As I was browsing through Recipes for Health by Martha Rose Shulman on the New York Times website, I came across the recipe for Potato, Green Bean and Spinach Salad.
I quickly ran through the list of ingredients and saw that they are not all vegan, but that doesn’t usually stop me. Almost any recipe is convertible. Then I saw the feta cheese, and thought, heck, I can make it without it. Somehow Andrew Scrivani’s image couldn’t let me imagine it without the feta cheese.
I began thinking of the different vegan cheeses there are. I didn’t really want to substitute a different kind of cheese for the feta. So, to be honest I gave up on the whole idea.
Lo and behold, a few days later I came across a recipe for a feta cheese substitute made from almonds at Vegan Epicurean.
The list of ingredients are: 1 cup almonds, soaked for 8 hours and blanched; 1 lemon, zested and juiced; 1 small clove garlic, peeled and smashed; ¾ teaspoon sea salt; approximately 1 tablespoon water.
I was set to go.
I did make the salad with the following substitutions. The dressing may have come out a bit tangier than Ms Shulman intended, but it was heavenly all the same. If you can make it with better vegan substitutes, please share!
(Original list with my substitutions in italics)
1 pound waxy potatoes, cut in 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons finely minced red onion, soaked for five minutes in cold water, then drained, rinsed, and drained on paper towels
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (subst. apple cider vinegar)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 small garlic clove, green shoot removed, minced or pureed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt (subst. vegan sour cream*)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, chives, chervil or dill
6 ounces green beans, trimmed and broken in half
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (subst. Vegan Epicurean’s Feta Substitute)
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
*Only because I couldn’t find any plain vegan yogurt that day
Yield: Serves four as a main dish or six as a side dish.
Oh, and Ms Shulman mentions:
“This is a particularly healthy combination whose three components bring together a great deal of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin A.”