Well, I’ve survived my first week of being vegan, and I’m feeling pretty great. So far the biggest thing I’ve learned is that not all recipes are created equal, sometimes the finished product is terrible, and freaking out over a bad outcome does not solve anything. I have definitely not gotten the hang of cooking Indian food. I attempted to make this “Sweet Potato Dal” recipe I found on VegWeb last night, and it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t great. It was bland. I went easy on the spices cause the last Indian dish I made was completely over-spiced and a muddled mess. Ah well. The next time I have a craving for Indian I think I will just spare myself the trouble and go to a restaurant.
Speaking of restaurants, I did find one recipe this weekend that actually turned out successfully. I really love the ginger dressing that most Japanese restaurants throw over iceberg lettuce, so I started searching the web for a recipe that would compare. I found this one at http://www.shockinglydelicious.com/japanese-restaurant-salad-with-carrot-ginger-dressing-for-sundaysupper/, I edited it a little bit to fit my dietary needs better and it turned out great. Without the miso paste, it’s raw.
(Almost) Raw Japanese Restaurant Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- 24 organic baby carrots, cut in half OR 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1.5 T raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup cold-pressed EVOO
- 2 tsp coconut sugar (raw honey or agave would work too)
- 4 tsp miso paste (optional)
- 2 – 4 T filtered water
Put carrot, ginger, shallot, vinegar, oil and sweetener in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add miso and 2 tablespoons filtered water and puree until blended and smooth. If you want a thinner dressing, add more water and puree again.
I made mine with a large shallot and it was a bit too onion-y so I added another carrot to lessen the bite, that’s why I recommend a small shallot. You can put the dressing over pretty much anything and it will taste good. The other day I put it over greens, mango, and coconut chips and it was delicious. Above I put it over arugula, cilantro, snap peas, avocado, and radish pickles. Also delicious.
The radish pickles I’ve made before, I love them but I also love radishes so if you’re not a radish fan, the pickling is not really going to make you like them any better. My boyfriend, for example, is not a fan. It’s all good, more for me! I found a nice bunch of pink radishes at the farmer’s market, which are what I used here, but you can use any color radish and the recipe will work. I particularly like this recipe because it uses the green tops as well as the actual radishes.
This recipe is from the macrobiotic cookbook, Love, Eric and Sanae by Eric Lechasseur & Sanae Suzuki. Eric was the original executive pastry chef at M Cafe de Chaya in Los Angeles. M Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants ever, and I worked there for a few months when I lived in LA. I bought the cookbook at the restaurant but I’m sure you can find it on Amazon. Even though it is a macrobiotic cookbook, all of the recipes are vegan.
Red Radish and Green Top Pickles
- 1/2 cup red radishes, thinly sliced (I just use the entire bunch)
- 1/2 cup radish greens, julienned
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black sesame seeds, roasted (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine the greens, radish slices, and sea salt. Transfer to a pickle press*, apply pressure and let sit on the counter 2 to 3 hours. Rinse pickles if they are too salty. Squeeze out excess liquid by hand. Pickles will keep in the fridge up to 3 days. Serve with black sesame seeds as a garnish.
*I don’t have a pickle press, I don’t even know what a pickle press looks like. I just put the radishes on a plate, put another plate on top of it, and put something heavy on top of the top plate to press it down (like a gallon of water). This method works fine. Oh, and I never rinse my pickles cause I like them salty :)