Tag Archives: dinner party

Kentucky Fried Potluck

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It was a warm Sunday evening, and I had a big mess o’ buddies coming over to celebrate nothing at all.  I wanted to test out some recipes for a” super top secret” project I’m working on, and spend some quality time with good smilin’ people.  I’ll start out with what I made, and move on down the line.  The only thing missing from this potluck was some Ale-8-One!

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A lovely mixed assortment of olives for the first people arriving.  Watch me wrastle with a deep fryer and delight in some salty hors d’oeuvres!

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Speaking of deep frying, feast your eyes on my Kentucky Fried Seitan.  I’ve been messing around with recipes for a couple weeks, and I found my winner.  I made a batch with from-scratch seitan, but I have to say that the kind I made from powdered wheat gluten was MUCH better.  I’ll put up a tutorial on Homemade Seitan 101: What Not To Do. I made this with tofu a few days ago too – it’ good!  Do it!  Fry it!

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Ah, coleslaw.  The friendly heart attack disguised in salad form.  But wait!  Veganaise to the rescue!  Have no fear of clogged arteries – vegan coleslaw keeps you safe and happy with its crunchy superpowers.

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The lovely Audrey made this awesome raw kale salad that went faster than anything else on the table!  The sweet cranberries and crunchy pine nuts went really well with kale, and the dressing was tangy and citrusy.  Perfect for an outdoor/indoor potluck extraveganza!

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Brie brought some garlicky roasted carrots!  This might be my new favorite way to do carrots.  There were whole roasted cloves of garlic snuggling around in there.  Enough said.

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Gabe brought green beans and turnips she found at the Farmer’s Market.  Mmmm.

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Let’s not even pretend this is a Red Velvet cake.  It’s supposed to be.  Looks more like a Carrot Cake, right?  This wasn’t an epic fail, but it was close to one.  I didn’t coat the pans before baking, probably didn’t use enough leavening agent, and needed more beet juice.  All things considered, it still tasted pretty good but it wasn’t my proudest moment!

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We ended the night with a rousing game of Smart Ass (you should own this) which my dad slayed.  Congrats JW.  There were also Mint Juleps floating around, collards from Lindsey, and cornbread from my friend Ayla (which you can see in the first picture on the red plate).  We listened to Bluegrass music and discussed the many and varied attributes of Dolly Parton.  It was a great little funfriendjollyjoy night.

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Blurry photo of how it went down.

You Can Get Anything You Want at CoulditbeSeitan’s Restaurant

Wow! Arlo Guthrie wrote a song about me! Amazing that he would have the foresight in ’65 to know how rad my vegan cooking would be in 2008. A true visionary, that guy.

Oh, you didn’t know? Hmm.

So I recently found myself engrossed in Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, a bio of Alice and the restaurant by Thomas McNamee. I haven’t ventured to the restaurant myself, but I love how adamant she is about having fresh, local ingredients. I’d take a just-picked Californian apple over the Chilean imports Trader Joes is messing around with any day. I hit up the Hollywood Farmers Market every Sunday, but last week I wanted to have people over to celebrate local California produce and share in some unadorned, unfancy, unpretentious, un-not-delicious vegan recipes.

The most unpretentious part of the meal – thanks to Dawn and Jesse.

The meal started out with a salad of lettuce, beets, and oranges. I sprinkled cumin over the beets because there’s something I really like about that combination. I tried a dish a few months ago in Ojai that was basically a big pile of cumin-y beets and I’ve just been mainlining the stuff ever since. The salad was served with and olive oil and vinegar dressing.

For the main dish, I made the Chickpea Cutlets from VCON, which I will now and forever refer to as “Ole Faithful.”

Every time I make these they are gobbled up. I served them with a Garlic Faux Aioli. Speaking of that, get pumped for a:

Recipe!

Ingredients

1 package Silken tofu – Mori Nu style

3 cloves of garlic

2 T mustard

1 T apple cider vinegar

Directions

  • Blend it all together in a blender and then let it chill out in the fridge. Put it on your food. Cooking is harrrd.

‘Tis the season for some beautiful asparagus, so I roasted it all up with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let it bask in its own heavenly glow.

CHECK OUT how pretty these potatoes are. Seriously. I am in love with purple potatoes. I also roasted these with rosemary, salt, and olive oil. I don’t have any post-roast pictures because it was dark outside by the time everyone arrived and my camera’s flash HATES food. Hates it.

And for dessert?

This was the easiest and most rewarding dinner I’ve made in a while. Everyone gobbled it up happily and hung around my living room playing fictionary into the wee hours of the night. My favorite kind of night: great friends, great food, and extra fancy pink wines.