Posts Tagged dip

VeganMoFo: Food Fit for the Playoffs

Growing up, I wasn’t a fan of any NFL team.  The closest teams (the Bucs and Jags) were an hour and a half away each, and we were just much more into college football.  (Go Gators!)  That all changed when I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with Dave and adopted his team, the Forty Niners.  Now I consider myself a diehard fan!

The Niners had a great run last year that ended with two playoff games and a Super Bowl berth.  We celebrated properly for each game, having friends over and making lots of food.

For the first playoff game against the Packers, we went with a San Francisco staple and Dave made cioppino.  I wanted delicious soup as well, so I made this Mixed Mushroom Soup from 101 Cookbooks.  I’m not a huge barley fan, so I used wild rice instead.  For such a simple recipe, it was really complex and delicious.  We served the soups with sourdough bread.

For a special treat, I made marbled cupcakes that were supposed to be red and yellow, with red frosting.  The color didn’t turn out so well, but the game did!  Niners won and advanced to the NFC Championship game against the Falcons.

I think our food theme for the day was small foods, although I can’t remember why now.  These taco cups turned out really well.  I cut circles out of flour tortillas, pressed them into muffin tins, and baked until crispy.  I then layered in vegan chorizo, refried beans, and Daiya cheddar shreds and baked again until melted.  Topped with shredded lettuce and tomato, they were delicious!

I roasted some red and yellow beets, just to have some red and yellow food.

For dessert, mini double chocolate muffins with local Ghirardelli.

For the Super Bowl, we went with typical Super Bowl party foods.

I put together a red and yellow veggie tray with agave mustard dressing and salsa.

I was seeing a lot of buffalo dips around the internet at the time, and found many versions of buffalo chickpea dip.  I went with this cashew and bean-based version, which seemed at least a little healthier than the others.

The dip turned out to be really tasty, perfect with carrot and celery sticks.  The one thing I didn’t like is that the chickpeas were really chunky compared to the creamy dip, so next time I would chop them up a bit for better distribution.

Lastly, I made my previously undefeated cookie cake.  I also made cookie cakes for the Packers and Giants most recent Super Bowl wins, so I was two for two.  I would like to think that the horrible attempt at red icing and the fact that I forgot the red part around the inside of the S didn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Niners unfortunately lost, ending what was an unexpectedly fantastic season.

Comments (1)

Thanksgiving 2012 – Appetizers

So, October went by, and most of November, and VeganMoFo happened again!  I briefly considered participating, but I knew I couldn’t make the time commitment to do it justice, so I left it to those who could.  If you haven’t yet, check out the blog roll or rss feeds.  I can’t wait to browse them myself.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was so fantastic that I’m splitting it into three posts.  First up, the appetizers.  Friends were coming over early to start watching football, and we were waiting a little longer than usual to eat dinner to wait for one guest’s flight to land, so we wanted to make sure there was plenty to snack on.

I saw these recipes for Goat Cheese Torta online a few weeks before Thanksgiving, and knew right away I wanted to make a vegan version.   I kind of mixed up the two recipes in my head and ended up with a good combination.

For the cheese mixture, I made a double batch or C’est La V’s cashew goat cheese, skipping the baking step at the end.  I then blended it with one tub of Tofutti Cream Cheese, fresh oregano, and some black pepper.  I lined a bread pan with plastic wrap and layered a quarter of the cheese, pesto (recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance), a quarter of the cheese, sundried tomato pate, another quarter of the cheese, olive tapenade, and the remaining cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and press it down a bit, refrigerate overnight, and turn onto a plate to serve.

When you cut into it, you can see the layers of deliciousness.  Mine wasn’t quite as prettily layered as the recipe photos, but I thought it still looked pretty nice.

The flavor?  AMAZING.  It was creamy, tangy, salty, fatty, herby, and every other good-sounding adjective.  Dave and one of our guests said that they wouldn’t have known it was vegan, which is always nice to hear when it comes to fake cheese.  The torta was mostly gone by the end of the day, which may have had a lot to do with me eating about a ton of it.

To keep things on the lighter side, I also put out a veggie tray with dip and grapes.  I found some really pretty produce at the farmers market, including purple cauliflower and multiple colored carrots.  The dip was Vegan Dill Dip, which I made true to the recipe except for using reduced fat Vegenaise.  The dried minced onion softened overnight and had a nice texture, and the only thing I would change next time would be to add even more fresh dill.

On the right is an antipasto platter, which Dave added to round out the spread.  (The appetizer table became the dinner buffet, which is why the serving dishes are hanging out in the back.)

For a pre-dinner drink, I made a pitcher of Cranberry Ginger Martinis.  I tied the fresh ginger and cranberries up in cheesecloth, and kind of estimated on multiplying splashes of this and that, and even after adding extra Sprite the drink was strong!  Good, but strong.  I made sure to put a few big ice cubes in each one and let them melt a bit first.

Next up, the main meal.

Comments (7)

Food For Sports

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that Dave and I like sports – we like inviting people over to watch sports, and we love going to games!  Here are some foods that we ate while watching or preparing to watch sports.

Our friend Tom is a biiiiig Green Bay Packers fan, so we were very excited for their final playoff game against the Bears.  (Yes, all the way back in January.)  We had some friends over and observed what we’re told is a Green Bay tradition.  Apparently, Packers fans bring chili to their tailgates, then mix all the chilis together in a giant pot.  We didn’t have a pot big enough to hold all the chilis, so we just mixed them in our bowls.  Well…everyone else mixed them, I just ate my vegan chili.

For an attempt at authenticity, I based mine on this recipe for Wisconsin Chili.  I used soy crumbles instead of meat, and the only other major change I made was to saute the vegetables before adding the rest of the ingredients.  This was a simple chili, and very tasty!  Even the meat eaters liked it.

I topped my bowl of hot chili with some shredded cheddar Teese.

Oh, yes I did.  I made a chili cheese dog, and it was amazing.  Carbs on carbs, mmmmm…

Imagine our delight when the Packers won and advanced to the Super Bowl!  Naturally, we had friends over for a Super Bowl party.  Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger, to me, was practically good vs. evil, so I was rooting for the Packers big time.

Jake greeted our guests by the door.

I made a seven layer dip a la this post, and served it with Trader Joe’s Corn Chip Dippers, which are awesome.  I also put out some TJ’s Trek Mix with chocolate, which is also awesome.  All on a green tablecloth, of course.

Dave was preparing some sort of meat with baked beans and mac n cheese, so I put together a similar plate.

Buffalo Tempeh from Appetite for Reductions.  SO GOOD.  I will be making this again and again.

Mac and Trees, no trees, also from Appetite for Reductions.  I put some breadcrumbs on top and baked (overbaked) it.  Also so good!

Fantastic football dinner!

I made a Packers cookie cake!  Toward the end of the third quarter, when the Steelers were threatening to mount a comeback, we decided we needed to “consume the power of the Packers” in order to help, and we dug in.  Cookie cakes are always loved.  After The Great Cookie Cake Catastrophe of 2008, when I dropped a blob of icing on the top of the N in NY, I was very careful with the frosting, and so happy with how it turned out!  To make a cookie cake, I just prepare the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Vegan With A Vengeance then press the whole thing onto a round pan covered with foil, and bake maybe a bit longer than the recipe calls for.  The edges get chewy but the middle stays nice and gooey.  The topping is just regular buttercream; I used the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

I like to believe that the cookie cake aided the Pack in the win.  After football was over, we had nothing to do other than look forward to baseball season.  For the first baseball tailgate, we needed a cold side dish to go with some barbecue, and I went with potato salad.

I don’t think a picture of potato salad can really ever do potato salad justice, because this potato salad was super duper delicious.  I started with Betty Crocker’s recipe for Creamy Potato Salad and replaced the mayo with half regular Vegenaise, and half low-fat.  I left out the egg, obviously, and added some relish and fresh chopped dill.  You can never have enough fresh dill.

Perfect meal for eating in a parking lot – potato salad, grilled mushrooms and barbecue tofu.

I wanted to make a special dessert for our first tailgate of the season, and I had a crazy idea about making something with Cracker Jacks.  I googled it, and found out that rather than baking with Cracker Jacks, I could make cookies that taste like Crackers Jacks.

I veganized this Cracker Jack Cookie recipe, swapping out egg replacer for the eggs and using organic brown rice cereal instead of Rice Krispies.  I also added peanuts, because what good are Cracker Jacks without the peanuts?  Somehow, the cookies actually did taste a little like Cracker Jacks.  I don’t like shredded sweetened coconut at all, but it was fine in this cookie since there were so many textures going on.  The cookies spread a little more than I would like, so I want to make these cookies again with more binder, and I’ll post a recipe once it’s perfected.

Finally, I know the Kentucky Derby isn’t very vegan, but its official drink is.  Dave is a fan of horse racing, so he invited a few friends over for the derby and we mixed up some mint juleps.

Apparently there are a few different ways to make a mint julep, but I followed the recipe on the derby website.  It’s super easy.  You just make a simple syrup and chill it with fresh mint, then strain out the mint.  Put ice in a glass, add syrup, whiskey and fresh mint, and sip!  Seriously though, sip.  This is one strong beverage.

We don’t have highball glasses or julep cups, so we drank ours out of half-pint mason jars.  We’re classy like that.

Comments (6)

Party Food & Searching for the Perfect Pancake, Part 3

Last weekend was bf’s birthday, and one of his cousins invited a whole lot of people over to his place to celebrate.  We were going to order the UFC fight and watch some college football, and wanted to keep the food simple and on the cheap side since we were expecting quite the crowd.  As usual, I contributed because I like sharing, and also to make sure I didn’t starve.

Layered bean dip:  refried beans, avocado mashed with lime juice, salsa, better than cream cheese with taco seasoning, lettuce, green onion and olives.  I guess technically it was a seven layer dip.  This was a hit, gone by the end of the night.  Many people asked me what the ingredients were and were surprised to hear there was a vegan cream cheese.

I also brought the ubiquitous veggie tray, with Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian dressing.

BF doesn’t really like cake.  I mean, he’ll eat it sometimes if it’s there, but I wanted to make something I knew he would like a lot, so I went with a cookie cake.  Since my kitchen is still packed in boxes I used storebought frosting and didn’t go crazy decorating.  It wasn’t nearly as nice as the one I made for the superbowl (buried somewhere in this post…bf’s birthday cake from a couple years ago is at the very bottom too, that one was impressive.  and time consuming.), but it tasted great just the same.

It’s just the VWAV chocolate chip cookie recipe with a tad extra liquid, pressed onto a cookie sheet, baked and covered in icing.  It couldn’t get much easier.  People go nuts for cookie cake.

On Monday I started my new job in San Francisco, which unfortunately involves up to three hours of commuting every day.  It also involves staying in people’s spare rooms and on their floors since we don’t have a place to live yet.  This situation may or may not change in the near future, but for now my food during the week is mostly prepared due to time constraints, tiredness, and not wanting to mess other people’s kitchens up.  I took my camera with me and meant to document a few of the meals, however boring, but when it came down to it I just didn’t have the energy to take pictures.  When I finally got “home” at the end of the day I just wanted to eat ASAP.  So unfortunately I have no pictures of canned split pea soup, Amy’s roasted veggie pizza, salad from a salad bar, or a taco salad from Whole Foods hot bar that cost me over $11.  You know what all that stuff looks like anyway.  The food highlight of my week was a vegan blueberry donut from Whole Foods.  I LOVE blueberry donuts.  I used to buy blueberry and cherry donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts back in the day.  This one wasn’t quite the same, but it definitely hit the spot.  Blue frosting and all.

Having not been able to cook all week, yesterday I woke up with the urge to make something.  Lazy Saturday mornings equal pancakes to me, so I continued my quest to find the perfect vegan pancake.  Refer to these postsfor my first two attempts.  This time I went with the recommended Diner Style Pancakes from the Candle Cafe Cookbook.  I don’t have any of my normal egg replacers here though, so I had to tweak the recipe a little and use a tablespoon cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water in place of the egg replacer the recipe calls for.

I put chocolate chips in some of them just because I could.  These reminded me of my results using the VWAV pancake recipe – they tasted great, but were still flat.  I’m not giving up on this recipe completely though, since I did change it up a little.  I’ll try it again, maybe with a bit less liquid for a less runny batter.

BF and two of his cousins were making breakfast too, since football starts at 10AM over here.  They were planning chorizo and egg burritos, and I was going to stick with pancakes for simplicity’s sake.  But bf called me from the grocery store asking if I wanted some vegetarian chorizo that he had spotted.  He’s become really great at looking out for me and my food needs.  So while they cooked up theirs, I “scrambled” my veggie chorizo with tofu and spices.

Not exactly picturesque, but it was tasty.  Very similar to tvp or tempeh sausage crumbles that I’ve made before, a little spicy.  Except the chorizo comes in a casing like the real stuff, and you squeeze it out of the casing into the pan.  It seems to me it would be easier to just package it without the casing, but I guess they’re going for authenticity.  The soy flavor was a little overwhelming since it was TVP and tofu, so I think next time I would maybe try it with beans or on its own.

We also roasted home fries.  Here is my resulting delicious breakfast that kept me stuffed for a very long time.

Very early tomorrow morning I’m back to the grind, commuting and eating from a can.  Until next weekend…

Comments (16)

Birthday Party Foods

Every year for my birthday I have friends over to my place for a little shindig, and this year was a good one.  Friends showed up in force, everyone had a good time (I think), and a cop came by to give up a noise warning!  You know it’s a good party when the 5-0 arrive.  Nevermind the fact that we weren’t being very loud, spent the majority of the party playing board games, and are all well over the legal drinking age…we’re a wild bunch, really.  And while I never expect any presents, I received gifts including a couple bottles of nice wine, some Jameison, and My Sweet Vegan!

My friends made my week by showing me a good time, so the least I could do was feed them.  Please excuse the flash photography, the pictures were snapped fast since people were already over and eyeballing the food.

VWAV Spanakopita in phyllo cups.

spanakopita

Lettuce wrap bar.  Not everyone got the lettuce wrap concept, which is fine because a) I thought it up last minute and had never done it before, b) the lettuce I bought wasn’t as cup-like as anticipated, and c) all the fillings worked just as well on their own.  The recipes for all of the fillings are at the end.

lettuce wraps

Pea Salad.

pea salad

Sesame Ginger Mushrooms.

mushrooms

Savory Carrot Salad (the dressing on this was so good, it’s going to be my go-to balsamic vinaigrette).

carrot salad

Veggies, Stacy’s Pita Chips and Pretzel Chips.  If you haven’t had Stacy’s Pita Chips yet, get them.  Unless you don’t feel like being tempted to eat the whole bag at once.

veggies

A trio of dips, starting with Black Bean Dip with Cilantro & Lime.  I wasn’t impressed with this, so no recipe.  Although everyone seemed to like it okay.  I can do better.

black bean dip

VCON Curried Carrot Dip.  This was really good, but I almost wanted it to be made from sweet potato or squash instead, because that’s what it tasted like.

carrot dip

Roasted Eggplant & Garlic Hummus from Yellow Rose Recipes.  This flew off the shelves like gangbusters.  I had to put out seconds, and it was all demolished.  And just as easy to make as normal hummus, with one extra step.  Get YRR and make this.

eggplant hummus

And the piece de resistance, the birthday cake I made for myself, as all good vegans do.  It’s based on Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream.  Two vanilla layers studded with cookie dough, and a brownie layer, iced with buttercream.  I didn’t get to decorate it like I wanted, mostly because I was short on time but also because I didn’t make enough frosting.  Extra cookie dough balls did the trick.

half baked cake

Money shot.

half baked cake

And my piece, cut bigger than everyone elses.  I could only eat half at first, had to save the rest for later.

half baked cake

If I make this again the only change will be to try to make the cookie dough pieces inside the cake smaller, so they disperse more.  The Brooklyn Brownie, Golden Agave, and Buttercream recipes are from VCTOTW, cookie dough from VWAV.

The recipes:

Savory Carrot Salad

4-5 carrots, shredded
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp maple syrup
dashes of salt & pepper

Whisk all ingredients except carrots together until emulsified. Pour over carrots and stir to combine.

Serves 4.

Pea Salad

3 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
2 Tbs onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs each green bell pepper and red bell pepper, finely chopped
3-4 Tbs vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbs relish
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp paprika

Combine all ingredients, chill before serving.

Serves 4.

Sesame Ginger Mushrooms

I made these without soy since a friend is allergic, but 1-2 Tbs soy sauce added to the marinade would be good.

4 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced (I used button, shiitake & portobello)
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1/3 cup cooking sherry
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs minced ginger
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
olive oil spray
1 heaping Tbs cornstarch
thinly sliced scallions
toasted sesame seeds

1. Whisk together the water, sherry, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, salt, dry mustard and red pepper flakes. Pour over mushrooms, cover, and marinate at least one hour, up to overnight.
2. Spray a medium saute pan with olive oil and heat to medium high. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to the pan, reserving the marinade. Saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they have released their juices, the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are tender. If the mushrooms start to stick, add a small amount of water to the pan.
3. Meanwhile, add the cornstarch to the reserved marinade and whisk to combine.
4. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the marinade to the pan. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the marinade is thickened.
5. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds.

Serves 4-6.

And for those of you who’ve made it through the whole post, here’s an adorable picture of bf being a sad clown.

sad clown

Comments (19)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 252 other followers