Category Archives: Vegetarian/Vegan

Kel’s Basic Black Bean Salad

Kels' basic black bean salad

I love black beans, especially in salads. I’ve been making this particular black bean salad for years and it’s one of my go-to dishes to take to pot luck lunches or dinners. It goes great with Mexican dishes, as a side to chicken and fish, or as a stand-alone salad. Not only is this black bean salad fast and easy to make, it is good for you and, as an added bonus, vegan. The red bell peppers and corn give it a slight bit of sweetness and a lot of crunch, and the jalapeño hot sauce and lime juice make the perfect marinade for it. It is one of my most requested recipes!

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Jerry’s Most Delicious Marinated Yellow Squash

Pour the marinade over the squash

My friend and fellow foodie, Jerry Jackson, sent me this recipe for marinated yellow squash the other day. Jerry is (among other roles) senior editor and publisher of FMI Quarterly, the journal I edit, and he loves to go to all of the new restaurants in the area and then let me know which ones are worth visiting. We meet several times a year to discuss Quarterly production, etc., usually at an area restaurant, which is much better than getting together in the office.

After reading his recipe, I knew I would have to try it since I love yellow squash. Two added bonuses are (1) it is vegan, and (2), it does not require any cooking. The marinade is excellent, with two types of vinegar and just the right amount of sugar. The sweet onion, green pepper and celery add extra crunch to the dish. Perfect for the summer – light, yet tangy and refreshing. A perfect blend of flavors that is good for you! Continue reading

Kel’s Pineapple Tomato Salsa with Avocado

Kel's pineapple tomato salsa with avocado

Fresh pineapples and avocados were on sale in several different grocery stores the other day – I think they were marking down these items after Cinco de Mayo. Whatever the reason, I was thrilled and decided to make a new salsa with said pineapple, avocado and tomatoes as the base. This stuff rocks – what a great and refreshing salsa that goes great with pork (and I imagine salmon or other fish), or by itself as a delicious and refreshing dip with tortilla chips.

I knew I had a hit on my hands the first time I made this salsa and left it on a counter at work — once my coworkers discovered it they told others they had to try it! I made it a week later when we were at the beach with a bunch of friends, again to many positive reviews. Don’t hesitate to take this to a pool party or picnic this summer — it won’t last long!

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Kel’s Terrific Tomatoes Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese

fill tomatoes with spinach and cheese mistureTomato season will be upon us soon and I can’t wait — a freshly picked homegrown tomato is one of my top-five favorite foods, and maybe in my top three. I still like tomatoes when I can’t get them straight out of the garden, but am more likely to cook them since the quality isn’t quite the same.

The other day I found some decent-looking tomatoes on sale and decided to stuff them with cheese and breadcrumbs. Spinach also was on sale, so I figured I would add that to the mix as well as Parmesan/Reggiano cheese and some Gruyere that I already had at home. My last decision was between Italian breadcrumbs or panko. Time to experiment!

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Product Review: Nasoya® Vegan Nayonaise and NayoWhipped Sandwich Spreads

Nasoya Products

I recently was asked to review Nasoya’s® Vegan Nayonaise and NayoWhipped products and was more than happy to do so since I spend several weeks (or more) on a vegan diet in the summer. (Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Nasoya® company in any way.) Nasoya®, which is known for its tofu products, recently reformulated its line of vegan sandwich spreads and dressings to make them “smoother, creamier and more delicious than ever before.”

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Tip of the Month, April 2013: Salad in a Jar

These look great!

Several weeks ago, I opened the refrigerator at work and this cute little Mason jar filled with a salad. Curious, I asked around and found out it belonged to my friend and coworker Denise. She had seen this on Pinterest and was giving it a try. I did some research to find out what this Salad in Jar stuff was all about and learned that it’s a great way to keep salad fresh for several days, since the lettuce doesn’t get soggy. But the big thing for me is that by making several salads at once, you save lots of time. One of the reasons I haven’t (until now) taken salads to work very often is because I found it too time consuming to make them, especially when trying to get the kids ready for school, etc. So I was happy to give this a try to see if the salads would stay as fresh as people were claiming.

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Kel’s Easy Black Bean and Garbanzo Salad (Vegan)

Kel's Cafe Black Bean and Garbanzo salad

With warm weather finally on the horizon, I made this easy black bean and garbanzo (chickpea) salad. It takes about five minutes to assemble and once it has been refrigerated for 30 minutes or so it is ready to be enjoyed! Not only is this hearty salad full of fiber and good for you, it tastes fantastic.

This is a great dish to make for a pot-luck get-together – the guests will eat it up!

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Kel’s Red and Green Cabbage Sautéed With Garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kel's Red and Green Cabbage

I’ve been making this simple and delicious sautéed cabbage for years, long before I met Brad. Brad hates cooked cabbage, but I bet he would change his mind if he would just give this a try. It has some crunch to it, plus the garlic and olive oil give it a wonderful flavor. If you have any cabbage left over from your St. Patrick’s Day feast, instead of steaming or boiling it, try it this way — you’ll be glad you did!

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Black Bean and Corn Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Sweet!

Looking inside

Tired of making baked sweet potatoes with the usual brown sugar and cinnamon? Try these hearty and festive stuffed sweet potatoes with seasoned black beans, fresh sweet corn, robust red peppers and sharp cheddar cheese. Perfect for a meatless Monday meal – just add a salad and you’re ready to go. Or make it vegan by eliminating the cheese. Whichever way you choose, you will never miss the meat!

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Kel’s Reduced-Fat, Spicy Jalapeño Pimento Cheese

Spread Kel's pimento cheese on bread

If you are from the South, chances are that pimento cheese has been a staple in your diet since you were old enough to eat it. You probably have a family recipe, handed down from your mom or grandmother, that is oh, so good and easy to make. It’s great to see that a number of area restaurants are including pimento cheese on their menus, either as a dip, sandwich filling or burger topping. All I have to say to Triangle chefs is “Yaaaay” for including a little bit of heaven to some of your dishes, like this grilled fried green tomato and pimento cheese sandwich from Relish Cafe and Bar in Raleigh!

Relish pimento cheese2

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