When I first decided to become vegetarian about 16 years ago, it didn’t take me long before I gave up potato salad. That’s right. Giving up meat and potato salad go hand-in-hand. It’s not some crunchy food combining ninja thing either. When you think about it, being vegetarian is really pretty easy. Just don’t eat meat. You can still eat ice cream, cheese, scrambled eggs, and all the milk chocolate you want. But I highly recommend you give up potato salad. However, you can eat it again after you take the next step and that’s why I’m sharing my recipe for Vegan Potato Salad today. Do I have you thoroughly confused? Read on and I’ll explain…or at least I’ll try.
I went into my vegetarian lifestyle with lots of gusto. It was something I had tried many times before, but this last time all the planets aligned and it finally took. I was enthusiastic to say the least. I had started a new chapter in my life; my brave new world!
I was starting to be my authentic self!
Life was full of happiness, flowers, rainbows, unicorns, and puppies.
Until the potato salad came along.
Here’s the thing, when you announce you’ve become vegetarian to your all-meat-all-the-time family and you live in the heart and soul of cattle country, the one thing you will be sure of is eating lots of potato salad. No one really knows what else to feed you. Thanksgiving dinner? Oh, here’s some potato salad for you. Christmas? Same thing.
At first you think, “Awesome! I love potato salad! This vegetarian thing rocks because I get to eat this stuff in the winter now!”
And then the Easter dinner rolls around. Potato Salad.
Memorial Day family picnic. Guess what? More potato salad!
Fourth of July? Well, of course you know what will happen here.
And it goes on and on and on…until the cosmos are in disarray and one day the only thing you know to be true in this world is that you can’t stand to eat the stuff any more. Not one more bite!
Fast forward a few years when you decide to take the leap and give up milk, ice cream, cheese, and eggs. You are now a Vegan! And you know what happens then?
Let me give you a hint: most people don’t know about dairy-free mayo, but they probably should. Because it’s good.
And now that you’re vegan and most people don’t know about dairy-free mayo, they are no longer making potato salad for you. So you go through a sort of potato salad drought. And it’s ok. But after a year or two you think to yourself, “Hmmm, I think some potato salad for our Fourth of July picnic sounds kinda good.” And you get your dairy-free mayo and you make your first batch of Vegan Potato Salad and you think to yourself, “This is pretty good.”
The universe is back in balance when this one-time favorite dish is back as part of your Summer Salads options. Happiness ensues. Followed by flowers and rainbows and puppies. I have yet to find the unicorns, but I’ll keep looking.
Vegan Potato Salad
- 5 – 6 small to medium russet potatoes, chopped (with skins)
- 4 – 5 cups water
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 batch of Tofu Scramble
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 3 tablespoons mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickles, chopped
- 3 – 6 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
- Optional – chopped celery
- Place the chopped potatoes in a pan. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
- While you’re waiting for the potatoes to cook, place the chopped onion in a lidded container, large enough to hold the finished potato salad. I used a large, round pyrex dish.
- When the potatoes are done, carefully pour them into a strainer to remove excess liquid. The water will be hot so be careful. When the potatoes are drained, pour them over the onions, and place the lid on the container to seal it. That will allow the onions to soften with the hot potatoes.
- Hopefully by now you’ve already prepared your Tofu Scramble, but if you haven’t, now’s a good time to do that.
- In a small bowl combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar, and sweet pickles. Stir to combine. Add one tablespoon of sugar, stir, and then take a little taste to see if it meets your expectations of sweetness. Some people, like my mom, like their potato salad a little more on the sweet side. Continue adding sugar one tablespoon at a time (or leave it as it is) until you get it just right.
- If you’d like, go ahead and add some finely chopped celery to the mix. It can make for a crunchier potato salad, but I’m not so certain I prefer the distraction from the potatoes. What I really like is adding a teaspoon or os of celery seed so I can have a little of the flavor of celery without all that annoying crunching. If you’d like to give that a try, add 1 teaspoon of celery seed to the mayo mixture.
- Pour the mayo mixture over the potato salad and give it a good, gentle stir, being careful not to mash the tender potatoes. (They can be so sensitive!) Add the scrambled tofu and stir some more, until everything is well-combined.
- Refrigerate, preferrably an hour or two before serving.