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 …

Onion Skin Broth

I watch the show chopped a lot. More than any individual probably should. They once had an episode where all the baskets required the chefs to use ingredients that most of us would otherwise discard. One of those ingredients was onion skins.

Even since then I've been using my onion skins to make broth. It makes a really flavorful one.

I use it to cook lentils,barely, rice, etc. As a non-meat eater I can use all the flavor I can get. It's not that easy making really tasty dishes without the aid of dead things.

To be a vegetarian or vegan cook is quite a challange. Animal flesh offers a lot of depth of flavor that is hard to repoduce with plant life. That's not to say it can't be done or even improved upon. It just takes some finesse.

Onion broth is my personal secret flavor weapon. If oyu cook your lentils in water that's what they're going to taste like. And water isn't very tasty/ But if you cook your lentils in onion broth it's a whole new ballgame. You have this rich base upon which you can layer your other flavors.

Onion broth is very easy to make.

Save your onion skins. That's the first step.

Add then to a large pot. A few cloves of garlic. A tablespoon of butter. Salt and pepper. Some white wine. Or red if you're using red onion skins. Simmer for at least 15 minutes. Longer if you can. The longer it simmers, the more flavor is extracted.

When it's done, remove the skins and add your barley, lentils or beans. Cook as you normally would. Add more water as needed.

Flavor comes from unexpected sources.

Onion skins are not garbage. They are a powerhouse of both flavor and nutrition.