(Hint: it’s not saffron, it’s balsamic vinegar.)
If I’d been a vegetarian for the last 30 years, I probably wouldn’t have learned about the value of balsamic vinegar. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even have known you could make a bottle of vinegar out of just a few ounces of dried rosemary.
I’ve had my share of bad experiences with vinegar, though. Back when I was a vegetarian, some of my friends and I would sneak away to our neighbors’ house, where we’d roast saffron in a hot pan. It was always a little weird, but we made a batch of vinegar and it was delicious. In the last year, I’ve noticed that when I was a vegan and had the time, I was able to make some amazing saffron, with lots of the natural goodness of the rosemary but with minimal of the extra stuff.
Now that I’m a vegan, I’ve come to embrace this natural, flavorful fruit and spice blend. It’s delicious, it’s cheap (and only about a cup or so!) and it’s great for making a vegan “meatless” lunchbox! So, if you’re looking for something fresh to make for your non-vegan guests, I would highly recommend giving vegan balsamic vinegar a try. (This recipe is adapted from The Kitchn.)
For a simple, straightforward salad with some great taste but zero fat, we’ve been experimenting with a variety of vegan salad dressings that are low-fat, high-sugar, and low-sodium. Here’s an easy one for you. Feel free to double or triple this recipe for another great meal.
Vegan Lemon Rice Salad
Make ahead tip: Make this dressing in the morning. You can refrigerate it in the fridge for up to a couple of days or freeze to eat later in the week. To make the dressing, rinse the leaves from the lemon (preferably of fresh lemon), then wash them, cut them into small pieces, and finely chop the stems as well. Place the leaves and the chopped stems on a plate or cutting board. Set aside.
This salad is rich in nutrients, especially vitamin C and vitamin A, which help protect cells from oxidative stress. You can also add some other herbs to this dressing to strengthen it, such as dill, parsley, and sage. We love this mix-and-match
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