Israeli Salad

I used to get Israeli Salad all the time when I would go to Mediterranean restaurants, but I hadn’t eaten it in a few years. I already had a lot of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to make it for lunch. It really is a tasty, but very simple and healthy meal especially for vegans! It’s perfect as a side dish to any Mediterranean food, or you could pack it up for lunch.¬†Most Israeli Salad recipes seem to be pretty similar, but feel free to adjust it to your tastes. Some variations include adding grated carrot, scallions, mint, or za’atar (a yummy Middle Eastern spice mix).

Israeli Salad

Ingredients:

1 cucumber
1 red pepper
1 Р1  1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 – 2 lemons
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Chop the cucumber, red pepper, and tomatoes. You can peel the cucumber if you prefer, but I left the skin on. Finely dice the red onion. Roughly chop the parsley.
  • Mix all the vegetables and herbs in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Juice the lemons. I used Meyer lemons, which are usually smaller than regular lemons, so I used two. You may only need one if using a regular lemon.
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the lemon juice and mix well. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the veggies.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well so all the veggies get coated.

Roasted Red Peppers

There were so many awesome recipes shared during the Virtual Vegan Potluck that it was hard to figure out which ones to try first. This recipe was shared on the blog Bringing Europe Home. I’ve always loved roasted peppers, but had never tried making them myself, so this was good motivation to try it out. It was a pretty easy process and the peppers were really yummy!

Check out the original recipe on Bringing Europe Home. She goes through several methods on how to make these, but I’ll tell you the way I ended up making them.

Ingredients

3 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
About 10 whole cloves of garlic
Fresh Basil
Fresh Parsley
Dried Italian herbs
3 Tbsp Good Quality Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Baguette

Directions

  • Drizzle some olive oil on a baking pan. Place the three whole bell peppers in the pan along with about 10 whole peeled cloves of garlic. Set your oven to broil, and put the peppers on the top rack of the oven.
  • Check the peppers regularly. They’ll need a few minutes per side. The skin will start to char and turn black. Rotate the peppers as they broil so that each side gets charred and black. Take the peppers out of the oven and let them cool down a bit while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Chop the basil and parsley and place in a medium sized bowl. You can use as much or as little as you want, but I liked having a lot of parsley and basil. Add about 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and dried Italian herbs in the bowl.
  • Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, peel off the charred skin. I just used my fingers to peel it off, but there are some other tricks on the Bringing Europe Home recipe if you want to try them out.
  • Pull out the stem and center of the peppers and remove any seeds. Slice the roasted peppers into strips. Add the pepper strips and whole roasted garlic to the bowl of herbs and olive oil and toss so the peppers get coated.
  • Eat the peppers as they are or slice a baguette and spread the peppers on top. This makes for a really pretty and yummy appetizer!

Tabouli, Tabouleh, Tabule!

Tabouli, tabouleh, or tabule? Bulgar or Couscous? More couscous or more parsley? Tabouli is one of those dishes that comes with a lot of options. But however you make it, it’s an easy and quick vegan meal or side dish, and the leftovers make a tasty lunch the next day.

It only takes me about 1/2 an hour to make start to finish. It really is so simple, but so tasty and you can easily adapt it however you prefer!

Here’s the way I usually make it.

Ingredients:

2 cups couscous
2 cups water
2 teaspoons vegan butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup of mint
1 small yellow onion (about 1/2 -3/4 cup finely chopped)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 small cucumber chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Dash of salt and pepper

Directions:

Follow the directions for preparing the couscous that are on the package you buy. Most kinds in the store will be instant couscous, which is what I use. Bring the water, vegan butter, and salt to a boil. Add the couscous and remove from heat. Let the couscous sit for 4-5 minutes. Once the water is completely absorbed, put the couscous in the refrigerator to cool down.

While the couscous is cooking/cooling, prep your vegetables and herbs. Finely chop the parsley, mint and onion. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber. I used cherry tomatoes, but any type of tomato will work. You can peel and seed the cucumber if you prefer, but I don’t.

Mix the vegetables and herbs with the couscous. Juice your lemon and add the juice to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This makes about 4 servings if it’s your main meal. As a side dish I would say about 8 servings.