Lemon Basil Vinaigrette


I wanted to make something light tonight for dinner, but I also wanted it to have tons of a flavor.  A good sauce was calling to me, so I decided to do a search for a lemon basil vinaigrette.  This is what I found.  It has not disappointed!


Zest and juice of one lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced  (I used a total of four)
1/2 cup of basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4-1/2 tsp honey
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste


Combine the chopped basil, canola oil, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste in a shallow dish. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender until well combined. Drizzle over your favorite salad ingredients and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Adapted recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
Original recipe by Tiny Green Mom

From http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2012/08/lemon-basil-vinaigrette.html

I don’t have an immersion blender so I just tossed all ingredients into a regular food processor.  It worked just fine.

I then needed something to put the dressing on.  Pearl couscous was also calling me as were fresh veggies.

So, I cooked two cups of pearl couscous (following the directions, this is 2 cups of uncooked pearl couscous with 2.5 cups of water).

While the couscous cooked I chopped the other veggies and sauteed them up.

I used the following:

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 bunch of mini green asparagus, chopped into small bites

1 box of baby bella mushrooms cut into small pieces—about 6 parts, sans stems, per mushroom top

2 ears of corn, boiled, then cut off the cob with a serrated knife

1 box of grape tomatoes

1 bunch of beautiful green scallions

I put them in the pan in that order.


Once they cooked for a few minutes, but not wilted, I mixed the veggies with my now finished couscous in a large bowl.  I poured the completed vinaigrette on it and poof!  Dinner!


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Lemon Ginger Scones

Finding this recipe was inspired by a most delicious scone I had at Teaism in DuPont Circle this week.


I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  It was also served with this delicious coconut spread that was also vegan.  I decided after two trips there this week, that I should try to make it myself.  Voila!  I even found the coconut spread at Whole Foods!


makes 8 scones

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup (4 tbsp) cold earth balance

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup soy creamer

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1. Preheat your oven to 425º and lightly grease a 9″ round pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, add in the earth balance and chop it up until crumbly.

3. Mix in the applesauce. Then stir in the creamer, lemon zest, lemon juice and ginger. You may want to use your hands.

4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 2 minutes or until smooth. Stretch the dough out into a circle and press it into the 9″ pan so that it covers the whole surface.

5. Cut the dough into 8 slices and separate the edges slightly so they are easier to cut later. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the tops just start to turn golden brown.

I baked mine for 25 minutes and didn’t bother cutting them into slices.  In fact, the dough was pretty gooey so I just put it in the pie pan and spread it evenly with a spatula, then put that in the oven.  I think it worked out well.  I also took the liberty of putting some sugar in the raw on top of the scones before baking…a little added sweetness.


From:  http://thatssovegan.blogspot.com/2011/12/lemon-ginger-scones.html?m=1

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Light and Creamy Dill Potato Salad

I didn’t grow up with creamy potato salad, and generally don’t care much for it, but the fresh dill in this recipe sounded so good, that I decided to try it.  For my vegan mayonnaise I used Nasoya:  Dijon Style Nayonaise–primarily because we didn’t have enough of the plain veganaise.  It actually worked out well.  I liked the extra mustard in the recipe and it complimented the dill beautifully.  I think I will be using it in the future.  I also didn’t add the celery–just not a raw celery fan…the crunch of it doesn’t do anything for me.  I imagine it would be good though.Image


  • 6 potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • water for boiling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard


Boil the potatoes in water just until tender. Drain and allow to cool.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cooled potatoes and toss to coat. Serve chilled.

From http://vegetarian.about.com/od/sidevegetabledishes/r/dillpotatosalad.htm

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Curry Tofu, Chickpeas and Tomatoes with Quinoa



I do not create dishes.  I am not a recipe maker.  However, this one is straight from my cabinets.  One night I made dinner from what we had…and voila!  It is one of my faves.  It’s great as a lunch leftover.  It’s also very malleable based on what you have in the cupboards.


  • 2 Tbsps. coconut oil
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 package of firm tofu cubes
  • 1 28 oz. can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of coconut milk
  • curry powder to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa

In a nonstick skillet melt the coconut oil over high heat.  Once it’s hot, put the cubed tofu in the skillet and let it brown–about 4-5 minutes.  Just as the tofu is finishing up, add the minced garlic. 

Start your quinoa.  Follow the package directions for one cup of uncooked quinoa.  The ratio for quinoa is the same as rice–1 part quinoa to 2 parts water. 

Without reducing the heat, add the tomatoes (do not drain them).  Then add the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans and the can of coconut milk.  Reduce heat to medium.

Add curry powder (I like a lot and add upwards of 4 tablespoons), and salt and pepper to taste.  Tonight I also added onion powder. 

Let it simmer for a few minutes for the coconut milk to thicken.

ImageIn bowls, put your cooked quinoa, then top with your curried concoction!  Enjoy!




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Berry Buttermilk Cake–Vegan Style


Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009

You can just ignore the word “raspberry” up there and swap it up with any which berry you please, like blackberries or blueberries or bits of strawberries or all of the above. This is a good, basic go-to buttermilk cake (not unlike a lemon yogurt cake before it) — moist and ever-so-light — a great jumping off point for whatever you can dream up.

By the way, I was having a “moment” when I made this and for once, remembered to weigh my ingredients as I measured them, for all of you people out there that know weighing is way easier than dirtying a zillion cups and spoons. Now let’s just hope my scale is accurate.

Makes one thin 9-inch cake, which might serve eight people, if you can pry it from first two people’s grasp

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large (57 grams) egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.


Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter (see Note) raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar.



Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

[Baking time updated, shortened, after so many of you concurred that this cake bakes crazy quickly.]

Note: Directions like “scatter” always scare me. Where’s the science? Here’s what my neuroses taught us: the ones that were downward were almost all swallowed by the batter. The “o” ones stayed empty, like cups. Both were delicious.

Make your own almost-buttermilk: No need to buy buttermilk especially for this or any recipe. Add one teaspoon tablespoon [updated, as an astute reader pointed out that the larger amount is more common] of vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk and let it sit until it clabbers, about 10 minutes. Voila, buttermilk!

Non vegan recipe from  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/05/raspberry-buttermilk-cake/



To Veganize Said Phenomenal RecipeThe 1/2 cup buttermilk becomes: 1/2 cup soy milk plus 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice. Do this before hand and set aside until it separates.
The 1/2 stick butter becomes: a half stick (4 Tablespoons) of Earth Balance (from Trader Joe’s)
The egg becomes: 1 tsp of Egg Replacer(essentially additional leavening. I omitted the water, and added the tsp directly to the other dry ingredients. You can get this at Whole Foods)

and there you have it! Follow the recipe with the vegan tweaks, scatter the raspberries across the top.


Vegan recipe from http://hungryface.blogspot.com/2009/07/raspberry-cake-fresh-from-fields.html



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Garlicky Mushrooms

I love garlic.   I love mushrooms.  What’s NOT to love about this recipe.  Easy, tasty, and definitely flavorful.  We ate these with our Catalan Potatoes (see previous post).  Made for a delicious dinner!


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 10 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 40 large white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley

Heat oil in skillet over low heat. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute or until transparent.


Add mushrooms, and cook 10 minutes without stirring.


Add wine, and cook 15 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned. Stir in parsley, and cook 2 minutes.


Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.


From:  http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/garlicky-mushrooms/?utm_source=DFVegan&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=DFVegan&_wcsid=801C11C0F24658F9ECA52352800A5CC966BB4682D67061D3




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Catalan Potatoes

I discovered this recipe last summer at the start of Vegan Summer.  I’m a potato fiend so this seemed like a winner before I even tried it.  I know what I like.  It’s a fave and makes a stunning breakfast left over. 


  • 1/2 cup olive oil (1/3 cup for nonstick pans)
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 large Idaho potatoes (about 1 pound total), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 4 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt; more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; more to taste
1.Heat an 8- or 9-inch skillet over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and add the whole garlic cloves. Cook the garlic until browned, about 8 min. Discard the cloves.
2.  Add the diced onion to the pan. Saute in the oil until light brown, about 12 min. Remove the onions from the pan with a slotted spoon.
3.  Add half of the potato slices to the oil. Top them with an even layer of the onions, chopped garlic, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
Top with the remaining potato slices.Cook the potatoes until browned, about 15 minutes, and then turn the potatoes over, pressing down on them with a spatula. (You don’t have to turn all the potatoes at once; the potato cake will still keep its shape.) Continue cooking until the underside is brown and the potatoes are tender throughout, about another 15 min. Slide from the pan onto a serving platter and serve immediately.

From:  http://www.recipe.com/catalan-potatoes/

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Broccoli and Peanut Sauce

This recipe comes to me from a friend.  Mark and I tried it at a summer picnic last year and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.  I loved the chilled broccoli and the peanuty dipping sauce.  Margaret graciously shared it with me this past spring and I just got around to making it today—I have a feeling it will be a regular for us all summer. 🙂

photo 5

Blanche broccoli;  thoroughly drain and refrigerate.

photo 3

To make the peanut sauce:

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I HATE cilantro so I didn’t include this in my recipe and to be honest, it tastes great without it) 🙂
  • 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Whisk peanut butter with 1 cup hot water–stir in remaining ingredients.

photo 2

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Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions and Basil

photo 5

Another huge salad hit!  I could not stop eating it.  Just enough acid to balance out the sweet of the corn and the basil.

photo 4

A little bite with the scallions—oh, it’s just perfect! AND it was the first corn of the season.

photo 2

Couldn’t have enjoyed it better in another form!  If you make only one recipe from this blog, make this one.  It will not disappoint!

photo 3


Fresh corn is a staple at every summer cookout, but cooking it fresh can leave you sweating over a hot stove while your guests kick back outside. This make-ahead salad of sweet, crisp corn scraped off the cob, mild scallions, and fresh basil in a tart white wine vinaigrette is a great alternative. Not only is it delicious and easy to make, it’s a refreshing change from the usual (and messy) corn on the cob slathered with butter.

Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions and Basil

Yield: serves 4
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
This recipe appears in: Fresh Corn Salad with Scallions and Basil


  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced fresh basil leaves
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Cook corn in boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to ice bath. When the corn is cool, use a serrated knife to cut the kernels off the cob.
  2. Combine the kernels in a large bowl with the scallions, oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt, pepper, and sugar if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature


From   http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Fresh-Corn-Salad-with-Scallions-and-Basil-Serious-Eats-296379

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Quick and Easy Vegetarian White Bean Salad

photo 2 I could not be more impressed with this recipe.  I was looking for the perfect bean salad to compliment a panini (future post coming).  This was it.  In fact, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to fuss with the panini after sampling this salad–I seriously could have eaten it all, simply by itself, for dinner.  It’s that good.  I promised Mark I would save him some, so I’m afraid to open it back up today or else he might not have any to try.  I have a feeling that after marinating over night the flavors are even more dynamic.  It’s a simple, stunning summer salad! 

photo 1

What was also very fun was the use of the new chopper I bought a few weeks ago at Sur La Table.  I hate chopping things finely–patience isn’t my forte.  So I decided to try this chopper with the Roma tomatoes–while it was a little messy, it did the trick!  I will be using it again for this salad!

Enjoy!  It’s definitely perfect for that summer picnic you have planned!


A simple homemade vegetarian white bean salad with basil, garlic and tomatoes. Perfect for a summer picnic. This healthy recipe is naturally gluten-free. The flavors come from the naturally healthy ingredients, so this is a good time to use farm-free organic tomatoes and your best olive oil. This white bean salad is vegetarian, vegan and cholesterol-free.


  • 2 15.8-ounce cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 pound small Roma or plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, just a minute or two.

Pour olive oil and garlic mixture over beans and tomatoes, and toss gently to combine.

Allow the bean salad to stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.

Makes six servings of white bean salad.

Nutritional information, per serving:
Calories: 505; Total Fat: 10.8 g, 17% daily value; Saturated Fat: 1.8g, 9%
Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%
Sodium: 342mg, 14%
Total Carbohydrates: 78.6g, 26%
Dietary Fiber: 25.1g, 101%
Protein: 27.3g
Vitamin A 7%, Vitamin C 27%, Calcium 22%, Iron 39%

From  http://vegetarian.about.com/od/beansaladrecipes/r/Quick-And-Easy-White-Bean-Salad.htm

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