Counting Down: 10 great recipes to take to a vegan potluck – #7, 6, AND 5

Oops! I have a little catching up to do! Still getting the hang of this blogging daily thing.

Suggestion #7 is one of my FAVORITE recipes from vegan chef extraordinaire, Dreena Burton – it’s in her fabulous cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan. No-Fu Love Loaf. This is a relatively quick, easy recipe that can be made GF and it’s always a hit – it’s a hearty main, and a slice of it is wonderful at a potluck, where it will be surrounded by a whole load of other wonderful flavours. When I make this at home I usually make a gravy with it and serve it with salad, as you can see from this photo, which I took when I made it last week!

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Here’s the recipe: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/04/dreenas-no-fu-love-loaf.html

Suggestion #6 is something for those who just aren’t ready to dip their toe into anything too complicated yet. I didn’t want to make this suggestion #10 since it might seem like, ‘oh no…a vegan potluck…it’s going to be salad after salad after salad.’ Truth be told, we do get lots of salads, but they’re definitely not the majority of dishes, and it’s not that often that someone brings a beautifully made simple Rainbow Salad. There’s no particular recipe for this – it’s just about finding a whole bunch of colours in your refrigerator and putting them together in a beautiful (and delicious) way. Take advantage of all the wonderful local food that is starting to be harvested in our area. Add fruit! There is nothing that can replace that lovely raw, crisp sweetness of the Summer Rainbow Salad on a plate full of yummy cooked dishes. Here is a photo of one such salad I have made recently – and I’ll include a list of some ideas of things you could choose from to add below (NB, I’m not suggesting you put ALL of the below into the same salad – it would get too confusing. My kind of rule of thumb is to use 3-5 veggies, 1 or 2 fruits and 1-3 power foods).

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Summer Rainbow Salad

  • tender salad greens – could be lettuce, spinach, or a mix of lettuce varieties with some kale/chard leaves thrown in (but don’t add TOO many of those as it might make the salad bitter)
  • bell peppers, chopped
  • carrots, shredded
  • beets, shredded
  • celery, diced/julienned
  • jicima, diced/julienned
  • cucumber slices
  • etc
  • if you want to get A LITTLE fancier, roast one of the veggies – eg. Brussels Sprouts, beets, carrots etc – and put them on top of the salad

fruit choices:

  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, etc
  • mango
  • oranges

extras to pack a power punch:

  • ground flaxseed
  • hemp hearts
  • ground chia
  • nuts (sliced almonds, pecans, cashews, walnuts, etc)/seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, etc) – toasted is extra nice!

AND last, but not least, suggestion #5. This one is for people who want to try making something new! It’s not a hard recipe, but really delicious. The only catch with this one is that you would have to make it pretty close to the time of the potluck. It doesn’t have to be served HOT, but it should be warm.

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Tempeh Braised in BBQ Sauce

I thought I hated tempeh, but who knew! Learn to cook anything properly and there’s a good chance you’ll love it – and this was no exception!

ingredients:

  • 1 cake of tempeh
  • 1-2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (or use could use olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup beer (or you could use water)
  • dash of hot sauce (optional) – I use Sri Racha

directions:

  • cut tempeh into 4 even squares, then slice each square in half lengthwise. Cut into triangles, as shown in photo
  • pan fry the tempeh over med heat in a large frying pan until it is golden on both sides
  • meanwhile, mix up the rest of the ingredients for your braising liquid (and check the flavour, tweak to taste)
  • when tempeh is golden, cover it with the braising liquid and toss. Cover and cook for a few minutes, but keep a close eye on everything; when the liquid has reduced about half way, flip the triangles over and continue to do this until all the liquid has been absorbed into the tempeh and it all looks carmelized
  • serve! At home I love serving this on a huge salad, as pictured above (in this case with roasted beets)

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