Pass (on) the Celery

Mom’s are great and mine is no exception.  They’re particularly great when they feel the need to give you groceries, even when you’re 25.  Hey, I’m never one to pass on free food!

Last weekend while en route from New Hampshire back to Montreal, I stopped in at Chalet Starkey for dinner where my parents were holed up with some friends.  Clearly, these people had never stayed with my Mom for any extended period of time before as they felt the need to bring food with them.  Word to the wise, bring booze not food to my parents.  Booze isn’t really necessary either, but we have more space to accommodate it.

Anyway, after we shared some laughs over my weekend in NH (I was at a freeski competition aka surrounded by 14-18 year old girls and boys) and ate some yummy burgers and salad, dear Mumsy sent me packing with a ton of food including:

-          Asparagus

-          Jamaican Rum Truffles

-          Lettuce

-          A dozen eggs

-          About 10 different types of cheese

-          Celery

The asparagus, lettuce, and truffles will all be used up pretty quickly and somehow I’m already down to my last truffle. I choose blame the roommate on that one ;)

I'd like to point out that the package was opened before I took possession

The eggs, I gave to my roommate as I really don’t eat them anymore.  As for the cheese, well we’re opening our doors to host a wine and cheese tomorrow in the hopes of getting rid of it; so all that leaves me with is celery.

To put it bluntly, I don’t like celery.  To me this veggie serves no purpose- it grosses me out in soups/stews/sauces and unless I have a ton of dip, it tastes like lightly flavored vegetable water when eaten raw.  I find it the most boring vegetable alive.  The only way you can get me to even consider eating it is like this:

Yes, I am 5 years old.

As you can imagine, I can only eat bumps on a log so many times before getting bored out of my mind. So I decided I would try and set aside my prejudice towards celery for one night by being a bit more creative and avoid food waste at the same time.  Enter these bad boys:

Most of you have heard of the Waldorf Salad and probably associate it with a mayonnaise laden chicken salad with some grapes and celery thrown in for good measure.  Well, here I’ve lightened it up nixing the chicken and mayo in favor of tofu and a vegan cashew-tarragon dressing.

The grapes and celery gave it a light tasting crunch and the raisins added another dimension of sweetness.  The whole thing is balanced out by tofu and this glorious dressing.

I love the colour combination of the grapes and celery!

I really recommend you give this recipe a shot!

Waldorf a la Végé

1 block of tofu, cubed

1 tsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 c. celery, diced

1 c.  Grapes, halved

6-8 large Boston lettuce leaves

¼ c. raisins

Dressing

½ c. cashews, soaked

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 c. water

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add in tofu, salt and pepper.  Saute until golden and slightly crispy- about 5 minutes. Remove from heat set aside and let cool.

In a blender combine cashews, lemon, garlic powder and water. Blend until smooth, taste adjust seasonings as necessary.

In a bowl combine tofu, celery, grapes, raisins, and dressing and mix well.  Divide mixture among the Boston lettuce leaves, fold into wraps.

Question: Do you like celery? What’s  your favorite way to eat it?

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About Jess @ MTL Veggie

Jess, the face behind The MTL Veggie is a vegetarian, athlete, marketer and Torontonian turned Montrealer. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, photography, running, yoga, skiing, and of course blogging. The MTL Veggie recaps her recipes, restaurant reviews, and what it's like to be a Leafs fan living in Montreal (hint: scary at times).
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One Response to Pass (on) the Celery

  1. Tess says:

    Very pretty looking salad Jess. I’m with ya on the celery – it’s bland and kind of bitter and I almost always have to eat it with something. I used to use Cheez Whiz religiously until I found out it was bad-cheese-flavoured-plastic. So now it’s all about Ants (or bumps, as you call them) on a log. I actually did an experiment with this one night: I tried them with peanut, almond, hazelnut butter, and a combination of two, then all 3 together (worked out to be 7 pieces). Favourite combo: hazelnut and peanut butter :)

    Hmmm, I wonder how cut up dried apples would taste in lieu of raisins….

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