It’s Monday. Womp, woooooomp. But, hey, Terry Hope Romero is doing an Authors Worth Celebrating dinner at Mohawk Bend tonight, and I’m going! Not only will there be awesome food from her book Salad Samurai but there will also be great company and I’m really looking forward to going.
Even though chances are you’re not going to that dinner, I have something else to brighten up your Monday, this incredible Baked Mediterranean Mac and Cheese! Here we have red onions, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and arugula; basically making this thing delicious by default.
But then, you have a simple, homemade cheese sauce that makes it even better! Not to mention the panko crumb topping, baked to a golden crisp. Mmm… Yes, please! I had my parents try this for dinner one night and despite my mom’s distaste for olives (WHAT?) both very much enjoyed it!
I may have spoiled what one of the upcoming #Returnofthemacmofo recipes are over on the Vegan Yack Attack Facebook, so take a peak and get excited. So many mac ideas flowing this month!
Remember that time that I totally disappeared during the first week of Vegan MoFo? Geez, man! Although, I’m pretty sure that many of you would agree that a trip to PDX is a pretty good reason for absence.
Not to mention, I was photographing the wonderful Kristina’s (of Spabettie) wedding! My only regret of the trip is that Corey and I didn’t make it over to White Owl Social Club so that I could eat that incredible mac and cheese burger. I did, however, have the Chili Mac Attack from Homegrown Smoker. Mmm..
A quick note about the wedding: when was the last time you went to one where the ceremony was filled to the brim with game show references, the couple was extra awesome, and the late-night snacks provided included Voodoo Donuts? Never before? Yeah, it was that amazing.
Back to the mac! This was my second time experimenting with avocado cheese sauce, and it was delightful. My one tip is to find a really ripe, buttery avocado for this sauce, or else it will end up sweeter than is optimum and you’ll have to add extra salt to balance it out. Otherwise, this is a great nut-free cheese sauce that pairs amazingly with the pepita bacon. That is, if the pepitas survive the trip from the oven to your bowl without getting eaten up!
We are in the hottest month of Summer and here it has been humid as hell. The other day it was raining and I felt like I was back in Michigan, when my family would travel out there each August. I would stand outside during the thunderstorms, under the pouring rain, and it would still be almost 90F outside. With such greenery out there, it was a lot more enjoyable, where as here it’s just a light rain and tons of concrete.
Luckily the moisture has taken a break and today we had some nice breezes with the heat, so it wasn’t like walking into a sauna every time you went outside. This is the time of year when eating anything warm just sounds terrible – aside from grilled goodies, of course. Because of this, I have a nice, chilled salad recipe for you today! It’s perfect served as a side, maybe along with that Herbed Tofu Tomato Salad recipe from last week? Which, by the way, was a total hit! I’ve had at least five or six people make it and be very pleased with the outcome.
Anyway, this salad is made with sweet yellow and white corn, mostly for a little extra color, a creamy basil pesto aioli, fresh spinach and some red onion. Super easy to put together and is PACKED with flavor, especially after you chill the dish before serving it. If you want to make it a little healthier, add more spinach to the end product and omit some of the vegan mayo from the aioli, replacing it with plain yogurt.
Oh! I almost forgot, I have some incredibly exciting news! I’ll be a speaker at Vida Vegan Con 2015 in Austin! Eep! I’m super excited and feel very lucky to have been chosen out of the many people who applied to speak, and can’t wait until they announce the rest of the speakers closer to the end of the month. Who all is planning on going? If you’re on the fence, let me say that it was an awesome experience and you should take a look at my 1, 2, 3 part review of the 2013 conference.
After cooking non-stop for that last photography project, I have to say that my enthusiasm for making food hasn’t been the same. As far as fun recipe ideas go, my brain has been exploding with them. But, when it comes to putting some actual food in my fridge, I have been less than successful at it. Luckily, the tomato plants in my backyard have been poppin’ off and gave me a great head-start on this dish.
I was partly inspired by a plate that I had at Mohawk Bend’s Authors Worth Celebrating dinner, starring Randy Clemens. There was a spiced Caprese salad where the Mozz was actually tofu marinated in a salty brine. It tasted great, so I thought that I’d give it a go at home and see what I could come up with. Secondary inspiration came from some herbed feta cheese that I used to eat in my pre-vegan days. While the texture is a bit different, I feel like this is a good sub and my mom (who really likes cheese) even liked it!
Pair the salty, herbed tofu-cheese with ripe tomatoes, peppery baby arugula and a squeeze of fresh lemon together and you have yourself a simple, seasonal salad that makes a great side dish. Am I saying that you shouldn’t try to eat this in one sitting? Absolutely not! Go for the gold! And don’t forget to let me know how you felt about it.
Before I give you the recipe, I’d like to know how everyone’s doing! How’s your Summer, thus far? Have you done anything exciting, or are you eating anything drool-worthy? Let’s hear it!
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like me to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!