Breakfast · Cold · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Tofu Feta ‘Cheese’

I love making tofu feta on a Friday afternoon, and letting in marinate in the fridge overnight for a yummy breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday. I serve the tofu feta with fresh tomatoes and sliced basil, and its like a healthy caprese salad! This marinated tofu is surprisingly flavorful, and will please even tofu haters. If I have any extra from the weekend I like to throw it on Monday’s salad for lunch.

Marinated Tofu Feta

Ingredients

1 block of tofu
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons of white miso paste
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

I like to start by pressing the tofu to get rid of the packaged water in it. If you’re fancy and have a tofu press, good for you. If not, do what every good librarian does: place the tofu between two places and press it with the heaviest book you have! Encyclopedias and dictionaries recommended 🙂

After about 30 minutes, drain any water that is pressed out, and cube the tofu into bite sized pieces. In a shallow baking dish or bowl (I’ve used tupperwear too), mix in the rest of the ingredients until the tofu is covered in the marinade.

If possible, make this a day or two before serving, so all the flavors have time to soak in. Serve with Tofu Feta Caprese Salad, a vegan cheese board, on toast, or crumble on a salad.

Cold · Family Recipes · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Family Recipe: Cucumber Salad

This has always been one of my favorite summer dishes growing up!  So many great memories of my dad making a big bowl while we ate with the windows open in the kitchen.  And to this day, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing it to my fiance and friends (who also love it).  Its sweet and tangy, super light and delicious, and a great way to use extra cucumbers from the garden and the store.  The great thing about this recipe too is that is stores really well and leftovers always taste better.  I actually like to make this a day or two ahead of time, so all the flavors marinate in the cucs.

Our dill plant has given us a crazy abundance of dill this season, so this is one of our favorite ways to use it.  I like to combine all the ingredients in a mason jar (for easy shaking and storing) but you can use a big bowl if you’d like too.

Not really sure of the origins of this recipe: it was hand-written in an old cookbook we have.  I now like to add a few sliced onions and garlic for flavor… but original recipe as follows:

Cucumber Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes (refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible)

Ingredients

1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 rice wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh shopped herbs (we use dill!)
4 small cucumbers (roughly 1 lb) (recipe says preferably Kirbys)

Directions

Peel and thinly slice the cucumbers. Place them in a quart wide-mouth mason jar.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the jar and shake shake shake!

You can also add thinly sliced onions and garlic, so if you’re feeling a little spicy shake ’em up too.

Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if you can.

 

 

Cold · Favorite · For Entertaining · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Swim Meet Pasta Salad

Growing up getting a big bowl of pasta salad was always my favorite part of swim meets! It was always such a amazing carb-loading treat before or between races. To this day, I still love pasta salad so much – and can definitely thank this recipe. This is from an old print out back in my swimming days at Westmont Swim Club. Thankfully my mom saved it, so below is the original recipe. Any changes or swaps would work too (personally, I love shredded cabbage in my pasta salad instead of broccoli, but thats just me)!

“Swim Meet” Pasta Salad
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

3 lbs tri-colored rotini
5 cups broccoli
3 cups sliced carrots
2 cups chopped black olives
1 1/2 cups chopped green onions
2 cups chopped green peppers
1 24oz bottle of Wishbone Italian salad dressing

Directions

Cook rotini according to package instructions, making sure it is “al dente”- drain and rinse in cold water. Mix rotini with broccoli, carrots, olives, green onions, and peppers in a large bowl. Add about 1.5 cups of dressing and stir, adding more dressing later as needed.

Cold · Dressing · Family Recipes · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Recipe · Salad · Vegetarian

Family Recipe: Creamy Garlic Dressing

 

Another amazing salad dressing recipe from my grandparent’s Supper Club/restaurant in Chicago!  While it is a bit heavier than Aunt’s Ruth’s Amaaaaazing Salad Dressing, it has the ability to transform any salad into something you literally cannot stop eating.  While the original dressing is below, I will probably add a lot more fresh garlic to the dressing next time because a) its called GARLIC dressing, and b) we are insane garlic lovers over here!

Creamy Salad Dressing
Time to Make: 5 minutes

2 cups sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2tsp accent seasoning (*See Note Below!) / Fresh ground pepper

2 large cloves of fresh garlic

Thin with Milk

  

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients into a large quart sized mason jar.  Mash or press the garlic in a garlic press…. and voila!  If the dressing feels a bit thick, add milk to the consistency you like.  Store in refrigerator, and eat at leisure.

*Accent Seasoning – Apparently this is loaded with MSG…. so feel free to omit, use fresh pepper instead.  I’m just copying the family recipe, don’t shoot the messenger 🙂

Cold · Dressing · Family Recipes · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Salad

Family Recipe: Aunt Ruth’s Salad Dressing

Probably my favorite of our Family Recipes! My grandparents used to own a restaurant/‘Supper Club’ outside of Chicago during the 60s and 70s- and this recipe always gets passed around in our family cookbooks.  This dressing gets made for every holiday, special occasion, or for when we want to class up a salad.  It is perfectly tangy, sweet, and works with any kind of lettuce, really!  To me, its one of the only things that makes iceberg lettuce worth eating.

Growing up I always though of this recipe as a ‘special occasion’ dressing, as we didn’t make it too often.  Probably because safflower oil was traditionally a bit hard to find in a regular supermarket.  Nowadays its pretty easy to find (even organic!) so thankfully this dressing will be made more and more often!

Aunt Ruth’s Salad Dressing
Time To Prepare: 5 mins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic (minced or through a garlic press)

1/2 cup extra vigrin olive oil

1/2 cup safflower oil

Add all the ingredients to a quart sized major jar, and shake before serving!  Thats it 🙂
Dressing should last up to 1 week in the fridge.

Cold · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Perfect 3 Bean Salad

I have tried soooo many recipes for 3 Bean Salad, and this one is my absolute favorite hands-down!  I have actually been known to eat this for breakfast it is that good (and then again for lunch… and then again for dinner ha).  This wonderfully tangy and and sweet bean salad is great for a quick lunch or snack, and goes great with a vegan burger, veggie dog, or anything from the BBQ.  And like most marinated salads, the beauty of this is that the longer it sits, the yummier it gets!

I have made a single batch of this and it doesn’t last long, so below is a doubled recipe!  Or rather… the recipe I make on the weekends so I can have it everyday of the week.

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Perfect 3 Bean Salad

Time:

Servings: 10

Ingredients For the Salad:

  • 2 14oz cans of Chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 14oz cans of dark red kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 cups of fresh chopped green beans
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

 

For the Dressing:

  • 3 lemons, juiced (about a 1/3 cup)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard (I like the Trader Joes version!)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

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Wash the fresh green beans and place them in a medium pot with 3/4 cups of water.  Place a lid on the brans and steam them for about 6-8 minutes, until they are a bit softer but still have a bit of crunch to them.  Once cooled, cut them into bite sized pieces, I’ve found that 3/4 pieces per bean is perfect!

In a large mixing bowl (See *TIP below) combine the green beans with the chickpeas and kidney beans, drained and rinsed.  Chop the yellow bell pepper into small bite sized pieces, and add.  Finely chop the parsley, cilantro, and green onion and add to the bowl as well.

(TIP: Use your biggest mixing bowl.  No really, the BIGGEST one you have because there are a lot of things going in here, and it needs to be properly mixed!)

In a pint sized mason jar: juice the lemons, and combine with the rest of the dressing ingredients.  Shake, shake, shake until the dressing is a smooth consistency and pour over the bean salad.  Cover the salad and place in the fridge overnight so the dressing soaks into the beans, and everything is perfect.  In the morning, I like to transfer the bean salad in to single-serving sized 8oz or pint sized mason jars I can just throw into my bag and have at work!  For larger storage, quart jars will work too!

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Cold · Dinner · Dressing · Gluten Free · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Soba Noodle Salad with Lime Tamari Dressing

I love when I go out to eat somewhere and have something so yummy I think I need to make this myself! This was one of those cases.  I ordered this on a whim from the vegan bakery Wildflour, and started brainstorming immediately on how to translate it to a homemade version I can have anytime.  While I made the below recipe on a rainy spring day, this would be so refreshing in the summer, or perfect for a potluck/picnic.

This should make about 4 servings.  That being said, I didn’t have many leftovers… but I would imagine they only get better a few days later!  Note to self: Next time make a double batch!

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For the Salad:

1 8oz package of soba noodles

1 cup arugula

1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage

1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

2 large carrots

1 green onion

1/2 Chopped Parsley (or Cilantro)

For the Dressing

2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 1/2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sriracha (or more/less to taste)

3 cloves garlic

1 lime, juiced

Zest of 1 lime

A few shakes of red pepper flakes

For the Salad

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In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.  Once that gets going, place the soba noodles in to cook.  Read the instructions on the package, but I’ve found that cooking 6 or 7 minutes was perfect.  Not too al dente, not too soft.  Once cooked, drain the noodles into a colander in the sink.  Rinse the noodles thoroughly under cold water so they stop cooking.  Once cooled off, set the noodles aside in the fridge and get chopping!

For the cabbage and carrots, I like to cut them into long thin strips so they have the same length as the noodles.  I tried something a lil fancy for the carrots: I use a peeler and sliced them into long flat ribbons.  I then cut them 3-4 time each the long way to make smaller thinner strips of carrot.  While yummy, this was pretty labor intensive, and next time I will probably just use a spiralizer instead.

Finely chop the parsley (stems and all!) and mix in half with the veggies.  I garnished with the other half later.  This would also be amazing with cilantro… unfortunately we are not growing that right now, so parsley it was!

For the Dressing

I found mixing this in a major jar was actually perfect for shaking and mixing, so it stays!  In a pint sized major jar, combine all dressing ingredients.  For the garlic I like to use a garlic press… but it can be minced/diced instead.  When all ingredients are in the jar: shake, rattle, and roll.

Combine veggies, soba noodles, arugula into a large bowl and cover with dressing.  Chill and serve cold (or warm?).

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