Monday, November 27, 2006

Petite Pasta Salad

A fun and easy way to show off those adorable teeny-tiny pasta shapes like stars or alphabets that you usually see in soup. Adjust the vegetables according to your taste.

serves 4 to 6

One 7 oz. package tiny pasta stars or alphabet shapes
1 cup frozen corn
8 oz. sugar snap or snow peas, cut into bite-size pieces
One cucumber, peeled or not as desire, cut into bite-size pieces
One tomato, seeded and diced
½ a red or orange bell pepper, diced
One 2.25 oz. can sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, to taste (the smaller amount of vinegar may appeal more to children with sensitive palates)
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
Salt and white pepper, to taste

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just barely tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. During the last minute, add the frozen corn and chopped sugar snap or snow peas.

Drain the pasta, corn, and peas and rinse well with cold running water. Drain.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the pasta, corn, and peas with the rest of the vegetables and fresh herbs.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegars, salt, and white pepper. Pour over the pasta salad and toss together until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to taste.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Vegan Glorified Rice

I grew up eating sweet, fluffy Glorified Rice at Grandma's house every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Grandma and Betty Crocker taught me to mix rice with crushed pineapple, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries. But now that so many people in our family are vegan (yay!), I wanted to come up with a non-dairy, sans technicolored cherries version. I did it! The flavor is so spot-on, even Grandma would approve.

serves 6 to 8

1 cup dry short grain white rice
One 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained
½ cup + 4 tablespoons sugar
One 12.3 oz. pkg. firm silken tofu
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced

Cook the white rice according to package directions. While the rice is still hot, place the rice in a large mixing bowl and stir in the crushed pineapple and ½ cup sugar. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for one hour to cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Place the silken tofu, 4 tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice in a Vita-Mix or other blender. Blend until completely smooth. Fold the blended tofu into the rice mixture, breaking apart any clumps of rice with a wooden spoon.

Top with fresh sliced strawberries and serve.