Tag: Appetizers

Party Time

Party Time

Wow, 19 days since my last post. I have been a little busy I guess. I had a house full of family visiting and it was amazing, but didn’t leave me much time for extracurricular activities. My sister, nephew and mom were all visiting from out of state and my dad stayed the weekend to join in the fun. My house was bursting at the seams, and so was my heart.

During the nearly 2 weeks of fun, we had a chance to jointly celebrate FOUR birthdays and my daughter’s graduation from high school. It was quite a party.

I tried quite a few recipes and most were fairly successful.

We have varying degrees of veganism/healthy eating in my family now. Everybody has their own needs which makes for interesting planning. My daughter is vegan, but doesn’t mind eating sugar, wheat and soy.  My mom was treating her visit like a vegan spa week, so she was eating along with us for the most part. She, however, has soy sensitivity. My sister has wheat sensitivity and eats very healthy, but includes animal products. My daughter’s boyfriend is a full on carnivore with an abhorrence for most of our vegan treats. Hahaha. My dad loves raw vegan but doesn’t have the same restrictions we do. We all know my son would be happy to binge on Cheezits and Oreos with a big glass of milk.  What’s a girl to do???

Get creative, of course! Behold my cupcake spread! Top left: Vegan organic double chocolate cupcakes with sweet potato fudge frosting Top right: vegan strawberry cupcakes with vegan “buttercream” Bottom: raw vegan chocolate avocado mousse tarts.

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This was the vegan side of the table. Notice my beautiful, go-to party appetizer, cucumber hummus and heirloom tomato bites. Mmmmmmm. I won’t even bother showing you the other side of the table. It was a train wreck of processed crackers, sweets and animal products.

I will provide links to the Vegan Strawberry Cupcakes and the Vegan Double Chocolate Cake with Sweet Potato Chocolate Frosting. None of them were things I can eat, however. The only one I could eat was the Chocolate Avacado Mousse Tarts.  I modified them but I still wasn’t entirely pleased with the outcome. Here is what I did:

The tart crust consisted of oats, raisens, almonds and cocoa powder. I ended up adding a bit of almond butter to help is stick together. 

I pulsed it until it was nice and sticky. I pressed it firmly into the bottom of cupcake liners and stuck it into the fridge to firm up.


While those were chilling, I made the mousse. It was simple to make. Avadado, dates, cacao powder, vanilla, water and coconut oil.

Even though I am usually oil free, I did use one teaspoon of the called for 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil to help it have the proper consistency.

Once it was ready, I spooned the mousse on top of the crust.I chose to forgo the lemon cashew cream (we eat something very similar on a weekly basis in the form of vegan sour cream and vegan ranch, basically savory versions of the same recipe) and went with unsweetened Whipped Coconut Cream instead. I used Trader Joe’s 100% coconut cream. The brand at Walmart had added ingredients that I did not want.

Top tip for Whipped Coconut Cream, make sure you have NO coconut milk mixed in with the the solid cream. Mine would not whip until I blotted the last of the liquid out of the bowl, then it worked. I only used a bit on top of each tart.

The verdict? Meh.

For next time I would actually use my Almond Joy Bites recipe for the crust. I was not a fan of the raisen crust.

I would also tone down the dates in the mousse. 1 full cup was a bit too sweet for me. All in all, not bad. Next time will be better.

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Winning at Losing

Winning at Losing

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This evening, I hosted an appetizer party at my house. I served Potstickers with Hoisin Sauce, Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara and Ranch, a Sushi platter, Mini Quiche and Virgin Mojitos. I didn’t eat any of it. I wasn’t even tempted!

 

In a nod to my newfound veganism, I also made cucumber, hummus and tomato hors d’oeuvres and a fresh fruit tray. Those I enjoyed heartily!

What a change for me! Usually, I would have nibbled and snacked my way through the preparations, fueled by coffee and little else. Then, I would have had a plate with my guests and then snacked on the leftovers during clean up. Especially because I am an emotional eater and this week has been busy and a little overwhelming. I would have eaten my feelings into oblivion.

Instead, I had plenty of energy all day, even though I never went near a cup of coffee. I cooked for others and, for the first time, didn’t feel sad that I wasn’t going to be eating any of it. I did not feel deprived. I am starting to rock this vegan thing.

My palate has completely changed. What I used to find slightly bland and tasteless, I now find bursting with fresh, clean flavors. Fruit tastes sweeter, savory items have more depth of flavor.  I have to say, I am surprised at how completely delicious simple things can be.

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I enjoyed these simple little hors d’oeuvres so much I will be making them for quick, cool dinners this summer. They are so easy! All you need is:

1 package grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 small tub hummus

1 large cucumber

Using a potato peeler, shave long strips of skin off the cucumber, leaving it striped. Slice cucumber into 1/4″ thick rounds. Place on serving plate or tray.

Spoon hummus into a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip of your choice or spoon into a sandwich bag and cut one corner off.  Squeeze about a quarter size amount of hummus onto cucumber rounds.

Top with halved grape tomatoes.

Boom. Done. Amazing.

PS – 24.5 pounds gone and my pain continues to diminish. I can get used to this winning at losing.