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 …

Pear and Garlic Puree

When the thought first occured to me to create a puree based upon pears and garlic I wasn't really sure about it. I'd never heard of or had such a thing before. A quick google revealed it had been done many times before and reinforced my confidence in my knack for pairing flavors.

2 anjou pears, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
11 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white wine
2 tbls white vinegar
zest and juice from half a lime
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 inch grated ginger
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Peel  and core the pears and dice into 1/2 inch chunks.  Add to a medium sauce pan and coat with the vinegar. This will prevent them from turning brown.

To the same pot add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on medium low for at least ten minutes or until pears are tender.

Turn off heat. Move pot to a cool burner on the stove. Use an immersion blender to puree all the ingredients until smooth. Or you can add everything to a pitcher blender instead to puree.

Let mixture cool a bit to thicken.

Shown in the image above with my garbanzo croquesttes and soy dipping sauce. All together they create an amazing medley of sweet and spicy.