Sunday, July 23, 2006

Relaxed Literary Vegan Meal - July 2006

Diva: Tamara

Drinks: Nicole

Red and white wine

Appetizer: Mariah
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Assorted veggies with a bread bowl and spinach dip.

Spinach Dip

1 pkg. sautéed spinach drained
1 can artichokes chopped
1 c vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup Parmesan-style cheese, grated
1 c Monterey Jack-style cheese, coarsely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced

Thaw and squeeze excess moisture from spinach using a clean kitchen cloth, cheesecloth, or strainer. Combine all ingredients, reserving 1/4 c. of Monterey Jack-style Cheese.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until top is bubbly.

Salad: Sara
Red is Best by Kathy Stinson and Robin Baird Lewis

1 whole red cabbage finely chopped
1 hole red onion, ½ moon slices
Red grapes to suit
Almonds to suit
1 whole red pepper, ¼ moon slices
1 whole pink lady apple, cubed

Mix together in a big bowl. Add any other seasonally available red edible veggie or fruit. Dress with favorite salad dressing.

Soup: Lovina
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver

Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon

¼ c (1/2 stick) butter
1 ½ c chopped onion
1 T finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp minced garlic
1 ¼ pounds medium carrots, peeled, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 ½ tsp grated lemon peel
3 c (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth (veggie broth)
2 T fresh lemon juice
4 T sour cream
1 small carrot, peeled, grated

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add chopped carrots, tomatoes and lemon peel; saut 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

Puree soup in batches in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired. Ladle into bowls. Top each with sour cream and grated carrot.

Side Dish: Stacey
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Almond Couscous--courtesy of The Vegan Chef

1 c onion, diced
1 T olive oil
4 c broccoli, half small florets and half chopped stems, divided
1 ½ c red pepped, diced
1 T garlic, minced
2 c water or vegetable stock
3 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 ½ c couscous
¾ c almonds, roughly chopped
¼ c freshly chopped dill
¼ c freshly chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the olive oil for 3 mins. Add the broccoli stems and continue to sauté the mixture an additional 3 mins. Add the broccoli florets, red pepper, and garlic and continue to sauté an additional 4 mins, stirring often. Add the water, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the couscous, stir, cover, remove the saucepan from the heat, and set aside for 5 mins. Using a fork fluff the couscous while stirring in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Entree: Ashley
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Pistachios

Makes 8 servings.
3 large red beets (1 2/3 lb without greens)
2 large golden beets (1 lb without greens)
¼ c minced shallot
2 T fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ c pistachio oil
4 oz soft mild goat cheese**
3 T salted shelled pistachios (not dyed red), coarsely chopped
1 oz mâche (also called lamb's lettuce), trimmed (4 c)

Special equipment: a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (without handle; at least 2 inches high)

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Separately wrap red and golden beets tightly in double layers of foil and roast in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Unwrap beets.

While beets are cooling slightly, whisk together shallot, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a stream, whisking.

When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off and discard skins.
Separately cut red and golden beets into 1/4-inch dice and put in separate bowls. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons dressing to each bowl and toss to coat.

Place cookie cutter in center of 1 of 8 salad plates.
Put one eighth of red beets in cutter and pack down with your fingertips. Crumble 2 teaspoons goat cheese on top, then one eighth of golden beets, packing them down.
Gently lift cutter up and away from stack. Make 7 more servings in same manner. Drizzle each plate with 1 teaspoon dressing and scatter with some pistachios.

Toss mâche with just enough remaining dressing to coat and gently mound on top of beets.
Serve immediately.

Cooks' notes:
• Beets can be roasted and diced 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Bring to room temperature before using.
• Molded beet salad (without mâche) can be assembled 45 minutes ahead and kept, covered, at cool room temperature.

**I made a mock goat cheese out of firm tofu, vinegar and lemon juice. I made it up as I went so I have no idea what the quantities are. Just went by taste.

Dessert: Erin
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Depression Era Inspired Chocolate Cake

3 c flour
6 T cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 T vinegar
2 c cold water
2 c sugar
2 tsp baking soda
¾ c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Stir until smooth. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Makes 2 layers of a 2 layer 8-9 inch round cake or one small sheet cake. Frost when cool. Eat!


1 lb confectioner’s sugar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 c (2/3 stick) non-dairy margarine, room temp
¼ c orange juice, lite
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the sugar, salt and margarine. Add the liquid. Beat until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary. Use immediately (frosting will harden).

WildCard: Tiffany (absent)

Lottery: Michelle

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