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Vegan Menu


John DePaula
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I have several friends who are vegans and I'd like to invite them to dinner. Ok, I admit it: I'm not vegan myself but I want to "rock their world!"

Can you help me plan an impressive menu?

Thanks!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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My sister is a vegan so I will be happy to follow this thread.. I recently purchased candle cafe Its the cookbook from a restaurant in NYC, my sister really enjoys.. Havent made anything from here but, it looks good and I admit to liking there food..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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May I recommend that you use a variety of funghi? They have so much flavor and a meaty texture.

I'm not familiar with Candle Cafe but Native Foods does some really fabulous, flavorful stuff.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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May I recommend that you use a variety of funghi?  They have so much flavor and a meaty texture.

I'm not familiar with Candle Cafe but Native Foods does some really fabulous, flavorful stuff.

I second that thought. You can make a very lovely vegan mushroom risotto by either leaving out the parmesan altogether or using a vegan substitute, subbing a nice light olive oil for butter, and using a vegetable stock augmented with the liquid from reconstituting dried mushrooms if you use them.

Lots of other grain dishes can be fancied up without animal products. Pilafs, biriyanis, couscous ... go with mixtures of grains, and more unusual grains. A veggie friend of mine used to make a wild rice dish with cashews that was really good.

You can also go to town with lots of really cool gourmet vegetables. Heirloom tomatoes, "baby" veggies (I saw some incredibly cute baby patty-pan squash today at the local Trader Joe's), haricots vertes, fingerling potatoes, different colors of asparagus, artichokes (big and baby ones), etc. etc. etc. These so often wind up being side-players to the "main event" in meat-focused meals, but I think a selection of these, perfectly prepared, would be terrific on their own.

Eggplant is another incredibly versatile boon to fancy vegan meal prep. Bread slices and either bake or fry them, then use the cutlets in all sorts of ways. Or stuff the halves.

Fancy pastas also give you lots of options. Either leave the cheese out of the toppings and/or fillings altogether, or test out some vegan substitutes (some vegan/soy cheeses taste and melt a lot better than others, so you should experiment first).

Legumes are a little harder to make fancy, but it can be done. I love making a nice lentil vinaigrette salad.

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I made the grilled mushroom part of Michael Chiarello's grilled portobello mushrooms

and thought it was really wonderful, beyond what I would have expected from a grilled mushroom. You'd need to do something different with the full dish because as shown, the accompaniments are dairy-laden. Even a couscous could work out here, I think.

You might also be able to impress them by making things that they can't easily get in restaurants. For example, Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese food. So much of the standard restaurant fare contains non-vegan ingredients and a vegan might not even be comfortable eating a dish prepared in those restaurants.

Here are some good Chinese Sauce recipes . I've enjoyed the spicy Hunan, hot spicy, and the sesame baking sauces but if you are cooking water-laden veggies, cut back a bit on the amount of water you put in the sauce, you can always add more later if the dish seems dry. The Alford and Duguid books contain a lot of interesting looking recipes and there are many vegan ones there. I've also got a Vegetarian Thai cookbook by Nancy McDermott (roasted chili paste and some other recipes are online)

Good luck

jayne

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My mother-in-law is macrobiotic (vegan x10) so I have to do a suitable feast at least twice a year for her. I usually start with a pureed soup (carrot and ginger, butternut squash with nutmeg- all vegetable broth based). Then we have a nice risotto(mushroom is nice as is pumpkin), or a fried rice-esque dish, or a barley based pilaf. Next time I think I might do lentils. I usually serve roasted vegetables as a side often with a suitable sauce. Then we have a composed salad usually with a fruit component (fruit is nice because it balances the overt vegetable/ fiber nature of the meal, throwing in an avocado helps with digesting all that fiber too). For dessert I have baked stuff out of the Moosewood cookbooks (not my style), served fruit compotes (requires serving the salad before or with the meal), and actually one time did a riff on Indian pudding with cornmeal, molasses, soy milk, and ground almonds.

I have actually come to enjoy (ok, it took fifteen years) these meals because of the challenge they present. Have fun with the menu. I can't wait to hear what you serve.

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I have several friends who are vegans and I'd like to invite them to dinner.  Ok, I admit it:  I'm not vegan myself but I want to "rock their world!" 

Can you help me plan an impressive menu?

Thanks!

Hello John DePaula I've always thought that those delicious Moroccan salads/vegetable side dishes might be a good idea. I remember always enjoying a lunch at a local Moroccan restaurant that would feature a salad plate that included these salads: carrot, beet, potato with cauliflower I think, chopped salad, zucchini, eggplant, and green bean. These were served at room temperature and would be rounded out with with loaves of Moroccan bread, harissa and butter, but for your vegan friends perhaps you could include some very high quality olive oil and and some mixed olives as well since they don't eat butter. I've also seen a wonderful side dish which was a tajin of artichokes. There is a Moroccan herb/spice/aromatic/preserved lemon mixture to flavor this dish, but sorry, the name of it escapes me. The only caveat is that many Moroccan recipes call for honey which is not eaten by vegans. Perhaps dissolving some raw sugar in water to a honey-like consistency and then substituting it for honey would work. I can't see why not.

For the best advice, you might trying PM'ng chefzadi who is of Moroccan heritage, a member of this forum, a chef and culinary instructor.

Good luck and Happy New Year.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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My husband and I (not vegans) get together with vegans about once a week for dinner, so I have a lot of experience with what you're trying to do.

The easiest and most successful way to do it, I think, is to think about cuisines that do not have a huge focus on meat or dairy anyway. Indian, Ethiopian, and Italian cuisines are particularly easy to find meat and dairy-free dishes for. I wouldn't recommend Mexican food. We've done it, but it hasn't really turned out to my liking. Actually, tortillia soup may be vegan, or easy to make vegan. Enchiladas and tacos turn out okay, if you like soy cheese and meat substitues. I do not.

Lentils, fried breads, potato croquettes, fried potatoes, focaccia, pasta, gnocchi, and bruschetta are all easy to make without animal products. Pizza can be done nicely without cheese as well, or with vegan cheese. However, when choosing soy or almond cheeses, you have to avoid any with casein or whey listed as ingredients, and I don't find that they melt particularly well anyway.

You can also make an excellent chocolate fondue by melting bittersweet chocolate in heated coconut milk. Our friends make a cheesy vegan fondue with nutritional yeast and other mystery ingredients, but I honestly like to leave the tofu/yeast/etc stuff to them. Other dessert items you can supply include fruit sorbet, chocolate cake (there are oil-based recipes that do not have eggs and use white vinegar in their place), and candied orange peel dipped in chocolate.

Some vegans, just as an fyi, avoid eating refined white sugar because during the refining process it is typically filtered with charcoal. I have pretty much given up on that one, though Trader Joe's does sell a white sugar that I think is okay. When I use that sugar, I measure it by weight rather than volume, since the crystals are larger than your normal white sugar.

In my experience, it's not so hard to make one vegan meal. Repeat meals get tougher. If you would like a couple of vegan cookbook references, there is the Millennium Cookbook (this is where I got the gnocchi recipe. I recommend increasing the water to make it easier for the dough to come together), and I just received another book called Vegetarian Appetizers (by Paulette Mitchell) that includes a good selection of vegan appetizers. In fact, I'll be using the appetizer cookbook this weekend, as we're having an appetizer party with them on New Year's Eve.

Good luck, and if you have questions, I'll do my best to help.

EDIT: Also, Indian pizza (regular pizza dough topped with different Indian dishes) is highly tasty and impressive.

Edited by plk (log)
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Of course I remembered the name of the seasoning mixture for the artichokes only after I posted my last reply. It's called charmoula.

I remembered this chef being featured on Food Network when they actually used to give a damn about actual cooking. The show was called "My Country, My Kitchen" and the chef's name is Rafih Benjelloun. He has a Moroccan restaurant in Atlanta. He posts recipes on his restaurant's website.

Imperial Fez Restaurant Web Site

Skip the intro, click on Restaurant at the top of the screen and then click recipes at the bottom of the screen.

Best of luck.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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May I recommend that you use a variety of funghi?  They have so much flavor and a meaty texture.

I'm not familiar with Candle Cafe but Native Foods does some really fabulous, flavorful stuff.

We eat at Native Foods in Costa Mesa all the time. Tanya is doing great things with animal-free products! When cooking for vegans, I've made a lovely roast of seasonal vegetables (For now, cipollini onions, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and winter sqaush come to mind) then finish with a sauce by deglazing with white wine and lemon juice, then whisking in vegan sour cream off the heat (check your local health food store) and fresh herbs. Served over polenta cooked in vegetable stock is the way to go.

I also make a sauteed vegetable "mousse" that I pipe into canolli and cook with Mario Batali's ubiquitous "Basic Tomato Sauce" recipe. For a warm pasta/tuck-in kind of meal, that's tough to beat as well.

Our neighbors are peace activists and strong vegans and they love coming over for dinners.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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Wow, everyone, what great ideas! This will really help me put together an exciting and flavorful menu. Not to mention that I'll be eating in a more healthy manner myself. I'll let you all know how it turns out (hopefully with pictures…).

For anyone who feels inclined, please keep the great ideas coming! I really appreciate everyone sharing his / her expertise and passion!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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A few menus that I have done recently:

Breakfast for Dinner:

Eggless Benedict with Tarragon Dill Hollidase sauce

Apple Spice Pancakes

Apple Sage Field Roast Sausages

Root Vegetable Hash (Sweet Potato, Parship and Turnip)

Silk Nog

Thai Inspriation:

Roasted Squash Soup with Coconut Milk, Lemon grass and Chiles

Tofu Larb

Panang Curry

Sticky Rice with Coconut "Ice Cream"

Roasted Sweet Potato,Kale and Cranberry Salad

Hazelnut stuffed Acorn Squash

Coconut Dried Cherry Rice Pudding

Thanksgiving Menu

Black Lentil Pate with Shallot and Temphe Confit

Roasted Sweet Potato, Beet and Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries

Ginger Orange Golden Beets

Golden Mashed Potatoes

Celebration Roast by Field Roast

Cranberry Butter

Pumpkin Wontons

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being a current vegetarian and former vegan, here are some things that i think are good Dos and Don'ts for having vegan guests:

Dos

Do remember that grains and beans are vegan, and that they are super amazingly delicious. Often times people seem to think that vegans only eat vegetables. This is not true, of course! There are simple vegan dishes, like pasta with tomato sauce and roasted vegetables. Also, in a true human diet, grains and legumes are supposed to be the base of your entire diet.

Do remember that vegans often times don't only abstain from eating meat and dairy, they also abstain from processed foods as well. The reasons for being vegan are multitudinous, but one of the major ones is a rebellion away from the food society that Americans have built, namely food in a box being good.

Don'ts

Don't serve something with tofu or other meat substitutes if you don't have any experience in cooking them. Tofu can be terrible if cooked the wrong way, so if you've never tried it, save your experimenting for yourself. Also, the same can be said for other meat substitutes like seitan, TVP, or tempeh. Those aren't neccessary. And those weird packaged meat substitutes- remember the second do above. Processed things aren't usually the provenance of a lot of vegans.

Don't serve broiled portobello mushrooms. I swear, in my six+ years of being a vegetarian, whenever you go to someone's house who has no idea what to serve a vegetarian person, you always get a broiled or grilled portobello mushroom. Also, roasted vegetables in general, just by themselves, fall into this category. People just seem to think that vegans like vegetables that have been cooked this way, but it's not the easiest or best thing you can do.

You should check out Deborah Madison's <i>Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone</i>. It has a lot of quality recipes and most of it is vegan.

Edited by Arianna (log)
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I just thought of a few more ideas.

Premade frozen phyllo dough is usually vegan (check the package to be sure, of course). You can use this, brushed with Smart Balance vegan margarine (not all margarine is vegan, and most of it tastes terrible, so our vegan friends turned us on to this brand), to make sweet or savory filled triangles. Or, you could do a nice caramelized apple tart, using the phyllo dough for the crust, and caramelizing the apples in brown sugar and Smart Balance. A caramelized onion tart might also be interesting. Caramelized onions also make a great pizza topping.

Also, vegetable stock and mushroom stock are extremely useful for adding to beans, using for soups, deglazing pans, etc. I can't recall if wine and beer are considered vegan or not. For some reason, I think they may not be, so you may want to just ask your friends if they can drink them.

Edit: A couple more things

Roasted brussels sprouts are a nice rustic-looking addition to the dinner. Toss the brussels in *lots* of olive oil and kosher salt, roast in a single layer on a flat pan for 30 mins at 400 F (check in on them periodically to be sure they don't burn, and move them around). Serve immediately.

Asparagus with kalamata olives makes a nice side dish or appetizer. Blanch asparagus, then toss with olive oil, kosher salt, and olives, and roast until done.

Like was said above, though, vegans do get a lot of roasted vegetables served to them. But, I have a particular fondness for those two dishes, so I would personally have no reservations about using one of them as a side dish.

Edited by plk (log)
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While not seasonal, so it's something to file away for tomato time, or if you have a stash of home canned heirlooms, check out Paula Wolfert's Salmorejo from "The Slow Mediterrenean Kitchen" It's a cold gazpacho that is vegan if you leave out the egg and ham garnish. I've used smoked romas as a garnish and had rave reviews! Really simple and improves if you make it a day ahead, which is great for a dinner party with several courses.

By the way, I know you make chocolates and have been to several potlucks where a couple vegans have turned down otherwise vegan desserts because they claim that chocolate is not vegan. Do you have any idea what they are talking about? We're not talking milk chocolate here.

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I just thought of a few more ideas.

Premade frozen phyllo dough is usually vegan (check the package to be sure, of course).  You can use this, brushed with Smart Balance vegan margarine (not all margarine is vegan, and most of it tastes terrible, so our vegan friends turned us on to this brand), to make sweet or savory filled triangles.  Or, you could do a nice caramelized apple tart, using the phyllo dough for the crust, and caramelizing the apples in brown sugar and Smart Balance.  A caramelized onion tart might also be interesting.  Caramelized onions also make a great pizza topping.

Also, vegetable stock and mushroom stock are extremely useful for adding to beans, using for soups, deglazing pans, etc.  I can't recall if wine and beer are considered vegan or not. For some reason, I think they may not be, so you may want to just ask  your friends if they can drink them.

Edit: A couple more things

Roasted brussels sprouts are a nice rustic-looking addition to the dinner.  Toss the brussels in *lots* of olive oil and kosher salt, roast in a single layer on a flat pan for 30 mins at 400 F (check in on them periodically to be sure they don't burn, and move them around).  Serve immediately.

Asparagus with kalamata olives makes a nice side dish or appetizer.  Blanch asparagus, then toss with olive oil, kosher salt, and olives, and roast until done.

Like was said above, though, vegans do get a lot of roasted vegetables served to them.  But, I have a particular fondness for those two dishes, so I would personally have no reservations about using one of them as a side dish.

I especially like the caramelized onions with lentils - in fact, I may take that to a potluck tomorrow evening.

Also, I just wanted to mention that Morga makes the best Vegetable Bouillon that I've ever tasted. They make it in both salted and unsalted versions. It's a good base for lots of things.

I don't know if it's just me or if there's a new variety of brussels sprouts on the market, but I've sure enjoyed them a lot this year. Very good just steamed with a little salt and pepper.

Thanks again, folks!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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By the way, I know you make chocolates and have been to several potlucks where a couple vegans have turned down otherwise vegan desserts because they claim that chocolate is not vegan.  Do you have any idea what they are talking about? We're not talking milk chocolate here.

It's probably the sugar in the chocolate. Chocolate that is marketed as vegan is made from unrefined sugar or other natural sweeteners. This is because the process sugar goes through during refining is not necessarily vegan. My friends are fine with me using regular dark and bittersweet chocolate, though I did use the vegan stuff once. It was kind of off-tasting, so I melted it in coconut milk and used it as a fondue. It tasted much better that way. I bet you could also make some nice chocolate truffles with chocolate and coconut milk, then rolled in unsweetened cocoa, nuts, or shreaded coconut.

Looks like you've got enough options here for about 20 dinners, John DePaula! You'll have to keep bringing those vegan friends back for more!

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While not seasonal, so it's something to file away for tomato time, or if you have a stash of home canned heirlooms, check out Paula Wolfert's Salmorejo from "The Slow Mediterrenean Kitchen"  It's a cold gazpacho that is vegan if you leave out the egg and ham garnish. I've used smoked romas as a garnish and had rave reviews!  Really simple and improves if you make it a day ahead, which is great for a dinner party with several courses.

By the way, I know you make chocolates and have been to several potlucks where a couple vegans have turned down otherwise vegan desserts because they claim that chocolate is not vegan.  Do you have any idea what they are talking about? We're not talking milk chocolate here.

Hi Pallee,

Yes, you're right. The sugar in most chocolate, white sugar, goes through a process of purification. The liquid sugar is passed through animal bones [yes, really!] to purify it which turns the sugar white. There's a wide range of "veganism" and "vegetarianism" as you know, so some vegans prefer NOT to eat non-vegan chocolate. I've never found a vegan chocolate that I liked, but then again, I'm pretty picky.

I do make a "vegan" chocolate that my vegan friends will eat that has coconut milk in place of cream, with Pandan Essence, & molded in a bittersweet chocolate shell (which isn't technically vegan, see above). They LOVE it, I'm pleased to say. I don't market it as a "vegan" bonbon but, rather, the more accurate "non-dairy."

By the way, LOVE the idea of the smoked romas! Sounds heavenly!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I think it would be fun to encorporate some sort of black eyed pea dish of some sort. the chef at my old restaurant used to make black eyed pea cakes with several dipping sauces. I also second the "do not serve portebella(sp) mushrooms", it was the only thing I was ever offered in ten years of vegetarianism, got so sick of it,came back to the animal side, that and the grilled rare ostrich. HE HE.

" You soo tall, but you so skinny. I like you, you come home with me, I feed you!"- random japanese food worker.

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Part of the reason why I stopped eating vegan was that I was always hungry. Protein takes longer to digest and gives you a full feeling that you just don't get from starches/veggies. If you give them a meal of starches/veggies, their level of satisfaction won't be as high as if you included some protein in the mix. Including some high quality vegan protein, though, can get tricky, as a previous post mentioned.

When I say 'high quality' I'm refering to something other than beans. Beans are great and I definitely recommend including them, but if you want an eternally grateful vegan dinner guest, you'll need to go the extra mile and find a higher quality protein to work with.

Tofu, as previously mentioned, can get really nasty if cooked incorrectly. If you cook it right, though, it's the ideal high protein canvas for other flavors. My recommendation:

Extra firm tofu sliced in 3/4" pieces

A fatty marinade (coconut milk works well)

Long slow dry heat (275 for a couple of hours)

The goal is to dry out the tofu, not brown it too much. As it dries out, the texture gets meatier and the flavor intensifies.

Fat also helps to create a satiated feeling, so make sure to use plenty of it. Unrefined coconut oil (or thick coconut milk) is one of the tastier vegan fat options. This is why I tend to go Thai or Indian when I cook vegan.

If you go the pastry route, I recommend palm oil (green crisco), as it will give you flakiness without the dreaded trans fats of regular shortening.

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Part of the reason why I stopped eating vegan was that I was always hungry.  Protein takes longer to digest and gives you a full feeling that you just don't get from starches/veggies.  If you give them a meal of starches/veggies, their level of satisfaction won't be as high as if you included some protein in the mix.  Including some high quality vegan protein, though, can get tricky, as a previous post mentioned.

When I say 'high quality' I'm refering to something other than beans.  Beans are great and I definitely recommend including them, but if you want an eternally grateful vegan dinner guest, you'll need to go the extra mile and find a higher quality protein to work with.

Tofu, as previously mentioned, can get really nasty if cooked incorrectly.  If you cook it right, though, it's the ideal high protein canvas for other flavors. My recommendation:

Extra firm tofu sliced in 3/4" pieces

A fatty marinade (coconut milk works well)

Long slow dry heat (275 for a couple of hours)

The goal is to dry out the tofu, not brown it too much. As it dries out, the texture gets meatier and the flavor intensifies.

Fat also helps to create a satiated feeling, so make sure to use plenty of it. Unrefined coconut oil (or thick coconut milk) is one of the tastier vegan fat options.  This is why I tend to go Thai or Indian when I cook vegan.

If you go the pastry route, I recommend palm oil (green crisco), as it will give you flakiness without the dreaded trans fats of regular shortening.

Hmmm...I hadn't heard of 'green crisco' before now. Does it taste similar to 'blue crisco?' Does it have similar cooking properties?

About protein... I've often used this product called 'Quorn Grounds' (Quorn Web Site) for dishes that traditionally use ground beef. It's made from mushrooms, as I recall, and is pretty close to taste/texture of ground beef. It works best with highly spiced recipes such as mexican food. One thing, though, I don't like having it two days in a row...

Love cooking with coconut milk. Might try the marinated tofu one day for myself, but will hold off experimenting on guests for now.

Thanks!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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There are so many excellent suggestions here, especially the pointers regarding grains and regions where dairy products are minimally used. I'd imagine Rancho Gordo might have some good advice when it comes to bean-rich dishes that might be unusual.

I'd focus on ingredients that have a high concentration of flavor such as any of the onion-family that some very devout vegetarians do not eat because they arouse too much passion. Toasted nuts, nut oils and seeds, roasted beets, pomegranate seeds and dark greens are all wonderful. Pour boiling water over dried fruit and add a dash of vanilla, citrus peel or rum to the mixture and let them steep. Dried ancho chilies are also wonderful steeped and then turned into a puree; their presence in the black bean chili in the Greens cookbook makes all the difference. Reconstituted porcini in an small amount added to something unexpected are also wonderful, of course.

Carmelized onions, roasted butternut squash and sage, combined, are absolutely great. Deborah Madison's cookbook mentioned by Arianna above has two recipes with this combination. Unless you unlock the secrets to making a flaky pastry dough with oil instead of butter, I wouldn't do the winter squash gallette (in which the squash is first roasted with unpeeled cloves of garlic underneath its cavity so they steam-roast before you squeeze out the garlic and mash it into the orange flesh). However, on page 287 there is an equally fine gratin that calls for a small amount of grated cheese (you can omit, sigh) and milk which the author assures you you can replace with Herb & Garlic broth.

The Chez Panisse Menu cookbook has a roasted eggplant soup which I once served at a dinner party where there was a vegan couple. The Miles Davis fan who makes fake teeth for dentists in his basement was stunned because he was sure he hated eggplant and raved about the soup before I revealed its main ingredient. Since the color is similar to that of a sandy elephant's skin, I like to swirl in a roasted red pepper puree to make it more attractive.

Marcella Hazan's spaghetti with carmelized onions is fabulous. Pakoras, samosas....all with a tomato or fruit based dipping sauce instead of yogurt.

Feeling inventive? Since falafel is so wonderful, why not adapt the same principle of deep frying a heavily spiced mixture using ground soaked chickpeas or fava beans to a dish that doesn't look like street food?

I see that Paula Wolfert has at least one kind of kibbeh that is made without a coating of ground meat: pumpkin kibbeh stuffed with spinach, chickpeas and walnuts (p. 276 of Eastern Mediterranean Cooking) which looks extraordinary and takes much work, even if it's not difficult. I am sure such efforts would be recognized.

And as bad as most meat-substitutes are, I have to admit one of my favorite recipes of all time is a shepherd's pie that the Moosewood folk make using thawed tofu, a substance ( :blink: not the best word to promote the method, I realize) that informs several recipes in various cookbooks they have published. Tofu cakes frozen and thawed, then squeezed and taken apart with your fingers turn into something very light and a cross between ground meat and a sponge. What the Moosewood folk do is flavor it by sauteeing onions in oil with thyme & coriander (I add asofetida too), then add ground toasted walnuts, a little soy sauce and lemon juice. Good stuff, versatile, too, though unfortunately more versatile when you can use eggs (meatball sub).

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Another idea: our friends veganized a Food Network butternut squash lasagne recipe, and it's really quite excellent. There's no fake cheese or tofu in it, I believe. I think the bechemel sauce was made using soy milk, and flavored with a bit of nutmeg. It holds together excellently and is extremely filling.

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Hey Chef D -

Since it's New Years, why not try a vegan "Hoppin' John"? This recipe looks serviceable. If I were to try it, though, I'd probably substitute a nice rich vegatable stock for the water as cooking liquid. Or use that vegetable bullion you mentioned. But it's so easy to make vegetable stock - quick, too.

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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