Two major inspirations for me this month are my friends David and Jim. Both have been vegan for many years, and I’m always impressed with how easy they make it look. My first week cooking vegan food hasn’t been the easiest to plan, but I was definitely looking forward to Sunday night because the couple had invited Megan and myself over for a delicious vegan meal. It was really inspiring to eat a delicious meal with friends, and see all the different ways you can make a vegan-lifestyle work long-term.
For those looking to host any dinner, even if you aren’t necessarily vegan, I would highly recommend The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. The book is divided by different entertaining options (romantic dinner for two, holidays, casual group dinners/etc.) and then highlights a full menu for each season of the year, so if you are into cooking local and fresh ingredients, there will be a ton of things in here for you to try. (She also includes a variety of proteins and cuisines).
I mention to book, because it was what Jim used to base our dinner above on. The main course was an African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew, with Leafy Greens with a Miso-Sesame Dressing, and a Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip that you ABSOLUTELY MUST MAKE ASAP. All three recipes were from this book. I also brought some Orange Cilantro Couscous, but I was less than impressed with it so I won’t pass along the recipe. Dessert were some fantastic Oreo Cupcakes with a Vegan Buttercream (or technically a chiffon). Who knew Oreos were 100% vegan friendly.
I cannot stress how delicious the dip was. Megan brought it with her, and we couldn’t stop eating it all night. I’ve included that recipe below, but if you’re curious about the others, I highly recommend buying the book. That stew was definitely worth the price.
Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spread)
The Vegan Table
- 2-3 whole roasted red bell peppers (fresh or from the jar)
- 2/3 c. bread crumbs
- 1 c. walnuts, raw or toasted
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 2 t. agave nectar
- 1 t. ground cumin
- 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
- To roast peppers, lightly coat in oil and heat on high on a stove top until blacked and its skin blisters. (For a gas grill, hold directly over the flame). Place the pepper in a closed paper bag for 15-20 minutes to allow it to steam, then peel off the skin.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.