April 26, 2009

Crispy salad and easy cupcake topping

Sometimes I get to the end of the week and it just seems impossible that a whole week has passed. I know we've been eating but I can't think what we ate. The weekend was just as hectic with more company than we usually have in 3 months, and everyone knows you shouldn't try out new recipes (especially if you're making them up) on company. Noooo. So all the food has been familiar old stuff.

I did throw together a new combo of ingredients (for me at least) for a salad dressing and it was quite delicious. I had to be creative at the last minute because the dressing I was planning to make depended on ingredients that I didn't realize I didn't have. Instead, I used fresh squeezed orange juice and one of the wonderful vinegars I purchased a while back at Vom Fass. It was a Waldburg balsam cherry vinegar. I'm not expecting anyone to actually have this vinegar on hand — just use a mild fruity vinegar of your choice, or a plain rice vinegar, which I would have used if we'd had any. To go with the dressing, I made a salad of mostly finely shredded cabbage with a handful of baby greens and assorted other stuff, and it was so fresh and spring-like. It went perfectly with a mildly spicy peanut stew. I also came up with a new ULTRA EASY cupcake topping that worked amazingly well. And if it appears anywhere else on the Internet, I don't even want to know. I want to feel clever at least for a little while longer.

Mixed salad with orange-Waldberg cherry balsam dressing
  • baby greens
  • finely shredded red and green cabbage from a bag (about 1 part baby greens to 3 parts cabbage- use enough for 4 people)
  • shredded carrot (1 large)
  • 1-2 thinly sliced green onions
  • crystallized ginger bits (about 1/4 cup)
  • kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (raw ones toasted in a pan)
Dressing (4 servings)
  • Juice of 1 small orange (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Waldburg cherry balsam vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch salt
Mix the salad ingredients, including half the walnuts, together. Add the dressing and toss thoroughly. Toss the remaining walnuts on top.

Easy cupcake topping
Take the cupcakes out of the oven and remove from the tins. With one hand make a ring shape with your thumb and third finger and place atop a cupcake. With the other hand drop a bunch of vegan chocolate chips into the ring. It takes about 3 seconds for the chips to adhere to the warm cake. You can give them a gentle press if you think they're not sticking. Do all the cupcakes, and then go back and stick individual chips in spots you think need a few more. The chocolate chips will soften but they won't lose their shape. As the cupcakes cool, the chocolate chips will harden again. That's it. They looked so cute I wanted to kiss them!


  1. As a buttercream hater, I LOVE your cupcake topping, which I believe is indeed a first!

    Your salad sounds like the perfect side for your peanut stew - yum!

  2. What a great idea! That salad dressing sounds awesome too.

  3. That dressing does sound terrific--any dressing made with citrus juice is one I love. And the cupcakes are so cute with their little chippy tops! I'm sure I'd want to eat them while the chips are still soft, though!

  4. Diann,
    I'm not fond of buttercream, either, so I never make it. This worked perfectly for me.


    It's hard to let those little chippers cool when it's so tempting to eat them all warm and gooey.

  5. That really is super cute!

  6. Extra chocolaty goodness - YUM!

  7. Claire, Melisser, LK Sisters,
    Thanks so much for your comments.

  8. Mmmmmm, it all looks delicious Andrea and I love your cupcake topping :)

  9. the salad looks incredible- i also love your creative and simple cupcake topping. I linked you to my vegan choc. chip cookie post on my blog http://the-confectionist.blogspot.com/2009/04/at-last.html.

  10. TX for being so supportive of my work. I wanted to let you know that Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegetarian has just been revised and given its proper title Short-Cut Vegan. Pls let me know where we can send a review copy. As you probably know, all of my other vegetarian cookbooks are vegan.

  11. Gauri Radha गौरी राधा6/17/11, 6:08 PM

    Fantastic looking cupcakes!!!

  12. Gauri,
    Thank you! The topping is really easy but looks very festive.


Thanks for visiting Andrea's easy vegan cooking. I love, and read, all of your comments! Please share your thoughts.

There are a few Amazon links in the posts. Thanks in advance if you click on one.

Note: ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS BLOG WERE ACCIDENTALLY DELETED ON 1-21-12. I'M RESTORING THEM, POST BY POST, BUT IT WILL TAKE A LONG TIME. Recipe pages you visit may be missing photos, but all the text in intact. If you find a post without images, let me know so I can fix it. Thanks!