Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad

Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

I try to get all of my grocery shopping done on Friday night on my way home from work. I love grocery shopping, but if I don’t try to squeeze it in between 5pm and dinner my first glass of wine on a Friday, it takes up too much of my Saturday or Sunday. I hem and haw over what to cook for lunch and dinner for week, what to make for the blog, furiously flipping through cookbooks, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Cooks Illustrated, Pinterest and by the time I’m out the door, half of Saturday is gone and I’m starving.

Friday night grocery shopping doesn’t necessarily mean my decision making is easier, but it forces me to commit ahead of my old schedule. Last week, I decided to buy ingredients for a “Chinese salad” because 1. more salads and 2. Chinese New Year. The new South End Whole Foods has TWO AISLES of bulk bins and when I spotted bulk black rice (aka forbidden rice), I had a salad vision and went with it.

Orange and Almond Black Rice Salad with soy ginger vinaigrette is full of flavor and texture. If you’re like me and need a break from all the heavy winter foods, this salad will be satisfying. It’s filling, but full of light and crunchy veggies, like cabbage, snap peas and scallions. Isabel has been encouraging me to make these sesame clusters for a while now, and I regret not having made them sooner. Along with the roasted almonds, the sesame clusters give the salad another dimension, making it heartier and more filling than most, perfect as a main dish.

Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

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Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings | ourfourforks.com

Whether or not you watch the Super Bowl, it’s the end of January and, here in New England, we still have two cold ,long months of winter. In Boston, post-holiday winter means sports, bars (and sports bars), skiing and comfort food. Juno is bearing down on us as I type this and, even though I don’t care so much about the outcome of Sunday’s game (go Seahawks), I always enjoy trying healthy game-day alternatives.

These sticky sesame cauliflower wings are a flavorful, addictive alternative to traditional chicken wings liked by both vegans and meat eaters. For other healthy Super Bowl food inspiration, I’ve created a “Game Day Makeovers” Pinterest board, so follow us there.

Super Bowl Pinterest Board | ourfourforks.com

Links + Photo Credits (Top to bottom, left to right):

Sticky Sesame Cauliflower Wings | ourfourforks.com

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Shredded Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing

Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing | ourfourforks.com

I’ve been crazy busy at work recently, which means work week meal planning is essential. Without healthy prepared lunches for the week, mornings become more rushed and workday lunch ends up being brown rice tortilla peanut butter and jelly roll-ups and string cheese. Lately, I’ve been trying to spend some time on Sunday preparing hearty salads that will hold up through Friday. This week I chose to prep shredded kale salad with tahini miso dressing; healthy, versatile and quick to prepare, this one’s a winner.

 

Kale goes perfectly with a creamy tahini miso dressing while pistachios, scallions, and sesame seeds give the salad dimension and crunch. This kale salad serves four as a side, but can easily be made a meal with the addition of avocado, a protein and/or rice, quinoa. etc.. For non-vegans, chicken or canned tuna would work well here. For vegans, try adding tempeh or chickpeas.

 

Kale Salad with Tahini Miso Dressing | ourfourforks.com

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Sushi Pizza with Miso Ginger Dressing

Sushi Pizza | ourfourforks.com

It’s probably a bad idea to discuss vomit on a food blog, right? Well sorry in advance, I’ll be brief. Josh was visiting friends in Syracuse, tried a new sushi restaurant called Saki Bomb and puked his brains out his entire drive home to Boston (sushi is Syracuse was never a good idea). Ever since, he hasn’t been able to walk by a sushi place without grimacing. Meanwhile my sushi cravings have worsened.

 

Then I was flipping through a recent issue of Food and Wine when I saw a recipe for “Japanese Pizza.” Sushi disguised as pizza! I set out to trick Josh into loving sushi again with a vegan and gluten-free version of this dish. And it worked.

 

This sushi pizza is super easy, healthy and versatile. Once you have your rice pizza crust, feel free to add any toppings you want. I find the mushrooms give the pizza hearty flavor and nice texture while the avocados add the creaminess that I love about traditional avocado rolls. You can serve this sushi pizza with simply soy sauce and pickled ginger, but I wanted to change it up a bit so I combined these flavors into one dressing. The miso ginger dressing brings some salty heat with a creamy cashew base; it would be perfect for a salad.

 

Sushi Pizza | ourfourforks.com

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Cinnamon Tahini Truffles

Tahini Cinnamon Truffles

Cinnamon tahini truffles have changed the way I think about the tahini forever. Tahini, sesame seed paste, is used a lot in Middle Eastern cooking, but until recently had only used it in savory dishes (hummus, tahini yogurt dressing, etc.) The other morning, I topped some pancakes with applesauce, cinnamon and tahini and I knew I had some experimenting to do.

 

Tahini Cinnamon Truffles

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