Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Saucy Vegetarian

One of the most useful cookbooks I own is Joanne Stepaniak's The Saucy Vegetarian: Quick and Healthful No-Cook Sauces and Dressings. I grab it at least twice a week to find a salad dressing recipe and I've even started writing in it to help remember the recipes we really loved.

The book's chapters include: Vinaigrette Sauces & Dressings, Nut & Seed Based Sauces & Dressings, Tomato, Bean, & Vegetable Based Sauces & Dressings, and Creamy Tofu Sauces & Dressings. (If you go to the Amazon page and click Look Inside, you can read most of the vinaigrette chapter. ) Every recipe lists the calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates and at the beginning of the book she outlines how to make a starch/water combo you can use to replace the oil in any of the recipes. Most of the dressings turn out pretty thick so I generally add water to reduce fat and sodium as well.

The dressing above is the Sesame Caesar Dressing. I don't think it tastes that much like Caesar but I do really like it. It is just 2 Tbsp each: tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast flakes, water, 1 Tbsp tamari and Dijon mustard and a clove of garlic. For every recipe she lists some ways to serve the sauce or dressing and for the Sesame Caesar she suggests serving it with 1) torn romaine lettuce with garlic/herb croutons, 2) baked russet potatoes, or 3) penne with red kidney beans.

My favorite recipes from the book include the Green Ecstasy Dressing (it is an avocado, silken tofu, and miso combo that reminds me a lot of blue cheese dressing), the Sweet and Smoky Vinaigrette, and the Simple Tahini Dressing.

The above photo also shows an empty bottle. That is from Trader Joe's maple syrup/agave nectar blend and I love saving those bottles for storing my homemade salad dressings.

Here are some whole wheat crepes filled with ratatouille and topped with the Green Olive Dip and Dressing (using basil) from the book.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Veggie Burgers

Now that summer is almost over, I plan to update this blog much more frequently and offer more recipes. I'm also working on putting all the blog recipes into PDF form. I'm going to add some new recipes then offer the PDF for free.

I am constantly trying out new veggie burgers. I think this is because I haven't really found the perfect burger. I've made some that were really tasty but either very time-consuming or used ingredients I don't often buy (like TVP). Almost all the veggie burgers I've tried would taste a lot better if you fry them in a ton of oil but again, I prefer not to do that.

Anyway, here are some of my latest experiments.
This first burger is something I'm playing around with. I really do think I can come up with a good veggie burger that involves mashed potatoes but I'm not quite there yet. I used mashed potatoes, mashed white beans, sauteed onions, garlic, and sunflower seeds, with some miso and soy sauce. They're pretty tasty but they didn't hold together well. I served them open-faced on a toasted bun with lots of mustard.

The second burger recipe I found on Vegweb. The Get Your Groove On Veggie Burgers held together well and are really healthy. I just thought the flavor combo was a bit unusual (sesame oil, salsa, barbecue sauce and Worcestershire sauce).
The third recipe is from Happy Herbivore which I have out from the library as an ebook. The Mushroom Burgers are moister than most which I like a lot. I omitted the steak sauce and next time I'll omit the barbecue sauce as well. I think DH might actually eat these (he's not usually fond of veggie burgers). HERE is a recipe that is the same as the HH mushroom burgers except for the addition of parsnips.
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