Friday, July 21, 2006

Yesterday was the vegan brunch, and I must say it turned out better than I expected. I decided to go crazy this month, and make a few vegan dishes. Keep in mind, my only experience with tofu was last Saturday...and it was "okay" at best. I have been lurking at, where I found two recipes that really stood out. The first was a spinach artichoke pie that has been fondly referred to by my hubby as, "the green lasagna." This was amazingly easy to make, and turned out really well. I didn't buy enough extra firm tofu (had 8 oz, called for 16) so I crossed my fingers and threw in some silken tofu to compensate. This was also my first experience with phyllo dough, and I have come to appreciate it's delicate nature. SusanV recommended cutting the dough before baking, which made it super easy to dish out post-baking. Featured below is a veggie bowl, relish tray, homemade vegan focaccia and my homemade bean salad.

I decided last minute to get creative with a bag of dried beans, and made a completely from scratch 16 bean salad. The flavor was great, but the beans were a little hard post-boil. Next time I will use canned beans, but keep everything else the same. I need to get the recipe posted, because I think this is a summer salad worth trying out. Below is a close-up of the colorful salad.
Next, I made a vegan chocolate mousse pie. (recipe also compliments of SusanV over at Fat Free Vegan) This recipe is AMAZINGLY easy, and has a great end result. I used amaretto instead of orange liquor, which was a bit on the bitter side. I am planning to make it again this weekend with peppermint schnappes instead, and am expecting great results. I also added a Dream Whip topping made with Silk soymilk, which lightened the heaviness of the mousse. The picture below shows the mousse pie, a fruit tray and a "chocolate lover's" tray featuring chocolate covered pretzels, strawberries and carob-coated rice cakes.

Jess brought a vegan chili that was awesome, with homemade vegan cornbread. She also brought vegan chocolate chip cookies that were heavenly, and a still warm from the oven loaf of vegan sundried tomato bread, compliments of her mom. I completely forgot to take photos of Jess's food, but I'm sure she will post some over at I have GOT to get the chili recipe, as both my hubby and I really enjoyed it.

Overall, this was a really great "first vegan" cooking experience for me. I'm feeling pretty confident to use tofu in more recipes, especially desserts. I'd like to say a special thank you to SusanV at Fat Free Vegan for her wonderful recipes, and recommend that everyone check out her blog! Below are close-up photos that I took of all the dishes I made. Enjoy!

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