For my book club this past weekend, I made Lemon Dill Hummus.
I used to dislike dill. Or maybe I never really ate dill except for dill pickles, which I hate, so I thought I also hated dill the herb.
Lately, it turns out I really love it. I love tzatziki (although I make mine without mint), and I love dill potato salad (hold the mayo).
Rather than look up a recipe, I mentally adapted my typical hummus recipe. It turned out pretty good, although very lemon-forward.
Lemon Dill Hummus
1 can chickpeas
1/4 c olive oil (can sub aquafaba–the liquid from the canned chickepeas–if you’d prefer no oil)
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 c fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (you can use fresh garlic, but it often overpowers the hummus)
1/2 c dill, split in half
dash of salt
Remove the stems from dill and chop 1/4 c of dill. Put aside.
Mix everything else in a high-powered blender or a food processor until smooth. I generally add the olive oil slowly so that I can get just the right consistency (by adding more or less than the amount in the recipe).
Stir in the remaining dill by hand, transfer to serving dish, and garnish with any remaining dill.
I served this hummus with plain pita chips, and garlic-parmesan pretzel crisps. It would also be good with cucumber slices or carrots.
As I mentioned, it came out very lemony. If I were making it again, I might switch it to 1/3 c each of olive oil and lemon juice, and then use olive oil or aquafaba to thin it to your desired consistency.
Originally, I had planned to also serve tzatziki dip as well. However, due to time constraints, I didn’t get to it. I will be making it later this week along with some tofu, and I’ll try to share some photos and a recipe when I do.
This “salad” is a favorite of mine from Zanotto’s. I love it because it’s a great grab and go lunch, and it’s packed with protein, and super tasty with a nice mix of spicy, sweet, and tangy.
This is my attempt to recreate it, ymmv.
extra firm or firm tofu
oil for cooking tofu (I prefer avocado oil for high heat cooking)
green onions, chopped
hot chili oil
Press your tofu!
While the tofu is pressing, chop your green onions and mince your garlic. For 8-10oz of tofu, I used 2-3 green onions and about 3 cloves of garlic.
Cut tofu into bite size pieces, I like mine small, but you can do bigger, it’s your choice.
Pan fry the tofu with a touch of oil until brown (on all sides as much as possible)
Add tofu and toppings to bowl/container. You may have noticed by now that there’s no quantities listed next to the ingredients. This is a totally customizable recipe, so I’ve left it very open. Add a few peanuts or a lot. I like peanuts, and I put about a ratio of 3:1 (tofu:peanuts).
Make the marinade. If you’re nervous, make it in a separate bowl. If you’re adventurous, put it directly in with the tofu. You’ll want enough total volume to coat with some left over.
Here are some tips on how I make the marinade. I start with the soy sauce, this is my primary ingredient. Then a splash of maple syrup for sweetness. Hot chili oil — add to your tolerance. I don’t like it to overpower the other flavors, so I used just a dash or two. For the rice vinegar, again, just a dash or two. I add very small amounts of everything and then add more to adjust the spicy, sweetness, tangy as desired.
Other tips — I completely forgot about lime juice, but usually I use lime juice and not rice vinegar. You can also add fresh diced or sliced chili peppers, like jalapeño or serrano peppers. For sweetness, if you don’t like maple syrup, you can use brown sugar or agave. I actually think brown sugar works best flavor-wise but maple syrup is easier. Other options to add would include ginger (grated) and rice noodles.
I usually eat this as-is or chilled, but you can throw it on top of rice, noodles, or on some greens to make an actual salad.
My husband and I both love pasta, but I try to not make it too often. While delicious, it’s high in carbs and always seems better with cheese. David loves a traditional marinara sauce, but I find that gets boring quickly.
Now, with this recipe, I have found that a vegan pasta dish can be just as delicious without the cheese or a thick marinara sauce. And, it’s super easy to make, and only takes about as long as the time to boil the water and cook the pasta!
asparagus, tomato and garlic pasta
Linguine or noodle of your choice, enough for 2
5-6 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
1 bunch asparagus
3-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees and set water to boil for the pasta
Trim asparagus, add to a small glass casserole dish, along with tomatoes
Toss with balsamic vinegar, sugar, and olive oil (enough to coat), place in oven
Add the garlic to the dish in the oven when the water boils (assuming 8-9 minutes to cook pasta)
When pasta is done, remove veggies from oven, add to drained pasta, toss, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast to taste.
If you like balsamic vinegar, you can probably increase the amount and/or decrease the sugar/oil. David is not a fan of vinegar, and he finds this recipe tolerable. If it were just for me, I would probably double or triple the vinegar and use little/no oil.
I found a recipe for african peanut soup by accident many years ago, and apart from the fact that it’s veggies, tomato, and peanuts, I don’t know how much of the original recipe is still here. Of course, I think it’s delicious the way I make it, but feel free to experiment.
This is one of all my all time favorite soups, and it’s extremely adaptable. My husband told me tonight that it’s almost as good as Kraft Mac ‘n cheese. That’s huge, because he loves his Kraft Dinner (which I don’t buy because I buy almost exclusively vegan).
African Peanut Soup serves 6 – 8
celery (3-4 stalks)
yellow onion (red or white will work too)
garlic (to taste, I like about 6-8 cloves)
petite diced tomatoes (28 oz can)
kale or other greens (2-3 loose cups)
peanut butter (1/2 c natural, chunky)
cayenne pepper or Parma! Chipotle (fresh minced serrano or jalapeño peppers would work too)
cilantro or parsley to garnish
Chop all the veggies and the garlic. I do a rough chop, but you can go smaller for a less chunky soup
Sauté the celery, carrots, onion, bell pepper and garlic in olive oil. Just until the onion is soft is enough, because it will all cook more as we make the soup
Add the canned tomatoes, including all the liquid
I add my salt and pepper now, and the cayenne/Parma! Roughly 1/2 tsp of salt and about 1 tsp pepper, and spice as you like
Simmer for about 5 minutes
Add peanut butter and 1-2 cups water, stir thoroughly
Cover and simmer another 5-10 minutes
Add in the kale and simmer (covered) until kale is tender, about 5 minutes (you may need to add more water here, it can get really thick if you started with 1 cup of water. You can always add more later too)
Add peanuts and add spice/salt to taste
You can use really any veggies that you like in this soup. I almost always use carrots and onions, but generally whatever I have on hand. Tonight was the first time I added leafy greens, and it really worked well. You can make less by using a smaller can of tomatoes of tomatoes and less of everything else. I don’t really measure, I just eye ball it. You want about 1:1 ratio of tomatoes to other veggies not including the leafy greens, as those will cook down dramatically.
Here’s what my cutting board looked like before I put everything in the pot (garlic not shown, sorry)! I only had one carrot, otherwise I would have used more carrot and probably less celery.
And here’s what it looks like with everything added. It looked OK in the pot, but once I served it, I realized it was too thick, and I added hot water to thin it out.
chili powder in place of cayenne
coconut milk or soy creamer in place of water
vegetable stock in place of water
potatoes, sweet potatoes
add soy sauce or tamari in place of some of the salt