Skip to main content

Summer Lunch Menu

Menu


  • Roasted tomato and pepper gazpacho
  • Kale salad with chickpeas and spicy tempeh
  • Broiled figs with cashew cream


We had a friend over for lunch last Sunday and I thought it would be a great idea to record here what I served. Often my only recollection of what I prepared for someone is that it was easy or too hard, a flop or a success, but I can't recall what was actually on the menu. So in the interests of being able to go back and dig up old menus, I thought I'd try and make a practice of recording them here for your benefit and mine when trying to put a menu together for lunch.

None of our friends are vegans. The closest we get are a couple who eat dairy and fish but no meat. Would that be a lacto-pescatarian, or a pesco-lactarian, or a lacto fishatarian, or... Oh, whatever!

Well it's mid-summer here and was going to be a hot day, and we almost always eat outside on the deck. So I wanted something cool and light.

What better than to start with some gazpacho. I've always loved it and can remember the excitement I felt when I first encountered it in my early 20s, which believe me, is too many moons ago to count. I have always loved both tomatoes and cucumbers, and that these two could be made into a soup just thrilled me no end.

My current favorite recipe for gazpacho uses roasted tomatoes and bell pepper to give it a nice roasty, smoky kind of base to it. It's all very easy to do, and of course I recommend you use the freshest ingredients you can. I picked up the tomatoes and cucumber that morning at the local farmers' market.

The recipe comes courtesy of Susan Voisin (The Fat Free Vegan) and can be found on this page: Gazpacho with roasted tomatoes. I added a can of these organic fire-roasted tomatoes to punch up the tomato flavor. I also offered some chopped up cilantro, parsley, and limes as condiments.

Next up was the center piece. I have been growing kale at home this year and wanted to use some of that freshly-picked from the garden. I came across this recipe for Kale Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Tempeh Bits at "May I have that recipe". I love tempeh when it's been dressed up to party with a few spices like it is in this recipe. Just bear in mind that once you blanch the kale, what seems like a lot becomes a little. You need a whole lot! The Asian-inspired dressing goes really well with this!

The desert was a very simple-to-do dish of broiled fresh figs with cashew cream from thekitchn.com. Figs are in season here in Southern California at the moment so were easy to come by. I also used some fresh apricots from the farmers market. Just watch the fruit when you are broiling it as they really do only need about 4 minutes to cook, and you don't want to burn them. The cashew cream is DELISH and will delight all your non-vegan guests. I also made a balsamic reduction which I drizzled on the fruit after it had come out of the oven.

All in all this was a pretty simple menu, absolutely tasty and nutritious. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Unfortunately  I didn't think to take any photos of the food! Next time.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Flourless Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my last post on making soy milk at home I mentioned that you are going to end up with soy bean pulp, which is known as "okara" in Japanese. It's full of soy protein and fiber as well as calcium, iron, and riboflavin, so it just seems such a waste to throw it away. Correction: it is a waste to throw it away! Huge volumes of okara are left over from the commercial production of soy milk and tofu, most of which is fed to cows and pigs because for some reason people seem to prefer to eat okara only after it's been turned into the flesh of an animal. But we are not about to feed the okara left over from our soy-milk-making efforts to the pigs when it can curl our hair. We have experimented with a few ways to use our okara - add it to oatmeal for breakfast, add it to soup, or substitute it for 1/3 of the flour in any recipe. But our favorite thing is to use it to make chocolate chip cookies. Is it any wonder when we are such chocoholics! The result is a healthy co

Cancer-Busting Anti-Oxidant DNA Repairing Smoothie Recipe

Anti-Cancer Power Lineup Photo © John Corney After watching the videos at the bottom of this post at NutritionFacts.org YouTube channel about the power of various berries and spices to boost anti-oxidant and anti-cancer action in the cells, I played around with things and came up with this smoothie recipe that includes many of the things that have been shown to reduce cancer risk and lower inflammation. The combination of ingredients sounds kind of weird, but actually it's very tasty. Although I vary the ingredients somewhat on a day-to-day basis depending on what's in the fridge, I always include the following ingredients: leafy greens banana bell pepper celery ground flax seeds turmeric pumpkin seeds sunflower seeds carrots berries So here's my recipe that I'm sure you will find is a delicious and healthy way to start your day. Consider my recipe as a starting point that you for your own smoothies. By the way, green + red = brown, so don'

How to Cook Plant-Based Diet

One of the hardest things when moving from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet is actually how to get started with it. When I did it myself 7 years ago, I realized it's essentially a matter of educating yourself. Most of us grow up in families and cultures where animal protein is at the center of our plates. When we first learn to cook we are essentially taught to decide on what animal protein we'll put at the center of the plate and then decide what to surround it with. It's a great relearning to make a transition from that. Below is a link to a guide from the masters of the whole-food plant-based universe, the good people at Forks Over Knives. I hope it helps you to get started. Beginner's Guide to a Plant-Based Diet