I remember an old boss with her vegan recipes, herbal teas, and a balanced diet consisting of non-fatty, unprocessed foods with no mention or desire for meat, backed up by a tree-hugging, "all natural" philosophy.
A couple of colleagues laughed at her on the sly, bestowing her with the distinction of being a "grass-eater," "herbivore," or "rabbit-foodie," and others just thought she was weird and quirky.
But as time goes on, self-awareness requires you to take a closer look at these aspects of your life, whether by accident or due to the health-obsessed freaks who can’t stop their yammering about turning into a ‘vegan’ for a righteous cause or merely to suit one’s list of dietary precautions.
I might be stating the obvious by saying that vegetables are "good for you" and that meat consumed, especially in its various fried forms, can create a serious imbalance in weight in the long run, if not sooner. And it’s the truth, as I’ve experienced it in my life, causing a string of embarrassing events that have brought me closer to overall balance and a no-nonsense approach.
Turning into a ‘vegan’ can be very healthy if it works for you and you enjoy it… as long as you don’t force your opinions on others.
We can classify these vegan recipes that are prepared in the form of appetizers, beverages and salads. So here are some that have caught my attention:
3 Easy Vegan Recipes
1. Recipe for an Appetizer – The Garden Green Goddess Dip
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced 1 T. garlic, minced 1 T. olive oil 8 oz. spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and de-stemmed 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced 1 cup loose parsley, washed well 1/4 cup chives, sliced 1 T. freshly chopped dill 1 T. lime juice 1/4 t. salt 1/4 t. hot sauce, of choice 1 - 8 oz. container plain vegan soy yogurt
In a non-stick skillet, sauté the green onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes to soften. Add the spinach and continue to sauté until the spinach just wilts. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Transfer the spinach mixture to a food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegan yogurt, and process for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Add the vegan yogurt and process well to combine. Taste and add additional salt, hot sauce, or lime juice, to taste. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, cover, and chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Serve as an appetizer with raw vegetables, bread slices, crackers, or chips, or use as a condiment on sandwiches, cooked vegetables, or grains.
Yield: 2 Cups
2. Recipe for a Beverage – Iced Lemon Mint Green Tea
5 cups water, divided 4 green tea bags or other tea of choice 1 cup lemon juice 1/3 cup brown rice syrup 1/4 cup freshly chopped mint
Garnishes: ice cubes, lemon slices, and sprigs of mint
In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups water and tea bags to a boil, remove the saucepan from the heat, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the tea to steep. Remove the tea bags and discard them, and allow the tea to cool completely.
In a pitcher, combine the brewed tea and the remaining 2 cups water, along with the remaining ingredients, except for the garnishes, and stir well to combine. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and allow the mixture to chill for 30 minutes or more to allow the flavors to blend.
Serve in ice-filled glasses and garnish each with a lemon slice and sprig of mint.
Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts
3. Recipe for Sandwiches – Rad Ray’s Veggie Sub Sandwiches
6 Italian rolls or other rolls of choice 6 romaine lettuce leaves (or other lettuce of choice), washed, and patted dry 1 1/2 cups red onion, sliced 2 cups green pepper, julienned 2 cups cucumber, peeled, and sliced olive oil, to taste red wine vinegar, to taste dried oregano, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste 6 slices vegan mozzarella cheese, or other vegan cheese of choice
Begin by assembling all of the ingredients. Split the Italian rolls or buns in half, open them up, and place them on a large cutting board. Dividing the vegetables evenly among the rolls, place them in the order listed, on the bottom half of the rolls.
To taste, drizzle a little olive oil and red wine vinegar over the vegetables, and then season them generously with the oregano and pepper. Place a slice of vegan cheese on top of each and replace the top half of the roll or bun. Slice each sub sandwich in half and serve.
*Variation: add additional vegetables and seasonings, as desired to suit personal tastes. Also good with a little mustard and crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy twist.
Yield: 6 sandwiches
Now, since I’m no expert in being a true-blue chef and definitely not in the vegan domain, I’ve borrowed these easy-to-make vegan recipes from a website known as The Vegan Chef, which belongs to Beverly Lynn Bennett, a celebrated chef and writer. And it is fair to cite my source so as to avoid plagiarism and more importantly, show our appreciation for someone’s hard work in their area of expertise.
Do we have any vegans in the audience — what are some of your favorite vegan recipes?