Saturday, September 15, 2018

Roasted Potato Salad with Chickpeas & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Whenever I see the words “roasted vegetables” I think “oil”. I’ve tried several times to roast a variety of vegetables, using a variety of methods, but without oil, I have been unable to obtain vegetables that come out with that nice crispy outside and a creamy center. Some things can’t be precisely duplicated when you omit oil, but if you are okay with an alternative approach, there is no reason you can’t have an equally satisfactory outcome. For this recipe, “Roasted Potato Salad with Chickpeas & Sun-Dried Tomatoes”, page 69, I opted to precook the potatoes in my Instant Pot. I love the texture of potatoes that have been cooked whole, waiting to peel and dice after they have been cooked and completely cooled. The resulting texture is a very creamy, yet firm, and perfect for salads. That is what I did for this recipe.

The next challenge in this recipe was making the dressing, which includes 3 tablespoons of oil, half of the total dressing (three tablespoons of white wine vinegar makes up the rest). I mixed up a concoction of 1/3 cup light veggie broth, 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon of guar gum to thicken it up. This worked out perfectly!

The final challenge was finding sun-dried tomatoes that were not packed in oil. I like a brand called California Sun-Dry, a pouch of julienne cut oil free sun-dried tomatoes. They are soft, moist, and ready to eat right out of the pouch. I can’t always find these when I need them, so when I do find them, I get a couple of extra packages to save for later.

Once all these adjustments were in place, I was ready to compose the salad: diced cooked potatoes, diced shallot (or red onion), cooked chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced green olives, parsley, and the dressing, all tossed together into a delicious salad, hearty enough to stand in as an entrée.    

Keeping it “McDougall Friendly” check list:
  • Instead of roasting the potatoes in oil, cook the potatoes whole, and when completely cool, peel and dice.
  • For the dressing, substitute the 3 tablespoons of oil with 1/3 cup of light veggie broth, mix with the vinegar, and add ¼ teaspoon of guar gum to thicken.
  • Use oil-free sun-dried tomatoes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

White & Wild Mushroom Barley Soup

“White & Wild Mushroom Barley Soup”, page 162, marks the 500th recipe I’ve made from this cookbook. I am now officially half way through the recipes!!! It has taken me a long time to get this far, 8 years, to be exact. I didn’t set a specific time goal for working through the recipes, and if asked back in 2010 how long I thought this project would take, I probably would have guessed I’d be done by now. The world and time move so fast, and since the publication of 1000 Vegan Recipes, there have probably been 1000 more vegan cookbooks published – which is a wonderful thing! But since I’m doing this just for fun, and hopefully to provide encouragement to others embarking on this path, I’m not too worried about the length of time it’s taking. I thank all of you who have hung with me over these last 8 years, some maybe there from the beginning, others joining along the way. I appreciate all your visits and feedback, and hope I’ve helped make a positive difference.

This soup was very easy to make, with simple whole foods (onions, carrot, celery, mushrooms, barley, dill weed, seasonings). Mushroom Barely soup is a classic, and this version includes the same basic ingredients to make it as pleasing as ever. The difference here is using a combination of both white and wild mushrooms, which as Robin Robertson notes, gives the soup an extra dimension. She also suggests using mushroom broth for a deeper flavor, but that isn’t strictly necessary.

I topped each of our servings with minced parsley, as called for, plus a dollop of homemade soy yogurt. I am quite sure I will never tire of this delicious soup.

Now – on to the next 500 recipes!
Keeping it “McDougall Friendly” check list:
  • Sauté the veggies in a little broth, soy sauce, or sherry instead of oil, and/or use a nonstick soup pot.