Tuesday, 8 September 2009

AusNZVeganMoFo: It's getting hot in here...

... so take off all your clothes? How about we just cool down with some salad instead. One beautiful last autumn day towards the end of August I had planned to make some pierogies. However, the great weather gods looked down and decreed that in fact I should not be attempting to make dough on this day, and they made it a 35 degree Celcius day. And it was hot, and it was good. So then there was salad!

Yes, Brisbane had a taste of summer at the end of autumn, and it was glorious. I do love the heat. And even going into the evening, it was still hot. So instead of cooking anything, dinner plans were changed to a salad buffet. Here's what we had:

This is Creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing from Veganomicon. Asian pears, as I discovered in a previous post, are actually Nashi fruit (which I love to munch on). This salad is fabulous. So creamy and the nashi and peas just add the right amount of something to it. But this salad is now famous because my brother ate it and did not make the 'Eww! I hate tempeh!' face of doom. He liked the tempeh in this! Probably because of all the other flavours around it. Isa suggests serving with rice crackers or cakes. I served with some rice crackers and it is delicious both on its own or piled on top of a cracker.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mangoes from Veganomicon is one of my favourite salads ever. It is just a perfect summery dish to my mind, and I knew I just had to make it again. Sadly, while the day was summery the season was not so I had to make do with some tinned mangoes (don't judge me!) but it was still so wonderful. If you have not made this before, all I can say is DO IT! I also use 1 cup of chopped mint instead of the cilantro. The first time I made it was back when I hated cilantro. Now I enjoy it, but to me the mint flavour just goes so much better with this and is so refreshing. Try it both ways.

I also made Indonesia-Style Vegetable Salad from Vegan Planet. This was very exciting, as it was my first time ever using jicama, sold over here in Asian grocery stores as yam bean. I was a bit worried at first that I might have got the wrong thing, until I ate a bit and it was exactly as described! Kind of potato-apple thing. Delicious! Here it is shredded along with cabbage and carrots. The sauce is a cooked peanut sauce, which was nice but I would add more peanut butter next time because I love my peanut sauce to be super peanutty. It saus to use 1 cup of coconut milk or as needed, enough to make sauce of the right consistency. I didn't use the whole cup but it may depend on how saucy you like it! I also tossed through 200g of dried rice noodles that I had cooked and cooled. Combined with bean sprouts, raisins and peanuts it was lovely.

This is a salad my mother made. Cucumber, tomato, butter beans, lots of fresh parsley and a balsamic dressing. Yum!

And, of course, a big bowl of greens. You can never have too many greens. Ever.

We ate out on the deck, in the balmy evening air, with a big line of salads down the table for us to pick at. Nom.

And here is my plate, with a bit of everything piled on. It was a great dinner, exactly what was needed for such a night. The weather has cooled down a bit now, but summer is still on its way, so no doubt lots more salads to come! Yum!

You will notice that I have joined in AusNZVeganMoFo, a group of Australian and NZ bloggers trying to post as often as they can for the month of September. I am very excited to be taking part, if a few days late to the party. It is inspiring me to get back into regular blogging, so watch this space!

Other blogs taking part include:

Cupcake Kitteh
Iron Chef Vegan
The Tropical Vegan
For Esme
Twilight and Shadow
Ink and Venom
Vegan, Sixteen

So go and visit them as well!

Cute Cat Photo of the Post:

Today's cutie is Pascall. Pascall was my fourth cat. We got her from the RSPCA at the end of 1993 and she was a gorgeous silver tabby with a delightful nature. Sadly, when she was under a year old Pascall was diagnosed with Feline Leukaemia Virus and a tumour (lymphosarcoma) on her kidney. She was put to sleep on the first day of spring in 1994, less than a year old. I will always remember how she used to sleep in bed with me with her head on the pillow and body under the blankets, just like me. She was a beautiful cat.


  1. I lol'd at the first line of your post, great intro!

    I like the look of the quinoa salad and I am totally not judging the use of tinned mango as I wanted to make the VWAV Mango Rolls but couldn't find tinned mango, boo.

    And we can get jicama here!? That is really exciting, lots of raw recipes use it and I thought it was not avail. here but now I must make that awesome-looking peanutty salad, STAT!

    And Pascall was gorgeous, I love grey tabbies <3

  2. Welcome to mofo! Thanks for the tip on the alternative name for jicama, I've often wondered why I've never seen it around.

    Gorgeous puss, too!

  3. Ooo that quinoa salad looks amazing! Actually all the food looks great but seriously, that salad is making my mouth water!

  4. Pretty kitty! I miss my cats. Lot's of yummy food too, Im looking forward to seeing more!

  5. Yay kitties!!!

    And I LOVE interesting salads! They all look wonderful!

    I'm super excited to think we can get jicama here! I can't wait to get to the Asian grocery store and see if I can find it!

  6. Oh man, I was so loving the heat at the end of August :) then it went cold again. Wtf Brisbane weather? Ah well, it's nice and sunny these days so I'm happy.

    All those salads look amazing! I'm getting V-con delivered late next month & can't waitttt to try some of those recipes. And I agree with you about the greens - no such thing as too many of 'em :)

    Btw, I've heard similar things about The Forest from a friend of mine (she said it's not as good as it used to be too). Wish I'd eaten there BEFORE it changed owners! Ah well.

    - Liz (VS)