Vegan Recipes

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Cold Rice Salad with Papaya Recipe

Cold Rice Salad with Papaya

06.13.11 by Jackie

We finally have beautiful sunshine in the Bay Area. We've been waiting for the sun for so long that today, in honor of our quite overdue patron of summer, I prepared a dish that is refreshing, healthy and flavorful.

Specifically, I made a cold rice and papaya salad. I boiled brown rice, and mixed in vegetables, steamed lentils, lime juice, ginger and fresh papaya. The key to good rice salad is to have a homogeneous mixture. All the ingredients should be cut the same size. The other factor for a good salad in general is a flavorful dressing. I met that requirement with a sweet and spicy papaya ginger dressing.

This version is vegetarian, but you could also finish the salad with grilled jumbo shrimp in shells or grilled chicken breasts. Also, I served it in tea cups. For an original presentation, you could serve it in papaya halves. Here comes the sun!


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Indian Style Black Eyed Pea Rice (Pulao Recipe) Recipe

Feeding a vegetarian crowd isn't as difficult as it may seem. I usually pair a legume with rice, which is the perfect balance for a vegetarian diet. I've been getting fresh black-eyed peas (also known as "cow peas") at the local stand, and instead of serving them as a boring bean salad, I incorporated them in a rice dish, flavored with Indian spices. I've made this dish in the past; it's called "pulao". Our family loves the burnt rice at the bottom of the pot, called "kurchan".

First, I sautéed black-eyed peas in onions, garlic, cider vinegar and red chili powder. They're very firm, so they take slightly longer to cook then the parboiled dried variety. I let them simmer until tender, then finished cooking them with steamed basmati rice and baby spinach.


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Vietnamese Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky: Goi Du Du Kho Bo Recipe Recipe

I've posted several Vietnamese salad recipes (called gơi) but amusingly, I've never posting my favorite of all: Món gơi đu đủ thịt khô . The salad is made of shredded green papaya, daikon radish and beef jerky. I used Vietnamese-style beef jerky, which is slightly sweet and spicy. I love this type of gơi salad so much; I ended up polishing off three bowls. In the end though, I didn't feel too bad as this dish is pretty healthy. Now, if it were three plates of Vietnamese fried shrimp and sweet potatoes (called khoai lan chiên tôm)…

Note: Glossary of relevant Vietnamese cooking terms.

Bò = beef

Món = dish

Gơi = salad

Đu đủ = papaya

Khô = dried

Thịt = meat


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Vegetarian Nihari (Spicy Tofu Recipe) Recipe

One of my most favorite Indian dishes is nihari. It's a goat (or any other meat) stew dish. It's spicy, flavorful and the meat is extremely tender. I love dipping naans (flat Indian bread) in the sauce. But I always end up feeling so bad when I see my husband Lulu, who is a vegetarian, staring at me. So this time, I also made a tofu version using the same gravy sauce.

I chose medium-firm tofu and Japanese eggplants and deep-fried them. The texture is perfect once they are soaked in the spicy sauce. I also added broccoli for a balanced meal. The advantage of the veggie version is it's just as tasty, much healthier (I omitted the bhaghar, a typical final layer of red oil in a lot of Indian dishes) and it cooks a lot faster than the meat version.


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Vietnamese Green Mango Salad Recipe: Goi Xoai Recipe

Vietnamese salads are usually made with the same dressing. A blend of lime juice, garlic, sugar, red Thai chiles and fresh mint leaves bind raw vegetables into a flavorful and healthy salad course. Today, I made green mango salad, called gơi xoài xanh. I create long, thin strips of mango that I mixed with similarly sliced carrots. It makes a very tasty salad thanks to the tangy, sour and sweet flavors.

I made it vegetarian, but you could pair the raw vegetable salad with boiled, shredded chicken (gơi gà), boiled shrimp, dried shrimp (tôm khô) or fire-roasted shredded dried squid (khô mực), which is my favorite. 


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