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 …

Apple Cake with Marsala Plum Sauce

When it comes to desserts I'm all about apples. They are my favorite dessert fruit. Apple pie. Apple cobbler. Apple streudel. Apple muffins. Apple loaf. You put apple in it and some sugar and I'm sold.

This is my take on apple muffins. I designed them to be a little less sweet, but added a sauce as an accompaniment.

Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
2 packets maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal
or 1/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps salt
1 tsp nutmeg if you have it

1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk
1/3 cup melted vegetable shortening or regular vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tbl real maple syrup
1 tbl vanilla extract

1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch chunks
zest and juice from half a lime


Preheat oven to 400 F

As you peel and cut the apple place it into a bowl filled with water and the lime juice.

Sift together dry ingredients. Whisk together wet. Add wet to dry and gently combine. Do not stir too much.

Fold in apples and lime zest.

Grease and lightly flour 4-6 large muffin cups or four 8 ounce ramekins. Fill to the top with the batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until batter is set at the center of the cakes. .

I haven't tested it yet, but 1/2 a mashed banana plus 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce should be able to replace the egg for a vegan version.

***

Plum Sauce
2 black plums, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2/3 cups water
1/4 cup marsala wine
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp pink himalayan salt or sea salt
1 tbl sugar
zest and juice from the other half of the lime

As you peel and cut the plums add them to a bowl filled with water and the lime juice.

Add all remaining ingredient to a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half. Use an immersion blender or pitcher blender to puree the sauce until smooth. Let cool to thicken.