I use a mere 1/4 cup of olive oil sweetened with just 2 tablespoons of maple syrup balanced with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar for tanginess that is a bit more mellow.

This salad is going to be invited to all of my summer picnics and hopefully to yours!

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt to taste (avoid skimping!)

1-15.5 ounce can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained

1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1-15.5 ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 red bell pepper, halved, stemmed and seeded, roasted under the broiler, cooled and diced (I like to leave the lightly charred skin on for more depth of flavor or left raw and diced

1 cup finely chopped fresh kale (almost minced; I use a food processor for this task)

In a large, non-reactive bowl, whisk together maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.  Stir in beans, bell pepper, and kale, combining well.  Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.  Chill, covered, until serving time.

 

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Cannelini Bean and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Marrakesh Mania Vinaigrette 2Yield: 4 servings

An indoor grill works perfectly for this salad which would make an deliciously different side for your Memorial Day spread.

A meal in itself, the light Moroccan-inspired dressing binds together cannellini beans and baby or chopped kale with a spring bounty of grilled asparagus, grilled spring onions, and grilled radishes.  Grilling totally transforms the flavor of grilled radishes almost creating a new vegetable.  If radishes aren’t a favorite, it’s probably because you’ve never had them grilled!

 

Marrakesh Mania Dressing (recipe follows)

1-15.5 ounce can canellini beans, rinsed and drained

6 spring onions, green part trimmed to fit in grill pan, lightly salted, and grilled over medium-high for about 5 minutes on the first side, and 3 on the second, or until lightly charred/caramelized; cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 walnut-size radishes, sliced about 1/3-inch thick, lightly salted, and grilled over medium-high for about 5 minutes on the first side, and 3 on the second, or until lightly charred/caramelized

1 bunch asparagus spears (approximately 3/4 pound), trimmed, lightly salted and grilled over medium-high for about 5 minutes on the first side, and 3 on the second, or until lightly charred/caramelized; slice into 1-inch pieces

2 cups fairly firmly packed baby kale or stemmed, chopped kale (feel free to substitute Swiss chard)

 

Make dressing; add beans and all vegetables, except kale, and gently toss to combine.  Add kale, microwave on high for 1 minute so that the kale barely starts to wilt, toss altogether and serve chilled or at room temperature.

 

Marrakesh Mania Dressing:

2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white balsamic (or any mild, light colored vinegar)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon curry powder (I like a mild and fruity variety)

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground sumac (optional but with a distinctive earthy and slightly lemon-y flavor; available in Middle Eastern markets)

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

Sea salt to taste (avoid skimping!–don’t give yourself hypertension, but home cooks tend to underseason!)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Whisk together all ingredient in a large, non-reactive, microwave-safe bowl and set aside.

 

 

 

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Sunny Souk Chickpea and Sweet Potato Salad

Yield: 4 servings

 

“Sunny” because of this salad’s golden color and bright pop of citrus, and “souk” because it is redolent of an Arab marketplace, you will love Sunny Souk Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad however you choose to enjoy it: over greens, stuffed in a wrap or pita pocket, scooped with veggie chips and more!  It is even veg(etarian) teenager approved!

*2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1-15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 pound cooked sweet potato, peeled and diced (I microwave the potato, allow it to cool a few minutes, remove skin–feed to dogs!–and dice)

1/2 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

Zest of 1/2 large lemon (don’t omit this little bit ‘o brightness!)

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and garlic powder.  Add chickpeas, sweet potato, and red bell pepper.  Toss lightly to distribute dressing.  Add lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and toss one final time.  Serve immediately or chill, covered, until serving time.

*I have just discovered a delicious brand of vegan mayo not advertised as vegan but as “egg free” at Whole Foods called “Just Mayo” that I highly recommend.  I also love Veganaise and my own Blooming Platter Mayo (in my cookbook).

 

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Potato Salad with Cilantro-Mint Mayo and Carrot-Cashew Topping 1This recipe is a two-fer: my delicious Cilantro-Mint-Chili Pesto is tasty enough to eat with a spoon, never mind the potato salad!  Use this versatile pesto, which can be nudged in a more Indian or Thai direction, in noodle dishes, rice dishes, soups, sandwiches, appetizers like crostini, and more.

Make it first so that you have it on hand to quickly stir into my potato salad whose topping puts it right over the top!  I pulse together carrots and cashews in a food processor, seasoning them only with a pinch of black salt for that inimitable, slightly sulfur-y “boiled egg” flavor, so perfect for potato salad.

 

Cilantro-Mint-Chili Pesto

Yield: approximately 3/4 to 1 cup

 

4 ounces cilantro leaves and tender stems, rinsed and dried

1 ounce mint leaves and tender stems, rinsed and dried

1 serrano chili, seeded

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Juice of 1/2 of a large lime

2-3 tablespoons natural sugar or agave nectar

1/4 cup olive oil

Pinch sea salt to taste

Place cilantro, mint, chile, and coconut in a food process and pulse to finely chop (this took about 30-35 pulses in my processor).  Add lime juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar or agave nectar, and pulse to fully incorporate.  Taste and add another tablespoon of sugar or agave nectar, if desired.  With motor running, stream in olive oil.  Season with a pinch of salt.  Adjust seasoning if desired and store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

 

Potato Salad with Cilantro-Mint-Chili Mayo with Carrot-Cashew Topping

Yield: 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (or whatever kind you have on hand, even sweet potatoes), cubed (I leave the skin on for nutrition and color contrast)

5 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

2 to 3 tablespoons Cilantro-Mint-Chili Pesto

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup raw, peeled carrot, cut into 1 inch chunks

1/4 cup lightly salted and roasted cashews (halves and pieces are fine)

Pinch black salt or to taste

Garnish: Additional pesto and cashews

Simmer potatoes in salted boiling water over medium-high heat, loosely covered, until tender, approximately 10 minutes.  Rinse under cold water and drain. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, pesto, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Add potatoes and fold together with mayo-pesto mixture until well-combined.  Taste and correct seasoning as desired.   In a food processor, pulse together carrots, cashews, and black salt until finely chopped (not mashed).  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve potato salad topped with Carrot-Curry mixture and garnish each serving with a dollop of the pesto and a cashew.

 

 

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Tempeh-Salad-as-Soft-TacoThis salad from The Blooming Platter Cookbook is a personal favorite and drew raves at a recent cooking demonstration I was invited to give for a group of women fairly new to veganism  who wanted to know more about cooking with some of the vegan proteins, like tempeh and seitan.  I knew you will love it too!

Grapes add color, moisture, and natural sweetness to this hearty salad, while nuts add depth of flavor, crunch, and nutrition. In addition to being terrific in a whole grain sandwich, the filling is also great with crackers, celery sticks, or in a lettuce wrap. Some people prefer to steam their tempeh before using in recipes to mellow the flavor – this recipe allows for that option.

And as you can see in the top photo, this salad also makes a delectable soft taco or, at bottom, a scoop of deliciousness on a bed of super-greens.
Yield: 4 servings
16 ounces tempeh
Sea salt
1 cup green seedless grapes, quartered
1/2 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced dill
6 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
8 slices whole grain bread

1. Preheat the broiler. Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes, if desired. Season both sides of the tempeh with salt and broil 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the grapes, almonds, celery, dill, mayo, maple syrup, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the tempeh and add it to the bowl and combine gently with a fork to mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings,
if needed.
3. To serve, divide the mixture onto four slices of the bread, top each with another slice of bread, cut each sandwich in half and serve.

Variation:  Make the recipe above with these substitutions: red grapes for green grapes; toasted walnuts for smoked almonds; orange bell pepper for celery; tarragon for dill.

Tempeh-Salad-on-Bed-of-Greens

 

 

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Champagne VinaigretteYield: almost 2 cups

You know, I haven’t created a lot of new recipes lately, as I have felt sort of caught between seasons: a winter that seemed bent on never ending and a spring that had several false starts.  I have certainly been eating good food, but my favorite farm market hasn’t yet opened, so I haven’t had local produce to inspire me.

But now, I do believe that spring has sprung and new ideas are emerging along with tender shoots of dormant plants and blossoms on the earliest spring-blooming trees like Bradford Pears and pink Magnolias.

Like everyone else I’m sure, I’m finding that I am craving lightened and brightened dishes, so I created this champagne vinaigrette using my beloved Italian variety known as Prosecco.  It is inexpensive and compatible with virtually everything.  Even my husband, a devoted Cab drinker, loves it.

Remember that, especially in recipes with just a few ingredients like a vinaigrette, balance is everything, so feel free to tweak the proportions until they suit your palate.

3 generous tablespoons grainy mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 cup dry/extra dry Prosecco or your favorite dry/extra dry champagne

1 cup olive oil

Sea salt to taste (avoid skimping; it needs a salt to bring out subtle layers of flavors)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a jar or carton with a tight-fitting lid, whisk garlic and onion powders, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and Prosecco into mustard.  Drizzle in olive oil, whisking continually, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Tweak any of the flavors for balance and store, covered, in refrigerator.  I like to transfer vinaigrette to a squeeze bottle with a cap.  Before serving, hold container under warm water for a few minutes to soften partially-solidified oil, and then whisk or shake vigorously.  For guests, I like to serve the dressing in a clear glass container with a spout or a spoon like the miniature sundae glass in the photo.

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