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Salads and Dressings

So about the same time I discovered Miyoko Schinner and her vegan buffalo mozzarella recipeWhole Foods had a sale on heirloom tomatoes… and you just can’t ignore a coincidence like that.

This mozzarella was simpler to make than I expected, and very delicious.  For me, It turned out a little softer than the dairy version, but my testers and I didn’t really care because it made for a perfect caprese salad either way.

Oh and Miyoko is coming out with a book called Artisan Vegan Cheese available for pre-order on amazon today, and it will be released on August 8th!  The recipes are rumored to take cultured vegan cheeses to the next level, and according to her blog, a majority of the recipes are made without oil!

Vegan Caprese Salad

Tomatoes: Buy heirloom tomatoes if you can!  As you can see in the pictures, they have a lot more meat to them and don’t fall apart when you slice them.

Balsamic Reduction: Buy some cheap balsamic vinegar, and pour a third to half the bottle in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat then simmer over medium-low heat till the vinegar is reduced by half and has a light syrupy consistency.  Let it sit in the fridge for 10-20 minutes and it will thicken up to a maple syrup consistency.

Basil: You can serve fresh basil leaves as shown above or do a chiffonade (click here for a step-by-step tutorial) and sprinkle on top.

Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella: Use this recipe from Miyoko Schinner.  You can also watch her demo it here.  Do not use the oil, and you might want to consider using some more agar flakes because my mozzarella could have been just a bit firmer.

I noticed that the closer you hold your ice cream scoop to the water, the more round the mozzarella balls turn out.

I’m not someone who has cravings for potato salad… but this recipe looked interesting enough for me to try, and it is delicious!  Click here for the recipe from Cathy at StraightUpFood.com

I only used half the lemon juice, and that was plenty for me.  I also only needed the 1/2 cup soy milk, and my avocado wasn’t ripe, so I left it out.

Sprouts sells this soy milk that only has two ingredients: water and soy beans…. which I love b/c it takes away the argument behind the latest “got milk” campaign.  🙂

I had a lot of extra blackberries leftover from the PPK facebook challenge, and I haven’t been eating enough salad this week… so here’s my answer to both of those!

Blackberry Walnut Dressing

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (you could probably use apple slices too since this will be going through a sieve)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon (more if you want a more acidic dressing, I also suggest adding a vinegar if you want this to be more of a vinaigrette)
  • 1 Tbsp packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

First, blend together blackberries, apple juice, lemon juice, and enough water to almost cover blackberries (leave about and inch or two of blackberries above the water).

Now pour the blended mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Whisk/quickly scrape the bottom of the sieve with a spoon until most of the liquid is in the bowl and you are left with only thick pulp and seeds in the sieve.

Return mixture to blender and add mint and walnuts. Blend till smooth. At this point you can add more lemon or vinegar for more acidity, more apple juice for more sweetness, or more walnuts for a creamier dressing.

Now pour into a storage container of some kind. I really like these little dressing bottles from Fry’s grocery store.

I served on a bed of romaine, spinach, mixed baby greens, and moringa leaves (sometimes the farmer’s market has the randomest stuff!) and topped with dressing and cranberries.