Tuesday, January 23, 2007


...to December!

I've been promising to post pics of what I made for my dad's soiree and still haven't quite gotten to it yet!

Until now...

Here's the menu!

Pad Thai from Vegan with a Vengeance

This was received well, but we took half of it home. This is M's favorite, so there was no complaining about that!

Green Bean Casserole

I made up the recipe as I went along for this. I used a couple of bags of frozen green beans, some pureed white beans thinned with some soymilk, and lots of garlic, Earth Balance and thyme. I found the French Fried Onions at Trader Joe's and used the entire canister. This was delicious!

Portobello Stroganoff (with meatballs) from Vegan with a Vengeance

I used the recipe from VwaV for the stroganoff and replaced the seitan with mock Swedish meatballs that I whipped up with some Gimme Lean ground beef style. This came out really well, and people really liked it. People did not like it as much as my real Swedish meatballs, but I have yet to find a convincing version. Give me time.

Chickpea Broccoli Casserole from Vegan with a Vengeance

I made this because it's easy and I love it. It is one of my most favorite recipes ever. People didn't go for it so much. They thought it was quiche. We told one woman that there was no egg and no cheese in it and she took a big scoop.

I had leftovers all week! :)

Tourtiere as inspired by my family recipe (with crust from Whole Foods)

My memere is very specific about how to make Tourtiere. In our family we only use potatoes, no oatmeal. Of course she also only used pork in her recipe, whereas my other memere always used different kinds of meat. My dad's side of the family were more spicy than my mom's side of the family who only used onion as seasoning. I always loved my mom's side's texture, but loved my dad's side's spiciness.

The key, according to my memere is to boil the potatoes with the skin on. So for this I scrubbed 3 medium russet potatoes and boiled them. When they are tender, run them under cool water and gently peel away their skins. Voila!

I used a tube of sausage style Gimme Lean and basically sort of boiled it with the potatoes with some garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and onion. I just dumped everything into a pot and added a bunch of water and let it cook down and mashed it. That's how the meat version is made, so I figured, what the heck!

It came out amazing. Wow is not the word. I didn't actually eat any of the pie, but I did have some of the filling.

The pie crust was a different story. Crust is the bane of my existence! I tried using a recipe out of Bryanna Clark Grogan's Almost No Fat Holiday Cookbook and it was a bust. I then tried another oil based pie crust recipe off of Vegweb and that failed miserably as well. I called all the Whole Foods in my area and they were sold out of vegan pie crusts, so I settled for one made with butter. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and I didn't feel so bad about it because I was making this for omnis and my dad acutally paid for it. If someone has a good pie crust recipe, please email it to me!

Farfalle with Grape Tomatoes and Olive Tapenade from Vegan with a Vengeance

This was something I threw together because I sort of had the ingredients. I subbed farfalle for the orrechiette as that's what I had and they are so fun! I also used grape tomatoes instead of cherry, and only about half the amount. I didn't have Kalamata olives, so I used the can of black olives I had in my cabinet. All things considered, this tasted excellent! I'm sure it would have tasted better without my substitutions, but it tasted restaurant quality on its own. I think that is the big reason I love VwaV so much! I can totally futz with a recipe and it still comes out wonderfully.

Indian Spiced Rice from Vegan with a Vengeance

This was yummy. It was like something out of a restaurant. Most of it was gone! I was able to sneak some out, but it was only about one serving.

Apple Butternut Casserole

This was inspired by a recipe from Vegetarian Times. It's really really simple and made more delicious by the buttery panko crumbs on top.

It was a lovely affair, and everything I made was vegan with the exception of the pie crust for the tourtiere.

My dad always takes care of snacks (chips and dip and cheese and crackers) and always has his choir members bring dessert. I always make something to bring for a dessert in case the unthinkable happens and people show up empty handed. This NEVER happens, so we always have this dessert orgy. What made it worse was the fact that my dad went whole hog and got a tray of various brownies from the bakery in addition to the multi flavored cheesecake and tub of cookies he usually gets. What he didn't bank on was that his choir members really like to go all out and bring big desserts. There was this huge German chocolate cake, tons of cookies both store bought and homemade, brownies, bars, fudge, truffles... It was like the Million Calorie March!

I made some oatmeal raisin cookies and some Gigantoid Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies from VwaV...

Even with all of the desserts, they were popular, but I did take half of them home.

All in all it was a success. No one asked any questions so there were no awkward moments!


Ruthie said...

oh. my. goodness.

Can I just say that you are a GODDESS?!?! WAY TO GO!!!!

I could have *never* pulled off something of that massiveness and caliber. You are the bomb. Times infinity. :)

Celine said...

oh! you are gooooooooooooooooooooood

TC said...

Those sounds wonderful. I love a good cookbook and I am totally thinking about getting that cookbook now!

wheresmymind said...

We've gotta get you a flash so these pix pop!

Nikki said...

Ruthie, I love you for saying that. :)

Celine, thanks! :D

TC, you should so get this cookbook! It's my absolute favorite.

Wheresmymind, I used a camera phone for the pics. I realized I didn't take pics at my house with my camera, so I took pics at the party with my phone. I swear my real camera takes better pics...though somehow I can't really seem to take very good pictures.

Kati said...

Nikki, I'm speechless! That was a ton of good-looking food - I'm sure your dad's group really appreciated it. That multitude of desserts sounds slightly dangerous for a dessert-aholic such as myself...

I've been reading a new book that you might find interesting. It's called The Self-Healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner. It's fascinating and contains tons of details about how to change the conditions of your life (emotional states, energy levels, etc) with macrobiotic foods. Very cool! You should check it out.

Anonymous said...

I am very impressed. I love the different selections from Indian Spiced Rice to Pad Thai! You are amazing! Was id difficult to coordinate everything? Were you able to keep things warm?

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Impressive! And no questions, either - extra impressive! Congrats on a great spread.

Candi said...

How did you pull all that off?! Wow, you are a true talent in the kitchen!! Lol! I love how you posted them all because now I have many ideas for the next vegan potluck I go to. I never know what to bring. I'll just stop by here though and check your menu next time and choose a dish! Lol!

I think the pad thai looks SO good!!

Urban Vegan said...

Excuse my French, but OMFG.

Theresa said...

That all looks so good. You can come and cater a party for me anytime :)

Candice said...


Now that is a lot of good lookin' food!

laura jesser said...

You're amazing! Everything looks fantastic--congratulations!

bazu said...

You rock, Nikki! So much cooking. I loved your comment about the million calorie march. Ah well, it's the holidays, no? I'm glad everything went well.

aTxVegn said...

What an amazing array of goodies you prepared! I would have eaten every single thing and loved it.

fresh_start_now said...

wow, that is very impressive! I'll have to get that cookbook soon. That broccoli chickpea casserole sounds really good, and I have extra of both right now. I'd love to have the recipe if you'd have the time.

Congrats on making all that good food!

Emmy said...

The Pad Thai looks great. That is one of my favorite recipes from VwaV. All the food looks amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

I am very impressed, you do a excelent work!

Anonymous said...

My gosh Nikki, you have talent !
Can we hire you ?
I can't imagine how tiring that must have been.

No oatmeal in my family's tourtières either. I didn't even know some people did that LOL
You did a great job, it looks wonderful !

Oh and I got a kick in reading you use the word Mémère ! LOL

Carrie™ said...

Holy Moley! See if I can get an invite to next year's soiree. What a lot of good food! Excellent job Nikki! My favorite part of this post? DESSERT ORGY!! I howled!

Jody from VegChic said...

Gadzooks! That is a heck of a lot of food. Unbelievable that you managed to pull that off on your own!

So many interesting recipes. The Tourtiere is something I'd definitely like to try.

How's the macrobiotic thing going?

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,