Sushi

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The first time I made sushi was in about 2004 at my friend Danny’s apartment. To be honest, I am not sure that I had ever eaten before, or certainly not often. But that was a special time in my life when I was more adventurous than usual, so I decided to give it a …

40 spices hummus

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I’ve been making hummus off an on since 1998, with many techniques and recipes. For awhile I got lazy and started buying store bought – I became particularly fond of 40 spice hummus by Tribe, and then they stopped carrying it, which prompted me to start making my own again, and to try to replicate the recipe. I used to use canned chickpeas, but have decided that starting with dried chickpeas is worth the effort to produce really smooth hummus. Another trick is to add a little baking soda while cooking the chickpeas – that seems to make them break down and end up really smooth. This recipe only has about 25 spices if you count the individual spices in the garam masala, but it’s close enough in my book.

Spinach Artichoke Dip (semi-healthy)

Enjoying spinach artichoke dip with a tortilla chip

Spinach artichoke dip is very tasty, but not that healthy, with lots of sour cream and mayonnaise. This recipe is a healthier version. I originally based it off this recipe from the yummy life. I like it with even more spinach and artichokes than they use, but I add a bit of mayonnaise, to make it slightly creamier. This recipe makes a big batch, great for a party. I also recommend trying to find a large container of artichoke hearts. I can get a 4 lb. container at my local store for about $15.

Ratatouille

ratatouille

Ratatouille is a traditional French dish, and comes in many different variations. From my perspective, two ingredients are absolutely critical — eggplant and tomatoes. The dish pictured here is fairly traditional.

German Potato Salad

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When many Americans (especially Midwesterners) hear “German Potato Salad”, they frequently think of a warm, vinegary potato salad, sometimes including bacon. In fact, this sort of potato salad can even be found in cans in the supermarket. In my numerous trips to Germany, I can’t recall ever eating potato salad of this sort. Most of the potato salad I ate there was more similar to American potato salad, containing mayonnaise, and sometimes boiled eggs. I definitely had quite a few other variants though, and my favorite one was from my friend, Markus Hofbauer. This one is a bit more similar to the Midwestern vision of potato salad, as it contains vinegar, but is usually served cold or at room temperature. I don’t think that Markus put any dill in his version, but I think it makes a nice addition. And, because it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting food poisoning from eating your potato salad that has been sitting out during a hot summer picnic.

Tomato basil salad

tomato basil salad

There’s only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and home grown tomatoes. Don’t even bother making this salad with store bought tomatoes. They have to be home grown or from the farmer’s market. Also make sure that your basil is fresh, not dried. Dried basil is almost flavorless.

Szechuan eggplant and bok choy lo mein

Szechuan eggplant and bok choy lo mein

This is a spicy dish with some of my favorite vegetable – bok choy and eggplant. They taste great together, especially with a spicy black bean sauce. It might seem like a lot of bok choy, but it cooks down quite a bit.

Taco Salad

Mache taco salad

You can use any sort of lettuce you want, but I think that this recipe turned out very well with mache. It has a very nutty flavor to it, and is much more nutritious than the iceberg lettuce used in most taco salads. If you can’t find mache, try a red leaf lettuce, or perhaps even a spring mix.

Seitan Fajitas

Seitan fajitas

This is a quick, cheap, tasty, and healthy meal featuring ingredients I usually have on hand. You can use fresh seitan if you want, but the canned seitan is much cheaper. You can find it in many Asian groceries.