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photo (28)1 romaine heart, rough chop
8 radishes
2 corn cobs
1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chop
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
juice of 2 large limes
1/3 cup olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 avocado, thinly sliced or medium dice

1. Place the chopped romaine in a large bowl.
2. Using a mandoline, julienne the radishes and add to the bowl.
3. Stand the corn upright and cut off the kernels with a knife. Add kernels to the bowl.
4. Add the cilantro, tomatoes and scallions to the bowl.
5. Squeeze lime juice over the salad, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
6. Gently toss and garnish the top of the salad with avocado.

Enjoy this fresh, vegan salad with, well, ribs, of course! It’s the perfect foil to the slow-cooked meat.

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Okay, so, I really wanted to make this a vegan entree. BUT, the slaw just begged for a touch of mayonnaise. BEGGED! Either way, this is a fabulously easy vegetarian dinner that can be made vegan very simply with vegan mayonnaise. All it requires is a bit of prep work the night before.

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juice 2 limes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 10-oz package tofu, drained
1 red onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 lb carrots, peeled
1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped

1. Whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce and sesame oil.
2. Slice the block of tofu lengthwise into 4 pieces and place into the lime and soy marinade.
3. Cover and marinate overnight.
4. Combine the sliced onions with the vinegar. Stir, cover and marinate overnight.
5. Shred the carrots using a grater or food processor, or julienne using a mandoline.
6. Combine the carrots with the jalapeño, mayonnaise and cilantro.
7. Add a few teaspoons of the lime and soy marinade to the carrot mixture, to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
8. The next day, plate the carrot slaw, top with pickled red onions and a slice of tofu, cut in half on a diagonal.

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4 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa (1 1/2 cups uncooked; can use a blend of red and white quinoa)
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 hearts of romaine
2 tsp olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 limes

1. Preheat a grill pan over high heat.
2. Cut the romaine hearts in half lengthwise, keeping the end intact to hold the leaves together. Brush with 1 tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the romaine on the grill and cook until nice grill marks are achieved. Remove and cool.
4. Roughly chop the romaine and add to the cooked quinoa.
5. Add the remaining ingredients and the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil and stir to combine (do not over stir because it will make the quinoa gummy).

Future considerations: cumin, fresh herb?

Avocado is my favorite fruit (you heard me) and guacamole is The Ultimate Dip. It’s ridiculously easy to prepare and can be tailored in many ways to make a unique dip that suites your taste. For me, minimalism reigns.

Mash up Hass avocados with fresh chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice and salt. That’s it.

Smear the guacamole on top of the crostini and top with shrimp (these were tossed with oil, S & P, roasted for 5 minutes in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven, and then sliced in half horizontally).

The hummus was spicy, as requested, so I guess that gave the crostini spread just a hint of masculinity.

In a food processor, puree a can of chick peas (rinsed well), tahini (sesame paste), chipotles in adobo (a little goes a long way), lime juice (fresh, thank you), fresh cilantro (why am I still using parenthesis?), garlic, and salt.

And there you have it! Is it hummus, really? Is it basically just a dip? Who the hell cares–it’s damn tasty.