I've had some recipe failures lately, which causes a halt in my posting. This one, however, was a winner. A fresh, but hearty salad with plenty of protein and a creamy dressing. I don't eat Thai food as often as I'd like to, but I've always loved it. My version of Thai food may not be the most authentic, but it certainly is tasty.
I like using two greens in this salad. The first is always nappa cabbage, and the second is either collard greens or kale. I used kale this time around, but I actually prefer collard greens. If it's an inconvenience to use two greens, this salad works just as well using only the cabbage. We're also filling this salad with some peppers and one of my favorite fruits.
I used one red and one orange pepper, mainly because I like to have as many colors on my plate as possible. (Eat the rainbow! Just not the Skittles one, please.) You can use just red or red and yellow, just don't use green. Green peppers, let's be honest, are pretty bland.
The main reason I chose to not use a yellow pepper was because there is already yellow-colored produce in this dish: mango! Mmm, mango. The mango in this salad is absolutely necessary, it's really what makes it so summer-y. You might be asking yourself, "but when aren't mangoes necessary?" Well, darling, you're preaching to the choir. I actually buy two mangoes when making this salad so I can eat one while chopping the other. Otherwise, I'd eat half of the one for the salad while chopping it. I can't resist mango..
My biggest struggle in making raw food is finding a good source of protein. When making salad, I almost always throw some lentils or chickpeas in, which are not raw. This salad does have peanuts and peanut butter, but those are technically not raw. However, I find that most raw foodists make the exception for nuts since they are nearly impossible to find raw as they will go rancid. I do have another protein in this salad. It's totally raw and it's also one of my favorite sources of protein. It's clean, it's complete, and it comes from one of the most amazing and useful plants: hemp. Hemp seeds are one of the best foods I have ever discovered. I eat them every single morning in my oatmeal. I'm amazed I didn't think of using them in a salad earlier!
Have I convinced you yet that you should eat this salad? I mean, we have two greens, delicious fruits, peanut butter(!), and a super clean source of protein. It's basically perfect and you're probably salivating, so I'll just go ahead and give you the recipe.
Thai-Inspired Summer Salad
Bane, my dog, is one of my absolute favorite beings on the planet. Every time I see him, my heart just swells with joy. He's so darn handsome and I'm totally in love with him. So, I have decided to add a new section for those of you who feel the same way about your lil babe, "The Barkery." You can find this section under the Recipes tab. Dog treats are really simple to make and your dog will love them, way more than anything store bought. I've given these treats to four different pups and they all loved them.
I always make Bane a treat for his birthday or on holidays, but the first time I made these, they weren't actually for Bane. Brennan's mother has a sweet little beagle name Penny (hence the treat name.) Lisa, Bren's mom, loves her Penny the way I love Bane, so I thought she would appreciate some homemade treats that didn't have all that awful stuff that store bought pet food usually has. I made these as a gift for Christmas last year. They only have four ingredients, one of which is water, so they have a pretty long shelf life compared to homemade dog treats that may contain egg or other animal products. That being said, my dog is certainly not a vegan, it just so happens that these treats are.
I'm making them today for two reasons. One, Penny needs a refill on her treats. These are her favorite and Lisa only gives her one a day, at bedtime. The second reason is Bane's birthday! He is now 8 years old, but I still call him a puppy. Penny gets the hearts and Bane gets the people-shaped treats. They have a shelf life of about 3 months, 6 months if kept in the freezer. So, go ahead and make a whole bunch of these for your buppy. They're gonna love you forever.
Peanut Butter Pennies
Teriyaki sauce is sweet and tangy, and I just love it. As previously mentioned, I could also eat wasabi by the spoonful, so I took the opportunity to put it on this burger and it adds some heat to balance out the sweet. Asian food and Asian fusion foods are some of my favorites, so I think this burger is truly delightful and you should make it right now.
My favorite base to use for burgers is black beans. They hold up nicely and I like the coloring, I think they look a little more like the "real thing." While black beans certainly have a distinct flavor and are typically seen in Mexican and Spanish dishes, they adapt very nicely to the teriyaki sauce in this burger. I also added in grated carrots, scallions, and pineapple slices to complete the sweet/tangy flavors. I don't usually put any grains in my burgers, other than the occasional quinoa. In my opinion, it's just an overload since you already have grains in the buns. It changes the texture a lot, they aren't very firm or chewy. Instead, they are soft, but they're full of protein and they have a great flavor. I use the added vegetables to add some texture, but if you prefer your veggie burgers to have a chewy texture, you can add in 1/4-1/2 cup of rice, steel cut oats, or quinoa. I am also more partial to beans rather than faux meats such as seitan, tofu, or tempeh because beans are a whole food and not so processed.
As weird as it sounds coming from a vegan, I really enjoy burgers. They're easy to make, easy to get creative with, and usually one of the easiest menus items to veganize at a restaurant, given they have a vegan patty substitute. Actually, it's almost always the first section on the menu I check when dining out. You wouldn't expect that a meal based around a mound of ground beef would be so easy to veganize, but it is. You probably also wouldn't expect someone who has never even had a "real" burger to always check that section first, so.. Not only are they very easy to veganize when dining out, but they're also an easy meal to put together at home. If you use canned beans, it's even faster, but I tend to use dry. I just put them in my crock pot in the morning and they're ready by the time I want to start cooking. Other than that time, veggie burgers are quick to cook and quick to put together.
Now about this aioli.. I know it's not an aioli because it obviously does not contain egg, but I don't know what else to call it. Delicious-wasabi-sauce is the only other thing I could thing of, but aioli sounds fancy, so we're sticking with it. I've tried countless times to create faux-mayo from scratch and I just haven't found the right combination. I had some avocado and figured since wasabi is green, it won't look too crazy to use avocado as the fatty base of my fake mayo. Not only is it a lovely shade of green, but it tasted amazing. Use as much wasabi as you like, I recommend a ton but to each their own, and a bit of soy sauce. It's so yummy and is the perfect sauce to accompany this burger.
Teriyaki Black Bean Burgers with Wasabi Aioli
My name is Ellen Jane and I spend my free time doing vegan experiments in my kitchen so you don't have to. Take a look around.