mandarin orange salad with candied almonds

Fresh, crunchy, simple — a real crowd-pleaser.
Tip: Make the candied almonds and dressing ahead of time, and putting the salad together will be even easier.

Mandarin salad

Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Almonds
Fresh, crunchy, simple -- a real crowd-pleaser. Make the candied almonds and dressing ahead of time, and putting the salad together will be even easier.
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 heaping tablespoons vegan granulated sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
  • 14 ounces Romaine hearts (or your favorite crunchy lettuce combination), sliced crosswise into ½-inch strips (roughly 13 loosely packed cups)
  • 1¼ cups diced celery
  • ½ cup diced scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 11-ounce can organic mandarin oranges in water (drained, but with mandarin water from can reserved!)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons agave syrup (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, but a nice touch)
  1. Combine almonds and sugar in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar is melted and almonds brown (do not allow to burn). Remove almonds from heat, spread them onto wax paper in a single layer, and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together Romaine hearts, celery, scallions, fresh parsley, and mandarin oranges. Set salad aside.
  3. In a tightly covered container, combine ¼ cup of the reserved mandarin orange water, olive oil, agave syrup, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Shake vigorously.
  4. Add the candied almonds and dressing to salad and toss. Serve immediately. (See Notes!)
Be sure to store the candied almonds and the dressing in separate containers, and assemble the salad only when you're ready to serve it (otherwise you'll have soggy lettuce and chewy -- not crunchy -- almonds)! The dressing should be stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.


eggplant burgers with caramelized onions and horseradish-mustard mayo

You’re all set for summer. (Or any of the other seasons.)
Note: This recipe makes around 6 burgers, depending on how thick you make them.

eggplant burger with caramelized onions

Eggplant Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Horseradish-Mustard Mayo
The rich flavor of eggplant with sweet onions and tangy, creamy sauce -- you're all set for summer (or any of the other seasons). This recipe makes around 6 burgers, depending on how thick you make them.
For the horseradish-mustard mayo:
  • ½ cup vegan mayo (I use Hampton Creek Just Mayo)
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish mustard (I use Annie's Naturals; make your own by combining drained, prepared horseradish and Dijon mustard)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
For the eggplant burgers:
  • 2½ pounds of eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil (to coat eggplant cubes and for frying burgers)
  • 1 cup diced scallions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast (Bob's Red Mill and Red Star Yeast are brands most commonly found in markets)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper
  • 1¼ cup panko
For the horseradish-mustard mayo:
  1. Combine mayo and horseradish mustard, whisking together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so that flavors will meld. (You can make this a day ahead.)
For the eggplant burgers:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil over eggplant cubes and toss to fully coat.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spread eggplant cubes on baking sheets in single layer. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing cubes once halfway through to ensure even cooking. When the cubes are very tender, remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Mash the eggplant cubes with a potato masher or pulse a few times in a food processor until eggplant is, well, a big pile of mush and no big chunks remain.
  4. Stir scallions, garlic, parsley, nutritional yeast, salt, and black pepper into eggplant mixture. Stir in 1 cup of panko to start. Mixture should be firm enough to hold together when making the burgers. If necessary, add the remaining ¼ cup of panko to stiffen the mixture (I find I almost always need it). Taste mixture and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Cover mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so it can firm up. (Note: If you're planning to top the burgers with caramelized onions, I suggest getting the onions on the stove at this point so they're ready around the time your burgers are done.)
  6. Divide mixture into about 6 parts, depending on how much you've got and how thick you like your burgers; I generally make mine around an inch thick. Using either a hamburger press (I've got my mother's Tupperware one from the '70s!) a biscuit cutter, or your hands, form the eggplant mixture into burgers. Make sure to pack them tightly if you're using your hands or a biscuit cutter instead of a press! Let burgers rest a few minutes before cooking.
  7. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan and place over a medium-high heat (do not let the oil smoke). With a spatula, place burgers into pan, but do not crowd them. (These fellas are delicate; leave space so you can get your spatula in there to flip them. I cook only 2 at a time.) Allow burgers to cook until you can see them getting golden on one side. With your spatula, gently turn burgers over and allow to brown on the other side. When the second side looks golden brown, you should be able to flip them more easily. Continue to cook burgers until they're as dark/crispy on the outside as you like.
  8. Remove burgers from pan and place on your favorite egg-/dairy-free buns (toast the buns if you like). Top with caramelized onions (or raw onions if you prefer), lettuce, tomato, and horseradish-mustard mayo.
This recipe calls for around 2½ pounds of eggplant because eggplant vary so greatly in size. I suggest weighing them at the market to make sure you're starting with the right weight. If you're unable to get a weight and really have no idea what you're working with, I suggest adding seasonings in smaller increments to start and building up (based on your taste) as you go.