Cucumber, Corn and Tomato Salsa

My co-worker gave me some cucumbers she and her husband had grown in their garden. I wanted to use them right away as they were so fresh. This is a variation on a classic cucumber and tomato salad. I added charred corn for sweetness and smokiness. I also added poblano and jalapeno for spice. 

2 small or 1 medium cucumber, diced
2 ears corn
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
2 tsps dry dill
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsps salt

I wasn't about to turn on the broiler to cook the corn. It's been in the 90's here. Instead, I used the same technique often used to char bell pepper. Put the shucked ears directly over a gas flame on the stovetop. If you don't have a gas stovetop you can broil them or use an outdoor grill. 

The corn will pop and make a bit of a mess on your cooktop, but it's worth it. 

Char the corn evenly all around. Allow to cool and them cut the kernels off the cob. 

Stir together all i…

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

When I googgled macaroni and cheese vegan style I was overwhelmed. All the recipes were so complicated. They had thousands of ingredients and about a million steps to complete. C'mon people... it's mac and cheese. It's supposed to be simple and easy and quick and just plain tasty. Stop over-complicating everything. Delicious vegan mac and cheese does exists and it tastes great.

1/2 box of pasta cooked
1/4 cup almond milk or other dairy free milk
2 tbls vegan buttery spread
5 tbls nutritional yeast
1 tsp spicy mustard
2-5 tbls white vinegar
some reserved pasta cooking water
garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper

Cook pasta. Small pasta shapes with hole or indents work better, but any kind can be used. Drain pasta and reserve the cooking liquid. Add drained pasta back to hot pot on hot, but turned down to very low burner.

In a mixing bowl whisk together softened buttery spread, almond milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, 1 tbls of hot pasta water and spices. You can add vinegar and additional pasta water in small doses until you are satisfied with the taste and texture. Use pasta water as a thinning agent. Use vinegar to add tang, depth and to thin the sauce. To thicken a sauce you've thinned to much add a corn starch slurry or additional buttery spread.

Pour nutritional yeast cheesy sauce over pasta and warm everything through over very low heat stirring vigorously to coat the pasta.

Sprinkle individual servings with raw panko and/or soy based bacon bits.

Add green peas or other legumes for even more protein. Add broccoli, cauliflower or greens for fiber, crunch and vitamins c and a.

This yeast based sauce is tasty, easy and versatile. Enjoy its cheesy, tangy, sweet taste over pasta, rice, and vegetable. Try it on everything. You won't be disappointed.