We had a simple Fourth of July meal at home that exemplifies the way I like to plan my everyday meals so everyone is happy. This included an Italian green salad, Jamie Oliver inspired grilled marinated vegetables, among other things for my family. For myself, I pulled a homemade vegetable patty from our freezer. Below are the recipes for the Italian salad and the vegetable patties. The Jamie Oliver vegetables, which were a bit more fuss, will have to wait for another post.
This salad is inspired by a recipe in Natalia Rose’s first book The Raw Food Detox Diet. I have made it many different ways. I remember bringing it to a dinner party when we were living in Buenos Aires and my friends’ husbands just lingered at the dinner table picking the salad bowl clean with their fingers.
If you use pesto as a dressing, massage very little into the salad as it packs a lot of flavor and omit the extra basil listed in the recipe. If you don’t use pesto as a dressing, still limit the amount of dressing (taste it for seasoning) as I am not one to overdress a salad. (If you are beyond vinegar and oil, you know how to adapt…) Serves 2-4.
- 1/2 – 1 head romaine or red leaf lettuce (a little arugula would be good in the mix, too)
- 1/2 zucchini, coarsely grated
- 10 olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper or 1 roma tomato, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped (optional, nice for color)
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
- 10 large basil leaves, chopped (omit if use pesto as a dressing)
- freshly grated sheep milk Pecorino cheese (optional)
- dressing of your choice**
Toss vegetables and grated Pecorino with dressing. Add fresh ground pepper, if desired.
**Nut-free pesto recipe: 2 cups firmly packed basil leaves, 1/2 cup Pecorino (optional), 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 cloves garlic, and 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend or process ingredients in a food processor. This will make much more than is needed in the Italian salad recipe.
**Balsamic vinaigrette recipe: 2 T balsamic vinegar, 2 T olive oil, big pinch of sea salt, 1 small clove minced/pressed garlic. Eyeball measurements into a jar with a lid, cover and shake.
I always compost my juice pulp. Even my husband knows the life force is in the juice, not the pulp. But, a little vegetable fiber never hurt anyone, eh? It was only in a quest to come up with a vegetable patty recipe that tastes better than a Sunshine Burger and has no soy, beans, or nuts that I came up with this recipe. I think grated carrots and celery would work in this recipe if you squeeze out some of the juice and/or reduce the amount of liquid added. While somewhat experimental, I’ve made this recipe twice – both times with satisfactory results. (Sorry I forgot to write down quantities for garlic and onion powder. Start with about 1/2 teaspoon each and adjust up.)
- 2 cups or more fresh juice pulp, primarily carrot mixed with a small amount of celery or other vegetables of your choosing
- 3 cups cooked millet or quinoa
- 1/2 cup millet flour or flour of your choice
- 2-4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons dried parsley
- garlic powder
- onion powder
Mix together all ingredients listed. Roll up your sleeves and work mixture together well with your hands. The mixture should be moist, not wet at all, and should feel like it will come together in a patty. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Shape mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Patties should be tightly formed as they are somewhat delicate to hold together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking or freeze on a cookie sheet, transferring to a more compact storage container after frozen.
If frozen, partially thaw before cooking. Sauté in a non-stick pan with a small amount of butter or coconut oil. Turn when lightly browned and crispy. The patties are somewhat delicate so be careful when you turn. Enjoy with your condiment of choice in a lettuce wrap or on their own.