Thankfully my friends remembered their cameras and took some lovely pictures.
So about 545am we headed down the North Kaibab trail. The mission was set out. We were all to hike together until the bridge, where I would make the trek back up 2200 vertical feet on my own and they would continue on to Ribbon Falls. Now, I have to share with you that I was not being a slacker. I had a back injury earlier in the summer and could not properly train for the 16.6 miles we had planned for the day. But when the world hand you lemons, make lemonade.
In this case I made lots of vegan goodies!! We agreed that since I could not make the whole trek this trip that I would be in charge of the post-hike tailgate. Keeping in mind that my friends are going to be tired, ravenously hungry and certainly not vegan, I wanted to make lots of stuff to replenish their bodies and make their mouths very happy. After much though I decided I needed some savory, some sweet, some salty.
I dug into my many archives of cookbooks and test recipes and came up with my menu: From Julie Hasson's upcoming Vegan Diner I made Garlic Dill Cheese. It tastes very much like dill Havarti. I love this recipe, but oddly this one got passed over for some of the other treats.
For the sweet, I made Gluten Free Chocolate-Chocolate Chip cookies from Carla Kelley's testing. The hiking gang loved them! I think one of them ate like 4. My friend said they reminded her of brownies in the best way. They were very yummy.
I wanted to make something hearty and tasty and tailgate friendly that would also travel well. I decided on the Muffulleta from Veganomicon. This sandwich has been very well received by my friends in the past. I am not an eggplant fan, so I subbed grilled zucchini. I highly recommend trying it this way whether or not you like eggplant. It was super yummy!
Next I made a version of my own salsa. I'd provide the recipe, but it is always just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. So it is never the same, but it is always a winner. I served the whole kit n' kaboodle with authentic tortilla chips (a new brand at my WF that is kick booty), organic crackers and fresh crudite. I got rained on twice waiting for the hiking gang to return. So the food had to go in and out of the truck a couple of times. But all in all the hikers were very happy with their special vegan tailgate.
My friends brought festive Halloween decorations. You can see them here.
Muffuletta with Zucchini