Summertime Macaroni Salad

What’s better than a summertime grill-fest and a side of macaroni salad? In my opinion, pretty much nothing. Last night we grilled up some tofu using a barbecue marinade and I made this salad. VERY easy to put together, but it came out great so I thought it was worth posting. Our garden is finally giving us some veggies, and I got to use some of those in this recipe too.

Next time I would sub in some greek yogurt for all or some of the mayo since that would make it a whole lot healthier, but since I had never really made macaroni salad before, I kept it basic (and full of mayo). We did add some vegan sausage to amp up the flavor and I made tons extra so I can eat it for the next few days!

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Crispy Kale Chaat

If you have been to an Indian restaurant in Washington D.C., then you have seen either a “crispy spinach chaat” or “crispy kale chaat” on the menu. Its a twist on a popular Indian street food – chaat – which is basically a loose term for a collection of sweet/savory dishes that are usually found in roadside stalls in India (but is usually found in restaurants both there and here all prettied up!). I think chaat is kind of hard to explain unless you have had it, since the flavors are a real explosion of sweet/salty/tangy/crispy all in one. I love it. Chaat nights where we just eat a bunch of different types of chaat is up there with my favorite meals of all time.

I tried to recreate the crispy kale chaat I love so much at a restaurant here called Bombay Club. I am not sure its as good as the restaurant version, but it does the trick for a unique appetizer thats not very hard to put together!

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Cauliflower (Gobi) Manchurian

We had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge and I was debating what to do with it last night when I decided that trying my hand at the delicious Indian-Chinese dish “Gobi Manchurian” would be fun (gobi is what cauliflower is called in Hindi). This is not a dish you find at traditional Chinese restaurants (its clearly not authentic Chinese), but it is an adaptation of Chinese food that you see all over India. I am not sure how to best describe it so if you are wondering if its more Chinese or Indian in it’s flavor profile, I can’t answer that!

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Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

My lunch yesterday is in homage to my husband and I’s favorite salad at one of our go-to restaurants: Houston’s. We started going to Houston’s in NYC when we heard it had one of the world’s best veggie burgers. It is totally true. The veggie burger there rocks (but I do not love the waitress who told me that the amount of calories in it is practically equivalent to one of the steaks on the menu – she does NOT rock). Lucky for us since moving out of NY, we have found restaurants part of the Houston’s group in every city we have lived in (Hillstone in Boston and The Woodmont Grill in Bethesda).

Our most recent trip to Woodmont Grill had us splitting a veggie burger for lunch and a kale salad. Best. Kale. Salad. Ever. It was drenched in this amazing peanut dressing and I devoured it faster than the veggie burger (which is like superhero fast because have I mentioned how much I love their veggie burger?). My husband was convinced we could remake this salad at home pretty easily so after googling a million peanut dressing recipes, I am pretty happy with this version. Its very different than Houston’s in the end, but its pretty darn tasty! Its what I had for lunch yesterday and I have enough leftovers for another heaping serving today (yay!).

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