Green Sauce Salad

This green sauce makes a fantastic all-around dressing to keep on hand as a meat seasoning, salad dressing, dip, and little add-in to something like a nice grain bowl for a flavor punch.

A note on spice: I used 1 Tbsp. Fiery Fool hot sauce. This stuff is hot, and it made my sauce nice and spicy. I lean toward spice so I would totally suggest going in that direction. If you do not, a de-seeded jalapeño would be fine.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Great Green Sauce Salad

Sauce

10 cloves garlic

4 scallions (reserve 2 + 2 of the dark green parts for the salad body)

1/4 c. cilantro

1 Tbsp. your favorite pretty dang hot hot sauce (see head note)

1 Tbsp. vinegar (I used black vinegar)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. sweetener (I used brown sugar)

1/3 c. olive oil

Salad

10 radishes, sliced into thin moons

3 – 4 small cucumbers, sliced into thin moons

2 scallions (whole), sliced thin + 2 green parts of scallions, also sliced thin

1/2 c. snap peas, sliced thin on the bias

1 jalapeño

5 – 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Optional: Chicken that’s been marinated and sauteed in some sauce

Topper: Finishing salt & fresh cracked black pepper

To make the dressing, blitz all the sauce ingredients, incorporating the oil in a steady stream to make an emulsification. Set aside.

Assemble the salad by tossing all salad ingredients together. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the sauce to dress and top with some finishing salt & freshly cracked black pepper before serving.

Serves 2 for dinner beefed up with a protein (I had mine with leftover chicken, but steak bites, salmon or tofu chunks would also be great)

Tomato Salad Goes To Asia

I don’t know about you, but it’s boiling hot where I live – aaaaand I ate so much on my vacation to the States that pretty much all I want is a crisp, refreshing salad. With no lettuce, because it’s not my favorite way to do salad.

This recipe is a riff on a Vietnamese version I read in a magazine on the plane – if I remember correctly, that version had less in the way of heat and less in the way of vinegar. I had leftovers of this salad for days (yay, a salad that gets even better as it ages) and liked the days I remembered to add a little extra lime juice kick the most.

gluten-free (check your labels), paleo, pescatarian, low carb

Tomato Salad Goes To Asia

1/4 c. sugar (I used brown)

1/4 c. fish sauce

1/4 c. lime juice + more for serving

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

Big pinch red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)

Generous bit freshly cracked pepper

500g cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 fennel bulb, sliced into thin moons

3 small or 1 large cucumber, sliced into thin moons

1 long pepper (your fav variety – I used something red akin to a Cubanele)

2 c. mixed herbs (I used cilantro, mint & dill)

Toppers: Roasted, salted peanuts, French fried onions, green onion slices, finishing salt, extra squeeze lime juice, extra cracks black pepper

Combine all ingredients listed before the tomatoes in a jar and shake until we’ll combined and the sugar has dissolved.

Chuck the rest of the non-topper ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.

Serve with your desired toppers and enjoy for a few meals.

Serves 4-6

Cucumber Salad with Zhoug Sauce

This is a great riff on a classic Middle Eastern sauce (kinda like the ME version of chimichurri) with a nice, light salad.

This sauce can also be used as a meat marinade, as a topper for crispy potatoes, as a sauce in a sandwich, mixed with zucchini, avocado & peas in pasta, and as a mix-in for rice. I’m sure there are 999999 other ways to use it, but I ran out before I could try more. Which I will. I suspect this would be bomb with a Kewpie mayo egg salad sandwich.

I think next time I make this sauce, I’ll use a mortar & pestle instead of a blender – my favorite version from a local restaurant has a thicker mince and even punchier garlic.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low-carb

Cucumber Salad with Zhoug Sauce

Zhoug

6 cloves garlic

3 jalapeños (or a mix of jalapeños and other peppers – seed if you need to)

1 cup flat leaf parsley

1 cup cilantro

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

Pinch cayenne

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

Pinch sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1/2 c. olive oil

Blend to combine in your food processor or blender until your desired consistency is reached.

Salad

2-3 small cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber, sliced thinly or diced

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped

1 small red onion, sliced wafer thin

Generous amount flake salt & black pepper

1/2 c. zhoug sauce

Combine and let sit 1/2 an hour or more to let the flavors meld.

Serves a few as a simple side with a protein. Would also make a fantastic bbq side in place of a Southern-style cucumber salad.

Veg-Forward Hash Bowl Base

I know, *another* hash. Can you get any more basic?

Nope. Nope you can’t. This girl loves breakfast, and hates eating dinner off of a plate at home. I also had an inexplicably strong desire for shredded zucchini, so hash it was.

I’m glad I listened to my weirdo craving – this was dang good. I’ll be making it again because this base is super versatile.

Some topping options:

  • Like I served it with leftover crumbled sausage, cherry tomatoes & Choula
  • Taco meat, guacamole and salsa
  • Chorizo or breakfast sausage & a fried egg
  • Turkey bacon & a fried egg (had this for breakfast the next day and it was 💯
  • Marinara & shredded protein of your choice with red pepper flakes
  • Salmon burger or crab cake with lemon aioli and capers

Let me know if you make any of these other options, tag me on Instagram @gastography – I’d love to see how they turned out!

On to the actual recipe.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Ignore my poor little abused Ikea bowl. She’s got problems.

Veg-Forward Hash Bowl Base

4 small waxy potatoes (about 2 cups shredded)

1 small red onion, shredded

1 large zucchini, shredded

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/2 cup sautéed minced red pepper & onion

Salt & pepper

Neutral oil

Shred the veggies and add in a pile to a clean tea towel. When all the veggies are in, twist as hard as you can to release as much water as possible. You want your mixture pretty dry so it picks up a bit of color rather than just steaming – if you’re me. You do you, though.

Heat a Tablespoon or so of your favorite fat over medium high heat. Add the squeezed veggies and stir to break up.

Hit with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Stir again.

Let sauté until browned to your liking. Add the pepper & onion mix. Stir to combine.

This process took me about 12 minutes to hit my desired level of brownness (stirring pretty frequently to avoid all-out burning) and for my potatoes to be cooked through.

You could also use frozen hashed browns here and that may take a different cooking time.

Taste for seasoning and hit with more salt, pepper or garlic powder if needed. Smoked paprika would also be nice here – cumin would be good, too. I made mine plain so I had maximum topping options.

Serves 2 for dinner

Non Dairy Greek-Style Frychos

This recipe came about because of a video from one of my favorite kitchen hack channels: RachLovesLife. She’s got a ton of videos testing viral recipes, and they’ve been great fun to watch over this past year & some change of varying levels of lockdown. She did a recipe on fry hacks, and this was something she mentioned wanting to morph one of them into – just with my own non-dairy twist, ‘cause I’m not trying to die.

gluten-free, non-dairy, comfort

Non Dairy Greek-style Frychos

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 bell pepper

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 batch this 6-ingredient vegan tzatziki sauce from the Minimalist Baker

1/2 a block of vegan cheese (this is the one I used)

Olive oil

Salt, pepper, oregano

Optional toppers: sundried tomatoes, black olives

1/2 a bag of your favorite fries (I used McCann’s crinkle cut)

Chop the onion and pepper fairly small. Mince the garlic. Add to a pan with a couple teaspoons oil and sautee over medium until soft. If the heat is a little high and the mix looks like it’s going to burn before getting nice and soft, hit with a little water and let that evaporate off as the mixture steams a bit. Make sure to hit with salt, pepper and a couple teaspoons oregano as the mix cooks to season.

While the mix works, add the fries to the oven and bake according to package directions. Salt about halfway through baking.

After the veggies are done, remove from the pan.

Add the chicken, chopped into small bites, with a Tablespoon of oil. Sautée, seasoning with salt, pepper and oregano, until cooked through.

Set aside when fully cooked.

Dice or shred the cheese.

When the fries are browned to your liking, pull from the oven, and sprinkle with the cheese. Pop back into the oven long enough to melt the cheese.

To serve, pile cheesy fries on a plate, top with chicken & veggies, drizzle sauce over top and finish with the optional toppers.

Serves 2 for dinner with enough left over toppings for another couple meals – or a nice pasta the next night

Chai Spiced Baked Oatmeal

This is a great grab-n-go to have in your back pocket any time you’ve got too many bananas and need a quick breakfast.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Chai Spiced Baked Oatmeal

2 cups rolled oats

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 Tbsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 over ripe bananas

1.5 cups your favorite milk (I’ve used both hazelnut and oat milk and they were both great)

1/4 cup tahini

2 Tbsp. date molasses or maple syrup

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

3 Tbsp. pepitas

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional topper: a drizzle of nut butter, fresh or frozen berries, more banana

Preheat your oven to 200c/375F.

In a small baking dish, combine the dry ingredients. Mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and add the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix to combine fully. If you still have little chunks of banana, mash them with the back of a spoon while combining. You want to make sure all the oats are wet.

Bake about 25 – 35 minutes, or until the bake is set and nicely browned.

Slice into 6 big squares and serve with your optional toppers.

Garden Orzo

Orzo is an ingredient I under-utilize and I’m always surprised how much I like it each time I remember to make it. I’m imagining it’s because I spent years exclusively eating paleo, and have been into low carb for years upon that – but this is really good.

This recipe tastes fresh and makes a great accompaniment to next weeks recipe – a baked Mediterranean chicken. It’s also great as a standalone dish.

Vegetarian, vegan

Garden Orzo

1/2 cup orzo

1.5 cups liquid – I used 1/2 a cup of good stock & 1 cup of water; you do you, though I’d suggest using some good flavorful broth as well

6 sundried tomatoes

500g baby spinach

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp. your favorite oil

Optional add-ins: pine nuts, a good salty cheese (this one from Violife was what I used for the dish I made to go with and it was fantastic – they also make a “Parmesan” that would probably be great here), a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of Zaatar

Sauté the garlic in the little bit of oil until just beginning to turn tender.

Add the stock & water and bring up to a boil.

Add the orzo and cook, stirring quite frequently to prevent sticking, until just al dente, a minute or so before the cook time is up.

While the orzo is working, chop the sundried tomatoes.

When the orzo is al dente, remove from the heat.

Chuck the sundried tomatoes in, stir, and add the spinach on top.

Let steam a couple minutes, and stir the wilted spinach in.

Top with your optionals and serve.

Serves 2 for dinner

Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

I make this – or a variation on this – quite often for lunch later in the week, when I’ve got leftovers kicking around in the fridge, am out of my main protein, and still have some of this week’s spinach hanging around that is quickly going to age itself right out of my fridge.

For this version, I resisted the temptation to go Southeast Asian like usual (this dish 99.9% of the time turns out vaguely Japanese), and went Indian instead. I’m glad I broke out of my comfort zone a little and I think I’ll make this again on purpose for dinner some night.

gluten-free, lacto-ovo vegetarian

Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

1 cup leftover basmati rice

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons sesame or mustard oil

1/2 inch fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1 big hand full spinach

Turmeric

Crispy chickpeas (these are my favorite)

1 green chili

To reheat your rice – any rice – without it drying out, add a Tablespoon or two of water, put the lid back on really loosely and zap in the microwave for :45 to 1:00. Boom. Steamed and refreshed rice.

Fry the eggs to your liking in the oil, seasoning with salt and pepper and adding a liberal sprinkle of turmeric when you flip. Add the spinach on top of that to wilt a couple seconds while the yolks finish setting to your desired doneness (I love a good runny yolk, so I separated my whites from yolks, scooted them to the side and added the spinach more to that side so I could see to yank the yolks when they were just barely set).

Grate the ginger and garlic into the rice.

Mince the chili (de-seeding if necessary) and add to the rice.

Add the eggs on top, along with a small hand of the crispy chickpeas.

Stir to combine.

Serves 1 for lunch

Basil Lime Pumpkin Salad

This is a surprisingly light tasting salad for having not only chewy pearl barley but roasted pumpkin. I think it’s the dressing and all the fresh spinach.

If you make extra dressing, and I suggest that you do – it pairs great with a more traditional salad, simple cold noodles, and even as a dip for chicken or shrimp. It’s delicious.

vegetarian, vegan

Basil Lime Pumpkin Salad

1 big wedge pumpkin or a butternut squash

Baby spinach

2 large scallions

1/2 cup basil

2 cloves garlic

4 Tablespoons lime juice

2 green chilis

1/2 cup pearl barley

1/2 cup stock

1.5 cups water

Olive oil

Neutral oil

Smoked paprika

Garlic powder

Cumin

Salt & pepper

Optional: crispy chickpeas (this is one of my favorite brands)

First, get your pumpkin and barley working.

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F and prepare a baking sheet.

Peel the pumpkin and chop into bite-sized pieces.

Toss with a few good glugs neutral oil and liberal sprinkles of the smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

Roast 25 mins or until soft and your desired brownness is reached. I could have let mine go another 5 – 10 mins, but I was impatient so mine turned out soft and only a little browned.

Put the barley in your cooking vessel of choice with the stock and water + a liberal sprinkle of salt. If your stock doesn’t have any fat in it, a Tablespoon of olive oil is good here. Cook according to package directions. I cooked mine in a rice cooker by hitting the ‘rice’ button.

While both those are working, slice the scallions thin. Add half to your blender or food processor.

Add the spinach, basil, garlic cloves, lime juice, chilis (rough chopped and de-seeded if necessary), 5 Tablespoons olive oil, and liberal sprinkles salt and pepper. Whiz to combine, adding a few Tablespoons of water if your mixture is too dry for your appliance. I ended up adding about 3 Tablespoons.

Taste for seasoning and add more acid or salt if needed.

To assemble, toss the pumpkin and second half of the scallions together. Add the spinach and toss. Add the barley to the top while still warm to semi-wilt the spinach. Toss, adding the dressing halfway through.

Taste the whole mix together, adding any salt or pepper if necessary. I added a big sprinkle of finishing salt to mine. I also finished each serving with a generous sprinkle of crunchy spiced chickpeas. This salad makes an excellent chickpea delivery service. Bonus: added protein!

Makes enough to serve as a side for a party or for 4 for dinner

Peanut Scallion Relish

This simple Indian relish makes a great snack, breakfast, or topper for a wide variety of dishes.

Try it tucked into a chapati or roll – with or without an egg, atop a bed of rice (I’m particularly fond of sushi rice), bulked out with sautéed green beans, spread over a protein like chimichurri sauce, mixed into a stir fry (preferably with something sweet like red pepper), or mixed into a salad (this would be great with cucumber and mint).

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, low carb, halal

Peanut Scallion Relish

1 bunch scallions

2 cloves garlic

1 – 2 green chilis of any variety

2.5 ounces roasted salted peanuts

1 Tbsp. ghee or other oil

Salt to taste

Slice your scallions into thin rounds.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium and add the onions. Sauté until beginning to brown.

While the scallions are working, mince the pepper(s), de-seeding if you want less spice.

Grate the garlic.

Crush the peanuts.

When the scallions are ready, add the chilis, garlic and peanuts and stir well to combine. Let sauté 1-2 mins to combine fully.

Taste for salt and serve.

Makes enough for 4 or so servings, maybe more if you use less as a topper for something