It’s a salad party on a vegan, gluten-free Menu Plan Monday

I had an awesome menu plan for last week, but life ultimately brought in some unexpected tweaks, as it so often does. Do you know the kind of week I mean? I ended up being extremely busy, which meant I didn’t get to the store for the extra ingredients I needed to make several of the dishes in my plan. I also had a couple of raw dishes planned from a cookbook I’m checking out but didn’t end up making either one. There’s always so much grating and mandolining for raw meals! One night I found myself making dinner at 11pm, so I skipped the labor-intensive raw spring rolls I had planned and made Sunrise Noodles instead, which I can make in my sleep (good thing, too, at 11pm!). The other meal I had planned (Raw “Pasta” Puttanesca with zucchini “noodles”) was thrown by the wayside in favor of a nice filling hot dish – Tamale Bake – that kept me fed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for days.

Nicoise Salad (on this week's menu)

Despite my total deviation from the plan, I still ended up eating quite well last week. I ate out on two nights when I had planned to cook, so I’ve ended up with two yummy meals that never got made but that I can recycle into this week. I think I’m just going to let go of those raw recipes that never got made. One of them provided inspiration for Wendy of Celiacs in the House to make gorgeous raw spring rolls (you should check out her blog this month, she’s doing an awesome project!), so for that alone I’m glad I included it in my meal plan.

Borscht (this week's menu)

I continue to love the feature of my CSA that lets me preview what will be coming in my box. Before I started menu planning I loved to be surprised, but now I find it invaluable to be able to get inspiration and information about what will be coming. This week is a lot of fruit, plus cucumbers, basil, tomato, lettuce, beets, and corn. Yum, I feel a delicious summer salad coming on! But that’s also why I have trouble in the summer. I need a steady diet of green veggies to feel healthy, and while I enjoy them, a little bit of cucumber, lettuce, and tomato just doesn’t do it.

Salad rolls with kitchari and tomato relish (this week's menu)

I also have quite a challenge coming up – to make dinner for myself and a friend who is also gluten-free. What’s the catch? Well, I’m vegan, and my friend (an omnivore) can’t eat soy, beans, or quinoa. So everything I eat for protein is off limits, and vice versa. We basically overlap at rice, fruits, and vegetables. What on earth can I make for us that will be both filling and delicious? Any suggestions? I’m thinking potatoes in some form?

One-pot Bibimbap (this week's menu)

This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by Heather of Celiac Family with the theme of salads. What a perfect theme for what’s coming in my box!  I’ll be making Salade Nicoise (a summer favorite I have yet to grow tired of), salad rolls stuffed with a yummy lentil quinoa mixture, and fruit salad with all the fruit coming in my CSA box. I’m trying out a new basil-citrus salad dressing (dressings are my Achilles’ heel), and making my favorite Russian salad which is made with beets and other wonderful things. It’s quite a week for salads! Hopefully the weather will oblige me… I was driving home the other night in freezing, foggy, drizzling weather, thinking to myself, Yep! It must be July!

As always there are oodles of menu plans at the giant MPM compendium over at OrgJunkie, with a fair number of vegan folks tuning in every week now, so go check it out!

Edamame and smoked tofu succotash (this week's menu)

Monday
One-pot bibimbap with arame, shitake mushrooms, spinach, tofu, and napa cabbage

Tuesday (defrost 5 C. stock)
Nicoise salad
Borscht

Wednesday (ferment cabbage for the weekend)
Hand-held salad rolls stuffed with kitchari (lentil and quinoa mixture with flax seed oil, lime juice, tamari, toasted sesame oil), tomato relish, julienned carrots, fresh basil
Corn on the cob with umeboshi plum paste or chili and lime
Fruit salad

Thursday
Edamame and Smoked Tofu Succotash (with fresh corn and tomatoes)
Salad with basil-citrus vinaigrette

Friday
Leftovers

Saturday
Vinegret (Russian beet salad)
Kasha with fermented cabbage
Cucumbers

Sunday
Leftovers

Shopping list: chili-garlic sauce, 1 lb new potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, 2 onions, 2 cabbages, scallions, small red onion, (check for frozen edamame), 1 orange, 3 medium boiling potatoes, canned peas, 3 dill pickles, scallions, fresh dill, kasha