At the boys (twins) birthday party at Chuck -E-Cheese.
This was the first time they had come to our house…because we have the dogs and it’s somewhat stressful having people over if they are afraid of dogs. BUT, a few months ago they got a puppy so the whole being scared of dogs wasn’t an issue anymore! Phew!
Anyway, so like I had said they came over for dinner. Not a big deal right? Wrong, they are Vegan. Whenever we have people over to eat I always like to prepare something special and that I know the guests will like. So in my efforts to create something Vegan I asked Stacie to share with me the items that were on the “no” list. Apparently I hadn’t put like one ounce of thought into being Vegan because when she replied with “no meat, cheese, milk, eggs, butter” my mind went from full of ideas to totally blank! I had never even thought about no butter! Ahh! It was hard enough to think of things without cheese let alone butter!
After several friend’s suggestions on Facebook and several hours of searching the good ol’ web I finally had a meal plan that met my two requirements: 1. Able to prepare ahead so I didn’t have to spend the entire time stuck in the kitchen being anti-social 2. No super “weird” ingredients. I wanted my family to eat dinner as well as not use any non-Vegan ingredients during the meal. I’m super happy to report that the meal was a hit!
I made two different meal options for dinner, one more kid friendly than the other and dessert of course! (photos courtesy of the websites I got the recipes from)
South of the Border Veggie Chili with Fixins by Emeril Lagasse – I will be honest, I was skeptical of this recipe not because of the ingredients but because it was chili with no meat. I wasn’t sure what the flavor would end up tasting like. All I have to say is that this was amazing! Even Lover Boy said that it was the best meal with undesirable ingredients that he has ever eaten (he doesn’t like half of the veggies in this recipe but loved the way it turned out!) The recipe for the chili itself is Vegan however it says that you can add cheese and sour cream. I opted out of the cheese but did buy a Vegan brand sour cream at our local health food store. It was really good and I didn’t even notice a difference!
Whirly Twirly Pizza from Eggless Cooking.com – I made two of these, one with spinach and basil (I added fresh basil to the recipe) and then one with just basil. For this recipe too I did buy a Vegan cheese. To be honest I though this was good but not as good as the chili. I followed the recipe and used the roll out pizza doughs in the cans (like the crescent rolls, etc) but I always always always homemake my own pizza dough, so I’m not sure if I just didn’t like the “crust” or if it was the cheese I wasn’t super fond of. Regardless this recipe was soooo easy to make and to me is a brilliant idea! They are so fun, cute and creative! I love that you can make these with any ingredients you can think of! It’s also super kid friendly!! Seriously, what kids wouldn’t love helping make this?
Chickpea Cookie Pie by Wit & Whistle.com – When I came across this recipe it instantly reminded me of the Chickpea Chocolate Chip cookies I’ve made several times (and love). I loved that this recipe was in a “pie” form so it took it up a notch from the basic cookie, perfect for dinner guests! This was a huge hit! All of the kids loooved it…and same with us adults! I know that here at my house this is going to be a recipe we make over and over again and feel totally guiltless for eating over and over again! In the future I am going to substitute the chocolate chips for cranberries, cherries, nuts, etc. and see how that works!
I made another batch of Lime Sherbet Punch (but of course didn’t take pictures of the cool serving dispenser so this picture is from Christmas). Yum yum yum!!
On a related but totally different topic I remembered seeing Alicia Silverstone (actress in Clueless…I loved loved loved (well still do!) that movie when it came out!) on a few talk shows last year promoting her Vegan book “A Kind Diet”. I checked it out from our library (as well as ordered a copy off Amazon). I am only on page 54 but have learned so much about healthful plant based diets. I will be adding a Vegan/Vegetarian category on here once my new look/layout launches – so excited! (I highly highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book as well!)