Vegan Summer Nicoise Salad… and My Birth-i-versary

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It’s my birthday! It’s my blogiversary! And I’ll eat vegan summer nicoise salad if I want to! But more on this salad later… now it’s time for some reflection.

Two years ago I started Como Water as a repository for my home recipes. Friends and families asked how I made this and how I made that, and after years, I decided to keep track. The first year was a learning process. I learned that there is something called a “food blog.” (Wait, other people do this too???). I learned that there’s something called “food photography.” (Wait, my pictures shouldn’t be taken with my phone????). And I learned that there’s a vibrant community of folks who share in each other’s triumphs and support each other through tribulations. (Wait, someone else cares about what I’m writing besides my nana?!?!?!?). Oh, did I learn. And oh, did I become obsessed :D. Como Water became the ultimate creative outlet, pushing my gastronomic adventures beyond what I could have ever imagined.

Enter the second year… and a secret I’ve been keeping from all of you. You know that I moved to DC. You know that I transitioned from academia to policy. But what you didn’t know is that I’ve been working for US Senator Bingaman of New Mexico on health, food, and nutrition policy for the past year! It literally has been the best job of my life with the best co-workers I’ve ever had. It’s also been extremely difficult adjusting to a non-academia schedule and the often hectic pace of the Senate. This has undoubtedly had an effect on Como Water, but to delight (and often to my surprise), my food blog has survived another year! I have not posted as often as I have liked (why yes, I have eaten cereal for dinner more nights than I’d like to admit!) and I haven’t been able to comment on as many blogs as I would have liked, but here I am, two years in, still loving my blog, appreciating my readers, and connected to the foodie community! Thank you for sticking with me through this transition and for all of your comments, etc. on Como Water. I am so excited to see what this next third year will bring. And I’m super excited to kick it off with this salad!

A traditional nicoise includes tuna, green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, onion, capers, and potatoes. I mimicked the presentation of a traditional nicoise, but used seasonal and vegan ingredients, including hearts of palm instead of eggs/potatoes. I captured the acidity of a traditional nicoise with the grapefruit and vinaigrette instead of capers, and gave a nod to my favorite season by highlighting fresh, juicy peaches, and hearty heirloom tomatoes. Simply put, it works. Oooooooo, it works! 🙂

In my next post, I’ll show you what my birth-i-versary dessert entailed! And I’ll have a giveaway for you…and oh, you’re going to like it!!!  😀

Vegan Summer Nicoise Salad

(Printable Recipe)


3 stalks–hearts of palm–sliced

3 small heirloom tomatoes (mix up the colors!)–sliced

one large peach–sliced

1 medium grapefruit–segments and juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro




*Prepare all fruit/veggies. Supreme grapefruit. Squeeze juice from leftover grapefruit (non-supremed) into small bowl. Add vinegar, olive oil, and cilantro to grapefruit juice. Whisk.

*Plate fruit/veggies. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette. Serve immediately! Nom 😀

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Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY and Blogiversary too!! What a wonderful day and I wish you much success in all you do. 🙂 You made a totally fitting meal to represent your day… healthy, colorful and a feast for the eyes and soul!! I am so happy for your job in DC… you sound so happy and that makes me happy!!! Have a great day!!! Hugs! ~ Ramona 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday, Tiffany! Happy blogging anniversary, too. The photos are gorgeous.

  3. Happy birthday and happy blog anniversary! Sounds like you’ve had a very exciting year and that does sound like quite the awesome job (much more exciting than when I interned on the Hill years ago). Interesting adaptation of a salade nicoise, though I think I’m a traditionalist on this one (well minus the tuna of course). I wish I could get hearts of palm here!!!

  4. You are such a bad-ass. The fancy job, the great blog, the amazing salad, and you’re gorgeous. Seriously, such a bad-ass 🙂

  5. happy birthday, and happy blogiversary!!! yayy! that is so awesome you work in food policy, btw! that is a gorgeous and exciting salad!

  6. Happy Birthday And Blogiversary my friend – what an awesome double celebration 😀
    I’m in love with this recipe and guess what? It’s my birthday today too!

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. Happy Birthday and Happy Blogiversary and YAY I AM SO GLAD YOU LOVE YOUR JOB! I’m also glad you spilled the beans on what you’re doing because I’ve always wanted to know but didn’t want to bug you 🙂

  8. Firstly, I big congrats on your blog anniversary and my sincere greetings for your birthday. The salad is so colorful and attractive and one I will like to try out. Great job you are in and enjoy every moment of it.

  9. Happy birthday & blogiversary! 🙂

  10. This salad just looks so colorful and so delicious… that I can see me loving this. Happy Anniversary and belated Birthday!

  11. Wish u a belated Happy Birthday & Blogiversary tiffny:) Salad looks lovely colorful and delicious….

  12. What an exciting opportunity – congratulations!!!

    Love your take on such a traditional salad. Hearts of palm is such a cool idea I vegan-ized a version a few months back and used tempeh instead of tuna for the protein. Now I want to do it again with the addition of hearts!

    Happy Birth-versary!

  13. I am all about the vegan recipes and I have never had hearts of palm. I want to give this a try!

  14. Looks fabulous! I love all of the flavors, colors and textures going on…and Happy Birth-i-versary!!!

  15. Congratulations on your birthday and blogiversary! Not only it looks colorful but healthy and delicious as well..

  16. Happy Birthday and Blogiversary! Salad looks amazing as well! 🙂

  17. Happy Birthday! Happy Bloggyversary! Happy eating vegan summer nicoise salad! 😀
    That looks so pretty and colorful. It certainly will brighten up anyone’s day!

  18. I find myself singing “So Fresh and So Clean Clean” looking at these pics! Love mixing veggies with fruit for salads- salty, sweet and sour- delivery!

  19. I find myself singing “So Fresh and so clean clean” with this post! Love the freshness, colours, and the mixing of veggies with fruit in a salad. Salty, sweet and tangy… delovely!

  20. Happy (Late) Birthday and Blogiversary!
    Wow, that salad looks scrupmptous and beautiful. Healthy, easy..right up my alley!

  21. Happy belated Birthday and blogiversary!!!

  22. Tiffany,
    Congrats on new Top 9 today! Also, on your Birthiversary and new position, well not so new. How exciting for you!

    Your veganized salad is beautiful, and so flavorful, with the combination of fruits and veggies.