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 Cilantro Aioli

Continuing on my path of discovering just how versatile and tasty tofu can be, I've come up with this cilantro flavored aioli.

It doesn't use store made vegan mayo, but it does feel and taste like mayo.

I've been slathering it all over rolls and bread. I've been dipping carrots and potatoes into it. If you're one of those people who love cilantro, you'll love this. If you're one of those people who hate cilantro, substitute parsley or dill. It'll be just as good.

6 ounces (half a package) silken firm tofu
2 tbls vegetable shortening
1 bunch fresh cilantro, including the thinner stems
1 lime, zest and juice
10-12 slices jalapeno/serrano
3 cloves garlic
2 tsps olive oil
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsps black pepper
1 tsp dry parsley

In a medium sized sauce pan heat the cilantro and garlic on medium heat. Use a metal or heat safe spoon to scoop out the shortening and leave the spoon with the shortening on it in the pan with the cilantro and garlic to soften it up. As the shortening begins to soften stir the cilantro and garlic to lightly coat it in some of the fat. Do this for a few minutes until the cilantro is glistening with a thin layer of fat and has wilted just a little bit.

Add the cilantro, garlic and the rest of the shortening from the spoon to the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.

Chill at least a few hours in the fridge to allow the tofu and the shortening to firm up to the right texture.