Easy Basil Vinaigrette

Whipping up a salad dressing is so easy and can be as simple as oil and vinegar plus some salt and pepper.  This takes it up a notch using two shortcut ingredients, frozen basil and garlic cubes (picture below).  I find these at most stores these days including Trader Joes and Harris Teeter.  I don’t always measure exactly when making a dressing.  You can wing it and go by your taste but I typically go with a 2:1 ratio oil to vinegar.  This recipe can be doubled to make a larger batch.

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Makes 3/4 cup

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Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (could also use fresh lemon juice)
2 frozen basil cubes
2 frozen garlic cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

I make this directly in the measuring cup.  Just add oil to 1/2 cup then add vinegar to reach 3/4 of cup.  Add in the basil and garlic cubes.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until they thaw, then whisk together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

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My favorite thing about pureed soup is that I don’t have to worry about chopping up the garlic and veggies into little bits because it doesn’t matter in the end.  🙂  What else makes this soup awesome is the roasted flavor from the red pepper and tomato.  The ratio I’ve used here has a nice balance.  You can definitely taste the red pepper but it’s not Continue reading “Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup”

Sweet Potato Apple Hash

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I first published a recipe for this years ago but it desperately needing updating, both with the method and the photos.  So about this dish, simply put it is all about Fall with my favorite 2 produce items of the season!  It only has a few ingredients and it’s easy to make so that’s a big win in my book.  I like the red onion in this for a little color but any onion will do.  Also, a favorite of sweet potatoes or yams (what is the difference anyway? Read this) is the Garnet Yam!

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Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes

Olive oil

1 apple, cored and diced

1/2 red onion, diced (about ½ cup is good)

1-2 Tbsp vegan butter (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Heat iron skillet (or nonstick skillet) over medium heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom.  Let warm for a few minutes.  You don’t want to throw your sweet potatoes into a cold skillet with cold oil – it should sizzle a little bit.

Add sweet potatoes and stir around a little to coat in the oil.  Let cook untouched for about 5 minutes.  Then give them a toss, bottoms should be a little browned, and cook another 5 minutes.  Add additional oil in needed to keep them from sticking.

Add onion and apple, cook 4-5 minutes until everything is tender and the sweet potatoes are browned.

Stir in butter if using, give a toss to melt it and coat everything.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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DC Vegfest 2016

 

This past Saturday I ventured out to DC VegFest in Washington, DC and was so excited to try some yummy vegan food!  I was only there for just over an hour so I didn’t get to check out every booth or vendor.  I actually had looked at a map of the exhibitors and vendors thinking I could be strategic with my time but then I just went freestyle and wandered, stopping by whatever had a crowd or sounded good. So here’s a quick recap of a few of my favorites.

Ben & Jerry’s – Non Dairy PB & Cookies

pb-and-cookies-non-dairy-detailWhen I saw the Ben & Jerry’s trunk I made a beeline through swarms of people, dogs, unruly kids, and strollers. Yep that’s right, Ben & Jerry’s has non-dairy ice cream.  And not just fruity sorbet.  This is was actually where I started because why not have dessert first.  This was soooo good that I actually had to question whether it was real ice cream and I had to remind myself that it was an all vegan festival so it had to be. Even my dairy ice cream loving BF couldn’t believe it was non dairy.  We gobbled this up before I could get a photo.

 

 

Barefoot Bucha

img_4524I always enjoy trying new kombucha and I really liked that this was kind of local to me.  Just 2 hours south in Afton VA which is near Charlottesville.   Side note – great area to visit…lots of amazing wineries and breweries there and the Farmhouse at Veritas is a fantastic place to stay.  Back to Bucha – I sampled the black raspberry and LOVED it!  I had to have more and shelled out $5 for a 12oz pour and it was well worth it.  They were serving on tap which was kind of cool.  Apparently that is a thing, kombucha on tap, and they serve at Whole Foods.  I’ll be checking my neighborhood WF soon for this.  Also pretty sweet is how green they are for selling on tap and you bring your glass bottle to refill.

 

Treeline Nut CheeseTreeline Nut Cheese

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Photo credit: http://www.treelinecheese.com

I am always excited to try some of these “fancy” nut cheeses and this one had line to get a sample so I had to get a taste.  My favorites were the soft French style cheeses almost like a spread.  Herb Garlic and the Chipotle Serrano Pepper were two standouts for me.  I thought the Herb Garlic would be a great cream cheese alternative to put on a bagel.  I gobbled up my samples before I could get a photo.

 

 

Yeah Dawg

hot-dogsAfter checking out the food vendors, all of which had long lines, I settled on a vegan hot dog.   If I was going to buy a full size meal, I wanted something good and something I couldn’t get anywhere.  These guys are from New York and I can’t actually get their hot dogs down here, plus just in general it’s hard to find a good veggie dog.  And judging by the line, I thought they must be good!  So 30 minutes in line later, we had 2 tasty dogs.  A New York with kraut, relish, and mustard, and a Cali Kush with kale ceasar, avocado, coconut bacon, and chipotle mayo.  Sounds like a lot going on but this was actually my favorite of the two.  The dogs are actually gluten-free too!