Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lunch for Chumps.

Curried Tempeh-Mango Salad Sammiches with Fresh Mango Slices
     Let's face it lunch is one of the worst meals of the day. Generally, I'm away from my kitchen which means that I have limited options. You can only eat some many Tofurky and PB&Js  sandwiches before you go crazy. So I turned to the trusty Vegan with a Vengeance. The recipe came together really easy. The dressing part is made with Vegannaise so I knew it would be good. I also choose to marinate the tempeh overnight, which helped to infuse the flavors. The first time I had it, I wasn't impressed. The flavors seemed subdued out of the fridge. So the second time, I decided to heat it up. Now that's the result I was looking for. The flavors seemed to really pop. Oh, and as the picture reveals, I used the sprouted barley whole wheat bread from Alvarado Street Bakery. The recipe calls for pitas, which I would follow next time since stuff was falling out of the sides. Not sure this satisfied my disaffection with lunch since I need to heat it up. Regardless, it's still another alternative to the standard sandwich.
Garden Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing and Homemade Basil Garlic Polenta Croutons
     I've already professed my love for Veggie Works. Not only was the entree (as long as I didn't deviate from the famed Singing Cowboy) always great. The restaurant also had an unlimited salad bar. Without fail, we would always clean out the vegan ranch dressing. I'm sure they had other dressings, I just never noticed. Anyways, thanks to a friend I have the Veggie Works Vegan Cookbook. I've been making the dressing ever since. So when I saw another ranch dressing recipe in The 30-Minute Vegan, I had to see how it would hold up. Well, the base is vegannaise. That should tell you how great the dressing is. It's amazing and might cause some dust to gather on Veggie Works cookbook, at least the ranch section. It also reminds me of the ranch from Vertical Diner. The recipe even gives suggestions if you want to make this more as a dip than a dressing. Something that would work perfect with breaded and fried vegan chicken tenders ala Vertical Diner's Tender Tigers.
Garlic Basil Polenta Croutons

     I've been eating a lot of salads lately, but it's been missing something. Croutons! I'm pretty addicted to the Whole Foods Seasoned Croutons. If you catch me at the right moment, you would see me snacking on them. I guess they're too good. So I decided to fix what wasn't broken. I've always wanted to make croutons but never got around to it. This recipe is from Dreeana Burton's Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. To be honest, I've never even eaten polenta, but the results were disappointing. The croutons were soft and squishy, not exactly what I was looking for. To be fair, she suggests a pizza stone and mentions that larger squares require longer cooking so maybe I muffed up. I also ignored her advice to peel the polenta. I'm not a fan of waste. Oh and I also used a flavored polenta instead of plain hoping to match up to the other croutons. Just make sure to use an organic variety to avoid genetically modified corn.

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