In the July cooking class, we will focus on hearty salads that you can bring to potlucks or family parties and cookouts. I like to bring a dish to pass that I know will keep me satisfied as a meal or can supplement simple salads or fruit that are typically served at a party.
As a plant-based vegan, going to parties can often bring out food anxiety that social gatherings can expose. You either feel like you have to eat before the party and hope that no one notices you’re not eating at the party or you go to the event hopeful that there will be something there that you can eat, only to discover the simple salad has cheese on it. You don’t want to have to leave the party early just because you’re afraid of becoming “hangary”. My easy solution to this dilemma is to bring your own hearty salad that is big enough to share and can serve as a meal or as a supplement to what is already being served. A hearty salad should include a protein such as beans and/ or grains like quinoa or farro. You could also add nuts or seeds if your diet allows.
The next challenge you may run into in making a hearty salad is the dressing. This is where you can make a perfectly heart healthy salad into a fat bomb loaded with lots of extra calorie density. Oil is the most calorie dense food we can eat. Oil is not a whole food; you cannot pick it off of a tree. it is a highly processed food product that has no resemblance of what it was in nature. Oil typically has a whopping 14 grams of fat per tablespoon and has 120 calories! I don’t know anyone who only pours on one tablespoon but even if you do only use one tablespoon that is a lot of added fat and calories. I like to make my salads oil free; they are still just as tasty and I’ve never heard a complaint when I bring this type of salad to a party, quite the contrary! There are many great oil free recipes that can be found online or on Pinterest we will be trying out a few great ones in class this month!