This is kind of a funny story. Last fall on a dreary, cold night I pulled out a recipe for salad dressing, made it, loved it, got the super-endorsement from Bekah, and then promptly forgot where I had found the recipe. I looked everywhere. Riffled through each and every cookbook I owned. Nowhere to be found. Every couple of months I would look again because it was driving me crazy (and because Bekah was on my case!). I finally gave up, deciding I had dreamt it. Well, finally on Sunday night I found it again in vegan yum yum. And I’m promptly posting it so that I never lose it again and so that you, too, my trusty followers, can enjoy its nuances. Great on a tender green salad with cranberries, toasted pecans, and sliced pear. But be creative. And enjoy.

This recipe doesn’t make much. I would double it and keep a jar in the fridge.

3 tbsps veganaise (or other vegan mayonnaise)

3 1/2 tsps balsamic vinegar

4 tsps toasted sesame oil

3 tsps dijon mustard

3 tbsps maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

fresh pepper to taste

8 tbsps olive oil

Mix together the mayo, vinegar, sesame oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl while whisking vigourously to emulsify. The oil should blend completely into the dressing and it should thicken nicely. Taste and adjust if necessary. Serve or refrigerate.

Nothing says “September” like corn, peaches, and tomatoes, fresh from the farmers’ market. I had an abundance of all of them so decided to make corn soup and corn salsa. Here’s the salsa recipe. Just grill up these babies, mix with a few other critical ingredients, and, presto, you’ve got a dip to accompany blue corn chips, a nice tangy sauce for BBQ veggies or chicken (for the meat eaters in the house), or a nice light lunch if thrown on top of, or beside, fresh greens.

oil for grilling

5 medium tomatoes

4 ears of corn

2 chile peppers

3 small peaches

3 tbsps olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 to 2 tsps lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Heat up the grill on medium-high. While the grill is heating, prep the vegetables. Core the tomatoes and cut a small x on the bottom. Lightly oil them and place them on the grill. Shuck the corn, lightly oil it, and place it on the grill. Place the whole chiles on the grill. Peel, halve, and pit the peaches and set aside.

Grill the vegetables for about 15 minutes, turning frequently. If you’re using an outdoor grill, mind the tomatoes. If they get too soft, they’ll melt right through the grates. Once all the vegetables have some colouring and are cooked, about 15 minutes, remove and let cool. While the vegetables are cooling, grill the peaches for about 1 minute, then turn and grill for 1 minute more. Remove and let cool.

Once cool, chop tomatoes and put into a large bowl. Remove the corn from the cob and place in the bowl with the tomatoes. De-seed the chiles, mince, and add to the bowl. Dice the peaches and add to the bowl.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Mix well, taste, and adjust seasoning. It will get spicier as it sits. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge, add fresh, chopped cilantro or parsley and enjoy!

From vegan yum yum by Lauren Ulm

apple strudel

June 4, 2010

This recipe is from Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm. It’s super easy to throw together if you use store-bought puff pastry. As they mention in their intro “Surprisingly, the most common brand of puff pastry sold at the grocery stores is actually vegan. It’s not the healthiest puff pastry in the word, but it’s definitely vegan, easy to use, and easy to find. Check the freezer section for it; it’s sold in sheets that come in a narrow, rectangular box. Keep one in your freezer and you’ll always be prepared.” I found an organic version at the local organic grocery store which is great.

1 puff pastry sheet, defrosted

3 tbsps organic cane sugar

1 1/2 tbsps all purpose flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch allspice

1 pinch sea salt

2 to 3 apples, peeled and sliced thinly

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp soy milk

sugar, for sanding

Defrost the puff pastry according to package directions (it takes about 30 -40 minutes to defrost one sheet). Preheat oven to 375. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice and then coat with the dry spice mixture. Unfold the puff pastry and roll out. Place the apples in a line down the middle. Fold the dough over and tuck in the ends. Brush the strudel with soy milk and sand generously with sugar. Using a serrated knife, make several diagonal slashes in the strudel. Bake for 35 minutes until golden and puffy. Let cook for an additional 20 – 30 minutes before slicing, then serve.

Photo credit: Vicki Vegan