Mexindian Summer Salad

While I love to cook, the summer heat causes me to avoid using the the stove and oven as much as possible. Instead, I opt for fresh produce that I can chop and mix without applying heat. This isn't too difficult when you cook with mostly beans and vegetables.

This one has a really nice sauce that has two of my favorite spices: paprika and turmeric. I love this combination. It's a really accessible way to quickly introduce heaps of flavor and depth. Especially if you're not that comfortable with combining a lot of spices. This simplifies it, but still keeps it interesting. 

It's easy to put together too. Just combine all ingredients and let rest in the fridge overnight. This allows time for the tomatoes to release their juices, the acid to wake up the spices and the starches from the beans to thicken the sauce. 

Vegan cooking is a unique situation. Traditional techniques don't necessarily work. We have to approach the ingredients from a different perspective in order …

Vegan Sausage Shepherd's Pie

That tube of vegan sausage I was talking about in other posts really lasted quite a while. I always thought when standing in the supermarket that lightlife's 'ground beef' and 'sausage' were high priced. But I guess it's a lot more servings than it looks like sitting there on the store shelf. It was kind of a struggle to finish the package. There's just a lot more in there than it seems like.

So with all this vegan sausage to eat I had to get creative with how to use it. I'd previously stirred it into couscous. I had some it just plain. I even had some on a roll as a sandwich. Still there was more. It was like the never ending tube of meatless sausage.

My last application for it is what I would call a vegetarian shepherd's pie. I'm not exactly certain on what shepherd's pie is. Just that it contains meat and potatoes.

So using an Idahoan garlic potato pouch, mustard greens, garlic and the sausage I put together a really quick and very tasty meal for myself.

Bring to a boil the greens and the amount of water specified on the potato pouch.

Meanwhile in a non-stick frying pan cook 1/4 of the lightlife vegan sausage tube. As it cooks and crisp you'll be able to break it up more with your spoon or spatula. Let it brown pretty well. Stirring often to get it brown on all sides and to break it up into bite size pieces. When it's nearly done add some fresh clove of garlic.

Slice the cloves into a few pieces each. No need to dice or mince. You just want the inner parts exposed. This will release the flavor.

When your water/green mixture has come to a boil turn off heat and add potato flake pouch. Gently stir until it's combined and you have fluffy mashed potatoes full of deep colored mustard greens.

To serve add potato mix to bowl or plate. Add about 1/3 of sausage garlic mix on top.

You can easily make this vegan using plain potato flakes and soy milk. Add some garlic powder, fresh parsley and black pepper to your potatoes to fill in the seasoning gaps.

The big chunks of garlic are mellow and delicious. The potatoes and faux sausage really play nicely off one another. Of all the ways I managed to use that big tube of vegan sausage I think this one was my favorite. So simple, yet an amazing depth of flavors.

That's what always astonishes me about cooking. How such simple ingredients can be brought together to create intricate labyrinths of taste sensations.