Monday, August 27, 2007

Vegan Potluck & Grilled Veggie Crepes

Yesterday I went to a Vegan Potluck... organized by our local branch of Santa Cruz Vegan Meetup - from I only discovered this group recently, and this was my first time going to an event with them. It was fun to meet some other vegans from Santa Cruz & nearby - and to eat all the goodies. If you haven't already, check and see if there's a veg*n group in your area - and start one if there isn't!

Originally I had planned on making a lasagna and some cupcakes - but now that our oven is broken, I had to reconsider. So I ended up making Spring Rolls with Raw Mango Sauce, from the Real Food Daily Cookbook. They were beautiful, fun to make, and fun to eat! There was only one left.

Here's my first helping... after that I was too busy eating and chatting to take pictures. I'm sure you understand! There's some pesto noodle salad, a cabbage-cauliflower asian-y salad, more pasta salad, a nice casserole with lentils & mashed potatoes & veggie burger crumbles, and some raw almond pate - and one of my spring rolls! I was so happy that someone else brought cupcakes - phew! Nice dark chocolatey ones, with sprinkles on top. It was fun gathering with all ages. There was a nice young family there with 3 kids and another mom with her two teenage sons. There were some older folks, and middle agers... nice to see such a mix of people enjoying some tasty & nutritious vegan eats.

I didn't need a huge dinner after the potluck, so I made Musty and I each a big salad. Musty calls this entree "Giant Salad," and it is one of his favorite things to eat. As you know, I think my salad is prettiest in rainbow order. On top of a bed of lettuce, I've got red cabbage, red pepper, red tomatoes, orange tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, raw corn, wax peppers, green cabbage, celery, and english cucumber - with a little handful of cashews in the middle. Other than the cashews - it's ALL from the farmers market, and organic too! I love that. By the way, cashews were really nice in my salad, I definitely recommend it. Sweet, crunchy, a little bit of fat... mmm

Tonight's Dinner!
When I was making the Ravioli from "Voluptuous Vegan" the other night, I also noticed a few other yummy-looking recipes. I've gotta say - that cookbook is really rocking my world right now. The recipes are not as complicated as they often look, and have a wonderful balance of flavors and textures and appearance... Always very nourishing and satisfying. So, tonight I made "Chickpea Crepes with Grilled Spring Vegetables" - except that I used her suggestion & used summer veggies instead.

Here are the beautiful crepes that I made. Oh, I love crepes. Yes I do.

Here is the 5-star delicious filling that I made for them! It's got eggplant & yellow bell pepper, corn, & cherry tomatoes. mmm! It was freak-out good! We couldn't believe it. The eggplants and cherry tomatoes were from our garden - so that was super fun. :) This is our first meal from the garden this year, it's such a nice feeling. This turned out so well, I'll give you recipe:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic
4 small oblong eggplants
1 yellow bell pepper
2 ears of corn, in husks

12 cherry tomatoes
Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, & the crushed garlic clove. Set aside.

Turn on your grill & get it going. Cut the end of the eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the stem & seeds from the bell pepper & cut it into 8 big wedges. Put the eggplants, the bell peppers, & the cherry tomaotes in a bowl and pour over the olive oil mix. Toss around with your hands until everything is lightly coated.

Carefully put your cherry tomatoes onto one or two skewers, which makes grilling easier. Then put all your veggies on the grill, including the corns still in their husks. Grill until:
-The tomatoes are soft & starting to split
-The eggplants are seared & lightly charred (on both sides)
-The peppers are lightly charred on both sides & have become soft
-The corn should be on there the longest - at least 10 or 15 minutes - so that the kernels soften.

Then cut the eggplant and peppers into 1-inch chunks, and cut the kernals off the corn. Mix it all together, and add a little salt if you'd like.

It's good as is, and it was also crazy good in some chickpea crepes. (I made the batter before I got started on the grill, did my grilling & put the veggies in a bowl with a lid so they'd stay warm, and then made the crepes). It was a quick and wonderful meal.

Here's the recipe I used for 6 crepes (we had 3 each). It's from Voluptuous Vegan:

1/2 c chickpea flour
1/2 c white flour
1/2 tsp salt
-whisk it all together
add in:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c warm water (add a bit more if it's too thick)

Whisk it all up really well. She suggests letting it sit for 20 minutes or so, but I am not sure that helped. It seemed to get a bit too thick to spread easily. Preheat your skillet over medium high heat. Pour on 1/4 c of the batter & quickly turn the skillet around to spread the the batter around into a basically circular shape. Cook about 1 minute (until golden), flip and cook another 30-60 seconds. Often the first one is a bit unsightly, so don't be deterred. :) It's worth it!

We also enjoyed this nice bowl of totally unadorned tomatoes from our garden with dinner. OOOOh, they were so sweet & tasty - it was practically like dessert. :)

This was my first time every making savory crepes. It was hard to resist the urge to put raspberry jam and lemon juice on them... but I did & I'm glad I did. The flavor of the crepes was a delicious compliment to the veggie mix.


  1. those spring rolls look fabulous--they're always just so beautiful. lots of chopping, but worth the work. looks like you had a great potluck too. this is perfect time of year to have potlucks--lots of great things growing in season, good weather to all sit around and enjoy food together. sounds ideal! nice harvest from your garden too, by the way...i hope we get some eggplant from our csa this week...

  2. I've never made savory crepes either, but when I do I will know where to start! The filling looks incredible--I'll have to try it soon.

    What a fun potluck dish you made! I'm so glad you got to go to that and meet some other veg*ns... There's a meetup group in Atlanta but I haven't been to any of their events yet. I hope to do that soon!

  3. Your spring rolls were the best looking food at the potluck - that platter is absolutely beautiful! I've missed my last 2 monthly potlucks, so I'm hoping to make the one in Sept. Your crepes and filling sure sound great. I went to a Vietnamese restaurant recently and the only lunch without tofu and with rice had eggplant in it, which I normally think is ick. But I ordered it, and is was so spicy good and I was thrilled to eat eggplant!

    Chase and I are doing the Free Day of Yoga Monday. I guess you'll be involved in that too?

  4. Vegan potlucks are SO exciting! We've been having brunch ones up here & they've all been spectacular! I'm having a veggie Labor Day potluck this Sunday as well- love it!

    I LOVE CREPES! I think I may need to get some chickpea flour, so I can try that recipe out! yum!

  5. Wow those crepes sound fantastic. And they seem fancy and impressive enough for guests too.

    Sounds like you had a great time at the potluck. It's such a great way to build community and meet people.

  6. Alright... I really need to pull out my copy of Voluptuous Vegan and give it another try ;-)

  7. spring and summer rolls are one of our all time favorites things to make and eat.

  8. you're on
    i just signed up! i am a little nervous about it.. how have your experiences been??

    good people?? :)


  9. perfect potluck dinner! It's so fun to be able to share dinner with a large crowd. I'm also eying those tomatoes... the colors blow me away!

  10. Thanks everyone for so many great comments!

    this was my first time going to a meetup event and it was pretty fun. I didn't meet any new vegan soulmates, but it was fun all the same. I'll probably go again when they have the next potluck... and see what comes of it!

  11. Your tomatoes are really rockin! I've only gotten two this year because Abi picks them the second she sees a "green ball" appear. Wahhhh!
    Beautiful rainbow salad and I'm checking that


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