As part of VeganMoFo a couple PPKers in the Colorado area held a pot luck! Yay! The theme was “Fall Foods” so we had a lot of tasty squash and apples.
Hosted by the lovely Becca and her husband Shawn in their condo in Denver, we had a nice turnout. Raech and Jesse, me and John, Becca and Shawn, Abbi and her boyfriend Danny, and Lacy all hung out yesterday and ate too much food. I didn’t get pictures of everything or everyone because I am rotten at taking pictures during events, but I think I captured the general awesomeness. Most notably I didn’t get a picture of my pumpkin pie, which needed. . . recipe tweaking. . . nor did I get a picture of Abbi’s caramel corn (omg so good) or Abbi herself. . . oops. But look! People happy that they are at a potluck (Becca’s going out to get more cider for hot toddies):
Left to right: Lacy, Shawn, Becca, Raech. On to the food! This was supposed to be the garlic-herb crusted brazil-but cheez ball from Vegetarian Times. . . but something happened. It didn’t come together at all. That’s OK, it got served as a spread and was fine, but it certainly didn’t come out for me the way it did for Kittee. Oh well! It was tasty.
John’s contribution was a tofurkey:
So, OK. Raechel made this. . . dessert. It was apples and cream cheez and streusel topping and woahmigod. You can’t tell in this pic so much but when we cut into it it was pink as the devil’s own toenails! Woo! Above that is Becca’s delish butternut squash lasagna. I’ve never had a lasagna like this, it was really good! I used to make a regular lasagna with a butternut layer, but in this, the butternut really popped as the main flavor:
Mac and cheez courtesy me. I made it with sage and onions in the sauce (recipe follows), which made it officially a Fall Food and therefore part of the theme. I guess I should warn that my mac-n-cheez pictures always look terrifying, but don’t be scared. It would have been prettier had I put a breadcrumb topping on it and baked it but I ran out of time. As it is it was really really tasty, but BEWARE THE HORROR:
Abbi made phyllo pockets stuffed with delicata squash, rice, and greens, and won for prettiest contribution, at least in my opinion. Raech made a curried potato soup with mint flecks from Vegan Fire and Spice, and it was really really good:
Plated up: I shared my soup bowl territory between Lacy’s wonderful chili and Raech’s potato soup. My plate has everything pictured above, including gravy on the tofurkey. It was all so good! I wish I had gotten more pics, but ah well.
So good. As I said, unfairly, some of the best offerings went unpictured, like Abbi’s caramel corn (like fresh, meltingly-fluffy Cracker Jack) and the hot toddies. Oh gosh, those toddies. I’ve never liked them but I think it was that John always made them with some sort of reputable whiskey and what you really need is cheap stuff. Really. Anything else kills the apple cider flavor instead of complimenting it. I can’t recall what brand Becca and Shawn used but I’ll probably be making these with my beloved Lord Calvert Canadian Whiskey. I’m immensely happy this great secret has been revealed to me because I used to pick up a handler of LC in the summer to drink with lime and ginger ale (before you turn your nose up, try it), and it would sit all winter with nothing to do except acquiring toxins from the plastic bottle. So huzzah! New friends met, new drinks drunk, new foods enjoyed: a successful pot luck all around.
Now here, as promised, my favorite mac n cheez recipe, with added instructions for the best way of making it, which is baked with breadcrumb topping.
Yet Another Vegan Mac Recipe, or Thanksgiving Mac (more charitable title)
8 c. rotini noodles, cooked, drained, tossed with 1/2 c. yellow mustard (yes, yellow, don’t use anything classy here with visible grains or anything, save it for your Tofurkey brats or something)
While the noodles cook, sauté one large yellow onion in a tbs. of olive oil until the onion is soft and clear. Add cracked black pepper to taste as well as 1/4 c chopped fresh sage and sauté one minute. Reserve 1/4 of the onion mixture (if making this with breadcrumb topping, if not, don’t reserve anything), take the rest and dump it into the cheez sauce after blending everything.
What cheez sauce? This cheez sauce. In a blender, combine the following:
8 oz tofu
1 c water
1 c plain, unsweetened soymilk
1/3 c soy sauce
2 tsp. paprkia
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes (or more, if you really like it, which I do)
While blending this, pour in a scant 3/4 cup of olive oil. You could go as low as 1/2 c. After blending, dump in the onion mixture, stir. Pour over hot noodles and mix thoroughly. THIS WILL THICKEN UP. It will look like soup, but wait 10 minutes and it turns into a thick, rich mac sauce. Trust me!
If making baked mac n cheez, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix 1 c breadcrumbs with the reserved onion-sage mixture. Prep a lasagna pan with cooking spray and pour our the sauced noodles into it. You may have more mac than will fit, but who cares? Eat it later after you finish eating the bake. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top and do that thing where you put your (clean) thumb over the top of the olive oil bottle and drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over the breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are brown and tasty-looking. Eat with extreme prejudice.