Cauliflower and Tofu Salad

We have a long and cold winter here in the North Europe, so salads don’t have a big role in our cuisine. Traditional salads are usually made of potatoes, root vegetables, or pickled vegetables. We’ve already posted about rosolli, mushroom salad, vinegar cucumbers and beet salad and wanted to make something contemporary.

I found a several similar salad recipes around the Internet, supposedly it’s Norwegian and called Søndagssalat in Norway.  We’re not so familiar with Norwegian cuisine, so we just have to trust the people who’ve put the recipes in the internet. The recipes called for cod, but we used tofu and chickpeas instead. Since they’re both quite bland, I quickly fried and seasoned them. The salad looked pretty and tasted good, even if we didn’t eat it on Sunday. If you don’t want to have extra mayo with your cucumbers and tomatoes, you can reduce it to 1-1,5 dl.

norska-salad

Sunday Salad

1 cauliflower
250 g tofu (1 package)
OR 125 g tofu and 2 dl chick peas
1-2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried dill
0,5 tsp garlic powder
2,5 dl vegan mayonnaise
0,5 dl oat or soy cream
lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber

Break the cauliflower into florets and boil. Dice the tofu. Heat the oil in a pan and fry tofu few minutes, no need to brown it. If you use chickpeas, add them a minute or two later than tofu. Combine rice vinegar, water, salt, dill and garlic powder. Turn of the heat and pour the vinegar combination to the pan. Mix well and allow to cool.

Cut the tomatoes into wedges and slice the cucumber. Mix cooled tofu and cauliflower together. Combine mayo and cream in a separate bowl. Add half of the mayo to the cauliflower mix, or enough to coat everything. Cover a serving plate with lettuce leaves and put the cauliflower mix on it, surround with tomatoes and cucumbers. Serve with remaining mayo.

Good Life in the Caribbean

We were married in October and now we’re on our honeymoon in Barbados. The food here is based on fish and chicken, but we’ve always managed to fid something to eat.

We also found a vegan restaurant called The Good Life located near Accra Beach, Christ Church. It’s not far from our hotel, about 30 minutes walk, and a bus there takes only few minutes. Their menu was filled with dishes that sounded delicious, so it was hard to decide what to order. Finally we chose Deluxe Vegetable Wrap and Good Life House Salad.

CAM00030

CAM00031The wrap was very tasty and it was the first time I ate plantain. Tofuhead’s salad was topped with almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins etc. and it was also very tasty and filling.  We had beer with dinner and for the dessert we ordered fruit smoothies. Prices in the restaurant were very reasonable, all this costed about 30€. We definitely recommend trying this restaurant if you ever go to Barbados.

Vinegary Cucumbers

A friend of ours is a baker and she had made delicious rye bread and pesto bread to our wedding. We had a lot of leftovers, and we put the rye bread to the freezer and dried the pesto bread in the oven to make rusks. Tonight we had the rusks with cucumber salad. The salad contains a lots of vinegar, so you may want to use half distilled vinegar and half water if you’re not used to eat so vinegary things.

Cucumber salad

1 medium cucumber
salt
1, 5 dl distilled vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp each fresh dill and parsley OR 1 tsp dried

Peel and slice the cucumber. Put the slices to a bowl and sprinkle salt between layers. Let sit about an hour. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour on the cucumbers.

Cabbage Pie

We had a lot of leftovers from the wedding, including a ton of cabbage salad. There was too much of it to eat as a salad before it gets bad, so we used it as a pie filling. The dough recipe was from cookbook and for the filling I sautéd 2,5 l cabbage salad. But here’s the recipe for the original filling too.

Cabbage Salad with Tahini Dressing
(for 4-8 persons)

500-600 g cabbage
salt
2 carrots
1 bell pepper

Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of sugar
1 garlic clove
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp water

Thinly slice the cabbage and put to a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and squeeze with your hands until the cabbage starts to get soft. Peel and shred the carrots, dice the bell pepper and mix with the cabbage. Combine the dressing ingredients and mix with the salad.

Cabbage Pie

Dough
3 dl water
20-25 g yeast
0,5 tbsp salt
0,75 dl oil or margarine
about 500 g wheat flour

Filling
3 l cabbage
3 tbsp oil
5 dl water
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1,5 tbsp distilled vinegar
melted margarine

Dough: Put 1,5 dl lukewarm water and dissolve the yeast in it. Add 2 dl wheat flour, mix well, cover with a towel and allow to rise. Add rest of the water, salt and some wheat flour. Add the oil and more wheat flour and knead. Cover with a towel again and allow to rise.

Filling: Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the cabbage until it starts to brown. Add water and simmer until cabbage is soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and let cool.

Punch down the dough and divide it in two. Take the bigger piece of dough and roll it to a baking sheet sized rectangle. Spread the filling on it. Roll the other dough ball to a little smaller rectangle and put it on top of the filling. Brush the edges with cold water and close tightly. Brush the pie with margarine and bake in 200 Celsius degrees 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Dill Pesto

Dill on our balcony has grown well and I used some to make pesto today. Then I used the pesto as a salad dressing for a pasta salad, because salads are great food for hot days like today. I made my pesto thinner than regular pestos, because I like it that way in salads. Decrease the amount of oil if you want to make it thicker. Crunchy lettuce, like ice berg lettuce, would be best for pasta salads, but I used some softer lettuce that we grow on our balcony.

Dill Pesto

Bunch of dill
2 tbsp pine nuts or sliced/slivered almonds
1 dl oil (preferably olive oil)
salt and pepper

Blend dill, pine nuts and about 0,5 dl oil. Add more oil to get the consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta Salad with Dill Pesto

7-8 dl cooked pasta (whole grain fusilli, for example)
1 batch dill pesto
3 dl corn kernels
1 bell pepper, cubed
about 15 cm piece cucumber, cubed
3 tomatoes, cut in wedges
small bunch of lettuce leaves
1,5 dl sliced onion stalks or 1 small onion

Combine pasta and pesto in a bowl. If your pasta is just cooked and you use frozen corn, add the corn too, because it will make the pasta cool down quicker.  Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and let sit in the fridge at least half an hour before serving.

It Must Be Italian Because Of Macaroni

In Finland we have this Russian style salad that is called Italian salad. It’s like Salade Olivier but with macaroni. I imagine that someone had eaten it in Russia and thought that delicious salad should be introduced to Finns too. But because Finns thought that Russia=bad, (s)he disguised it by adding macaroni and called it Italian. So everybody happily ate the salad and had no idea that it was actually a Russian dish.

Italian salad and Salade Olivier often contain meat, but my mother has always made ovo-vegetarian version with home made mayo. It turns vegan by using egg free mayo (home made or store bought).

Italian Salad

1 can of canned peas
4 boiled carrots
2 dl boiled potato cubes
2 pickles
2 apples
2 dl macaroni or other small pasta

Dressing:
2-3 dl mayo
0,5 tsp mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
white pepper

Cook the macaroni according to instructions on the package. Drain the peas and cube everything else. Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together in another bowl and toss with the salad.

I Love Portobellos

Portobellos are one of my favourite mushrooms, I love them as much as I love chanterelles and porcini. Isa and Terry published a great recipe for roasted portobellos in Veganomicon. And Isa has published a very similar recipe online too. The roasted portobellos are great for burgers or salads. I don’t know how you buy your portobellos in other countries, but here in Finland they are packed into a plastic box, usually 4-5 mushrooms in a pack. I always double the recipe and roast the whole pack at once.

This salad is made of portobellos, heart shaped pasta, iceberg lettuce, tomato, corn, cucumber and chives. Served on my beatiful Mole plate.

portobellosalaatti

Roasted Portobellos (from Veganomicon)

0,5 cup wine*
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large or up to 4 small portobello caps

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a pie plate or casserole dish. Place the mushroom caps upside down in the marinade and spoon a lot of marinade on each cap. Marinade abou 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 200 celsius degrees meanwhile. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, flip the caps and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.

* If I don’t have wine,  I substitute it with vegetable broth.