March 2, 2008
Oh yeah. An all-vegan dinner party. Whose chefs, with the exception of me, are not vegan. Aren’t my friends great?
What was most impressive about this dinner party was not its veganness, however—that accomplishment may have impressed my lacto-ovo and omni friends, but most of you know that’s no problem. The feat lay in cooking all our dishes in a tiny, dirty dorm kitchen with a stove that only has the strength to heat two burners at a time, a considerable shortage of pots and utensils, an oversensitive fire alarm, and a handful of neighbors trying to make their own dinners. Sure, I broke my blender. Sure, we had to waft smoke out the windows with plastic bags. But the food was excellent. And for managing as successfully as we did despite the circumstances, I am particularly proud of us.
On to the fare. What you see above is a vegetable stir fry with fried tofu and a most delectable peanut sauce (not pictured). I’m not responsible for any of that, although I did graciously offer my taste-testing services to its cooks.
At first I was just going to make dessert (more on that later), but we thought we might not have enough food (ha!), so I decided to make a double recipe of my easy-delicious staple, Mac and Cheese from FatFree Vegan Kitchen:
Good as always. Below you see a full plate, which has both of the above dishes plus “Mullatkes”: potato-sweet potato latkes, loosely based on the Potato Latke recipe in Veganomicon. There were about ten gazillion of these, the majority of which we ate while we cooked. I think they might have been the best latkes I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lotta latkes in my day. (Sorry, I just can’t resist the opportunity to make latke puns.) And we even had vegan sour cream on the side! It was practically Channukah.
Not pictured are the tasty but unphotogenic Tom Yum Soup, Amy Winehouse, eighty-three dirty dishes, and Cappuccino Cupcakes. The cupcakes are my babies and thus get their own post. So stay tuned…and throw a dinner party this weekend.
January 31, 2008
A couple nights ago a family friend came over for dinner who seemed a bit leery of vegan food. I decided to recycle two of our favorite recipes that I’ve posted about before—no experimenting when doubting omnivores come to dinner. Sure, my dad’s an omnivore, but he’s related to me, so it’s no disaster if I make him something less than dazzling. I made VeganYumYum‘s Pan-Fried Tofu, Kale, and Stir-Fried Noodles and Veganomicon‘s Tea Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce for dessert.
These recipes worked before and they didn’t fail me this time, either. I may not have dispelled the idea that vegans subsist on tofu, but I hope I at least demonstrated that we eat good tofu. Our friend seemed to like both components of the meal; he’s not the type to gush, but he did compliment. Good enough for me.
January 29, 2008
I said I was switching to dinners again—and I have—but one of my best friends just came back from El Salvador last night, so of course we had to see each other immediately. And of course brunch had to be involved. As the vegan brunch pickings are pretty slim in my ten mile radius, it looked like cooking was in the cards.
I wanted to test out the Sour Cream Pancakes recipe again to verify the proportions, but it I was also craving something salty. I love a good tofu scramble and I was feeling rather lazy. My friend and I (well, more she than I) made the Scrambled Tofu from Vegan with a Vengeance and ate it in style—with a tablecloth and everything. We both liked it a lot. (And isn’t that some foxy grated carrot?) It’s nice to have a good tofu scramble in my repertoire.
And for the record—the pancakes were just as good this time around.
January 11, 2008
Last night I decided to try Lolo’s Pan-Fried Tofu, Kale, and Stir-Fried Noodles. If you haven’t seen Lolo’s blog, VeganYumYum, do yourself a favor and go visit. I came upon it as a fledgling vegan and it, more than anything else, got me into cooking.
Of course, she makes everything look so artful and easy! This is a wonderful recipe, especially if you’re trying to turn someone onto tofu, but be aware that if you double the recipe, as I did, the meal can a take a while to prepare. (I’m sure making the marinade and dipping sauce in advance would help.) The sauces are very tasty, and tofu cooked this way has a great texture and taste. We were glad to have leftovers.
I had never cooked kale before, although I’ve eaten it plenty of times. Un- or undercooked, kale has a bitter taste that a lot of people don’t like. But cooked this way that bitterness disappeared—it had everything I like about spinach, plus some texture.
I’ll definitely make this again when I have a little time and a head of kale on hand.