Archive for the ‘Side Dish’ Category


This is a wonderfully quick and delicious autumnal whole grain-based salad.  It can be served at any temperature you wish, but is very nice when warmed.  I like to serve this over a pile of soft butter lettuce as a side dish to my gyros seitan for a hearty meal on a cold night.


Warm Bulgur Salad


1 cup coarse bulgur

1 cup diced green beans

½ cup toasted pine nuts

12 dried apricots, cut into slivers

¼ cup mint, chopped

¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

1 leek, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 leaves dinosaur kale, finely chopped

Lemon vinaigrette with oregano  

  • 1T lemon juice + 2T olive, flax or nut oil + 1 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper


Bring 2½ cups of water or vegetable stock [If you want a more savory flavor] to a boil.  Add the bulgur, stir and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the grain is tender simply drain off excess liquid and set aside.

While the bulgur is perking away, over medium heat, sauté the green beans, leek, garlic and kale in a small drizzle of olive oil until tender.  Add the apricots and pine nuts.  Toss to combine.  Transfer the drained bulgur to a large bowl and add the sautéed vegetables, parsley and mint.   Pour as much of the lemon and oregano vinaigrette over the bulgur salad as you wish and mix well.   Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

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Roasted Papritots


Paprika is one of those spices that seemingly carries history upon it’s scent.  At least it does for me.  Whenever I breathe in the smokiness of the dried pepper blend, I immediately imagine bazaars teeming with clamourous commerce in exotic eastern locales or dusty dry mediterranean towns sitting within the watchful shadow of boxy castles set upon distant hillsides.  Paprika is a spice that has stories to tell. 

There really isn’t anything simpler or more comforting than a dish of roasted potatoes.  Thing is, simply by adding some spicy hot paprika prior to roasting and a light dusting of lemon zest afterward, this very simple dish is elegantly transformed into the exotically sublime. 


Roasted Papritots


1 lb small red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces [I used a variety of young bell peppers including red, orange and yellow and cut them into slices.  You could use whichever color you prefer.]

12 garlic cloves

1 tsp finely-grated lemon zest

1 tsp hot paprika

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper


Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place into a bowl.  Add the garlic, bell peppers and paprika.  Add a drizzle of olive oil.  Mix well to evenly distribute the paprika.

Transfer to a Silpat-covered or non-stick baking sheet and roast for 40-45  minutes until the potatoes are browned.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with lemon zest.

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This may seem like a rather odd combination on the surface,  but let me tell you, this was delicious.  Not only is this velvety sauce a snap to make, but it’s vibrant, healthy and a great way to rock your greens!


Creamy Avocado and Coconut-Dressed Greens


1 lb dinosaur/lacinato kale, cut into thin shreds

1-1/4 cup coconut water, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

 1 cup avocado

1 long strip of lemon zest

squeeze of lemon juice

1 tsp freshly minced ginger

pinch of salt

coconut oil

Optional:  sesame seeds, to garnish


Add a drizzle of coconut oil to a large pan and sauté the garlic until fragrant.  Add the kale and stir through.  Add 1 cup coconut water and cover turning heat to medium low.  Braise the greens until soft.

Add avocado, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt to a blender.  Add coconut water a little bit at a time until a sauce comes together and has the consistency of tomato ketchup. [You want it on the thick side but still pourable.] 

Once the greens are soft, drain and transfer to a bowl.  Add the sauce and mix well.  Garnish with sesame seeds or lemon zest if you wish.


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Sweet, sticky and lip-smackingly good.  These beans are incredibly easy to make and well worth the effort to make from scratch, rather than simply opening a can of ready-made.  While they bake, uncovered, the sauce on top caramelizes and thickens as it darkens in color adding a richer flavor that you can stir through the whole before serving.


Sweet and Savory Oven-Baked Beans


1 lb dry white beans [I used Navy]

1 3-inch piece of dried kombu

1 ½ cups organic ketchup

1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed

½ cup molasses

¼ cup yellow mustard

1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 T tomato paste

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T sweet paprika

1 T dry mustard

1 T chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp cayenne pepper


Soak the beans overnight in water.

Drain and rinse the beans, then place into a large pot.  Cover beans by 4 inches with water, add the piece of kombu, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, until the beans soften.

While the beans are simmering, sauté the onion in a drizzle of olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and tomato paste.  Continue cooking until the tomato paste has slightly caramelized.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Drain the beans, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid.  Return the beans and reserved cooking liquid to the pot.  Add the sauce and mix thoroughly.  Transfer to a large oven-safe crock and bake, uncovered, for an hour. 

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Cherries, especially the tart variety,  are receiving a great deal of attention these days in the athletic world due to their ability to mitigate pain after exercise.  This little fruit is packed full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are important to the health of your vision. They are also, interestingly enough,  a good source of the calming antioxidant, melatonin.

I use a great deal of fruit and vegetable juices in my cooking to impart both flavor and nutrients to our food, so when Cheribundi approached us and asked if we’d try out their cherry juice, we eagerly agreed.  This sauce, coupled with the yuba, was savory and sweet, tangy and lip-smacking good.   In short, it had umami.   The slaw, absolutely necessary for any mustardy Carolina-style barbecue-sauced dish, was the perfect fresh and raw accompaniment. 


Pulled Yuba in a Cherry Barbecue Sauce with Sesame Slaw


1 cup tart cherry juice [I used Cheribundi’s Tru Cherry juice.]

½ cup dried sour cherries

¼ cup yellow mustard

¼ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

3 T tomato paste

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

6 oz dried bean curd sheets [1 package]

Peanut oil


Add a drizzle of peanut oil to a pan and heat over medium.  Add the tomato paste and spread around the pan to caramelize and rid the paste of the tinned flavor.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the yuba and dried cherries, and bring to a low simmer.  Cook for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

While the sauce is simmering, soak the sheets of yuba in hot tap water to hydrate.  Once pliable, drain and roll into a tight bundle.  Cut into small shreds across the roll. 

Add the shredded yuba and dried cherries to the sauce.  Mix well to incorporate and set aside to marinate.  The longer you leave it, the more flavor the yuba will absorb.  To serve, simply return to the heat and warm through.  I served this sandwich-style on a toasted ciabatta bun.




Sesame Slaw


snow pea pods, julienned

red bell pepper, julienned

apple, julienned

golden beet, shaved with a vegetable peeler


fresh lemon juice and zest

dark sesame oil

black sesame seeds


I did not include amounts because it depends upon how much you wish to make.  I simply added equal portions of each fruit and vegetable ingredient and then used a 2:1 ratio of tahini to lemon juice as the dressing with a few drops of dark sesame oil added.  Season with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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Roasted Acorn Squash with a Pomegranate Glaze

This is an incredibly easy side dish to prepare that not only looks beautiful, but tastes heavenly.


1 acorn squash

1 cup pomegranate juice

1 T dark brown sugar

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

olive oil

sea salt


Preheat oven to 400°.

Wash and then peel the squash on the ridges that protrude leaving the concave surfaces intact with peel [The peel is entirely edible.  When buying an acorn squash look for one that has dark green skin, the skin will be more tender than one that’s turning to orange.]  Slice in half, length-wise and remove seeds and stringy bits.  Cut into one inch wide slices.  Spray with a bit of olive oil and roast until tender.  This should take 45 minutes to an hour depending upon the thickness of your slices.

While the squash is roasting, heat the pomegranate juice, sugar and a pinch of salt to a low simmer on the stove and reduce by half.  Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Serve the squash drizzled with the glaze.

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A Lighter Mash


Cauliflower and Potato Mash with Roasted Garlic


1/2 head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets

3-4 cups potatoes, cut into large cubes [You basically want twice the amount of potato as cauliflower.]

8 cloves roasted garlic [Just wrap in foil with a drizzle of olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.]

Earth Balance vegan margarine

non-dairy creamer

2 tsp horseradish

a couple of pinches of freshly-grated nutmeg

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper


Steam cauliflower until fork tender and transfer to a bowl of ice water;  set aside.  Cover potatoes by an inch with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Cook until fork-tender.  Add the cauliflower to the pot with the potatoes.  When the water regains a boil and the cauliflower is reheated, drain into a colander.  Return to the pot and let the heat evaporate some of the residual water.  Add the roasted garlic, nutmeg, horseradish, margarine and creamer. [I used 1 T margarine and 2 T creamer.  The amounts will depend upon the consistency of your own mash so I would add the creamer last, and a bit at a time,  to determine how much you need for your preparation.  You will need much less creamer than in traditional potatoes because the cauliflower has a higher water content.  If you like a richer mash then use more margarine.]  Mash until you reach a desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a pool of mushroom gravy.

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