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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

After a trip to the farmers' market, I came home with several bags of gorgeous, plump veggies and wanted to enjoy them at their peak of freshness. We Los Angelenos are so fortunate to have farmers willing to travel up to four hours from Central California to sell produce they picked just the day before. Taking full advantage of my green spring treasures, I decided to transform an ordinary salad into an alluring main dish. Inspired by the Indonesian salad Gado Gado topped with peanut sauce, I took some grand liberties to create a unique version that includes more green vegetables than the original. The result was a stunning presentation and a very enjoyable meal.

Gado Gado


    1 medium broccoli crown, cut into florets
    5 to 6 Brussels sprouts, halved
    3 large carrots, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) julienne
    1/4 lb. (115 g) green beans, ends trimmed

    4 C. (1 liter) water
    1/2 t. salt
    1/2 lb. (225 g) frozen edamame (fresh soybeans)

    1 bunch spinach
    3 C. (720 ml) shredded green cabbage
    1 small cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced

    Garnish 6 to 8 cherry or grape tomatoes

  1. Combine broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, and carrots in a large saucepan or saucepan with a steamer insert. Add a small amount of water, about 1-inch (2.5 cm), and cover the pan. Bring it to a boil over high heat, turn heat down and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Combine water and salt in a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan and bring to a boil. Add edamame and boil gently for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Wash spinach thoroughly, removing stems, and spin-dry in a salad spinner. Break or cut large leaves and arrange the spinach on a large round or oval platter.
  4. Layer shredded cabbage and cucumbers over the spinach. Then arrange steamed vegetables attractively on top. Decorate with cherry tomatoes, and serve with Peanut Sauce. Serves 4 or 5 as a salad course or 2 to 3 as a hearty main dish salad.

Peanut Peanut Sauce

    1/2 C. (120 ml) chunky peanut butter
    2 T. + 1 t. evaporated cane juice
    1/2 t. salt
    1/4 C. (60 ml) lemon or lime juice
    1/2 C. (120 ml) coconut milk
    2 T. apple cider vinegar
    1 large clove garlic, crushed
    Cayenne pepper or hot sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir with a whisk to blend flavors. Transfer to an attractive serving bowl and serve with a ladle to spoon over the salad. Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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