Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vegan food...its catching on!

This past Saturday we had a big family dinner to celebrate my sister-in-laws birthday. And since it was my sil's special day we wanted to make her a supper full of all her favourites. My sister host all summer shindigs due to her huge backyard full of stuff to keep the kids happy but I am the chef/organizer for most of these summer parties cuz my sister is not exactly a shining star in the cooking department.

So I phoned my sil to ask her specifically what she wanted to eat for her party. I made the list and I could hardly believe was almost all vegan! She wanted good old hamburgers and hotdogs (veggie burgers and veggie dogs were also offered for those who wanted them), Vcon's Quinoa, mango and black bean salad, marinated veggie salad (chopped veggies marinated in an italian-ish sort of dressing), guacamole (my speciality) with salsa and chips and for dessert she wanted angel food cake with berries and whipped cream (coconut whipped cream with berries for the vegan and dairy sensitive). Also on the menu was hummus - interesting thing about my family and hummus. We all love it - lot. My Dad buys a particular one from Planet Organic to bring to most family events - its from Sunflower Kitchens and they make some really awesome flavours. So my Dad usually brings a couple to our family parties. Except this time he brought 15 containers of it! A couple for the party and a couple for each family to take home to enjoy (I'm the oldest of 4) plus my Dad knows I consume an enormous quantity of hummus he bought me a couple of extra on top - thanks Dad!

Everyone enjoyed the party, and all the food was gone - the Quinoa, Mango and Black Bean salad was the first to go! And my Brother - who is perhaps the most devote carnivore on the planet - enjoyed all the vegan foods the most, he actually asked for the recipes.

Vegan food...its catching on!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Grilled Pineapple Salad

I can't believe how long its been since I last posted...I didn't even do a post in July! I wish I could tell you about all the wonderful, productive things I did on this hiatus but the truth is I was just really lazy, enjoying what little summer weather we've had here.

And it would seem that fall is at our doorstep - the leaves are changing already and there is a definite nip in the air in the mornings. I love the fall, its my favourite season but I'm not quite ready for it come just yet.

But in all seriousness, part of the reason I have been absent from my blog is because we've had some big changes around here. I no longer work one day a week - I'm now working for myself. I work as a designer (web and print work as well as some teaching and curriculum development) and ever since the girls have been born I have always wanted to work from home for myself. Well the opportunity presented itself recently and I decided that it was now or never. And that is a big part of why I haven't blogging - I've been busy setting up my home office and taking some time to wind down before I had to gear up again with a bunch of design projects.

But that doesn't mean we've been eating veggie dogs and burgers all summer long (although we certainly had our share of those, it is summer after all). We haven't had the greatest summer weather this year so I tried to make each tropical with our food - even if the weather didn't cooperate.

One dish that we really enjoyed was a grilled pineapple salad. Its super easy to make, you can serve it warm or at room temperature, and it last a few days in the fridge.

To make this salad you just skin and core 1 whole pineapple. Then cut into 1" slices. Then take 2 large red onions and cut into thick slices. Brush both the pineapple and red onion with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on the BBQ until pineapple is golden and has nice grill marks and the onion is soft. Remove from BBQ and cut pineapple into chunks and toss with red onion. Squeeze fresh lime over everything and voila - you have grilled pineapple salad.

We paired this salad with the Pad Thai from The Vegan Table and Seseame Green Beans, also from The Vegan Table. It was an awesome supper and the leftovers were great for lunch the next day. I think if you want to cut down on eating out (for your health and for your wallet's health) you need to make sure you have a great meal either planned or waiting at home. This meal definitely fit the bill.