Posts Tagged YRR

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

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BBQ Tempeh Two Ways

BF wanted to have a barbecue last weekend.  And I decided I wanted to try my hand at bbq sauce, because really, why not?  Most storebought sauces have hfcs or honey or something else I don’t want in them.  So I poked around some recipes online gathering ideas, and a coworker gave me his recipe with a secret ingredient.  He swore me to secrecy.  But I’m pretty sure he’s never ever going to find this blog.  He’s too busy selling illegally burned DVD’s and tending his 30 pit bulls.

I figured since I was doing the homemade thing, I’d start with homemade ketchup as a base.

It’s no storebought ketchup, but it does just fine when it’s with other food.  Who wants ketchup on its own anyway?

Sauce in the pot, simmering.

Then I marinated tempeh strips in it for a half hour.

I grilled the tempeh for probably 6 or 7 minutes on each side, being careful not to burn.  Seen here with peppers & onions.

And on a hoagie roll with extra sauce.  Corn making a guest appearance.

A couple days later I revamped the leftovers as a pizza.  The crust was premade from Publix.  Toppings were bbq sauce, tempeh chunks, red onion, red pepper, corn, pickled jalapenos, YRR nacho sauce and cilantro.  Quickie garlic snails in the back.

In retrospect I would have marinated the tempeh for the pizza so there were no bare tempeh spots.  It didn’t make that much of a difference though.

In between I had a notable taco salad.  Leaf lettuce, YRR refried black beans, guac, salsa, YRR nacho sauce, cilantro and baked tortilla chips.  For the chips I cut up a multigrain tortilla, sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, baked at 400 for about 15 minutes.  So good, and they didn’t make me feel disgusting like chips out of a bag tend to do.

 

Homemade Ketchup

12 oz can tomato paste
2 Tbs white vinegar
2 Tbs agave nectar
pinch ground cloves
pinch allspice
pinch onion powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Whisk all ingredients together.  Add 1/4-1/2 cup water for desired consistency.

Yields 1 1/2 cups.

 

Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 Tbs molasses
1/3 cup organic grape jelly
1/2 Tbs each onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, black pepper & paprika
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 Tbs vegetarian worcestershire sauce
3 Tbs hot sauce

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium saucepot.  It’s okay if there are jelly lumps, they will melt.

Simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring often.

Yields about 3 cups.

*Note:  Heed my warning to stir often.  Otherwise, bbq volcanos will erupt and get all over your stove and floor.  Oh, and this is approved by non-vegans.  I hear it went well with their brisket.

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