Sunday, April 6, 2008

Four People in a Small Kitchen...

....a recipe for disaster?

Possibly, but not on this occasion. In fact, it's been a lovely weekend!

Our friends, Sue and Russ, came over last night to try out some vegan recipes and I think it went well. They are both very into health and fitness and star athletes to boot, so are curious to see how the vegan diet might suit them. Now, as you know, neither My Beloved nor I are terribly fit or athletic (to put it mildly) so we are hardly poster-children for the health benefits of veganism, but for us it's about the animals anyhow. But I digress...I know that Russ particularly is interested in seeing how well a plant-based diet might serve his needs, so we were determined to show that giving up animal flesh and associated secretions need not mean subsisting on carrot sticks and green tea.

No sirree. Not unless you want to, of course....

So, to demonstrate the point, this was the menu:

Appetizer: roasted garlic and white bean soup with crusty bread (the latter helpfully collected by Sue and Russ on their way down here): source = Veganomicon

Main course: chickpea steaks with mustard sauce, scalloped potatoes and lemon-roasted aspargus: source=Veganomicon, FatFreeVegan's blog and common sense, respectively

Dessert: silky chocolate mousse tart with vanilla ice cream and raspberries: source=My Sweet Vegan and Veganomicon, respectively.

So, Sue and Russ arrived around 4pm and the only thing I'd done ahead of time was to make some vanilla ice cream - soy milk, cream of coconut, sugar, vanilla extract and cornflour (I think) - and to roast a few heads of garlic. So when they arrived, we set to working backwards. Not running around the kitchen in reverse as such, but starting with the chocolate mousse tart and finishing by making the soup. And this is how we divided up the work and still stayed sane and friends while crowding into a little kitchen....

Sue and I made the dessert and this is how it turned out:

It's a no-bake mousse tart and wonderfully easy to do, especially as we needed to keep the oven free for the scalloped potatoes.

OK, so then My Beloved and Russ set about making the main course. The potato dish was intriging, I think, in that it made use of ingredients most omnis aren't even aware of, such as nutritional yeast and miso, to make a cheesy taste. And it really is simplicity itself. Follow the recipe in the 'Eat Me!' sidebar to the right on this page and enjoy! The chickpea steaks require little more than mixing together some mashed chickpeas, vital wheat gluten and some seasonings but taste awesome. They are one of my absolute favourites and as such, of course, I have no pictures....But take my word for it, they are goooood!

And here are our friends in action:

And again...

And Sue takes control...

And, after a couple of hours, this was the end result:

I regret that we don't have more pictures of the dishes themselves, but I did manage to get another one of the dessert, which you might like:

Go ahead - lick the screen...there's no-one looking!

Stay Vegan, Friends! :)