Healthy Hosting: 3 Vegan Dishes For Your Next Summer Get Together

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Too many people think a vegan dish must taste like grass or some other silage attractive only to a horse. But this isn’t true. There’s no reason why a well-prepared vegan dish can’t be as satisfying and filling as anything on the carnivore’s menu. Here are three healthy but scrumptious vegan dishes for a summer get together.

 

Fattoush

In this meal, pita bread, preferably from a local company like Klosterman Baking Company, is toasted, broken into pieces and tossed with herbs and vegetables. Here are the ingredients and the method:

 

  • 2 whole wheat pita breads, toasted and broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces or coarsely chopped
  • 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium-sized sweet bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, diced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 4 scallions, both green and white parts minced
  • 1 packed cup of Italian parsley
  • 1 packed cup of mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Vinaigrette sauce of choice, preferably sweet

 

Combine the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, scallions, and herbs in a bowl with about 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and black pepper and toss. Cover and put in the fridge for two hours. About a half an hour before serving, add the romaine lettuce and the pita bread. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve it cold or at room temperature.

 

Soba Noodles with Butternut Squash and Tofu

  • 1 tablespoon of white or yellow miso
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 tbs. canola or peanut oil
  • One large onion, minced
  • 1 lb. of butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz. smoked tofu, cut into a brunoise, or small dice
  • 8 oz. soba noodles
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Up to a cup of lightly toasted pumpkin seeds

 

  1. Put on a pot of water and bring it to a rolling boil.
  2. Mix the miso and hot water in a bowl and mash with a fork or whisk until the miso is dissolved. The sauce doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook till soft. Add the squash and salt. Cover and cook until the squash is tender. This should take about 15 minutes.
  4. Chiffonade, or roll up and slice the basil and add it to the miso sauce, tofu, squash, and onion. Lower the heat, cover, and let the mixture simmer while the noodles cook.
  5. Add the soba noodles, and cook them for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large serving bowl and pour over the mixture from the pan. Toss, adding the red pepper flakes. Finally, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

 

Beets, Green Beans and Pickled Onion Salad

  • 1 pound of beets
  • 1 1/2 pounds of green beans
  • 3 tbs. roasted almond oil
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs. minced shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. of crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pickled red onions
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

  1. Cook the beets in simmering water for about a half an hour until they’re easy to pierce with a fork. They can also be wrapped in aluminum foil, placed on a cookie sheet and roasted in a 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 45 minutes. Be careful when handling them, for they will be screaming hot.
  2. Cool the beets, then peel them, and cut them into a Macédoine, or 1/4 inch dice.
  3. Add water to a skillet, and bring to a boil.
  4. Combine the shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, and oils in a gratin dish. Add the beets.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, drop in the green beans. Reduce heat and cook for about five minutes until the beans are crisp-tender. Drain them in a colander and refresh under cold running water. Drain, and pat them dry.
  6. Add the beans to the beet mixture until they’re thoroughly coated. Let the salad stand for about a half an hour to let the flavors blend. Then, cover and refrigerate if the salad isn’t to be served right away. Serve hot or cold with lots of pickled red onions.

 

Any of these recipes are great for your next summer get together! Your friends and family might be surprised to taste how wonderful vegan food can be.

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