Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lunch Swap

My friend had a birthday party last Sunday with an interesting theme - a lunch swap. Half the people made lunch for two and the others just showed up. All the lunches were wrapped and placed on the table. When eating time came those who didn't come with lunch drew numbers. The first person got to pick a lunch, unwrap it and wait. The second person could steal the first person's unwrapped lunch or pick a wrapped lunch on the table and unwrap it. It goes on until everyone has picked a lunch. The chef of the lunches are then exposed and you have a little picnic with them.

The inspiration for my lunch came from my awesome, new dinosaur cookie cutters. I made Flax crackers from How it All Vegan, and a black bean "tar pit" dip. I didn't know how to continue making a meal with a dinosaur theme, so it stopped there.

The Flax crackers from How it All Vegan were great. I added some crushed, sliced almonds, and extra spices and they are great. I often skipped over this cookbook when I learned to cook, but it does have some good recipes in it. These will be made again with various spices.
For an appetizer I also included garlic stuff green olives and large capers.

Next dish was a simple potato salad. Apparently mustard and relish is not common to some peoples' experience in potato salad. Potatoes, vegenaise, mustard, chopped onions, fresh dill, fresh tarragon, vinegar, celery, salt and a tad of relish.

Tofurky Kielbasas satueed with onions and zucchini and put on skewers for easy eating. These were really easy and went over well because they can look impressive.

Fruit put on skewers. Another simple way to make fruit more fun and easy to transport by placing it in a pink glass.

Last was dessert, of course. Chocolate pear cookies with a strawberry filling.

The party was really fun but it took a lot more energy to make a full lunch/dinner for someone than making one dish I'd normally make for a potluck party. I later found out that others didn't put as much energy into their lunches.
The history from this idea came from a 50's dating and fund raising idea. Women would make lunches, men would then place auctions on the lunches. When they won the auction, they would then have lunch with the woman who made it. Very cute.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tofu, Salad and Pie

My posts have been lacking because either my photos have not been turning out or my recipes have not been. Below are a few of the things that have turned out.
Tandoori Tofu:
My mother bought me a jar of tandoori marinade awhile ago and it's been such a treat to use with tofu. Here I marinated the tofu for two days before broiling. I also made a red bean and onion side to go with the tofu and rice.

Roasted Corn Salad:
Inspired by a Whole Foods salad I saw. This is great for picnics, which I hope to attend more of this summer.
1 bag of frozen corn
1 large handful of baby carrots, chopped
1 cup loose spinach, chopped
1 tsp. fresh chopped herbs of your choice. I used tarragon and a bit of rosemary
2 bulbs of garlic, roasted
1/4 sweet onion, chopped

Panfry the corn until browned. Turn heat to low and throw in carrots herbs and garlic. Add more oil if necessary. For a more smoky flavor, add 1/4 tsp or less of liquid smoke.
Once cooled added the chopped spinach and onion. This is a good dish to add red pepper if you're into them.
Julie's Chocolate Pie with Webly's Raspberry Topping:
At Vegfest a few weeks ago I attended some cooking sessions and was inspired by Julie's Chocolate Espresso truffle Pie. I love versatile recipes!
1 1/2 box of silken tofu
10 oz. melted chocolate
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup espresso
2 tsp. vanilla
1 9" crust

Put everything but the crust in the blender, blend until smooth, poor into pie crust and let set over night in the fridge.

Alright, I like this because it's easy as pie too!
My version is similar but with raspberry. I used soy milk in place of espresso. Before the pie set I carefully folded in some bone-free (seedless) raspberry jam. I then mixed silken tofu, raspberry jam and powdered sugar to make a thin raspberry topping.

I am currently working on a coconut cream pie, which is odd because I am not sure I ever had the non-vegan version. I'm also still working on the perfect cheesy sauce.
Outside of my cooking experiments I am planning the wedding, trying to fix up the house and keeping up to date on Jess and my other website: Stumptown Vegans.

Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
Vanilla cupcakes with simple buttercream frosting. The yellow frosted ones are lemon, the pink and white ones are vanilla and the ones with the blue dots have rum frosting.
Chocolate mint cupcakes are the chocolate ones with pink dinosaur sprinkles.