Friday, March 18

Pad Thai Salad

One of my new year's resolutions is to make at least one recipe from every cookbook I own. Hopefully reading through and trying so many new recipes will inspire my cooking creativity and expand my go-to recipe repertoire.

Technically, this doesn't count because I've already made a dish from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's latest book, Appetite for Reduction. But I've barely had time to cook at all, and mostly been making my simple, recipe-less go-to meals (burgers and sweet potato fries, flavored mac & cheez, various pizzas, etc), and it was a full month ago that I pulled out the stops to make a lovely meal of TWO new recipes to impress my favorite dinner guest.

Pad Thai salad

While the other dish was much more involved (I'll post that one separately) this was the favorite of the evening. It's straightforward but with bold, recognizably Thai flavors that really make for a stand-out salad. And I'm decidedly not a salad person, especially at home. Add rice noodles and baked, marinated tofu (or tempeh), and this would be a very satisfying meal. I will make this salad again, likely for esteemed guests or to take to a party.

Thursday, March 3

Gretchen's Cuban bowl

Gretchen often asks me about recreating the Cuban bowl from Laughing Planet. The basic ingredients are brown rice, black beans, plantains, sweet potatoes and pico de gallo, and I always get the tempeh add-on. Usually when I make this at home it's because I have plantains that are about to go bad-- I like them sweet and so I wait til the last moment to use them up. They're not always available at my grocery store, either, so if I see them I usually buy them.

Gretchen's Cuban bowl

This particular incarnation got a fancy three-part treatment, a real work out for my sole non-stick frying pan. The first and second layers are straight forward: brown rice and fresh spinach. The next is tempeh that has been steamed, dredged in a little bit of egg-replacer slurry and then in seasoned (cumin, coriander, chile powder, chipotle powder, salt) store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs, and fried.

On top of that we have fried sweet plantains, and then a layer of a quick sofrito (onions, garlic and bell peppers sauteed until soft and caramelized) and Trader Joe's incredibly handy canned Cuban-style black beans. Top with fresh cilantro, avocado, and your favorite salsa (I'm a sucker for anything with roasted tomatillo). Now that's a Cuban bowl!

Photos, original recipes and text © Susan Kelley 2012. All rights reserved. Please credit me and link back to this site, or ask first.

Always read ingredient labels carefully (and re-read periodically) to make sure that products actually are vegan and/or gluten-free.