Monday, May 28, 2012

Easy Vegan Potato Salad

I tried a new method for potato salad this time, and found it both easier and nicer in texture. The technique is to use a thin-skinned, waxy potato such as Red or Yukon (no russets), leave the peel on, cut them before cooking, and steam instead of boil. This gives you firm, intact chunks that don’t dissolve into mashed potatoes, and also saves you the difficulty and danger of peeling and cutting a bunch of boiling hot potatoes.  Immediately tossing the potatoes with the lemon juice while hot helps them absorb the tangy flavor, preventing blandness and allowing you to use less dressing

Vegan Potato Salad made with red potatoes
Easy Potato Salad

3-4 lbs thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar

2 ribs celery, chopped

about ½ cup vegan mayo, store-bought or homemade (more or less to taste)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp dill weed
¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp celery seed
1-2 tsp sugar or sweetener
salt, pepper, and/or lemon pepper or other salt free seasoning to taste

Optional Add-ins: mustard, relish, onions, cucumbers or pickles, fresh herbs such as parsley or chives, or more unusual vegetables, such as zucchini, artichokes, olives, water chestnuts--whatever you like

Steam your prepped potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.  Place hot potatoes in a large mixing bowl (heat-proof would be best).  Pour lemon juice/vinegar over them and stir briefly. Let potatoes finish cooling.

Meanwhile, chop celery and whisk dressing ingredients together. When potatoes are cool, stir in celery and dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Add more vegan mayo if salad seems overly dry.

Serve immediately or chill for a few hours.


Cauliflower based "potato" salad
You could substitute steamed cauliflower for part or all of the potatoes for a lower-glycemic salad. Cooked cauliflower tossed with a dressing this way actually has a pretty nice texture.

Some people prefer different dressing bases for this kind of salad. You might like to try vegan sour cream or soy yogurt in place of the vegan mayonnaise. For a low-fat base, you could also try soy “buttermilk”: soymilk mixed with a little lemon juice and left to sit a few minutes to curdle. Or perhaps a combination thereof.

The seasonings can of course be altered to taste.

Other root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or beets, can be mixed with the potatoes for color and nutrition.

This was pretty nice addition to a Memorial Day meal. We also had chili, coleslaw, and roasted fresh corn.

Roastin' Ears, baked husk and all

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