I first met Jessica a few days after Brandon and I had gotten settled into our new place in FL almost a year ago. We happened to both be in the parking lot, I was coming home and she was leaving. We stopped and introduced ourselves and I was super excited to see I had a neighbor who was my age and a girl! As I got to know Jessica I found she was a vegan which isn’t a big deal at all. I personally wouldn’t choose to be vegan in my lifestyle, I enjoy bacon and eggs way too much and why others do it is for their own personal reasons.To each their own I say.
Thanksgiving is probably a Vegans hardest holiday. I would find it very difficult to have a dinner party at my house if I knew someone coming was vegan. I would have to do a separate menu just for them. I love the use of butter in my cooking too much to avoid it because of one person. Holidays for a Vegan shouldn’t suck but I feel like they get left out in many way when it comes to family dinners and other dining adventures. Vegans can always bring their own food or talk to who ever is cooking and see if they wouldn’t mind keeping at item or two vegan for them.
I didn’t get to celebrate Thanksgiving this year with family or friends due to work, so when I got an invitation from Jessica to come to her 3rd annual Veagsgiving, I couldn’t resist. I didn’t hold any high standards for her cooking as I do on most everyone else because I knew certain things wouldn’t be served or added to the food that I love. I had gone over to her place the night before the party to help her begin some of the early cooking and preparation. The menu looked good and sounded delicious. I just couldn’t wait to eat it.
Jessica and I might not agree on the same food but we both love wine so that makes dining together a lot more exciting. I arrived at her place after work, just in time for dinner. I grabbed a plate and took a little bit of everything because I knew this party would give me something to write about. We also for whatever reason decorated our wine glasses with mustaches. See Above.
Appetizer: Carrot Sticks, tortilla chips and Hummus
Entree: Chickpea Cutlets
Sides: Autumn Latkes, lemon and garlic scalloped potatoes, maple cranberry sauce, Ginger and agave bread (muffins).
Salad: Pear, Walnut and Poppy seed Cabbage Salad with a Soy and Brown Sugar dressing.
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie with a Cashew Crust (I love her addition of the pig on top of the pie. Pure Awesome)
The salad and pumpkin pie were my favorite. I liked the idea of the chickpea cutlets but they were seared a little heard and something in the texture of them made them feel like they were molded with glue making it hard for me to cut with my fork..maybe they just needed to be served hotter than they were?. I loved the concept of the Autumn latkes, all the flavors from the beet, carrot and sweet potato went together perfect. Only problem was, they weren’t peeled before being blended therefore making them taste dirty and bitter. I recommend peeling all root vegetables even if your lazy! The skin makes them taste horrible and there is a lot of dirt…not a great flavor addition. The ginger muffins were tasty but had a weird texture. I later learned they were gluten free muffins which explains the texture. I was invited to bring a dessert so I did. Its always a fun challenge when I have to work with allergies and special diets. Eliminating what I can’t use in my recipes and trying to figure out what that leaves me with and how I can make something magical out of the mystery basket of little ingredients I have to work with. After I made my dessert I realized I had included honey, which if you didn’t know isn’t Vegan! (Honeybees are considered animal product) I told Jessica and she said it’s not a big deal. So I lucked out on that one. These are what I made, I call them Coconut Dreams.
Active Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Mise en Place:
-3/4 Cup Almonds
-1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut, plus and addition 1/3 Cup for rolling
-3 Tablespoons Honey (Use maple syrup if Vegan)
-2 Teaspoons Coconut Oil
-1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Pinch of salt
-Small cookie Scoop
Method of Preparation:
-Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until well chopped.
-Roll into balls and roll balls in extra coconut.
-Place on parchment paper lined over a sheet tray and chill in the refrigerator.
Keep in mind:
If You happen to have a friend or family member over to your house for dinner one night and they are vegan a few things for you to keep in mind so everyone comes hungry and leaves happy:
-Be careful where you place the meat dish on the table. Don’t set the Turkey or pot roast in front of the guest who is a vegan. That’s just rude and mean.
-Just because someone is vegan, they aren’t thinking in their head everyone at the table eating meat and other animal products is evil! Don’t feel like your being judged by the Vegan.
-Lastly, If you invite a vegan over for dinner, you should probably cook them something vegan so they can enjoy a great meal as well. If you don’t know any vegan recipes search the internet. If you can’t cook well ask your Vegan guest to bring their own food so it isn’t a big deal.
**Note: If you would like any of the recipes off the vegan menu, please contact me through email and let me know which recipe. I’ll be more than happy to share!