Sunday, January 16, 2011
New Football Party Food
We went over to our friends' house last night to watch the Falcons game, along with a few more people. It was a tough game to watch after the first quarter. But no matter. I mostly enjoyed being in the company of dear friends, and eating delicious food.
The hostess had picked up barbeque, along with sauce, buns and cole slaw. So I volunteered to make a salad. This is something simple and delicious I came up with that is omni-friendly, i.e. sweet, no bitter greens. It turned out to be great. My preference would have been to throw the bite of arugula into the mix, but it's hard to find lately with the ice storm. The salad is simply a head of butter lettuce, a head of romaine lettuce, some sliced strawberries and hearts of palm. I created a delicious dressing from a blood orange-steeped olive oil I received as a christmas gift. I used 2 tablespoons of that, along with 4 tablespoons of vegenaise and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. The flavor combo was really delicious, especially with the salad ingredients. I find the pairing of strawberries and balsamic vinegar to be a winner every time!
It would have been fine if I'd only brought the salad, since we were a small group and the hostess had provided plenty of carnivore food, but I was coming off a day of not much protein (tapas the night before, where the best I could hope for was bruschetta without the feta cheese). So I brought a bonus dish of Veganomicon's Quinoa and Chick Pea Pilaf. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it, and the pilaf is one of my tried-and-true dishes which has received accolades from friends and family alike. Though nutritionally superior in its protein and fiber content, Quinoa can be a bit of an acquired taste, unless you prepare it in an inventive way like Isa Chandra and Terry do in this recipe. The key is to infuse the grains with the flavor -- in this case, onion, garlic, olive oil, broth, tomato paste, cumin and coriander, rather than first cooking them in water and adding the flavor later. I am looking forward to looking into Isa Chandra Moskowitz' next book, Appetite for Reduction, which is coming out at such an appropriate time of year!
So here's the Quinoa and Chick Pea Pilaf:
Sorry the photo is a bit blurry -- I've got to go back to the Opthamologist -- it's been too long!
The food I brought was perfect for me, and a few of the others liked it too. Best, I had the opportunity, in describing the contents of the pilaf, to discuss the amazing protein punch that quinoa affords. I was the only one in the room going back for thirds (my husband felt bloated after his pork sandwich). The tastes were addictive and I knew my body was hungry for this healthy food, so I fed it! I love the very clear signals a vegan body sends -- they take all the guilt out of indulging.
Well, it was a bad night for Atlanta football, but a good night for delicious food and fun with friends. Stay tuned for my next vegan/omni-friendly recipes for bunco, which I will be hosting on Wednesday. I always like to be a vegan "ambassador" first, presenting something that anyone would love, but am also tempted to push the envelope just a little.