Simple Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Simple Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Sometimes you don’t have time to do a fancy recipe, or maybe even just the willpower. But a bear’s gotta eat. So, something simple will have to do.

It’s super simple, and super healthy, and can be made with basic ingredients.

It’s embarrassing calling this a “recipe”, but it seems the best way to describe it to you.

Simple Cucumber & Tomato Salad

A simple salad, just like the title says!
Last updated August 7, 2019.
Prep Time10 mins
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: salad
Author: Plant-Based-Bear.com

Ingredients

  • cucumbers chopped
  • tomatoes chopped
  • onion diced, almost any variety will do
  • fresh dill finely chopped, optional
  • fresh mint finely chopped, optional
  • lemon or lime juice fresh is best!
  • pinch garlic or sea salt

Instructions

  • Chop up some cucumber. I tend to like the Persian cucumbers for this, but I will be making it in the next few days with some huge hothouse cucumbers I got on sale. I like big servings, but have found that about 2 larger Persian cucumbers, or ⅓ to ½ of a large hothouse cucumber is about a serving.
  • Chop up some tomato. Usually I have some Roma tomatoes, as they're often cheap, but anything will do. I use 2 small tomatoes or one large, so I have about 80% as much tomato as cucumber.
  • Dice the onions. Works great with green onions from the whites to the green, or yellow or white onions, too.
  • Finely chopped the mint, or dill or whatever green, fresh herbs you might have around, and sprinkle on top. Sometimes if I don't have fresh dill, just dried will work great as well!
  • Add a pinch of garlic or sea salt.
  • Put a strong splash of lemon or lime juice all over the top.
  • Mix it all up, and store in fridge until ready to eat!

Notes

This is one of those salads that seems to improve if you let it all “marinate” together for a bit.  Making it in the morning for lunch is great!

That’s it! Super simple, and delicious, and incredible on a hot summer day!

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Simple Cucumber & Tomato Salad
Simple Cucumber & Tomato Salad, ready to eat. This one, I got lazy and just used dried dill!

Plant-based Cheese Sauce

Most plant-based cheese sauce uses a lot of cashews, nutritional yeast, and a bunch of other less-than-common ingredients. But, the author of this cheese sauce claimed it was the ultimate, and it was pretty much just basic plants (and those ever-present raw cashews!)

So, for my plant-based omelette attempt, I knew I’d want some good cheesy sauce, so why not make it first!

The recipe called for boiling the veggies (and yes, those cashews) for 20 minutes or so, but one person had used an Instant Pot. I haven’t had the chance to use mine in awhile, so went this route, chopping up the veggies, adding them to the Instant Pot, setting it for 5 minutes at high pressure, and then mostly letting it naturally depressurize.

Then I added the ingredients in the specified amounts (for example, I’d cooked up too many potatoes for the the 2 cups I needed) and blended them all up in my Ninja blender.

Tasty cheese sauce!

And, it worked! I still think I can taste a bit of the potato and carrot in this, but it’s rather cheesy tasting, and quite delicious. It also went well with my plant-based omelettes I was making! (If only those omelettes were as good as this cheese sauce!)

Delicious with the pretzel crisps!

By the way, those dark specs in the sauce are because I didn’t peel my potatoes. To me it’s not a problem!

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No-Oil Air Fryer Country Potatoes

This morning I had a hankering for some good old-fashioned country potatoes. Usually, these would be fried up in a skillet, and topped with cheese and sour cream. Yeah, none of that last sentence is going to work anymore!

So, with my air fryer, I was able to make my own country potatoes, and they turned out delicious.

This “recipe” is more of a how-to method than a good measuring guide.

No-Oil Air Fryer Country Potatoes

Like any country potatoes, but plant-based, and using no oil!
Last updated Sept. 25, 2019.
Prep Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, potato
Author: Plant-Based-Bear.com

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

  • whole raw potatoes 2 medium-large potatoes is an ample serving per person
  • cold water Enough to cover potatoes in a bowl
  • Chicken-like seasoning
  • paprika Use more than you think necessary
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • chili powder Just a touch.
  • ground pepper
  • other seasonings thyme, rosemary, oregano or others, as to suit
  • bell pepper diced
  • green onions diced
  • other chop-able veggies zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions
  • salsa or ketchup
  • plant-based sour cream optional
  • plant-based shredded cheese optional

Instructions

  • Wash and dry potatoes.
  • Dice to desired size. I tend to like mine more like those you'd buy frozen, so reasonably small.
  • Soak potatoes in water for the duration of your dicing session. You may choose to drain off and rinse the potatoes a couple times, until water doesn't get cloudy with stirring.
  • Drain water from diced raw potatoes. Drain as much possible, but no need to go through extra drying steps.
  • To the bowl of potatoes, add some chicken-like seasoning. Remember this is usually pretty salty, so use accordingly.
  • Add paprika for color and flavor. Smoked paprika could work here, too. This helps give a beautiful fried color, so be generous!
  • Add onion and garlic powder to bowl, for flavor. Add other herbs and spices, as desired.
  • Stir up ingredients of the bowl, coating each potato piece with some of each ingredient. If there doesn't seem to be enough coating, add some more!
  • Depending on the size of your air fryer, spread out in the bottom of air fryer. About 1-3 inches thick seemed to work for me, but make sure plenty of air can get around all of the potatoes, and don't try to cook too many at once.
  • Cook in air fryer, for about 13-16 minutes at 400°F. Depending on how heavily you load your air fryer, you may wish to give a good stir, or shake the potatoes around about every 5 minutes.
  • While cooking your potatoes, slice, dice, and mince the bell peppers, green onions, and other veggies, trying to stick with veggies that need about the same cooking time.
  • Remove pan from air fryer and add veggies, and stir around in with potatoes.
  • Air fry for another 3+ minutes to desired crispness.
  • Serve with plant-based sour cream, salsa or ketchup, and plant-based shredded cheese, or even sprinkle some fresh diced green onions on tap!

I found that if I don’t soak my potatoes in water first, I end up with a mess that just doesn’t have that restaurant quality. But the length of the soak doesn’t seem to matter as much as just doing it, and clearing the cloudy water.

For the seasonings, use more than you think necessary or needed, except for the chicken-like seasoning. I use McKay’s Chicken Seasoning if I have any (I find that it is expensive online), but there are alternatives, and I’ve found some compelling looking products at my local Asian supermarkets (some even without oil.)

Seems that most plant-based sour cream recipes are about the same, but I’ll rehash the one I’m using at some other time. I’ve now taken the time to post my Plant-based Sour Cream recipe!

And for shredded cheese, I’ve been using my Plant-based Sharp Cheddar.

Enjoy! I know I thoroughly do, every time I make this recipe!

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No-Oil Air Fryer Country Potatoes.
I’ve eaten a few bites here, to show you more of the potatoes!
The version from August 31, 2019 with onions, bell peppers, and fresh tomatoes.
No-Oil Air Fryer Country Potatoes with bell peppers and onions, and topped with Plant-based Sour Cream, Plant-based Cheddar Cheese (shredded) and some salsa, from Oct. 6, 2019.