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 …

Creamy Tofu Pesto

Since I was totally in love with the cilantro aioli that I had made previously, I decided to try a tofu pesto.

Instead of nuts I went with a toasted whole wheat bread for the nutty aspect and used a little nooch for a bit of cheesy essence.

It turned out with a creamy texture and a very clean flavor. With just a handful of ingredients, each one was really able to shine. The tofu simply provided that creamy mouth feel and filling protein. It's totally vegan.

Ingredients
6 ounces silken firm tofu
2 bunches fresh basil, leaves only
1/4 cup white wine
3 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
1 small piece whole wheat toast
2 tsps nutritional yeast
2 tbls vegetable shortening
1 tbl olive oil
2 tsps each, salt and pepper

I cooked half the basil and all the garlic and wine in a small pot with the shortening still on a metal spoon. After a few minutes, as the pot heated and the shortening softened I stirred the basil and garlic to coat it in the fat. Just barely wilting the basil. The other bunch of basil I used raw.

It's important to toast the wheat bread to bring out that nutty quality.

Add all ingredients to food processor and puree until smooth.

Mix into warm linguine.