The best meal of the entire summer was a collaborative effort between Amy, Arron, Jim and myself.
We decided to have a meal out by the fire ring and Vegan Creole was what Jim and I had to contribute. The recipe is as follows and I normally serve it with rice.
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 dash cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
• 1 pinch thyme leaves, crumbled
• 2 bay leaves
• 6 to 8 green onions, chopped
• 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes, undrained
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 3 ounces tomato paste (about 6 tablespoons)
• 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
• 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
• 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
• 1 pound extra firm tofu, cubed 3/4″
• 1 8 oz. package of seitan
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Heat oil in a heavy skillet; sauté onions, celery, peppers, garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper and bay leaves for a few minutes, or until vegetables are just tender. Add tomatoes, chipotles and tomato paste; simmer 15 minutes. Add tofu and seitan; simmer 10 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8 (this is with rice).
The rice wasn’t missed at all because of the Quinoa Salad and Mint Dressing A&A made:
1 cup quinoa (soaked for 15 minutes and rinsed a few times, cooked for 15 minutes in 1.5 cups of water and cooled to room temperature)
1/4 cup raisins and chopped, dried apricots (soaked for 5 minutes in hot water)
“Handful” of chopped cashews and walnuts
1 Avocado, pitted and diced
Salt added to taste
Gently toss ingredients together in a bowl
1/4 cup (packed) fresh mint
1 T dried parsley flakes
8 oz. plain yogurt (we used ~2% greek yogurt, but thought using non-greek yogurt in the future might yield a better texture)
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove of garlic mashed with 1/4 tsp. sea salt
(Spoonful of almond butter, and squeeze of honey to taste–to make it closer to the mint dressing served at Hummus Kitchen, which we believe has tahini in it)
Blend ingredients together in food processor
Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled
With the bottle of Seven Mountains Wine Cellars‘ Merlot, we feasted around the fire pit and wound up our summer with the very best of friends, flavors and foods.