“Could you be vegan?” I asked my friend. She said “I think it would be hard to give up so much.” Unless a dish is labeled vegan, you may not even think about how your dish fits into a dietary category. Instead, you’ll dive into the flavors and ingredients and appreciate the food for what it is instead of what it’s missing.
“I think there’s a whole stigma associate with vegan food,” I said. There are so many delicious dishes out there that are vegan, but you may be unaware you’re eating plant-based. I said this as we were having macro bowls at one of my favorite spots – Life Alive in Cambridge’s adorable Central Square. We had mixed green salads topped with fresh vegetables, raw cashews, sliced avocado, and a creamy garlicky ginger sauce.
“I feel like I’m indulging even though this is so healthy,” she said. There it is! Unless I told her it was vegan, she didn’t even think about it! Instead, she focused on the taste and texture and even thought the salad was decadent!
And here were are with Terry Hope Romero (The Vegan Latina) and her latest cookbook Salad Samurai by Da Capo Press/Lifelong Books! You can also check out her new website: http://veganlatina.com
The recipes in her cookbook are exactly what we’re talking about — they feel decadent, but without the guilt! I’m not advocating a vegan lifestyle, but I am advocating how delicious some plant-based meals can be!
You have to check out this recipe as long as you’re into spice! You may even find yourself incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet!
2 pounds Russet potatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup cooked chickpeas (half of a 14 ounce can)
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 ½ cups lightly packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
½ cup lightly packed mint, roughly chopped
⅔ cup roasted, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil such as grapeseed
6 curry leaves, roughly chopped (leave out if you can’t find them)
4 teaspoons mild or hot curry powder
⅓ cup lime juice
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups gently crushed toasted papadam chips
½ cup toasted, unsweetened coconut shreds
1 tablespoon garam masala
Either thoroughly scrub potatoes to remove any exterior dirt and carve out the eyes, or completely peel the potatoes. Dice into 1-inch cubes, transfer to a large pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Over high heat bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork. About 2 minutes just before the potatoes seem done, stir in the peas and cook until bright green but firm. Drain and set aside the potatoes and peas to cool.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry leaves and fry for about 1 minute until crisp and turn off the heat. Stir in the curry powder to gently cook the spices in the oil and set aside to cool for 1 minute. Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients.
Transfer potatoes and peas to a large serving bowl and add the chickpeas, onion, cilantro, mint, and cashews. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Heap on the crushed papadum and coconut, and dust the top of the salad with garam masala. Serve away!