Monday, September 28, 2009

Vegan Bridal Shower Brunch and Hawaiian Quinoa Salad

I had the pleasure of coming out of catering retirement and catering a lovely bridal shower this weekend. The hostess (and a very dear friend) agreed to keep the fact that it was all vegan a secret from most of the guests until after everyone had a chance to try the goods. It was a great success. There were many happy tummies and requests for recipes. It was fun to serve food to such a nice bunch of people, who were very open minded about the vegan menu. The lovely bride seemed to enjoy the food too, which is the most important thing!! So for those of you who asked for the Hawaiian Quinoa Salad recipe, I am posting it here for you.

Hawaiian Quinoa Salad

Makes 8-10 Servings

1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced small
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup red inca quinoa (if you can't find red use regular)
1 1/4 cup quinoa
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk

1 1/2 cup large red bell pepper, diced approx 1/4 inch
1 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced approx 1/4 inc (can sub canned but fresh is much better)
1 cup toasted macadamia nuts, coarsely choppped
6 green onions, sliced thinly

Dressing ingredients

1 1/2 Tablespoons white mellow miso
1 1/2 Tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce
3 Tablespoons pineapple juice
1 1/2 teaspoons mirin
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned rice or sushi vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

In medium size saucepan saute onion and garlic in sesame oil until onions are softened (about 5 minutes). Add quinoa and saute until just toated. Add vegetable broth and coconut milk. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through (about 25 minutes). Make sure all liquid is absorbed or the salad will have quite a bit of liquid at the bottom. Let quinoa cool completely. While it is cooling dice the red pepper and pineapple. Chop the macadamia nuts. Slice the green onions. They look very pretty if you slice them at an angle. Fold these into the cooled quinoa until evenly distributed.

Stir together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour dressing slowly into the salad Let chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Just a little FYI: The Coffee Chip Muffins, Toasted Coconut Mango Muffins, East Coast Blueberry Coffee Cake and both the Broccoli and Cauliflower Quiches were from the Vegan Brunch cookbook. The Mushroom and Leek tart was a recipe from the Voluptuous Vegan cookbook.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's coming Vegan MOFO 2010

Last year I joined a kick ass group of vegan foodies for Vegan Month of Food. It is a fun activitiy designed to encourage vegan foodies to update their blogs regularly. Of course it is supposed to be all food related which makes my heart sing. It was quite a challenge to try and blog every day. I did pretty well last year, even when I was on vacation in Montana. I am aspiring to blog every day during October...much to Fred's dismay :) He thought it was totally out of control last year; especially when I insisted on finding a computer at the hotel where we were staying in Montana so I could blog. I think he is getting used to the idea that I am totally out of control sometimes.

This year I have been thinking about a theme for MOFO. It dawned on me today that it would be fun to veganize favorite recipes of my friends and family. So in the next couple of days I am going to send out an e-mail to many of you to see if you have a favorite family recipe that I can attempt to veganize. I'm hoping time constraints don't get the best of me because I think this would be a blast. Who knows, if the veganizing goes well, maybe I will put the recipes in a little cook zine or add them to my growing file of "maybe I'll write a cookbook someday" recipes.

So please check back often in October. If you want to submit a non-vegan family fav. Shoot me an e-mail with the recipe attached as a word file. Let the converting continue!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

More Testing - Ripe from Around Here

I just started testing for Jae Steele's upcoming book Ripe from Around Here. I'm not sure what the anticipated publish date is, but I will keep you posted. This book will focus on local ingredients and a fresh, healthy approach to cooking. Here are some goodies from my first week of testing.

Savory Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Broccoli Salad

Tomato Chard Bake

Apple Flax Pudding

Morning Glory Muffins

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Testing Complete - American Vegan Kitchen

It is with mixed feelings that testing for this yummy book is complete. This was such a fun testing experience I am sad it is over. But I am super excited that the book will be out soon. It can be pre-ordered through Amazon, but if you can wait, please order if from once it is released. There are some classics and delicious twists on American classics. If you feel you'd miss some of your favorite foods by eating compassionately, this book will change your mind. Here are some more teaser pictures from the upcoming book.

Chickn and Dumplings

Fried Zuccini

San Fran Wrap/One of my personal favs from testing

Pizza and Lasagne