Heading into week three of the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club, and we’re going to be talking salads, people! Side salads, bean salads, pasta salads, green salads, ceasar salads, fruit salads, grain salads, showstopper meal salads…you get the picture!
Salads are a wonderful, easy, nutritious meal at any time of the day, and in any season. On hot days, when we may hesitate to turn the stove on, a salad might be just the thing to hit the spot. When some people think “salad,” they may think “lettuce, tomato, carrot, onion” … in other words – boring!! But the variety of salads you can make are really only limited to your imagination. This week in the cookbook club, we will be talking about all different kinds of salads, and how fresh herbs can help spice your salads up – and give them an extra nutritional kick at the same time.
Speaking of herbs…here are 3 tips for buying fresh herbs (just in case you’re in the market
1) choose herbs that have plump, brightly colored leaves and crisp stems – all of which indicate that the herb is at its best
2) use your nose; a strong and present fragrance are another good indication of freshness
3) when you get them home, stand bunched herbs in a glass or jar with water (like flowers) – it will help them last longer
Moving on…we have a fabulous salad recipe shared by vegan chef extraordinaire, Ricki Heller, which will be posted on the cookbook club page tomorrow morning. So grab the recipe, get the ingredients, and let’s cook together! Also, feel free to post recipes and photos of other salads you are making this week! (If you haven’t joined the Cookbook Club yet, here’s your chance!)
Ok, to kick off the week, here’s one of my favorite salads – it’s a tabouleh variation. It’s low fat, absolutely delicious, and it only gets better with time.
- 2 cups bulgur wheat
- 4 cups boiling water
Place bulgur in bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with a clean tea towel and let stand for 15 minutes.
- 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced (or less if you’re not a huge garlic fan)
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
- 1 1/2 cups black beans (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Whisk all ingredients together.
Put vegetables into a bowl and cover with dressing, mixing well. Add bulgur and mix again. Let stand about 1 hour before serving (or serve right away if you can’t wait).
Happy salad making!