Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4th Of July Fun...

My Plate - Black Bean Burger with all the fixin's
Buffalo Mac Salad, BBQ Coleslaw, BBQ Beans 

Well, I hope everyone had a lovely fourth of July. Ours was pretty low-key. Since I had my mom and step-dad visiting, and we were busy hanging out I didn’t feel much like cooking. Which was okay too. My mother-in-law was kind enough to pick up some fresh-made vegan black bean burgers for us, - which I forgot to photograph, sorry - and I took care of the sides and dessert.

Funny, I knew right away what I wanted to make, because I’ve had my eye on it for years. The Spicy Red  Buffalo Macaroni Salad from Joni Marie Newman & Celine Steen’s awesome little book “The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions.” Personally I’ve always loved a good pasta salad, and this one sounded really interesting, but even though I love pasta salad I rarely find occasion to make it. The 4th seemed like the perfect time, especially since my mom and step-dad like pasta salad too, and since my step-dad likes heat. It’s actually a really easy dish. Just cook your macaroni, roasted red peppers, onions, celery and spinach - although I just realized now that I forgot to add the spinach, whoops! - Then the dressing is made with tofu, hot sauce, earth balance, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and I added a wee bit of agave to balance the tang a bit.  The end result was that this salad was out of this world amazing and my husband and I couldn’t stop eating it! I’m so glad I finally got around to making it.

Spicy Red Buffalo Macaroni Salad

Next up I wanted to make the BBQ Beans from “Vegan Food Substitutions.” I’ve always loved a good saucy bean dish, and I’ve always loved baked beans. These tasted just like a baked bean but with out the long baking time. Simply add all your sauce ingredients into a pot, add the beans and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sauce reduces a bit. These too were fantastic, and reminded me of the kind of baked beans you eat out of a can - only better! I was happy to have the leftovers and I gobbled them up in no time!

BBQ Beans 

Lastly I decided to make the Creamy BBQ Coleslaw from Joni Marie Newman’s book “The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet” it’s a really simple slaw recipe, shredded cabbage, agave, apple cider vinegar,  vegan mayo and BBQ sauce. I added some onion and carrot in too because, well I love that in my slaw. This slaw was super creamy, and super flavorful. As much as I love slaw, and as much as I love BBQ I never thought to combine the two into one dish! Amazing!

Creamy BBQ Coleslaw 

For dessert I went with pie, and fruit pies at that because Pie is really my favorite dessert and I was all ‘caked out’ after my birthday anyway. Once again I chose to make pies from Hannah Kaminsky’s lovely book “Easy as Vegan Pie.” Of course I can’t just pick a straight forward pie can I? I wanted something unique and since I had a ton of cherries on hand I decided to make the Black Forest Pie because who doesn’t love chocolate and cherries? The Pie is basically as it sounds, think black forest cake but in pie form. Chocolate Crust, chocolate cherry filling, chocolate topping with whip Cream. Yum, yum! This pie went over huge with everyone and I sure liked it a lot too although a small slice was enough for me, as it was a bit too chocolatey for my taste.

Black Forest Pie 

Second I made the Blueberry Blackberry Licorice Pie. Licorice you say? Yes indeed. I know how insane that sounds but trust me when I tell you this pie was out of this world amazing, and this is coming from a girl who hates black licorice or licorice flavored anything. I’m not even all that found of anise to be honest. Still, it was such an interesting combination that my curiosity got the better of me. The pie crust is a standard crust - any recipe will work really - and the filling is a standard blueberry blackberry filling but then you slice up pieces of black licorice and some of them melt into the delectable berry sauce as the pie cooks, while others remain whole. This pie was so good I had 2 slices right out of the gate, and I was impressed at how mellow the licorice flavor was. Not overbearing, it gave it just the right hint of ‘different’ and really took this pie to a new level. As much as this pie came as a surprise to me, it also came as a surprise to everyone else, I think most people were put off by the addition of licorice, until they tasted it for themselves. Only one slice remained after all was said and done! The lesson? Never be afraid to try new things!

Blueberry Blackberry Licorice Pie 

I hope you all had a happy fourth.

1 comment:

  1. The black bean burgers were great! But the tastiest part of your 4th of July feast was your pasta salad & slaw I LOVED them husband LOVED your beans, I never did try them...had to save room for the yummy homemade pies!! S.T.