It's been a while, eh? Here, have a scoop of vegan potato salad and let's catch up.

I am baaaaaaaaaaack!

I am sorry about my absence, so let me explain.   On February 13th, my mother in law succumbed to her battle with cancer.  My life has been in a state of flux since her death.  My husband has been traveling six hours one way between his childhood home and our home, at least once, sometimes twice, during the month to help take care of business there.   Needless to say, there hasn’t been a lot of cooking around these parts lately.  I am almost ashamed to admit, a lot of my meals have been less than inspiring (SANDWICHES!) and mostly eaten in front of my computer screen.   I never did make those cranberry nachos, but the cranberry relish is still in my freezer, desperately wanting to be eaten.

But, onwards and upwards, I say!  My mom in law was a great lady who did not “suffer fools” as my husband wrote in her obituary.  She liked my cooking and I think she would want me to keep on cooking, so cook is what I will do.   Since I want to honor her, look for a blog post soon about a dip that she turned me on to.   She called it “Sister in Law’s Dip,” as it was her sister in law who first made it for her.   I am going to dub it from here on out “Mother in Law’s Dip,” in honor of my awesome Mom M.  It is contains a stick of butter and it is out of this world. Next shopping day I will pick up the ingredients and make it for you all.

I want to change this blog’s goal a bit.   Sometimes I feel pressured to come up with some cool, new meal and write the recipe down, take an awesome photo, and post.  A lot of times, I just clean out the fridge, throw what I find in pan with some spices, and it usually turns out tasty.  So, to simply my life and actually get myself to post more, I am going to take photos of my food, much like I used to do on flickr with my Mr. Bento and my nightly meals, whether they are super awesome or not.  But, if you want the recipe and I didn’t post it, just give me a holler.  Don’t worry though, I will never stop sharing recipes when I make something that deserves to be written down.  I would also like to take photos of veggie meals I have at restaurants and give reviews of products that I try.  How does this new format work for everyone?  I promise this new format will make me update more.  It is bad when you are badgered about updating your blog in person (Hi Kari, I love you!).   If you are down with this new format to be, please let me know.  I love feedback.  Now on to potato salad.

It is widely known that I hate eggs and anything that derives from them, including mayo.  How I would look longingly at the bowls of coleslaw, macaroni salad, and potato salad at picnics and potlucks, cursing them and their creamy goodness, while I choked down another mustard and ketchup hot dog bun sandwich (veggies, you know what I am talking about).  When vegan mayo came into my life, my cold salad days began. Personally, I favor Vegenaise, but there are other brands you can try.  Heck, if you love real mayo, you can use that too. No worries my mayo loving friends.

I made this vegan potato salad for a recipe slam held at out local co-op and organized by some awesome minded, community thinking, folks. This was in January I believe, so I was totally looking forward to spring:

“Think Spring!” Vegan Potato Salad

4 cups small potatoes (red and Yukon gold are in this salad)
1 and 1/4 cups Vegenaise
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/4 heaping teaspoons of:
-Garlic powder
-White pepper (black pepper is fine)
-Mustard powder
1 scallion, chopped or 1/4 cup chopped onion (I prefer red)

Clean and boil potatoes, leaving the skins on.  Let the potatoes cook until they are fork-tender.  While the potatoes are boiling, combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl to make the dressing.  Drain the potatoes and let cool.  When the potatoes are cool, chop them into bite-sized pieces.  Mix the potatoes with the dressing and let the salad chill overnight or for at least two hours.

Tomato ladybugs:

Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 sheet of nori (seaweed)
To make the ladybug spots, use a clean paper punch to punch the nori sheets. To make the stripes, use kitchen shears. Moisten the tip of a chopstick with water and use it to arrange the spots on the “ladybug.”

Pepper flowers and spinach or basil leaves:

Halve and seed a bell pepper and use a flower-shaped cookie cutter to cut out flowers and garnish with spinach or basil leaves.

So there you have it my friends, a proper update.  I hope you make this salad and bring it along to your potlucks and picnics this spring and summer.  If you do, it will kinda be like me being there with you.  I promise to not be as absent anymore.  Until the next time we meet, have a great day and keep cooking!