Well, it wouldn’t be Michigan if we didn’t have people stuck in the snow at a potluck at least once a year. But the weather didn’t keep us from making new friends and celebrating delicious food! In fact, we decided we need more space for our gatherings. Our merry band of plant-based eaters has encouraged us to do something we thought heretofore impossible, which I will detail at the end of this post. Many of your requested recipes are included in this post as well.
A lovely quiet descends over the rooms just before everyone arrives.
We had many new guests bearing food. And some really amazing dishes appeared, including a summery tabbouleh, stuffed peppers, curry stew and spring pea shoot risotto. The dessert table was groaning. The peanut butter chocolate brownies and the lime curd tarts were gone in a flash.
Michele Sellers arrived with eggplant involtini. I didn’t get a bite!
You can see why we need more space. We stopped counting after forty people. For next month, we’re working on a way to make it easier to access the food.
Still everyone was in good spirits about it, filling plates and finding somewhere to sit, even when we ran out of chairs.
Good food really does bring people together. We love it when you bring your friends and relatives. Here, Diane Flaherty-Cisler has brought her son, Nick, and daughter-in-law, Sophia, who is a medical student.
Jan and Beth and Shane and Sandy also found time to catch up.
Here are some of the recipes your requested. I wish I had photos for them all! But I think you’ll agree, the recipes are far more priceless.
Geoff Fields’ Wayland Wedding Gumbo was a huge hit! Yes, it looks like a Louisiana bayou in this photo, but trust me, people couldn’t get enough of it. Here’s his recipe, down-sized from 100…
Wayland Wedding Gumbo
1/4 cup corn flour (Masa Harina)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried mushrooms (porcini, morel, etc.)
1 dried ancho chile
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced green pepper
3/4 cup diced celery
1 T garlic salt
1 t black pepper
1 t white pepper
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 cups arugula, chopped
1 T curry powder
1 t garlic salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried basil
1 t dried thyme
1 T olive oil
6 green onions, diced
1 poblano, diced
1 pound mushrooms, diced
2 T vegan margarine
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 head garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch parsley, diced
1 cup white wine
6 cups cooked rice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix corn flour and oil in cast iron pan. Bake flour/oil mix in oven for about 1 hour, stirring well every 10-15 minutes. [Note: corn flour is less stable than wheat flour, and olive oil burns at a lower temperature, so baking the roux poses a less risk of burning the roux. Aim for a tan color, as the mushrooms and ancho will give the gumbo the classic darker color. If burnt specs appear in the roux, start over.]
While roux is baking, heat stock to a simmer, turn off heat, and add mushrooms and ancho to steep in the stock. When the stock has cooled, blend the mushrooms and ancho in 1 quart of the cooled stock, and return the blended mixture to the stock pot. Return stock to simmer.
When roux reaches desired color, remove from oven, stir in onions/peppers/celery and salt and peppers. Cook on burner over low temperature for five minutes, then turn off heat. Add roux mixture by spoonful’s to the stock, stirring well after each addition. Once roux mixture is completely incorporated into the stock, turn off the burner, and add the arugula.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in pan and sauté green onions and poblano until just softened. Add spice mix and stir to incorporate. Add mushrooms and sauté by shaking the pan back and forth. When mushrooms start to release water, add vegan margarine, 1 T at a time, until melted and incorporated all the while shaking the pan back and forth, until margarine is melted and incorporated.
Add mushroom mixture and corn to the gumbo. Simmer on low heat for 60 minutes, adding wine towards the end (as well water as enough water or more stock to reach a consistency you like). Just before serving, salt and pepper to taste, as desired; stir in garlic and parsley; and simmer for 10 more minutes.
To serve, mound rice in center of bowl and ladle gumbo around rice.
Serves 8 to 12.
Everyone wanted to know more about Medha’s dish. Here she is chatting with chef Shawn Kohlhaas about it.
Medha says: That was Kachhi Dabeli, a fast food snack from the Kutch region of Gujarat, India. These are Indian burgers with a spicy mashed potato filling along with fresh garlic chutney, tangy dates and tamarind chutney, roasted peanuts, pomegranate seeds, chopped onions, and cilantro. Instead of pomegranate you can use black or green grapes cut into small pieces. Find a nice recipe online here
Vegan Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies
brought by Kathy Harwood and inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
2/3 cup sweet potato puree
2 TBSP ground flax seed
1/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350*F. In a large mixing bowl, mix together sweet potato puree, ground flax seed and almond milk. Add in the remaining wet ingredients and mix well (oil, syrup, and vanilla). Sift in spelt flour, ww pastry flour, spices, soda, and salt and stir until fully incorporated. Fold in the oats, pecans and dried cranberries.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop cookie dough and drop on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave 2″ of space between each cookie. Press down the scoops to form a flat patty. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden brown.
Makes ~20 cookies
Note: You can substitute pumpkin puree for the sweet potato. Be sure to add more sweetener to make up for the substitution.
Finally, my personal fave was Kevin Schalkofski’s Italian “Beef” Sandwiches. He found the recipe at this link and he has this to say about making the recipe: I basically prepared the whole recipe the day before. 1. I did not use tofu in the seitan loaf. 2. I did not have beer, so I just used extra veggie broth in the au jus. Since I was making ahead, on day 2 I put the au jus in the crock pot on low at lunch time and put the sliced seitan back in foil and followed the “steaming process” noted in the original recipe — keeping it from mixing with the broth. I would be curious to have time to do this all in the same day.
So that’s what we have so far. If there’s anything else you’d like, tell me so I can badger the cooks.
Finally, we are hoping (fingers crossed) to clear out a space for more diners. We have a lower level. It used to be called the ‘Post Office,’ because it contains an entire post office wall, complete with counter. Now it’s called…well, nothing. It’s kind of a junk repository. But it has a beautiful fireplace! So we’re hoping to clear it out for March. Everyone has to have goals. Thanks for kicking us into gear!