What’s Cookin?

Nothing!  It’s summer and too hot to cook.  Here are 2 dinners i’ve made recently, 1 is totally raw and both are vegan and gluten free.  Yumtastic!

Ange came over a few weeks ago with this recipe she found in Alive magazine:

Zucchini Pasta with Marinated Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto

4 cups cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped (i haaaaaate chopping herbs.  So worth it though)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice (tip: use a reamer and a very fine strainer…i use the same one for lemon squeezing as i do for quinoa)
½ Celtic sea salt (or other good salt, just don’t use the bad salt)
½ cup sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced

3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (i always use Braggs, it’s good for you)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2X 6 inch zucchini’s

Marinate first 6 ingredients in a glass jar, turn it over a few times. You can do this the night before. It’s fine to leave the jar on the counter.
Marinate sweet onion and mushrooms with soy sauce and oil for 10 minutes to take the raw taste off the onions and to soften and colour mushrooms.

Slice zucchinis lengthwise with a mandolin or potato peeler. <– nope, use a spiral veggie slicer!!!  Woo Hoo! Include the skin only when organic produce is purchased.
Place zucchini in casserole dish. Top with marinated tomatoes and mushroom/onion mixture. Discard marinade from onions. Serve with pesto (below) and garnish with pine nuts (if you are rich, damn pine nuts are expensive!).
Serves 4.

Pesto with a Difference

1 bunch fresh spinach
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh basil
1 avocado, cut into pieces
Juice of ½ lemon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Sea salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Pulse and chop with S-blade of food processor, blend until smooth. Add water if needed.
Freeze pesto in zip-lock bags flattened to ¼ in thickness. Break off needed amounts at short notice and add them to warm pasta and tomato soup, or use pesto instead of butter in vine ripened sweet tomato sandwiches.


Dinner # 2 is so quick and easy to make it’s almost silly.  SUMMER (AKA Salad) ROLLS! Thanks lots to The Life of a Vegan for inspiration and a great how to.  This was my first time making them and it came off without a hitch thanks to Jamie’s detailed instructions!

In my summer rolls i used:

vermicelli noodles
snap peas
extra firm tofu

and then created a peanut sauce using the recipe i found on Veg News.  It was an OK peanut sauce but i am still looking for an AMAZING peanut sauce…anyone have one to share?

Well there you have it, a hot red head making some hot weather food.  You’re welcome.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ange
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 05:30:56

    Oh snap – there I am and clearly very excited to be using your spiral veggie slicer! It was delicious. Next time I make that recipe I will split the skin of the cherry tomatoes so they can suck up more of the yummy garlic basil olive oil.
    You should try chopping fresh herbs with a big ass knife like mine – it’s all about the dual hands rocking the knife back and forth action. Just say no to little knives with serrated edges for herbs! Plus you can use the big knife to scrape the chopped herbs off your cutting board and into the dish without getting little bits all over the place. I love me some good kitchen tools.
    I am also looking for the best peanut sauce recipe! I’ve tried many and they’re always just ok.
    Great post!


  2. Melanie
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 18:06:13

    2 questions … what is ‘nutritional yeast’ and why do I need it? And Why Celtic Sea Salt? Is it from Celtland?
    Oops that’s more than 2 ..

    also I think your model is hot. Can I get her number? ;o)


    • vanchick
      Jul 27, 2010 @ 06:21:05

      1. it’s a yeast that’s nutritious….and delicious! NY has many great health benefits but mainly it’s just plain rad as a seasoning…kind of has a cheesy flavor going on.
      2. Doesn’t have to be Celtic, just not yicky regular table salt. Mine’s Himalayan and pink.
      3. You ran out of questions but i’ll answer anyway….Celtic salt is made from the sweat and tears of the Boston Celtics basketball team.. That’s why it’s so expensive.
      4. Yes, you can have her #…i have magically programmed it into your phone for you 🙂


  3. Melissa
    Jul 29, 2010 @ 10:31:09

    I love chopping herbs!!! Such a lovely frangrance and relatively easy to cut in the grand scheme of things.


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