Make it your way salad with an east Asian vibe

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The gardens are just starting to offer up fresh lettuces, radishes and even some peas here. While I’m not generally a huge salad fan, it’s impossible to resist all this garden goodness.

Here’s what I had for lunch today – a big green salad with Gardein chick’n strips and a sesame and soy sauce-based dressing.

Here’s the recipe for this quick and flavourful dressing.

1 ½ Tbsp soya sauce

1 ½ Tbsp sherry

1 ½ Tbsp agave nectar

1 ½ Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

I  ½ Tbsp neutral flavoured oil (I used peanut oil)

2 -3 green onions finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients in a jar or small bowl or mug. This recipe makes lots of dressing – enough to dress a whole head of lettuce plus extra veggies. I like mixing my dressings in a jar with a lid so I can store any leftovers easily in the fridge.

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Tailor up the salad portion anyway you want. Mine has:

Bibb lettuce

Sliced navel orange

Radishes

Mushrooms

Freshly shelled peas

Other salad additions that would work well with this dressing are: broccoli, green beans, snap peas water chestnuts, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, red pepper, bean sprouts, celery, mango

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Add some toppings

I topped my salad with Gardein chick’n strips and toasted almonds. The toppings add oomph and flavour but use them as a garnish, not the bulk of your salad.

Other toppings that would work well with this dressing are: plain baked, crispy tofu,  plain, firm tofu,  seitan, edamame, toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seed, uncooked ramen noodles, cooked rice or mung bean noodles, avocado

This salad is totally customizable. Mix and match ingredients, add as much or as little of whatever as you like. That’s the beauty of cooking from scratch.

 

 

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Easy, creamy, mushroom stroganoff

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There’s something elegant yet comforting about stroganoff. This recipe has the bonus of being supremely fast and easy to make AND it’s good for you (unlike the butter, beef and sour cream laden traditional recipes, which are a cholesterol-fest in a pot).

I went very simple with this dish – mushrooms only. But, you could easily brown some Gardein “beef” tips or vegan meatballs and add them to the dish for a heartier meal.

 Ingredients

1 Tbsp vegan margarine

1 medium onion, diced

1-2 cloves garlic minced

227g (about 1 pound) cremini mushrooms, chopped

2 Tbsp flour

Vegan bouillon – cubes, powder or paste (enough to make 1 cup of broth although you’re not making a cup of broth)

400ml (14-oz) can coconut milk

1 tsp ground mustard

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Pepper to taste (a few grinds)

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp miso

1 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp paprika

Salt to taste – I find none is needed

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Directions

Melt the margarine in a pot or large pan and add the onion and the garlic. Stir on medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have released their liquid.

Sprinkle the flour over the sautéed vegetables and stir to heat the flour through. You want to get the raw flavour out of the flour. Your veggies and flour will likely bind up and make an ugly wad – don’t worry!

Add all the other ingredients and stir well. The veggie-flour wad will break up and you’ll have a gently golden sauce. Stir occasionally and allow to simmer (not boil) for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over pasta or potatoes.