This past Friday I had an old friend and her new husband and baby over for dinner. We hadn't seen each other in years, and as we were making plans to get together, I guess I didn't mention I was vegan. Everything I made was a big hit, and they gave it all lots of compliments. It wasn't until we were eating cupcakes for dessert when my friend said, "I know this has to have a lot of butter in it" that I told her it was vegan, and that I was vegan. "You mean everything we ate tonight was vegan?!" her husband asked, surprised. When I said it was, they said they couldn't believe how good everything was. It's so much fun to tell people the delicious food they just ate was vegan!
My menu came from Veganomicon, with cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
Asparagus and Spinach Dip
This is the first time I made this dip. It starts by sauteing asparagus in olive oil and garlic then mixing in chopped spinach. You puree that with raw cashews and capers. It has a bright, fresh taste, and the capers give it a little zest. It was good that night, but I took the leftovers (it makes three cups) to a party Saturday night, and after 24 hours it was so much better (everyone loved it on Saturday).
Veggie Salad with Mediterranean Olive Oil and Lemon Vinaigrette
Everyone loved this salad dressing. Olive oil and fresh lemon juice are combined with lots of minced garlic, oregano, thyme, and basil. Over a salad of fresh, soft red leaf lettuce with cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion, it was awesome.Spinach Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes
I made this once before and loved it just as much this time. It is soooooo good. Definitely one of my favorite Veganomicon recipes. The combination of spinach linguine with sauteed red onions, a flavorful, fragrant, unique pesto, and salty artichoke hearts makes this a huge winner. And it takes like 15 minutes to put together. You can't go wrong with this dish. Everyone loved it. (I forgot to take a picture until half-way through...)Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Mousse Frosting
This is the first time the vanilla cupcakes weren't fabulous! I think it's because I halved the recipe, and I had to do a little guesswork on trying to halve 3/4 teaspoon of something. The cupcakes were just okay--not as moist as usual. But the chocolate mousse frosting was rich and decadent and made up for the sub-par cupcakes.