Monday, May 25, 2009

Avocado Family Dinner!

For the last few months, we've started a new tradition - Family Dinner. Once a week, usually Sunday nights, we all get together for a potluck dinner. We keep it low-stress, but last night was my turn to host and I was in the mood to cook. Also, my cousin and her husband are back in town for the summer, so to welcome them - I decided to base our dinner on the glorious Avocado, her favorite California treat.

This miso soup has become one of my favorite recipes. Its the Garlic Soup with Avocado & Tortillas from "Fresh Food Fast." It's super fast to put together, flavorful, warming, and delicious. I especially love the sliced up jalepenos in the soup! The only thing I do differently is that I use the tortilla strip recipe from "Real Food Daily" instead of the FFF chip recipe.

I made this Guacamole with Sprouted Quinoa from "The Artful Vegan," and it was a huge hit! The quinoa sprouts had to be started two days in advance, but were otherwise effortless. It was light and delicious. I'll definitely make it again. Also, I think this recipe is a good example of how that book can be used in a less intimidating way. The recipes often have many different elements, but you don't need to make them all! This guac is definitely a new family favorite.

My aunt brought along two good friends visiting from Seattle. Nima is a great cook and made us some amazing salsa (secret ingredient: ginger!! good!!) and a delicious potato salad.

Nima is from Nepal and this is his version of a traditional Nepalese potato salad. It's light and has truly gorgeous flavors. He super graciously wrote down his recipe so that I could share it with all of you (see the end of the post!).

Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats was really crazy about that Potato Salad!

Even dessert had avocado in it! I have wanted to make this recipe for SO long, and I'm so glad I finally did. It's the "Avocado Key Lime Pie with White Chocolate Mousse" from "The Artful Vegan." The crust is amazing - with pistachios and poppy seeds, and the filling is tart and creamy and a beautiful green color from the avocado. The whole dessert was just wonderful and we all loved it. I love the idea of garnishing with the little poppy seeds and spare pistachios... unexpectly wonderful flavor & texture pairings with the tart, creamy pie.

As promised, the White Chocolate Mousse was a tempermental recipe, but OH the flavor!! I was a true lover of white chocolate and I haven't tasted that flavor in about 8 or 9 years of veganism... so I was really in heaven. It took a little food science, a little agar and kudzu, but I got that mousse to set up beautifully, and now I've got a LOT of it left over... hmmm!

Here's the potato salad recipe, I hope you like it!

Nima Sherpa's Potato Salad (Aloo Dam)

Yellow or Red Potatoes - peeled and boiled until barely tender, then cut into cubes.
2 Cucumbers - peeled, seeded, cut into chunks
(instead of cukes you could also use daikon radish, fresh green peas, or chickpeas)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds - heat 2 tsp olive oil, add the fenugreek, and cook until the seeds are dark brown or black. set aside.

Grind together in a mortar and pestal:
3-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped fine
1/4 c roasted sesame seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
chili pepper (to taste)

Add the potatoes, cukes, ginger mixture, fenugreek seeds together.
Mix in:

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/4 of a cilantro bunch, chopped
chopped up green onions/chives
1 tsp salt

Chill and serve cold. Yummo! This is a great recipe, I hope you give it a try!!


  1. Wow what a feast!...the picture of Musty "licking" the bowl makes me proud. Love you...Sandy

  2. Everything looks soooo good! Love the blog! (especially the fortune cookie video!) Have a great week!

  3. Avocado is a great choice to base a meal around! I love that your family gets together every week for a meal.
    That pie looks amazing! I may need to drag out my copy of the artful vegan and make me some (or at least some of that mousse!)...

  4. Love the idea of family dinners and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Avocado ANYTHING! It all looks uber good.


    That pie really looks stunning, what gorgeous mousse.

  6. All of that food looks amazing! Avocado makes me ill, but I love the taste of it so much. I'm going to see if my library can get in the Artful Vegan so I can investigate this mousse...I used to ADORE white chocolate.

  7. yummm! i love avocados too. they seem like a luxury over here because they cost so much, but i have them as much as possible. never would have thought to make a pie with them though! i have wanted to try avocado cupcakes for some time....

  8. Yummers! Lovely ideas and great pictures Amey! I will definitely be trying out that pie and guac too!

  9. Aw, this makes me miss my Sunday dinners! I think it's so great you've been doing this. An avocado themed dinner sounds especially yummy.

  10. I'm always impressed by your meals for family! You rule! I think I would love that potato salad.

  11. I will definitely be trying the potato salad. I'm on my way to Vietnam for several months. We eat avocado there every day. It is dipped in a blend of salt and chili peppers. Delicious.

    My family has once a month potlucks. Not everybody is vegan, but they do a tremendous job of making as much vegan as possible, just for me. I love them for that.


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