Summertime Fine with a Salad the Side

Summer is my favorite time of year for several reasons. Warm weather. Beach weekends. Fireworks. Outdoor cookouts. My birthday month. And fresh, vibrant, delectable veggies!

Speaking of summery produce in all its glory, this girl’s been busy testing new recipes lately. And, I’m pleased to report the results are successful.

Like…you should be so lucky to visit my kitchen.

Fortunately though, I’m bringing the deliciousness to you!

Who doesn’t love a seasonal salad — chock full of crisp, colorful, refreshing flavors? The following recipe offers just that with a zesty Asian twist. Better yet: it’s nutrient-packed, plant-based and 100% raw. So, treat yourself to seconds (or thirds!). I dare you to resist…

Thai Chopped Salad with Almond-Sriracha Dressing

Ingredients:

2 c. Romaine Lettuce (chopped)

1 c. Red Cabbage (chopped)

1 Red Bell Pepper (matchstick sliced)

1/2 c. Baby Carrots (matchstick sliced)

1/2 c. Garbanzo Beans

1/2 c. Raw Cashews

Thai Chopped Salad ingredients

For the Dressing:

3 tbsp. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)

2 tbsp. Almond Butter (all-natural)

2 tbsp. Agave Nectar

1/2 tbsp. Sriracha Sauce

Thai Chopped Salad dressing ingredients

Preparation:

1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Soy SauceAlmond ButterAgave Nectar and Sriracha Sauce until smooth.

2. In a larger bowl, toss together the Lettuce, Red Cabbage, Bell Pepper, Carrots, Garbanzo Beans and Cashews until evenly distributed.

3. Drizzle the Dressing over the Salad, then roughly toss again to coat the dressing throughout before serving.

Thai Chopped Salad dressing

Thai Chopped Salad 1

Serving Suggestion:

Double the dressing ingredients to achieve a creamier texture, then dish up the salad over Brown Jasmine Rice for a curry-esque taste.

Quinoa & Edamame Burgers (a.k.a. Your Dinner Table’s Next Meatless Marvel)

Trivia Question: how does a self-proclaimed foodie, who really really loves veggie burgers, cope on Friday night when her boyfriend ditches her (but all is forgiven, Broski!) for some old-school Nintendo 64?

By creating a kickass recipe to satisfy said veggie burger cravings! Obvi.

I’m not vegan, but I do have a healthy appreciation for vegan cooking. So, that’s exactly what we have here — veggies, whole grains, and plant-based proteins.  Pure, nutritional deliciousness! And I can assure even the most committed carnivores out there that this burger hits the spot.

Nope. You won’t miss the meat.

Don’t believe me? Alrighty, then. Make it yourself. (I’ll just be over here, chanting: “told ya so!”)

  • Ingredients:
  1. 1/4 cup Quinoa (cooked)
  2. 1 tbsp. Mushrooms (diced)
  3. 2 tbsp. Roasted Red Peppers (diced)
  4. 2 tbsp. Edamame
  5. 2 tbsp. Rolled Oats
  6. 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

veggie burger ingredients

  • Preparation:
  1. Preheat a small saucepan on a medium-high stovetop setting, then cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.
  2. Preheat a small skillet on a low stovetop setting, then saute the mushrooms and roasted red peppers for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Puree the edamame in a blender or food processor until coarsely mashed, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Puree the mushrooms and red peppers in a blender or food processor until they reach the same consistency as the edamame, then transfer to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the quinoa, rolled oats, and mustard into the mixing bowl, then stir until the ingredients combine to form a slightly “mushy” texture.
  6. Mold this mixture into patties (I made 1 large patty, but you could just as easily make 2-3 small patties), then transfer them to another skillet and turn the stovetop setting to medium.
  7. Cook the burgers for approximately 5 minutes on each side, then remove from heat and allow them to cool slightly before serving.

veggie burger before

  • Serving Suggestion:

Play off the Asian-inspired flavor of the edamame by wrapping your veggie burger in a Nori sheet (dried seaweed) instead of a traditional bun. Not only will the crisp saltiness please your palate, but it’s also a much healthier swap-out.

In fact, while we’re at it, why not continue this plant-based theme we’ve got going and substitute cheese for cashew cream? It’s a snap to whip up and makes a tasty topper for our veggie burger.

Simply soak 2 tbsp. raw cashews in 1/4 cup water for 1-2 hours (feel free to skip this step if you’re pressed for time), then drain and toss the cashews into a blender, along with 1 garlic clove, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt. Puree these ingredients until smooth, then spread the cream on your patty.

veggie burger after

 Aaaaaaand….Dinner is served!