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ASSIETTE DE CRUDITES (Raw Vegie Plate)

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I was trying to find a translation for this salad and couldn’t come up with one that conveyed the meaning of assiète de crudités. A plate of raw vegetables sounds somehow boring and uneventful while the French equivalent is a standard in French restaurants, showcasing the freshness of local produce for customers wanting a light dish with lots of flavor and nutrition.

Vegetables abound in our garden this time of the year. It is an explosion of life force, colors, textures and scents (and also weeds!) What a blessings to take a trip in our backyard and bring back a mountain of fresh greens, tomatoes and wild herbs.

Fresh greens!

One of our favorite dish for a quick but satisfying lunch or dinner is to do a nice spread of fresh vegetables served with some warm bread and some form of protein.
There are so many advantages to growing your food, one of them is that you don’t have to worry about pesticides, herbicides and others nasty chemicals they are tipically dowsed with. A simple rinse and quick check for slugs is all that is required. They do love to nest in small folds, so you have to inspect the merchandise closely. Some of the other pluses is that you get to take a walk, commune with the elements, thank Mother nature for the abundance she has blessed us with, take deep breaths, listen to the sounds, marvel at newly found treasures burried under deep foliage (a yound egplant, clumps of cherry tomatoes, a baby zucchini or a flower…) look up and watch the birds in the trees. Life is sweet when we take the time to count our blessings.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes (roma, cherry, red, orange etc.)
Cucumbers
Lettuce Kale (curley, Russian etc.)
Teese cheese*
Fresh chives, basil leaves, Mint leaves
Dash of salt,
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
French bread or herb crackers
Any other vegetable you have on hand.

The arrangement is really up to you.

  1. I usually place a few slices of lettuce, kale and any other wild greens I happen to find on the bottom of the plate.
  2. Make thin slices of tomatoes, spreading them on the plate. Sprinkle with a dash of find sea salt. Then sprinkle some balsamic vinegar over it, then a little extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Slice some of the Teese mozarella vegan cheese. Place a slice over each tomato slice.
  4. Chop a few basil leaves and garnish over the slices. That was the hardest part of this salad.
  5. Toast slices of French bread or just serve with crackers. I love Wasa crackers, rosemary crackers… they have less calories and are packed with flavor.
Best Vegan Mozarella cheese

* Teese offers the most amazing vegan cheese on the market today.

For this recipe, use the soft mozarella version. It is moist, slices well, has a subtle flavor and makes the perfect replacement.

One little package makes plenty of slices, depending on how thick you cut them, you can easily make 10 to 15. The price is even comparable to the dairy version, without the calories, the hormones, the fat and more importantly, the abject cruelty dairy cows are subjected to their whole lives. What’s not to like, really!

Bon appétit

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As a vegan chef, cooking instructor and food consultant, I am blessed to share my passion for international flavors, a compassionate world, optimal health and healing. You can't have one without the others because they are all interconnected. My culinary journey started in the South of France where I was born, then took me through Europe, onto America, then Asia and South America. I grew up eating delicious rich food my grandmother made (think creamy white and wine sauces) and fresh Mediterranean dishes my mother prepared. My family was by no mean vegetarian or vegan but we weren’t big meat eaters either. This being said, I must confess that I have had my fair share of strange things being served as food as I grew up! But I soon came to realize that it was the sauces, the marinade that tasted so good and that they could have just as well been poured over bread or tofu and it would have been just as good. You know how certain songs bring back a memory of where you were and who you were with when you heard them? Well, I seem to have a memory of food attached to pretty much every place and profound moment I have experienced in my life. It was the way love was shared and cherished all through my life so I am continuing the tradition! But the love is even more healing when there is no pain and sufferings attached to it. Be vegan, it is good for your health and the only sustainable diet for the planet.
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