Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Salad and Croutons

My name is Bethany, and I'm a vegan. I've been a vegan for 35 years now, and a vegetarian for a couple of years before that. You've never heard of me, because I keep a low profile. But all that is going to change, starting with this new blog. I've decided to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" which is asked of many vegans when they state they don't use animal products.  The short answer is: anything in the vegetable (and mineral) kingdom, within edible reason.  But this is going to be more like the long answer. I will try to add to it from time to time, if I make something for the family that seems to be popular, or if I enjoy eating it myself.  I'm sure I'll add a lot of extraneous information along the way, so please bear with me. As many organically grown ingredients as possible will be used, so I will say that up front, rather than writing Organic, Organic, over and over.

Every late winter I begin to crave SALADS. This is what I made last night:

In a large bowl in the sink, I submerged a red leaf lettuce. I shook it off and tore it into pieces in a large salad bowl.

I threw a bag of baby mixed salad greens into the same water, shook it off and added it to the lettuce. It was already looking pretty colorful.

I washed off and grated a carrot and part of a golden beet right onto the salad greens. Sometimes I use a red beet, and sometimes red cabbage. Sometimes I grate some fresh gingeroot on to it. Last night I didn't.

I threw on some raisins.

I chopped up an avocado and added it in.

I sprinkled olive oil and balsamic vinegar all over it, and added a sprinkle of seasoning--this one happened to be Trader Joe's 21 gun salute, I think it's called.

I mixed it all together and seasoned it a little more.

I like to have this salad as a bed for the rest of my dinner, but you could eat it alone, in its own bowl, or on the side, if you'd like.  It is easy to prepare, if you make sure to keep some of the lettuces purchased every few days.  I like to make enough so I can have leftovers for lunch the next day, with some of Soyboy's Tofu Lin chopped up in there, and maybe some croutons.

Which reminds me: CROUTONS are very easy to make, and it turns out they are good enough to snack on, too.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut up a stiff loaf of whole grain bread (could be rice bread, if you're gluten-free, in which case, probably you don't need to toast it quite as long) into half inch slices, then rods, and finally cubes. Imagine you are making Cuisenaire blocks.
Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle them with olive oil, stirring it all around. 

Sprinkle the cubes with: garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast flakes (available in health food stores, and kind of cheesy tasting), oregano, basil, parsley, and some more of that seasoned salt or herb mix mentioned above. Add a sprinkle of salt if necessary, and enough olive oil to make it just tasty enough and make the seasonings stick--do not saturate the cubes.

Spread the cubes out on a cookie sheet and stick them in the oven, stirring them every now and then, until they smell kind of toasty.  It might be about half an hour, at the most.  They might not seem hard yet, but they will harden as they dry.

If you want them really crunchy all the way through, make your cubes smaller and bake them longer, or if you want them a little chewy inside, make them bigger.

Let them cool, and keep in a tight container for a few days, if you can stop yourself from eating them. It is better to add them to your salad right when you're about to eat it, or they'll get soggy.

Ok, that's it for my first post, but that should tide you over for now, and make for a healthy addition to your diet.


  1. mmm salad, im making that when i go home today.
    my biscuits turned out wonderfully!

  2. As Bethany's neighbor, I can attest that these are the world's best croutons!

  3. I want to make biscuits, soon again, too! You will have to remind me what I told you to do, so I don't mess them up!
    thanks, ape.