Better-Than-Your-Average Potato Salad

I live for summer. For a few blissful months, I’m enveloped in the warmth of our personal star, tilting my head to the sky every time I’m outside. It’s the one time of year I don’t have to deal with my perpetual coldness. (Don’t even talk to me about air conditioned buildings!) I love the heat!

I also love typical summer foods: corn on the cob, salads with garden-fresh veggies, grilled everything. And, now that I’m vegan, potato salad. I stand firmly by the belief that vegan potato salads are orders of magnitude better than those gloppy, mayonnaise-y, sad non-vegan versions that are ubiquitous at summer barbecues. This version is an update on the potato salad I made five (!) years ago, and it’s full of crunchy veggies to counter the fork-tender potatoes. Dijon mustard gives this salad a kick, and a touch of vegan mayo adds just enough creaminess to keep everything together. I love this potato salad, and I hope you will, too!

Better-Than-Your-Average Potato Salad

Better-Than-Your-Average Potato Salad
Serves 3-4 as a side dish

1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, skin still on, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 3/4″)
1/2 small red onion, diced finely
3 stalks celery, diced finely
A handful green beans, chopped into 1″ pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, separated
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoon vegan mayo
1/2 tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon salt
A few dashes freshly ground black pepper

Put a medium-sized pot of water on high heat while you prepare the potatoes and other veggies. Just before the water boils, add the potatoes to the pot and boil for 7-10 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork-tender. Remove from heat and strain in a colander. Rinse briefly with cold water and let sit while you finish chopping the veggies.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and one tablespoon of the Dijon mustard. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and slowly pour the vinegar-Dijon mixture over the potatoes, stirring to distribute it evenly. Let the potatoes sit while you mix the mayo, agave nectar, salt, black pepper, and remaining tablespoon of mustard in the small bowl. Add the chopped onion, celery, and green beans to the potatoes, and then pour the mayo mixture over everything. Stir to coat evenly.

Refrigerate the potato salad until cold. If you’re serving it the next day, you might want to add an additional tablespoon of Dijon — the flavors lose intensity over time.

Better-Than-Your-Average Potato Salad

Enjoy outdoors on a sunny day! Be sure to double (or even triple) the recipe if you’re serving to a large crowd.

Potluck Photo Phail + Brownie Success!

Orange rectangle with the white fist-shaped Vegan MoFo logo and the text

Well. Yesterday I said I’d have potluck pics to share today, but… well. I don’t. It was partially a failure of nerves on my part that prevented me from whipping out the camera and snapping away, but not totally. There were only eight or nine of us there, and our dishes were spread out on a counter and a side table. They just wouldn’t have made for very enticing photos. I suppose I could’ve photographed my plate, but… well. I didn’t.

I did, however, photograph my contribution before S and I left for the potluck.

Close-up of a blue plate piled high with three thick, fudgy brownies. They have noticeable bits of raspberry, and there are a few raspberries surrounding them on the plate.

Undeniably fudgy.

I made the Raspberry Truffle Brownies from the PPK. They were everything I’d hoped they would be, based on Isa’s enticing introduction and the heaps of praise in the comments. They’re incredibly thick and fudgy and oh-so-rich. And – somehow! – they’re at least somewhat healthier than your average brownie recipe. As written, the recipe contains no oil, just applesauce and raspberry fruit spread. I’ll admit that I replaced just a bit of the applesauce with vegetable oil because I often find oil-free baked goods to be a tad dry and crumbly, and I didn’t want my potluck contribution to disappoint. Next time, though, I’ll trust Isa and go oil-free.

The recipe also calls whole-wheat pastry flour. Another admission here – I replaced some of that flour with unbleached all-purpose. I know, I know. But I’m so wary of dry baked goods!

If you make these, please do take them out when they’re slightly undercooked! They’ll harden up if you don’t, and you don’t want them to be remotely dry. I took them out early, but the edges were still a bit crumbly and the slightest bit dry. No matter, because the middle pieces were perfectly moist and fudgy and soft. After cooling overnight and then spending an hour or two in the fridge, they were ready for me to slice ’em up.

So – we had brownies and S’s slaw at the potluck. Clearly that wasn’t all we ate! Other attendees brought lasagna, macaroni salad, Chickpea Cutlets (from Veganomicon), a creamy cashew-butternut squash soup, and veggies and ranch dip. For dessert, there were two cheesecakes, one plain and one with a blueberry topping. Between those cheesecakes and my brownies, we were all stuffed full of delicious food by the time we left.

Very similar picture to the first, except this one is taken from a slightly higher angle.

One more time.

These brownies are definitely going on my Impress People at Potlucks list! One attendee said that this is the kind of food that makes him want to eat until he’s sick. You and me both, pal.

What’s your go-to potluck contribution?