Category Archives: Menu

Dinner Party Extrodinaire!

“Tom” and I just finished hosting a great dinner party. It was such a relief to get this party going because it was prefaced by organizational challenges – procrastination, rescheduling, commitment, on again, off again. Usually our little gang of dinner partyers has our dinners scheduled ahead of time, but not this time for some reason. Funny thing is I’ve had the menu planned for months! So once we nailed down a date, I was raring to go! Here is the menu:

Cauliflower Ceviche *

Mexican Fiesta Taco Salad with Cilantro Cashew Cream *

Slow Cooker Refried Beans *

Chocolate Mousse – Strawberry-Cherry Parfaits *

fresh fruit (watermelon and cherries)

* see below for recipes

You can find the recipes for the Taco Salad and the Chocolate Mousse on my blog – see links above.

image

Cauliflower Ceviche

(adapted from Dora’s Table’s Cauliflower Ceviche)

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 cup of diced tomatoes

1 cup of peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber

1/2 Serrano pepper, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

3 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp (or more) salt

Put the cauliflower florets into a pot of boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into a big bowl of cold water. When cool, chop finely. (I threw the cauliflower into my mini-food processor to chop). Put all the chopped vegetables in a big bowl, add the cilantro, lime juice and salt and mix together. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. We ate this with tortilla chips and alongside the taco salad as a kind of salsa.

This was the first time I made this dish. It was pretty good and was well received, but I think the next time I make it I will take it up a notch. I only put 1/2 a Serrano pepper in because I wanted to be careful about the heat, but I could easily have put the whole thing in. (You just never know with peppers … you can get a super fiery one or a fairly mild one)! Also, the dish needs more lime juice or vinegar or something to up the tangy taste. This will make the dish more liquidy, but after marinating, the ceviche could be transferred to another bowl leaving the excess liquid behind.

Cilantro Cashew Cream (This stuff is crazy delicious!)

(adapted from Oh She Glows’ Cilantro Lime Garlic Cashew Sauce)

image

3/4 cup cashews, soaked overnight

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1 large garlic clove, minced

3 tbsps. fresh lime juice (the juice of 1 whole lime)

2 tbsps. avocado

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup water

Drain the soaking water from the cashews. Through everything into the blender and blend for 2 or 3 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides and blend for another 2 or 3 minutes. (Unless you have a high powered blender then you can blend it until smooth in 2 minutes).

image

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

(my own recipe)

image2 cups dry pinto beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained

1 small onion, diced

4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp hickory black pepper, if you have it, otherwise use plain black pepper

1 tsp chipotle paste (I make paste by throwing a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce through the blender, then I store the paste in a jar in the fridge)

5 cups vegetable broth

Throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours. Turn to low, coarsely mash the beans in the pot with a potato masher, and keep warm in the slow cooker until ready to use. I stirred a tsp of hickory smoked salt in just before serving. (The refried beans will probably be a bit runny. When they cool down, they thicken up. You can also reduce the liquid in the slow cooker by 1/2.)

Strawberry-Cherry Parfaits

(makes 5 servings)

image

1 recipe chocolate mousse

2 cups strawberries

2 cups halved, pitted cherries

2 tbsp maple syrup

5 cherries with stem attached

Make the chocolate mousse ahead of time and leave in fridge to set for a few hours. Put the strawberries in a small saucepan over medium to low heat and add the maple syrup. Bring to low boil then let simmer for 30 minutes. Put the cherries in a small saucepan and heat over medium to low heat. Bring to low boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.

In parfait glasses (I don’t have parfait glasses so I used wine glasses), begin the layering process. Set out the glasses, and put a layer of chocolate mousse in each. Then put in a layer of strawberry compote, another layer of chocolate mousse, then a layer of cherry compote, and finish with a layer of chocolate mousse. Of course, you need to put a cherry on top!

image

image

Looks like a mess when it’s all on the plate, but don’t let that fool you! It was all dee-licious!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Valentine’s Day 2016 – Pizza and Roasted Vegetable Hearts

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

“Tom” and I created another lovely Valentine’s Day supper to share with each other. This year we decided to stay with the heart theme dominated by red and white. We made heart shaped Margherita pizza with roasted heart shaped beets and potatoes.

image

Margherita Pizza

individual pizza shells (store bought or make your own)

spicy tomato sauce such as Arribiata or Marinara (store bought or make your own)

cheezy cashew sauce *

vegan pesto **

1 or 2 tomatoes

3 large leaves fresh basil, chiffonaded

If making this for Valentine’s Day, cut the pizza shells into heart shapes. Otherwise, leave as is. Spread a bit of spicy tomato sauce onto the pizza shells. Put dollops of cashew sauce all over the pizza, then dollops of pesto in between the cashew sauce. Arrange thinly sliced tomatoes (I used 3 slices for each individual pizza). Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. After removing from the oven, add a few strips of fresh basil to each pizza.

image

Before baking, all ready to go in the oven.

*  Cheezy Cashew Sauce

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup water (or more)

1/8 tsp salt

a few grinds of black pepper

dash of cayenne

1/8 tsp dried basil

1/8 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp nutritional yeast

Put everything in a blender and blend for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed and adding a bit more water as needed. The consistency needs to be thickish so be careful about the addition of water.

** Pesto

1 avocado

1/4 cup vegetable broth

7 fresh basil leaves (approx.)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp salt

2 tsp white wine vinegar

Put everything in a mini food processor or blender and blend until well combined.

image

After baking, with a little bit of fresh basil added on top.

 

Roasted Heart Shaped Vegetables

2 beets, peeled

2 largish, round potatoes, peeled

1 tsp vegetable oil

Cut the beets and potatoes into slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the slices into heart shapes with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Toss the vegies in the oil, arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then flip the hearts and bake for another 5 minutes until lightly browned on each side.

image

Check out these lovely striped beet hearts cut from Chioggia beets.

image

image

Oh, and we ended our meal with more hearts … watermelon hearts! And chocolate of course!

image

image

 

Tagged , , , ,

Chili and Cornbread

You know, sometimes I think I set my standards too high. Take this blog, for example. I seem to have got it into my head that the recipes shared here must be original or, at least, greatly adapted from other recipes. It’s not a bad idea … in theory. What actually happens, in reality, is that I don’t post anything for ages because I don’t have an original recipe to share. In the meantime, I’m researching, making, eating and enjoying all kinds of delicious and interesting vegan food. So, today, while I was cooking another delicious meal, I thought, “I really want to share this with others” and I realized I have a way to do just that … using this blog. Duh! So here you have it … chili, greatly adapted from a chili recipe in Appetite for Reduction, and cornbread muffins, direct from Isa Does It. (Both of these cookbooks are by Isa Chandra Moskowitz).

image

Adaptable Chili

(based on Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

The reason I call this “Adaptable Chili” is because it’s, well, adaptable! Lots of vegetables, your choice and amount of beans, vary the spices, change up the toppings, include corn or not …

½ medium to large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ red bell pepper, diced

½ large carrot, diced

½ cup diced zucchini

1 cup corn – thaw if frozen

1 ½ cups veg broth

2-3 tbsps chili powder OR 1 tsp chipotle paste

2 tsps cumin

1 tsp oregano

¼ tsp cayenne

½ tsp salt

1 398 ml can diced tomatoes

1 ½ cups black beans

1 ½ cups kidney beans

½ 398 can tomato sauce

2 tbsps tomato paste

2 tsps agave nectar

2 tbsps fresh lime juice

finely chopped cilantro

diced green onion

sliced avocado

Put the diced onion in a large pot like a Dutch oven over med-high heat. Once the onions start to sizzle, add a tbsp. water and dry saute. Keep adding a little bit of water while sauteeing the vegetables to prevent sticking. Once the onion is a bit softened, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the pepper, carrot and zucchini and saute for a few minutes until vegetables release their juice and start to soften. Add the thawed corn if using. Pour in the veg broth, bring to boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and salt and stir to coat the vegetables. Pour in the tomatoes and the tomato sauce along with the beans. Stir everything together and add the tomato paste. Stir again. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Just before serving stir in the agave and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle on (0r not) some cilantro, green onions, avocado slices. Serve with cornbread or muffins and salad.

image

image

image

Cornbread Muffins

(from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

1 cup almond milk

2 tsps apple cider vinegar

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup medium-ground cornmeal

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tsps baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tbsps coconut oil, melted

2 tbsps unsweetened applesauce

1 cup corn kernels (thawed if using frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin pan.

Combine milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the milk/vinegar, coconut oil and applesauce. Stir these wet ingredients into the dry. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in the corn kernels.

Fill the muffin tin about 2/3’s full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are firm to the touch and a sharp knife, when inserted into the middle of a muffin, comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove muffins from pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack.

image

image

image

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is over in two hours, but that’s not too late for me to publish some greetings and some feastings! For the 11 Valentine’s Days that “Tom” and I have shared, we have tried to bring something special to the day and almost always that something special involves food. We have eaten out or ordered in a time or two, but the thing we usually do and prefer to do is plan a few special dishes which we prepare and eat (obviously) together. This is often a day when we cook something new or something fancy or something expensive. We set an attractive table – you know, flowers, candles, tablecloth, red and white theme … that sort of thing. During the years when we were sharing our house with other people, we would create a private dining space somewhere in the house where we could be alone and focus on each other.

So what did we do this year? Well, this year was kind of a special year because Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend and on a shared day off! That meant we could take a little more care and time for our planning. We thought out a menu yesterday, then “Tom” shopped for needed items (and then some!) while I went to Yoga. Guess where I got my menu inspiration from! Pinterest! In particular, Paint + Tofu and Maple Spice. We wanted to do red, pink, white food and we wanted hearts, so we made:

Roast Potato and Beet Hearts

and

Heart Shaped Ravioli on Tomato Sauce

imageAnd here’s how we made it:

Roast Potato and Beet Hearts

2 beets

3 potatoes

olive oil

fresh rosemary

Wash the beets and cut off the ends. Wrap in a foil packet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. When cooked, remove from oven, open foil and set aside to cool. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/4″ discs. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts out of the potato discs.

imageWhen the beets are cool, peel, then slice into 1/4″ discs. Cut heart shapes out of the beet slices using the heart shaped cookie cutter.

image

Arrange the beets and potatoes on a lightly oiled baking pan and lightly brush the tops of the beets and potatoes with oil.

imageRoast at 395 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip all the hearts and roast for another 10 minutes. During the final few minutes sprinkle rosemary sprigs about the pan.

imageRemove from oven and serve.

image

image

imageHeart Shaped Ravioli on Tomato Sauce

Filling

olive oil

1/2 small onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

4 or 5 button mushrooms, finely diced

1/2 tsp dried thyme

grated zest of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 or 4 handfuls spinach, finely chopped

1/8 cup pine nuts, finely chopped

splash of white wine

a few grindings of black pepper

Heat a bit of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for several minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook and stir. Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms release their moisture. Stir in thyme, zest, juice. Add spinach, pine nuts and wine. Cook until spinach is wilted and the wine has cooked off the alcohol. Set aside to cool.

Ravioli

3/4 cup flour + more for rolling

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

1 tsp olive oil

Mix flour and salt together. Mix water and oil together. Add wet to dry and stir with fork to form a dough. Knead the dough ball for 10 minutes, adding flour if necessary. Let sit, covered, for 10 minutes or more. Divide the dough in half. Roll out each dough ball into a thin sheet. Onto one sheet of dough, make heart shaped imprints using a large heart shaped cookie cutter. (Or, if you have such a thing, use a heart shaped press). Spoon filling onto the hearts, spreading to the edges. Lay the second sheet of dough over the first sheet and the filling. Re-press with the heart cutter and press down right through the dough.

imageRemove the excess dough. Crimp the edges of the ravioli hearts with a fork.

image

imageMove the ravioli hearts carefully onto a floured surface. Cook the ravioli by lowering carefully into boiling oiled and salted water. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and place directly onto a plate of tomato sauce.

imageTomato Sauce

6 Roma tomatoes, skinned

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, chopped finely

1 tsp dried oregano

couple of grindings of black pepper

Put the tomatoes in a pot and cook/simmer with the garlic, onion, oregano and pepper until the tomatoes begin to fall apart. Chop up with a spoon while cooking. Stick an immersion blender in the sauce and give it a few spins to evenly break up the tomato chunks.

image

image

Tagged , , , , ,

Mexican Fiesta!

Over Christmas, “Tom” and I were fortunate enough to go to Mexico for a week. We stayed in a beautiful resort on the Mayan Riviera with a large family group. This was our first visit to Mexico. Some highlights of our trip were hiking along the stretch of wild beach next to the resort,

image

swimming in cenotes in the Jungle Maya,

Splash!

DSC_4557

attending a Mayan cleansing ceremony,

DSC_4744

watching Mayan dancers,

IMG_2015

and eating authentic Mexican food. Ah, Mexican food … I love it! And you would think a trip to Mexico would mean plenty of it … not so in our case. You see, the resorts have to cater to a wide variety of clientele and so the food choices were all over the place, but with an emphasis on what you could call “western”. I had no problem eating vegan what with all the salads and fresh fruit, but it was very difficult to find good Mexican food on the resort. There was a Mexican restaurant, but it was very meat heavy and very spice light. The main buffet had Mexican food – tortillas in green or red sauce, refried beans, fresh salsa (with no chili spice), avocado sauce – but only at breakfast.

image

Our best Mexican food experience was in the Jungle Maya where we were treated to authentic Mayan cooking prepared over charcoal stoves in clay pots and pans. Yum! (Unfortunately, no photos.)

When we got home from Mexico, I knew I wanted to cook up a Mexican meal. Seeing as it was our turn to host the dinner party (see here for more info on that), I decided to do a Mexican theme.

image

Here is the menu:

mojitos

make your own tacos:

image

roasted chipotle cauliflower

imageroasted poblano vegie toss

“black nachos” – roasted portabello mushrooms

image

refried black beans

lime rice

roasted corn rounds

image

fresh salsa

image

guacamole

chipotle crema

image

fresh fruit

image

And here’s how I made it:

 Roasted Chipotle Cauliflower

(adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

image

image

1 head cauliflower, separated into florets

2 tsps. chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp chipotle paste

juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients except cauliflower together in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat all pieces. Spread the cauliflower out on a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, toss, bake another 10 minutes or so depending on the size of the florets. Bake until fork tender, but not too soft as they will become mushy as they cool.

Roasted Poblano Vegie Toss

image

1 poblano pepper, roasted and diced

2 zucchini, cut into 6 cm long strips

2 bell peppers, diced

Roast the pepper by spraying it with oil, placing under the broiler for 5 minutes with the over door ajar. Turn the pepper over using tongs, broil for another 5 minutes, turn, another 5 minutes, etc. until blackened. Let the pepper rest for 5 minutes or so, then peel off the skin and scrape out the seeds and membrane.

image

In a large pan, saute the zucchini and peppers together. As they begin to soften, add in the diced poblano pepper and saute and toss everything together.

Roasted Portabello Mushrooms – or BLACK NACHOS as “Tom” nicknamed them!

(adapted from Keepin’ It Kind)

image

12 baby portabello mushrooms

2 tbsps. Bragg liquid

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp. chili infused olive oil

Mix all the ingredients except the mushrooms in a large bowl. Add the sliced mushrooms and toss to coat all the mushrooms. Do this quickly before the marinade is absorbed completely be the bottom layer of mushrooms only. Spread mushrooms out on a large baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, toss, bake for another 10 minutes.

Lime Rice

image

1 cup rice of your choice (I think we used white basmati)

1 lime, zested and juiced

Cook the rice. At the end of the cooking time, stir in the zest and the juice from the lime.

Salsa

image

4 plum tomatoes, finely diced

1/2 white onion, finely diced

4 stalks green onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (seeds and membrane removed)

splash of lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

Combine everything together. Taste and adjust by adding more salt or lime juice.

Chipotle Crema

(adapted from Oh My Veggies)

3/4 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp chipotle paste

1/4 cup + water

salt and pepper

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Keep adding water until you get the consistency you desire, either thick or more thinned out. Blend for at least 5 minutes.

image

image

Tagged , , , , , ,

Scotland Gone Vegan!

Tonight “Tom” and I hosted a Scottish themed dinner party. Our inspiration was our recent trip to Scotland where we were able to sample haggis, tatties, neeps and bridies. We managed to find vegetarian haggis and bridies, but got quite a shock when we bit into a tattie pie and discovered not only potatoes, but meat as well!

Vegetarian Haggis nestled atop mashed tatties and bashed neeps and served with whiskey sauce.

Vegetarian Haggis nestled atop mashed tatties and bashed neeps and served with whiskey sauce.

 

A sampler dish of vegetarian haggis, tatties and neeps served with an oak cake.

A sampler dish of vegetarian haggis, tatties and neeps served with an oak cake.

Here is the menu for our dinner party:

Bridies* with HP Sauce

Haggis, Mashed Tatties, Bashed Neeps with Whiskey Sauce*

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Oat Cakes

Salad with Caesar Chavez Dressing

Carnachan*

And here’s how we made the food (recipes included for menu items with a *) …

Bridies (adapted from this recipe)

– these are meat and onion pies

– “Tom”, being the accomplished pastry chef he is, made these

IMG_8212

1 recipe for pastry dough (enough for about 3 pie crusts)

1 package of Veggie Ground Round

1 onion, diced

1 cup vegetarian beef bouillon

1 tsp dry mustard

1 1/2 tsps garlic powder

1 tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper

Saute the Veggie Ground Round and the onion together for a bit, then add the remaining ingredients. Let simmer and cook down until the liquid has been reduced. Roll out the pastry dough and cut out 6″ diameter circles. Spoon some of the meat and onion mixture onto 1 half of the pastry circle, moisten edges with water, fold over, crimp closed with a fork, and cut a steam slash or two into the pastry. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, rotate pan(s) and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom. This recipe made 17 bridies.

Vegetarian Haggis with Tatties and Neeps (recipe adapted from here) and Whiskey Sauce (I can’t remember where I got the recipe from!)

(I apologize for the photo – I forget to take a picture until we’d already started eating!)

A tower of tatties, neeps and haggis.

A tower of tatties, neeps and haggis.

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, finely chopped

5 mushrooms, finely chopped

1 cup vegetarian beef bouillon

1/3 cup red lentils

2 tbsp. cooked kidney beans, mashed

3 tbsps. ground peanuts

2 tbsps. ground hazelnuts

 1 tbsp. tamari

1 tbsp. lemon juice

3 tsps minced fresh rosemary

1 1/2 tsps dried thyme

1 pinch cayenne

1 1/3 cups oats

1 large rutabaga (Swede turnip), peeled and cut into cubes

6 white potatoes, peeled, quartered

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

salt

1 cup Scotch whiskey (I used a blend because it was considerably cheaper than the single malt)

3/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup agave nectar

2 tbsps. cashew cream (see dessert recipe below)

Saute the onion (add a splash of water to prevent sticking if needed) for a bit, then add the carrots and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms release their moisture. Stir in the broth, lentils, kidney beans, peanuts, hazelnuts, tamari and lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes then stir in thyme, rosemary and cayenne. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in oats, cover and simmer for 20 minutes – you may need to add more water as the oats begin to soak up the liquid. Spoon into a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Boil the rutabaga cubes until tender, drain and mash.

Boil the potatoes until tender, drain, mash with milk and salt.

Heat and simmer the whiskey until reduced by 1/2. Whisk in the milk, agave and cashew cream. Let simmer, whisking now and then until it thickens a bit.

Assembly:

– put a scoop of mashed potatoes on a plate, hollow out the mound somewhat

– put a scoop of mashed turnips into the hollow of the mashed potatoes, hollow out the turnips a bit

– put a scoop of haggis into the turnip hollow and mound and sculpt the haggis over top

– serve with whiskey sauce

IMG_8211

IMG_8210

Carnachan (my own creation, based on a dessert I had in World’s End Pub in Edinburgh)

IMG_8214

1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained

1/2 to 3/4 cup water

2 tbsp. agave nectar

4 cups frozen raspberries

2 tbsps. sweetener like agave or honey or sugar

3/4 cup oats

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Blend the cashews with the water – start with 1/2 cup water, then increase until the cashews can be blended easily, but are still blending into a thickish cream. Reserve 2 tbsps. for the whiskey sauce above. Blend the agave into the rest of the cashew cream. Heat the raspberries gently and stir in the sweetener, gently so as not to break apart all the raspberries. Toast the oats in a dry pan over med-high heat – shake and toss the oats so that they do not burn. Remove from heat and transfer into a dish as soon as they start to brown. Toast the almonds in the same way.

Ways to assemble the carnachan:

1. I assembled the dessert by putting a dollop of cashew cream into an individual dessert bowl, then a spoonful of raspberries, then sprinkling some toasted oats and almonds over top. My grandson (3 years old) helped with the assembly, so I went for the least complicated method.

2. In individual bowls, layer cream, then raspberries, then oats, then cream, then raspberries, then oats, then cream, then oats and almonds.

Variation:

– soak the raspberries in whiskey or Drambuie beforehand or drizzle a bit of whiskey onto the dessert when serving

Tagged , , , ,

JAMAICA, MON!

Here’s a posting I’ve been wanting to publish for months.  “Tom” and I went to Jamaica for Christmas 2011, had a wonderful time, then held a Jamaican inspired dinner party in February.  This was the menu (warning – not vegan! in fact, not even vegetarian!):

Pepper Shrimps

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Tofu

Callaloo

Rice ‘n’ Beans

Peanut Cake

Pepper Shrimps

We chose to make this dish because when we were on a bus excursion in Jamaica, our bus driver pulled over to a roadside food stand where we bought jerk chicken and pepper shrimps.  The shrimp were whole – heads, legs, feelers, everything – and had to be peeled before eating.  They were very spicy and very tasty.  I found a recipe for a marinade for pepper shrimps, bought live shrimp (I do not recommend doing this if you’re squeamish!), and threw it all together.  Actually, there was no throwing, but rather lots of squealing over the flopping, moving shrimp, disgust over the preparation of the shrimp, the burning of fingertips over dicing up some hot chili peppers …

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 fresh Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, halved and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 whole allspice
  • 1 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb)

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl and let marinate for a bit – maybe half an hour or so.

Then, in a big heavy pot and bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for a few minutes.

Remove pot from heat. Cool shrimp in liquid to room temperature, uncovered, about 1 hour. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a plate or bowl and drizzle some of cooking liquid on top.  Provide plenty of napkins for wiping fingers as this is the ultimate in finger food!

Jerk Chicken and Tofu

I bought a jar of jerk sauce at the airport in Montego Bay and that’s what I used for this recipe.

You can buy such jars or even jerk spice mixes in most grocery stores in Canada, or you can make your own.  With the sauce from the jar, I only needed a little bit to lightly coat the chicken and tofu and there was no need to really marinade because the flavour is already so powerful, it doesn’t need to seep and soak into the raw food.

I baked the chicken and tofu, but I suppose it could be barbequed, especially over charcoal.

Callaloo

Callaloo is the Jamaican green.  I ate it almost every morning for breakfast along with fresh fruit.  People liken it to spinach, but it’s not nearly as delicate.  I find it more like a Chinese green and, in fact, “Tom” and I use Gai Lan as our substitute for callaloo while in Canada.  We prepare it by sauteeing up a bit of onion and garlic, then throwing in some chopped Gai Lan and steaming for a bit.  Voila!

Rice ‘n’ Beans

This is a mainstay of the Jamaican diet.  I ate this almost everyday in Jamaica as well.  All it really is is rice, red beans (can use kidney beans), coconut milk, and garlic.  You can add whatever spices and herbs you want – make it spicy with chili peppers, thyme is a common addition, a bay leaf, some chopped up onion, etc.  Actually, I can’t find the exact recipe I used to make this dish for this dinner party, so it’s likely I just threw the ingredients together!

Peanut Cake

This treat is not cake at all!  It’s more like peanut brittle, but with a ginger kick to it.  I made it the day of the dinner party and when we ate the cakes, they were really, really hard!  The next day, however, they had softened to a much more manageable biting and chewing texture.

  • 2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 5 tablespoons minced or shredded ginger
  • 3 cups dark unprocessed sugar
  • 1 cup water

Combine the peanuts and ginger.

Place in a deep pot with the sugar and water.

Put stove on high and boil.

Boil until water is gone and the sugar is like caramel and sticky.

Place a sheet of greased paper on a flat surface (kitchen counter) close by.

Stir the mixture in the pot with a large spoon to be sure it does not stick to the bottom.

Use the spoon to scoop out mixture to create 1-1/4-inch wide mounds on the greased paper.

Each 1-1/4-inch wide mound should be placed in a separate heap on the greased paper.

Let the drops cool and harden. Serve. Makes about 20 pieces.

Tagged , , , ,
Nest and Glow

Healthy natural lifestyle - Plant Based Recipes and more

ice and lettuce

a vegan recipe blog

Oh Hello Vegan

One New Recipe for every month

Carine Young Yoga, Richmond, BC

Move from the cellular level, organs, breath, from within...

Vegan Rescue

Uncover the Vegan within.

Small But Kinda Mighty

From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow - Aeschylus

A Spoonful of Nature

Lifestyle Blog

Eat2Health Blog

Helping you make healthy & informed choices about your health

Yup, It's Vegan!

Plant-based recipes for everyone

(JUST ABOUT) VEGAN

One hungry girl's guide to an imperfectly delicious plant-based life

Vegan Gourmand

All About Good Food & Great Health

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

blogsomemoore

Teaching and Empowering ALL Students

Coconut and Berries

Healthy, Vegan Recipes by Emma Potts

The Muffin Myth

Know What You're Eating

scarlet rosita

Reclaiming Food With Fun & Yumminess.

The Penny Parsnip

Healthy Food, Heathy Wallet

Healthy H'ohm'e

Natural health and wellness with a HUGE passion for food

Robin O'Kane

VIDEO - DESIGN - PHOTOGRAPHY

Beard + Bonnet

A Gluten Free blog celebrating food and family!

Feed Life

Nutrition and Lifestyle to Prevent Cancer

Fork and Beans

Where food allergies and creativity come together

Just Another Vegan Aucklander

A JAVA's journeys, speils and adventures as a vegan/vegetarian

Don't Switch Off The Light

GO VEGAN BECAUSE ITS THE MORALLY RIGHT THING TO DO

FatFree Vegan Kitchen

A fine WordPress.com site

Melanie daPonte, Vegan Personal Chef

A Passion For Food...A Passion For Flavor!