The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Recipes for 'Vegan Salads'

Kale-Salad-with-Pomegranate-Balsamic-Marinated-Figs-and-Dates-Topped-with-Smoked-Almonds1When I was imagining what to serve with my “throwback Thursday” Thanksgiving main dish of  Vegan Pumpkin, Kale, Mushroom and Tempeh Casserole with Sweet Potato Chip Topping, I reviewed the recipe and just about the only one of my favorite Thanksgiving ingredients that was missing was sweet potatoes.

However, because the entree is a pretty all-inclusive one-dish wonder and very creamy-chewy-crunchy, none of the sweet potato dishes I could dream up would provide the necessary contrast.  Instead, a salad seemed the perfect fresh, raw burst that was needed for a beautiful and bountiful meal.

So, I’m bringing back my Kale Salad with Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette from last year.  Dried figs marinated in Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette and smoked almonds combine with the fresh kale for a light fall salad bursing with flavor and texture.

If you love cranberry sauce, it would be a lovely addition in terms of both color and sweet-tart flavor and delicious alongside the casserole.  I recommend my sister-in-law’s Cranberry-Clementine and Walnut Sauce.

For dessert, it has to be my Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Bundt Cake with Spiced-Espresso ganache!

If you want to spend more time relaxing and less time in the kitchen, yet still present a meal to truly be thankful for, this year’s 3-course mostly-make-ahead menu is for you.

But feel free to peruse The Blooming Platter for many more options from Thanksgiving pasts.  Just search “Thanksgiving” or your favorite ingredients.

I am so thankful for all of you and I hope you have a very special holiday, with plenty of friends, family and fun on the menu!

Pumpkin, Kale, Mushroom and Tempeh Casserole with Sweet Potato Chip Topping

Pumpkin, Kale, Mushroom and Tempeh Casserole with Sweet Potato Chip Topping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cranberry-Clementine and Walnut Sauce

Cranaberry-Clementine and Walnut Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Bundt Cake with Spiced Espresso Ganache

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Bundt Cake with Spiced Espresso Ganache

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Charred Broccoli and Eggplant Salad with White Beans and Dried FigsYield: 4 servings

The flavor of this simple and pretty salad–which may be served warm, cold, or room temperature–belies its throw-together-quick origins.

I always called broccoli prepared this way “roasted,” but the new term in culinary magazines is “charred” and I liked that for a fun change.  Whatever you call it, you will love it!

Note:  This salad is delectable as is, but if you like a little more salt, add about 6 oil cured black olives, pitted and chopped.  Olives and dried figs are one of the world’s great marriages of flavor.

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

About 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets

2 8-inch long very slender Japanese eggplants, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1-15.5 ounce can cannelini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

4 dried Mission figs, stems removed and quartered

1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or if you really like the “bite” of raw garlic, 1 small clove minced)

Optional: 6 oil cured black olives, pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a metal roasting pan (I like to use my large cast iron skillet).  Add broccoli, eggplant, and a pinch of salt and pepper, toss, and roast for 20 minutes, stirring after 10, or until lightly charred.  Remove from oven and transfer vegetables to a medium bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients, adjust seasoning if necessary, toss gently to combine, and serve warm, cold (chill, covered) or room tempeature (my favorite).

 

 

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Wild Rice, Corn, Peanuts, Tomato, and Basil SaladYield: 4 to 6 servings

During the first full week of August, I was in MS visiting my family.  They live in Laurel, a small town in Jones County, 90 miles north of the coastal towns of Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, etc.  If you watched Hurricane Katrina coverage in 2005, these town names, in addition to New Orleans, may be familiar to you.

Despite being so far inland, then governor of the state, Haley Barbour, declared Jones County the hardest hit of any area outstide the immedate coastal strike zone due to the number of tornadoes spawned by the storm system.

Because of damage to their home, my parents and sister were displaced for nearly a year; but they were fortunate to find a lovely rental home near downtown on 6th Avenue, my favorite street in Laurel, where we spent Christmas that year.

Once you have lived through something like that, you never want to be without prepared foods in the house that don’t absolutely require refrigeration or cooking, at least not until opened.  So, there is a always still a plethora of canned goods about which I tease them good naturedly.  I love to cook for them–and they seem to enjoy it too–so I am frequently creating new dishes, like this one, from their “storm cellar.”

Feel free to cook your rice or other grain “to order,” and use fresh corn but, trust me, this salad is really delicious with the prepared rice and canned corn.  It was inspired by a salad I saw on an airport menu as I dashed through ATL on the way to see them.  All I saw was “Corn and Peanut Salad.”  I have no idea what else might have been in it or what it tasted like, but it doesn’t much matter, as this one is first class (get it?).

1-8.5 ounce package Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice: Whole Grain Medley:  Quinoa and Brown Rice with Garlic (or 2 cups cooked grain of your choice)

1-15.5 ounce cans corn, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen)

1 cup dry roasted peanuts

1 large tomato, cored and diced

1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely slivered or chopped

Sea Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Optional garnish: fresh basil sprigs

In a medium bowl, gently toss together all ingredients except olive oil and white wine vinegar.  In a small cup or bowl, whisk together olive oil and vinegar.  Drizzle over salad and toss again to combine.  Refrigerate, covered, for 2 or more hours to marry flavors.

 

 

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Broccoli, Chickpea, Hominy, and Tomato SaladI good naturedly tease my family in MS about their “storm cellar,” i.e. a plethora of canned goods, no doubt the “aftermath” of having lived through Hurrican Katrina, including displacement from their home for nearly t a year.

When I visit, as I did the first week of this month, I enjoy cooking for them and challenge myself to use what they have on  hand, as with this salad, which I prepared for a luncheon in honor of our dear family friend, Lisa Thames.  My mom made her famous Black Bean Soup, my sister her coveted Key Lime Pie, and my dad provided the wine–yep, wine at lunch for a special occasion such as this.

Even without the soup, pie, and wine, you’ll love this colorful salad.  And my sister, a hominy fan, will be glad I finally posted it!

 

Yield:   4 to 6 servings as a main course

 

1-10 ounce package frozen broccoli, completely thawed and drained

1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1-15 ounce can white hominy, rinsed and drained

1 larged tomato, cored and diced

Dressing (recipe follows)

 

Gently combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle dressing over, and toss again gently to distribute.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to marry.

 

Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

 

Whisk together all ingredients in a small, non-reactive bowl or cup.

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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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