Vegan Cornbread

Does your pup lick you incessantly?  My little boy, Shiu Mai, does.  [Yes, he is named after the pork and shrimp dumpling you find at Dim Sum restaurants.  My other pup's name is Cha Shiu Bao.  They're small, white, and so cute just like the Dim Sum treats.]  He sits on the bed, and waits for me to come out from my shower so that he can lick the lotion off my arms and hands.  In fact, he has spent the last 10 minutes licking off the lotion from my left arm as I type this post.  It’s as if I didn’t put on any lotion.  Why bother, I wonder sometimes.  But how can I get mad at him?  Just look at him.  Isn’t he a cutest little guy ever?  I’d like to think that this helps soothe any anxiety he has.  But who am I kidding?  I think it’s because he really likes the taste of lotion.  Animals and their idiosyncrasies.  I just love it.

He usually follows me to the kitchen as I get ready to cook.  He hovers around (im)patiently waiting for something to drop onto the floor.  He looks up and begs with his sweet brown eyes for me to “accidentally” drop something onto the floor.  And when he realizes that maybe there are no treats this time around, he traverses his way back to the couch and hunkers down on my pillow heartbroken.  

Vegan Cornbread (slightly adapted from Food)

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons water
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1.5 cups cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup canned corn, drained
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray an 8- or 9-inch pie tin with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the ground flax seeds, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the flax seed-water mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Turn heat off and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Add the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture. Beat until just smooth, but do not overbeat.

Pour into prepared baking pan, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, cut into wedges, and serve.

Grilled Corn Summer Salad

I love that warm weather means an abundance of summer fruits and vegetables.  I get really excited when I start to see corn being sold at the grocery store and farmers market.  It’s my favorite vegetable during the summer months.  I love corn, especially after it’s been slightly charred on the grill.  Yum.  My favorite way to eat corn, albeit it’s not the most efficient process, is to pick off each individual kernel while I watch TV.  It’s better than a bowl of popcorn or plate of nachos.  I know it sounds tedious, and it probably is, but it’s that brainless (and slightly obsessive) process of removing each individual kernel that I enjoy.  I didn’t have time to enjoy the corn kernel by kernel, so instead I made a grilled corn summer salad.  It’s a light and refreshing salad, especially with flecks of basil and the tanginess of the vinaigrette.

What’s your favorite way of enjoying corn?

Grilled Corn Summer Salad

3 ears of white corn, shucked, husked, and cleaned
3 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 roma tomatoes, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup basil, chopped
3 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling vegetables
1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat outdoor grill to high heat and lightly coat grill grates with oil. Conversely, if you don’t have an outdoor barbecue setup, an indoor grill pan works great, too! Just heat grill pan over high heat.

Drizzle extra virgin olive on corn and squash. Place corn and squash (cut side down) on the grill. Cook until the kernels are tender and slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cook squash until slightly tender and also slightly charred, about 5 to 10 minutes, turning 30 to 45 degrees to get perfect grill marks half way during the grilling process.

While the vegetables are cooling, whisk together the pomegranate vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob with a sharp knife. Cut the squash into half inch dices. Place basil, corn, and squash into a large bowl. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

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