Category Archives: pepper

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cauliflower/Celery Root Mash is Like Mashed Potatoes, Only Better

Winter is a wonderful time for this nourishing dish. It’s creamy and filling, like mashed potatoes, but much yummier and more nutritious! Brewer’s yeast, cauliflower, and celery root are packed with vitamins, and the flavor is slightly sweet, with a bit of a tang.

You’ll be scooping this mash out of your blender or food processor for little tastes before you can even pour it into a bowl. And it’s so simple and inexpensive to make, with only seven ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
1 celery root (celeriac) (about 1 pound), cut into one-inch chunks
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons nutritional (brewer’s) yeast

OPTIONAL GARNISHES

Drizzle of olive oi
chopped thyme

DIRECTIONS

Peel the celery root and either compost the skin or save it for stock. Chop into one-inch chunks and set aside. Mince 2-4 cloves of garlic, and chop the cauliflower head into bite-sized florets. Place these ingredients into a large frying pan with two tablespoons of olive oil. Fry on medium heat setting for approximately ten minutes.

Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water and turn down the heat. Cover the pan and simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes until the celery root and cauliflower are tender. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid. Add more if necessary. Remove pan from stovetop and allow its contents to cool for a few minutes.

Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste, nutritional yeast, and a tiny bit more vegetable broth or water. Blend until nice and creamy.

Transfer the contents into a large bowl. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and stir. Garnish with bits of chopped thyme. Eat this concoction warm, and you’ll be in heaven. You can add a bit more olive oil or Earth Balance to the top for additional richness. This mash is also great as a cold dip with gluten-free bread, crackers, carrot sticks, avocado slices, etc. It’s so versatile! Feel free to experiment.

Serves four people. Everyone will rave about this yummy side dish. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and tastes just as great reheated as it did on the first day. You’ll never go back to plain mashed potatoes or look at cauliflower in the same way again. Or celery root, for that matter. We just love this dish, and feel confident that you will, as well.

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Delectable Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos With Vegan Cream Cheese/Jalapeno/Avocado Topping

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to cook butternut squash. Sure, you can bake it, but what else can a person do? We recently discovered a butternut squash-based taco recipe that is so delicious we’re still salivating over our meal, hours later. The addition of whipped vegan cream cheese with avocado and fresh jalapeno makes this dish a total winner. And it’s so easy to make! The hardest part is cutting the skins off the squash. But persevere with the task, because the end result will be worth it.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized butternut squash, de-skinned and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
8 ounces vegan cream cheese (we’re wild about Kite Hill, due to its smooth, creamy texture. But you can use any kind).
1 small avocado, chopped into small chunks
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, chopped into bits
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
soft, gluten-free corn tortillas (check package to make sure there’s no wheat)
1 can or 2 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed
sliced scallions
chopped lettuce or arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

Chop the butternut squash into small chunks and cut off the skins. Place the chunks into a medium-sized-bowl with the spices and avocado oil, and toss until all pieces are completely coated with the mixture. Spread the chunks on a cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes. The pieces should be soft, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, prepare your topping. Pour the vegan cream cheese, lime juice, jalapeno bits, and avocado into a blender or food processor and combine until your mixture achieves a frothy, whipped texture. Add a little extra lime juice if it’s too stiff.

Heat your tortillas in the oven and your beans on the stovetop. When both are warm, pile the tortillas on plates. Ladle on the beans first, and then follow with the spicy butternut squash chunks, the cream cheese/jalapeno/avocado mixture, and finally the chopped scallions and lettuce bits. Have a seat at the table and dig in!

This incredible meal serves about four people. If you use a larger squash, maybe 6. But be careful — no one will be able to stop eating these tacos! They pair well with gluten-free beer or wine, or any other beverage of your choice. Leftovers keep in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. We’re already fantasizing about the lunch we’re going to have tomorrow. You’ll never look at butternut squash in the same way again.

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Warm Your Insides With Vegan, Gluten-Free Cream of Potato and Broccoli Soup

We don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it’s cold and gloomy here. The skies are pitch-black by 5:00 PM, and we do whatever we can to stay warm. Nothing soothes you more on a cold December evening than a bowl of creamy potato/broccoli soup.

The texture is like manna for the throat, and the robust, yet delicate flavor comforts as it fills you up. Invite some friends over for a soup party! Everyone will rave about this delicious meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 russet potatoes, chopped (You can leave skins on or take them off. Personally, we like to leave them on).
4 cups vegetable broth (check labels for gluten)
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
Sea salt to taste

OPTIONAL TOPPING INGREDIENTS

chopped scallions
chopped chives
fresh ground pepper
sriracha sauce
broccoli croutons

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pan and pour in the celery, garlic, onion, and broccoli pieces. Fry at medium heat setting until the ingredients are just beginning to turn brown. Add the chopped potatoes, sea salt, and vegetable broth. Stir, and then cover the pan. Simmer the mixture for approximately half an hour until all the vegetables are soft. You should be able to stick a fork in the potato slices with no problem, but don’t overcook them.

[INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS: Saute the celery, garlic, onion, and broccoli pieces in your Instant Pot until they start to brown, add potatoes, salt and vegetable broth, and cook manual, high pressure, 5 minutes. Let natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then quick release.]

Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You will have a large amount of soup, so you’ll need to do 2-3 separate batches. When you’re done with one batch, pour it into a large bowl and start another. The soup’s texture should be thick and creamy.

But wait, you’re not done! Here comes the best part: pour a cup of full-fat coconut milk into the bowl with the soup and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the soup into separate bowls and garnish with sriracha, chopped chives, chopped scallions, and/or fresh black pepper. If you’d like to make broccoli croutons, just fry a few chopped broccoli florets in olive oil and sea salt until they’re nice and crispy. Remove florets from the pan, let them drain and cool, and toss them on top of your soup!

Serves 4-6 delighted guests. This soup can be served on its own, or with a side salad and/or a loaf of gluten-free bread. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and tastes even better reheated. Yum! Now you’re ready to bundle up and face the cold winds.

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Our Vegan, Gluten-Free Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie is a Winter Feast

Brrrrrr! It’s getting cold outside, and we’re craving comfort food! Shepherd’s Pie is an excellent meal for these chilly nights. It’s packed full of lentils and potatoes, combined with mushrooms and spinach, and served on top of gluten-free breadcrumbs. We made this hearty offering as a main dish for our recent Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s also perfect for the December holidays. You’ll feel pleasantly full in no time, ready to brave the cold winds.

INGREDIENTS

8 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine, such as Earth Balance
1/2 cup rice milk
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
3 1/2 cups cooked lentils with a bit of leftover liquid
2 tablespoons dry red wine (optional)
1-2 tablespoons tamari (Don’t use soy sauce, as it contains wheat)
2 tablespoons seasoning blend (We used Bragg, with great results)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup spinach or arugula leaves
1 cup fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs
Dried oregano for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil the potatoes until soft and remove the skins. Mash the potatoes in a large bowl with the rice milk and vegan butter or margarine. Cover your mixture and set aside.

Sauté the onions in olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Cast iron is best. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic and mushrooms and continue sautéing until they are golden and the mushrooms are cooked through, but not mushy.

Add the lentils and their liquid and simmer. Stir in the optional wine, tamari, seasoning blend, thyme, and pepper. Cook for about five minutes on medium heat, then add cornstarch. Toss in spinach and cook until the leaves are just beginning to wilt. Continue stirring until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Scatter the breadcrumbs across the bottom of a two-quart baking dish. Ladle the lentil mixture inside, smoothing it to make sure the surface is even and free from lumps. Spread the potato mixture across the top and sprinkle with a bit of additional thyme and/or oregano.

Bake in a pre-heated, 400-degree oven for 30-35 minutes. The edges of the potato mixture should be browned and slightly crispy. Cut into wedges and serve! This dish is great with a salad or a variety of other holiday or non-holiday sides. Serves about 8 hungry guests. You can refrigerate any leftovers in a secure container for up to three days. Happy winter, and be sure to stay warm out there!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cranberries and Hazelnuts For Your Holiday Feast

Many of us have unpleasant childhood memories of being forced to eat Brussels sprouts. Such a mindset is unfortunate because, cooked properly, this cruciferous vegetable is both tasty and nutritious. Many chefs are beginning to appreciate the flavor of the oft-maligned Brussels sprout, so the tide is slowly turning in its favor. Our delicious vegan, gluten-free recipe utilizes dried cranberries, orange zest and toasted hazelnuts to create a taste sensation. You’ll be proud to showcase this offering on your Thanksgiving table. It’s crunchy yet tender, with a hint of sweetness, and packed full of vitamins. The hazelnuts add a bit of protein to our elegant side dish. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, with excess peels and stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted, chopped hazelnuts
zest of one orange

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly, then cut them in half and chop off the stems. Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a cookie sheet or large rectangular pan and toss them with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Place the cookie sheet or pan in oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Flip the Brussels sprouts periodically with a spatula, then return the pan to the oven. They should achieve a lovely brown color.

Meanwhile, either roast the hazelnuts in your oven in a separate pan, or fry them on your stovetop in a small amount of olive oil. Do not burn them! Remove the hazelnuts from pan and crush them into coarse chunks. Grate the skin of one orange into a bowl to make zest. Toss the hazelnuts, orange zest, and dried cranberries in with the Brussels sprouts and combine everything thoroughly.

Return the pan to your oven and roast for another 5-10 minutes. The Brussels sprouts will achieve a dark brown hue and be slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Remove your concoction from the oven and place the contents into a festive bowl. Give them another toss or two and serve!

This dish pairs well with just about anything you’d like to serve for a holiday meal — squash, pumpkin pie, lentil loaf, sweet potatoes, etc. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. It serves 4-6 guests, depending on everyone’s hunger level, and keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days. Happy feasting, and enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate.

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Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi: A Simple But Elegant Meal With an Indian Flair

You’re faced with a dilemma: you want to eat an elegant international meal, but you don’t have much time and/or cash on hand. What’s a hungry gourmet to do? The answer is simple — whip up a platter of our vegan, gluten-free Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi! Though it looks deceptively like a simple, stir-fried dish of potatoes and peppers, once you experienced your first bite, you’ll know there is something special going on. The exotic flavor comes from the addition of cumin and fennel seeds, spices that are popular staples in Indian cuisine. The peanuts add protein, and the potatoes are hearty and filling. Just perfect for these chilly autumn nights!

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large russet potato, chopped
2 medium-sized bell peppers, chopped (red is best, but you can also use yellow, orange, or a combination)
1 teaspoon sea salt (NOT iodized!)
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about half a lime)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

chopped cilantro
hot sauce
extra lime juice
tortillas
cooked basmati rice

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat setting (cast iron is best). Add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute or so until they start to turn brown. Stir in the fennel seeds and onion and continue cooking for about 4-6 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently!

Stir in potato and distribute evenly across the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften. It’s okay if they’re a bit browned in spots. Stir in the sea salt and bell pepper. Cover the pot again and cook until peppers are cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). Ideally, the peppers should be lightly charred on the bottom, but not burned. You can peek occasionally to make sure.

Stir in the peanuts and lime juice and cook, uncovered, for another couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the burner, and ladle the contents onto several plates. That’s all there is to it! You can garnish with hot sauce, cilantro, extra lime juice, or whatever your heart desires. Also, this mixture can be served over basmati rice or corn tortillas if you want to get really fancy. But it’s perfect all on its own!

Serves 3-4 guests. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and taste great reheated. We guarantee that you’ll love this inexpensive but exotic and delicious meal.

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Herb Tofu Scallion Spread is Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Delicious on Crackers or Bread

You’ve undoubtedly had the disheartening experience of going to a potluck and encountering a slew of dairy-based dips and spreads. This can be frustrating if you’re doing your best to follow a vegan, gluten-free diet. Don’t despair! Here is a delicious, creamy spread you can make from tofu that tastes just as good as the dairy-based variety! Even your non-vegan friends will love it. They may even beg you for the recipe. The spread is healthy, since it utilizes basil and Italian parsley, herbs that are rich in vitamin C. The tofu adds protein and calcium. Much healthier than your average spread, and so easy to make!

INGREDIENTS

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce package of firm tofu, drained
2 teaspoons white miso (make sure it doesn’t have soy sauce, which contains wheat)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

black olives
capers
sliced zucchini
salad mix
carrot sticks
gluten-free crackers or bread

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan on medium setting. When oil is hot, add chopped garlic and fry for about one minute. Pour in scallions and red pepper and continue frying for about 2-3 more minutes, until the scallions are bright green. Remove from the burner and set aside.

Crumble tofu into a blender or food processor. Add the basil, parsley, sea salt, lemon juice, miso, and water (try less than 1/4 cup of water at first, then add more if mixture is too thick). Pour in the scallion/red pepper/garlic mixture and continue blending until your mixture is creamy and frothy. Scoop mixture out of the blender or food processor and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

Serve with crackers, wedges of gluten-free bread, and condiments like black olives, capers, salad mix, carrot sticks, zucchini slices, etc. Really, the possibilities are endless. You can make an entire meal out of this tofu spread if you so desire. It’s much heartier than you might imagine.

Serves about 4 people, depending upon whether you transform this spread into a main dish or serve it as an appetizer. You can cover leftovers and store them in your refrigerator for up to three days. You don’t need to tell anyone that it’s made from tofu — unless you feel like it, of course. Your friends will be astonished! You’ll want to make this simple but elegant spread again and again.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Sweet Potatoes With Avocado/Pea Puree and Spiced Chickpeas is an Amazing, Filling Meal

No vegetable is more synonymous with autumn than the sweet potato. We love these hardy, delicious vegetables with vegan butter and a bit of pepper, but they are so much more versatile than you might think. Our recipe looks and tastes exotic, but it’s incredibly easy to prepare. This dish is packed with protein and vitamins, and the ingredients are inexpensive. The combination of avocado, peas, chickpeas, and tahini creates a flavor explosion that will linger in your mouth after you’re done eating your meal. You just have to try our recipe, and you’ll know exactly what we mean.

BASE INGREDIENT

4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, baked until soft or steamed on a rack in the Instant Pot at high pressure, manual for 15 minutes.

AVOCADO/PEA PUREE INGREDIENTS

1 cup green peas (either fresh or frozen will do, but thaw frozen peas to room temperature first)
1 large avocado
1-2 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Dash of sea salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper
Water for consistency

SPICED CHICKPEA INGREDIENTS

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
Pinch of chili flakes
Dash of sea salt

MAPLE TAHINI DRESSING INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup (not pancake syrup!)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 minced clove garlic
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
Dash of sea salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare spiced chickpeas by placing them in a saucepan with onions and spices. Saute on medium heat until chickpeas are thoroughly cooked (but not burned) and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside. Place pea and avocado puree ingredients in blender or food processor and combine thoroughly, adding water for consistency if necessary. Finally, prepare your maple tahini dressing by combining all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until the mixture is creamy.

Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and layer with avocado/pea puree. Ladle a generous helping of spiced chickpeas on top. Garnish with a liberal dollop of maple tahini dressing. Place your creation on a large plate and dig in. You won’t believe how good this meal tastes, with its amazing mélange of flavors!

This hearty dish serves 4 hungry people. It’s great all by itself, or with a side salad and/or a loaf of gluten-free bread. You are extremely unlikely to have leftovers, but if you do, place them in a secure container and refrigerate. You can reheat your meal tomorrow for a quick and satisfying lunch! Enjoy.

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Eat Hearty With Our Vegan, Gluten-Free German Potato Salad (Stovetop and Instant Pot Recipe Included!)

Fall is coming on strong! We don’t know about you, but we’re craving some carbs! It’s best to stick to the healthy kind, like organic potatoes. Recently, we found ourselves with a small sack of red potatoes — don’t ask how THAT happened — and wanted to do something fancier than just boiling them and slathering some Earth Balance over the top. So we modified a German potato salad recipe, substituting tempeh bacon for the animal variety, and were wowed by the results! We purchased smoky bacon tempeh from the supermarket, and discovered that it imparted the delicious flavor that is so essential to German potato salad. Try this dish, we think you’ll be impressed by its authenticity.

INGREDIENTS

6 cups sliced red potatoes (you can use small white ones, as well, or a mixture)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 cup stock water (from boiling potatoes)
1 package tempeh bacon strips

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice potatoes into 1/2 inch disks, cover with water, and boil on stovetop, or place in steamer basket over water in Instant Pot and cook on manual for 3 minutes and natural pressure release. The potatoes should be tender, but not too soft. Meanwhile, fry the tempeh strips in a bit of olive oil until they are crispy but not burned. Remove from pan and set on a paper (or cloth) towel to drain off excess oil. Combine vinegar, mustard, onion, liquid smoke, and black pepper in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Crumble in bits of tempeh bacon. Scoop 1/4 cup of water from the top of the boiling potato pan, or take 1/4 cup water out of the bottom of the Instant Pot once potatoes are cooked, and add to mixture. Stir some more until everything comes together.

Remove potatoes from stovetop or Instant Pot and drain excess water by placing them into a colander. Shake off any remaining water and pour the potatoes into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir with a large spoon. The mixture will smell divine! You’ll be able to tell when it’s done, because it’ll look delicious and you’ll want to dig right in.

German potato salad is best enjoyed hot! You can serve it all by itself, or with a side of gluten-free bread. It’s a great addition to potlucks! This dish is super-hearty, due to the winning combination of potatoes and protein-rich tempeh. Serves 4-5 hungry people. It keeps well in the refrigerator, securely covered, for 2-3 days. Warning — you may find yourself sneaking into the kitchen for late-night snacks! We feel confident that you’ll enjoy this autumnal favorite as much as we do.

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Dijon-Marinated Wax Bean and Cucumber Salad is a Summer Winner!

What happened? It’s already the end of the summer — the time when we often have a lot of vegetables left over from our numerous trips to farmer’s markets, co-ops, and supermarkets. Two vegetables that seem ubiquitous are cucumbers and wax beans. Recently, we faced a conundrum — our refrigerator’s crisper was filled to overflowing with cukes and beans. We’d rather perish than waste food, especially fresh veggies! Fortunately, with very little fuss, we were able to whip up this yummy salad. It requires few ingredients, and is cheap and easy to make. On those muggy summer nights when hot food is unappealing, this dish is a winner.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cups wax (also known as yellow) beans
1 cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2-3 chopped scallions
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (get the kind with the “Mother”)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the marinade by combining mustard, turbinado sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir vigorously and set aside. Meanwhile, slice the wax beans sideways along the seam, then chop into 3-4 shorter pieces. Lightly steam the beans for 2-3 minutes until they are al dente, but not hard or mushy.

Place the beans into a large bowl. Peel the cucumbers and slice into rounds. Be sure to compost or eat the skin! Chop each round into 3-4 smaller pieces and add to bowl with beans. Toss in the chopped onion, chopped scallions, and marinade. Stir all of the ingredients together and allow them to marinate for 1-2 hours. You can either marinate them on your counter or in the refrigerator, depending upon your preference.

Drain any excess fluid from the salad by placing it into a colander inside your sink. Toss the salad and transfer to a smaller bowl. You can add an endless variety of garnishes for a festive touch –cracked pepper is good, or mint sprigs, diced sage leaves, or fresh, chopped basil, or anything that appeals to you and your guests. Get creative!

This deceptively simple but delicious salad is great as a side dish with a protein-packed, vegan main such as fried tempeh. It’s also delicious with other, more robust sides like gluten-free bread, brown rice, or quinoa. Serves 2-3 people, but feel free to increase the size of the recipe if you have more guests. Gotta use up those beans and cucumbers! You’d better enjoy the waning days of summer, because autumn is just around the corner.

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