Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vegan vs. Carnivore Throwdown: Vegan menu and recipes

As I mentioned in my initial post, this was such an immense event that I haven't quite recovered from it. I'm still putting things away, eating left overs and recovering physically from the stress of the weekend. That said, it was a ton of fun and I can't wait to do it again next year. I feel bad though, that the initial post didn't have recipes included. It would have been an even more monstrous post and I'm afraid, had I included them, I would have lost any readers at least a quarter of the way through. So here I am, preparing my post for the vegan portion of the throwdown. Honey's recipes are a mystery as of current time; I'll figure those out next.


Also, I wasn't going to post anything today, or be on the computer at all because it's my birthday (smiley); however, I didn't get much of a 'to-do' from my husband and about that much from my child so I find myself with a lot of spare time this evening. Why? because I am not cooking for myself on my birthday and Honey has nothing planned and I certainly doubt he's going to come up with anything. Thank you though, to Nan and Poppey for a lovely 'to do' at lunch time... I can always count on you!

Pity party over and now back to work. I hope you find these recipes simple and interesting and I hope even more that you use them at your next vegan BBQ!

I'm going to go in order of what the judges had from start to finish; and what better way to start the event than with a delicious cocktail! Mine was refreshing and light with a burst of flavor from the garnish and fizz from the float. mmm!

Oh, and note, I have adjusted the amouts in these recipes to fit a 'regular' family vs. a party of 26 plus people. If something doesn't make sense, ask :)

BEVERAGE

Unfortunately, we didn't get a ton of 'really great' pictures of my food.
Honey's food has fantastic pictures... hmmm

FRESH 'ADULT' LIMEAID WITH PROSECCO AND 'SUMMERTIME' GARNISH
Need:
6 limes, squeezed
1/2 cup key lime juice (get Nellie's... it's the best!)
1/4 cup simple syrup infused with lime or lemon rind
1 cups cold water
1/2 cup vodka (I used Burnett's)
Prosecco champagne (you could also use your favorite DRY champagne)
1-2 limes sliced in thin rounds
4 fresh mint leaves, whole
4 fresh strawberries, whole

Do:
Combine lime juice, key lime juice, simple syrup, cold water and vodka and stir. Taste it. This is the most important (and fun) part! Add more vodka if you are a lush feel like it's a little weak, add a little more Nellie's if it's not limey enough... have fun with it!!

When your base is perfecto, pour into a glass to a little less than 3/4 of the way. Put one lime round flat into your glass.

Pop your prosecco and pour it on top. Note, it's a float so don't stir it in, I use a pretty hefty float; about the remaining 1/4 left in the glass... just don't make it too full.

Serve:
Garnish with a fresh, sweet strawberry wrapped in a mint leaf and skewered.

So simple and so so good!
(oh, and it won by the way :))


APPETIZER


ROASTED CORN SALAD WITH BLACK BEANS, RED PEPPER AND WALLA WALLA SWEET ONIONS IN AN ENDIVE BOAT

Need:
For the dressing:
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lime
juice of that same lime
1 Chili in adobo sauce, chopped or torn
1/2 tsp adobo sauce from the can the chili came in
1/2 Tablespoon celery salt
Salt and pepper
For the salad:
4 Ears corn, shucked and roasted on the grill (I'll talk about that in a minute)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 walla walla sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
6-8 heads endive, end cut off and de-leaved as far as you can take it
Coarse sea salt for garnish

Do:
In a 'shakeable container, add all dressing ingredients and shake the heck out of it. Set aside but do take some time to shake the heck out of it every time you either a: walk by it, b: say the word 'like' in any context or c: wash your hands. I don't know.

In regard to your corn, shuck the husks (is that called husking?) and silk. Put them directly on a fairly hot grill and let them go, turning periodically. The goal is to get the crispy, grilly, burny delicious look. When done, which can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, remove and let cool, then, using a knife, cut the kernels off the cob and put them into a large bowl.



Chop all your other veg and add to the bowl of corn kernels. Open your can o' beans (yeah, open that can o' beans) drain, rinse and add into the happy bowl o' veg. 

Toss nicely then find that dressing; give it another health shaky shaky and then pour over your salad. Toss well and let sit. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed; remember, I'm not a big salter/pepperer.

Serve:
When it is to your liking taste wise, get your serving dish and endive leaves, all separated and ready for action. Using a little spoon, spoon the salad into your little endive boat. If you're serving individually, garnish the plate with some coarse rock salt and serve away. If you're serving it on a platter, get all the little boats loaded and ready on the platter then do the coarse sea salt garnish.

Then... enjoy!

THE MAIN COURSE (INCLUDING SALAD)


SPICY BUTTER BEAN ALMOND BURGER

Need:
1/2 can butter beans
1 Tablespoon garlic scapes, chopped (you can also use green garlic)
1/4 cup white sweet onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons celery, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1/2 Tablespoon spicy curry salt (or salt with a dash of curry)
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons agave nectar
3/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped fairly fine
1/4 to 1/2 cup panko breading
Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls, sliced in half
For the 'sauce':
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons Tofutti vegan sour cream


Do:
Open your butter beans, rinse and drain. Put 1/2 the can in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add chopped scapes (or garlic greens), chopped onion, celery, cilantro and mix together. Mash lightly with the potato masher.

To your main bowl of goodies, add the chili garlic sauce, almonds, salt, curry powder and agave nectar. Stir to combine really well. At this point I used my hands (washed, soaped, cleaned, of course) to make sure everything was evenly combined.

Add the almonds and panko, starting with the 1/4 cup of panko and adding more, up to 1/2 cup if you like.

From there you get to form your patties! Hooray!

We did little sliders which are fun no matter how you look at it; they're just a little more sassy if you ask me. Also, for the bean burgers, they tend to stick together more if they're smaller so bonus two ways: sassy burgers that stick together, aha!


When all formed and ready to go, make sure your grill is hot then pop them on and let them cook! Note: when I made these as a test batch I did not have a burning problem. Our grill at the throwdown cooked significantly hotter than the test grill. Sous Kelly came up with a great idea of dredging the patties in olive oil just before popping on the grill. He saved the day! Not only did they get the grill marks without burning, the olive oil added another 'dimension' to the flavor of the burgers... thank you Kelly!!

ok, some of them are burned... those were the ones before the olive oil trick

Let cook on both sides so you have the lovely grill marks. While cooking, whip together the ridiculously simple sauce by combining the dijon with the vegan sour cream. Also, toast your buns!! This was one thing I wish we would have done. Team carnivore toasted (I should have known with Poppey at the grill) and we didn't... but you should!

Serve:
When burgers are done cooking, put the patties out family style or assemble the teeny burgers for everyone to grab. If you're assembling, I put the sauce on the bottom bun, patty on top and top but caddy whompus but not on the patty. The 'goodies',  aka heirloom tomatoes, lettuce and onion were on the side for guests to choose what they wanted.

Super simple, terribly flavorful and just plain fun to eat! Enjoy :)

THE SALAD THAT WENT WITH THE MAIN...
SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH A SPICY VINAIGRETTE

Need:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled (just barely though... don't over cook!)
1/4  cup walla walla sweet onion, chopped
1/4 heaping cup carrot, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, almost de-seeded... leave some in just for heat :)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
For the dressing:
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons cumin
1/4 tsp curry
Salt and pepper

Do:
Peel and boil the sweet potatoes... note: they do not take long AT ALL to cook so keep an eye on them because you don't want them to be overcooked or even a little over cooked. As they are in the water, continually test them with a fork. When they are just soft, pull them and run cold water over the top.

While your potatoes are cooking, chop all your other veg and put in a bowl.

In a shakeable jar, combine all dressing ingredients and shake the heck out of it. Let sit and shake again. Reapeat nine times. Even better... get your small child to do it; they like that kind of thing!

When your potatoes are cooled, add to the other veg, cover in shaken dressing and toss lightly. You don't want to 'mash' the potatoes so be gentle.

Serve:
On a lovely plate in tuscan shades (or whatever you have) pile a neat stack of potato salad next to your 'assemble by choice' bean burger. Serve and you're on your way!

DESSERT


SINFULLY CHOCOLATE CHERRY BROWNIE WITH CHERRY PORT REDUCTION

Need:
2 teaspoons ground flax seed
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ultra dark unsweetened cocoa powder (if you have a local chocolate shop, get it there... soo much better)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips (dairy free!!)
1 1/2 cup fresh cherries, de-stemmed and de-seeded

Do:
In a small bowl, combine the flax seed and soy milk. Whip with a fork and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 and grease one 9 by 12 baking pan.

In your Kitchenaid (or in a bowl if you must) combine sugar and applesauce and mix. Add vanilla, then give the flax seed/soy mixture a quick stir and add that to the sugar and applesauce.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix well and then add it in batches to the applesauce mixture.

Add the chocolate chips and cherries to the whole mix and once just combined, pour into the prepared baking pan and pop in the oven! Bake for 40 minutes then remove.

Let cool and serve.


For the cherry port reduction, combine 1/2 cup cherries with 2 cups port. Simmer on the stove until thick and rich... about 30 minutes.


Serve:
If you don't have a little chocolate cup (as shown) pop the brownie on a plate and drizzle the reduction around it. Eat and enjoy dessergasm. I'm just saying.


If you have questions on any of these amazing dishes, please, do not hesitate to ask via comment or email me at lapuremama@gmail.com. We were in a frenzy that day and some things did get tweaked here and there. If something doesn't make sense, ask! I'm so so so glad to help!

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