Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Check Out This Salad

I love to read cookbooks.  I usually read them cover to cover including the introduction, the information about the author and, of course, the recipes.  I particularly like cookbooks that have more than just recipes - tidbits of information, local lore, quick cooking tips, history of a recipe, pictures and photos.  I have a fairly large cookbook and recipe collection, but it can get expensive buying books so I indulge my love of cookbook reading by taking cookbooks out of the library.  Not long after I started eating a vegan diet, I went onto the website of my local library and put holds on all the cookbooks with "vegan" in the title.  I've had a steady stream of cookbooks come through my home, and the weeks that I have them on loan allows me to really get into the book, try out a few recipes and, ultimately, decide if I want to buy the cookbook and add it to my permanent collection.  Recently, a friend recommended the cookbook, Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, so, naturally, I took it out of the library.  It is a really great book!  I love reading it and I want to try out ALL the recipes!  This is definitely a cookbook I must own.  Here is one of the recipes from this book:

Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad
(adapted from Appetite for Reduction)

2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
4 cups (or more) chopped Romaine lettuce
1 to 3 cups of assorted vegetables *
1/2 to 3/4 cup of Balsamic Vinaigrette (see below)

Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl.  Add the dressing and toss to coat.  Eat!
* I used lots of shredded carrots, some chopped green onion, chopped artichokes, chopped red and yellow peppers.  You could also use sprouts, baked tofu, fresh leafy herbs ...

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for at least an hour)
2 tbsps chopped green onions
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsps Dijon mustard
1 tsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt

Blend the cashews and green onions together in a blender, then add the rest of the ingredients.  Blend for at least 5 minutes until completely smooth - blend for the full time to make sure the dressing isn't grainy.  The dressing may seem thin at first, but it thickens when chilled.

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