The last few days I have been tanked with a cold, which you’re probably tired of me whining about on Twitter. It was so bad yesterday that I had to take a sick day from work. I spent most of the day as a cold zombie parked in front of the TV to discover day time TV just sucks! For some reason I couldn’t stop watching Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown even though they’re horrible shows, seeing guests duke out their petty trashy problems was therapeutic somehow. I’d like to say the day was relaxing and productive, but it was neither.
Saturday night, we had another last minute family dinner at my sister’s house. Because I was too lazy to go grocery shopping, I improvised with what I had to bring an appetizer and salad. Anna’s Edamame Ginger Hummus was the perfect appetizer to bring because I had all the ingredients on hand. The wonderful thing about Trader Joe’s frozen shelled edamame is it’s cheap and easy to stock in the freezer for quick vegan protein, the bag only took 2 hours to defrost and probably a lot less if I threw it in the Excalibur dehydrator.
The recipe was super fast to throw in the food processor and I only slightly grated my knuckle while grating the ginger.
I had to process the mixture for a couple of minutes with two push-down stops to reach a smooth texture.
I packed jicama and bell pepper sticks for dipping, but my family discovered the neighboring tortilla chips from the salsa appetizer were equally good and it disappeared fast. Though I confess, much of it was eaten by me. :-) I loved this recipe for the bright ginger flavor, hearty texture and how filling it was. It was a wonderfully unique twist to traditional hummus that was simple and will impress. If you’re a hummus fan, give it a try. Awesome recipe, Anna!
And I’m glad I packed a high-protein appetizer, because dinner was lacking a bit in protein. It was carnitas night and after I skipped over the pork, cheese and cheese-loaded beans, this was my plate.
Not a bad vegan meal at all, but not hearty.
I did also make a trip to the mall over the weekend where a little lunch was in order before shopping. Mall food courts can be a mixed bag for vegans with pretty week offerings and usually I avoid them since the dining environment is less than relaxing. But it was actually quiet and I had many line-free choices. I landed at Saigon Eats thinking there would be decent vegan options and while scanning the menu, one of the employees kept trying to hand me a sample of every type of meat they had despite me constantly saying, “no thanks!” Actually a lot of booths were trying to shove meat on a toothpick in my face, ever notice that about mall food courts? Not seeing anything that interested me, another employee asked if I wanted anything special. When I explained I was looking for something vegan, she perked up saying she’s a vegan and recommended this bowl, a customized creation of her own that wasn’t on the menu.
The fried tofu was a little greasy, but it was tasty with peanuts, cilantro and fresh veggies. Especially after I poured soy and spicy pepper sauce over it. :-) Being a vegan, I rarely ask for anything special when eating out fearing a negative experience. But this was great and I think I need to be more vocal about getting employee recommendations for vegans in the future.
Also this weekend, I went to a raw dessert recipe class hosted at a local instructor’s home and what a treat! What’s great about this instructor is she’s a nurse that’s very passionate about a high-raw diet and is constantly researching health and broadening her vegan/raw related knowledge. I’ve been to many of her classes and part of the fun is just listening to all the latest stuff she’s into. Also, she’s always buying new kitchen gadgets and using them heavily, she has 3 high-end food processors, 2 Blendtec blenders, 2 Vita-Mixes and a couple of high-end juicers – must be nice to be rich, eh? But it’s great hearing her updated opinions on the equipment each time I go back for a class because she uses and abuses each and every one of them. Currently she’s favoring her Vita-Mix blenders again because of a flaw she’s found in the Blendtec blade assembly after heavy usage, the blades starts loosening. But that could change by the next class.
Anyway, one of the desserts we learned was this amazing persimmon cashew “cheese” cake and persimmons pureed into the mixture with many other amazing spices and a layer of persimmon slices between the cake and crust. It had a wonderfully warm cinnamon flavor and would be a perfect dessert for make for Thanksgiving.
Problem is the ingredient list if quite long and pricey. I’m tempted to simplify and cheapify this recipe a bit.
Next up is a date pitted, then stuffed with an orange-marinated almond, coated in dark chocolate and then topped with another orange almond for decadent raw candy.
Orange and chocolate do go great together, but think I’ll remix it by stuffing with almond butter, then dipping in chocolate. Creating the orange almonds requires a complicated process of soaking, dehydrating, marinating, then dehydrating some more and I’m not sure they’re totally worth it.
Next up was this outrageous blueberry-kiwi pie.
Good, not great and probably not something I’ll recreate because it’s a long, complicated recipe. I might pull parts for re-configuring.
Then we got to try these amazing caramel cups consisting of a dark chocolate shell stuffed with gooey lucuma filling.
Yum! And it would be easy to stuff with anything, like almond butter globs, fruit. This one I’ll have to make again for sure!
After the class, we got to take leftovers home which hubby and I have been snacking on since.
I got a lot of amazing recipes that I’m considering using over the holidays. It was a great class and fun chatting with other students into raw, one woman lost 40 lbs. so far since going raw 6 months ago. Anyway, I think I’m going to comfort my cold with another caramel cup. :-)