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 Chicken Barley Soup

Chicken soup is one of those foods that is just a part of the fabric of our lives. It makes us feel better when we're sick. It warms us up after a hard day out in the cold. It conjures up memories of grandma from when we were children.

There's no chicken in this. There's no faux chicken in it either. It is however, designed to recreate the soothing and satisfying tastes, textures and aromas of classic chicken soup without the chicken.

Veggies
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced white onion
1/2 cup diced poblano
1/2 a jalapeno, minced
3 cloves sliced garlic
1 cup diced green cabbage
1/2 cup diced kale

Liquids
1/2 cup white wine
3-5 cups water
2 tbls olive oil

1/2 cup dry pearl barley
2 handfuls fresh parsley

Spices
2 1/2 tsps salt
2 bay leaves
2 tps thyme
2 tsps rosemary
2 tsps basil
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsps black pepper

Combine all veggies, except cabbage and kale, liquids (3 cups water) and half of all spices in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Add barley. 1 cup more water.

Continue simmering covered until barely is tender. Adding more water as needed to keep a soup level of liquid in the pot.

When barley is just barely tender, add kale and cabbage and more water if required. Simmer 3 more minutes. Turn off heat. Keep pot on hot stove burner. Stir in remaining spices and parsley. Let sit covered 3 more minutes.