Tag Archives: sea salt

Phoenix Inspired Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad (Vegetarian)

DSC_0341

I went to Arizona during the holidays and my-oh-my was it an adventure.  We hiked the Grand Canyon, climbed a few red rocks, and played golf till sunset.  It was absolutely beautiful in the desert.  It was surreal.  Here’s a glimpse of the Canyons:

11566680644_c704cf6b8c_o

After an intense hike at Camelback Mountain, we came across this little pizzeria restaurant in Phoenix.  I had their farmer’s market salad and just had to make it.  It was so fresh and hardy.  Who knew that Arizona had such fresh produce?  Seriously that’s all I ate there – fresh salads and fruits.  This salad had salami, but I wanted to make it vegetarian. We need that punch of saltiness that the salami gave to the salad, so I took unsalted chickpeas and added black truffle salt.  Bam!  Let me tell you that the vegetarian version is even better.  My husband had his salad with salami but he preferred the vegetarian version.

Ingredients

  • 1 stock of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tbsp of quality olive oil
  • ½ cup of Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 can of no salt added chickpeas
  • ½ shredded red onion
  • Pepper
  • Black truffle salt or Sea salt

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 5 tbsp of honey
  • 4 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ squeezed lemon

Instructions:

1.  Cut Brussels sprouts in fine slices or use a mandolin shredder.  If you use a knife, cut the stem, then in half, and cut the Brussels sprouts in thin slices.

brussels

2.  Cut your red onion in very thin slices.  I actually used a spiral shredder on 1 whole red onion and placed it in a separate container.

DSC_0325
3  Take a handful of red onion from your container and add to the Brussels sprouts.  Then add olive oil, pepper, and a pinch of salt.  Massage your salad and set aside.

4.  Rinse your chickpeas with water.  Allow it to dry.  Then add about 3 pinches of black truffle salt or sea salt.  My sister got me black truffle salt from NYC and it’s simply divine for the chickpeas.  You can also get this at Williams Sonoma or a local gourmet shop.  Sea salt works fine too.

DSC_0326

5.  Make your dressing in a separate bowl.  Mix honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and lemon.  I placed my dressing in a mason jar.

6.  Now add chickpeas and Gorgonzola cheese in your salad and mix.

7.  Don’t mix dressing in the salad bowl.  Allow your guests to add their dressing to their heart’s content. I did not add a lot of dressing to my salad, maybe one spoonful.

*Make it vegan: Omit cheese and use agave instead of honey.  I tried it and it’s just as good.*

DSC_0335

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

Oh Thanksgiving – a day for family, football, and lots of feasting.  I attended typical Thanksgiving dinners with turkey, stuffing, and gravy.  What on earth did I eat then?  Rule #1 if you’re a vegetarian or vegan attending a party – eat before you go or bring a vegetarian dish.  Trust me – people will appreciate a healthy dish in the mix.

The first Thanksgiving meal was at Richmond VA.  I made a pumpkin cheesecake that happens to be dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.  Tastes like the real deal.  This was so easy to make.  I got the recipe from this video.  Give it a try!  You’ll be impressed.  My family absolutely loved it.  They didn’t believe it was a cheesecake without cheese.

pumpkin

I brought over eggplants I had in the fridge.  Forgot to take a photo, but I basically placed them in the oven for about 20 minutes and had it with sauce.  My mother-in-law then turned it into a sweet and sour eggplant salad for me. It was delish!

The next day I had my second Thanksgiving meal at my Uncle Mark’s lovely home.  They had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and all of the above except for a vegetable dish.  I had a feeling about this, so I brought over a big dish of roasted vegetables with  beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic, and white potatoes.  It’s seasoned with fresh thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sea salt, olive oil, and pepper.  They were soft in the inside but crispy on the outside.  Let’s just say there was nothing left at the end of the night.

veg

I was going to make a lentil loaf with cranberry sauce as another vegan dish, but there was so much food.  I’ll table that for another blog post, maybe for Christmas.

And then there are Chinese dishes.  One of Mama Chiang’s famous appetizers is her pork stuffed vegetables with oyster sauce.  Of course she wouldn’t leave out her plant-eating daughter, so she made me a special dish.  Instead of meat, she stuffed the vegetables with a secret tofu mix.  It’s better than the meat version.  It’s like a light hors d’oeuvre.  The slightly sweet topping was a perfect combo with peppers, tofu, eggplant, and even bitter melon.  I don’t like bitter melon, so my mom didn’t want to torture me.  She also made me yummy green beans, so I didn’t feel left out from the fam digging into the green bean casserole.  Mama Chiang is always so thoughtful.

stuffedtofu

Being aware of what I eat this year made me appreciate the time with my family.  When I was a kid and up until now, my uncle always made an American Thanksgiving dinner.  I always looked forward to it because I pretty much ate Chinese food every day.  I realized it’s more than the American meal.  It’s an American tradition where I can really catch up with my family and be thankful.