Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Feast

Last friday we had family and a few friends over to celebrate the kick-off of the XXI Winter Olympics and watch the opening ceremonies together. It was an international potluck; everyone was supposed to pick a country to represent and then bring a dish from that country. It was so much fun! We had a great time eating and joking and watching the parade of nations. I know there are some haters out there who think the Olympics are just an expression of over-spending and nationalism, and those are definitely part of the experience, but I am just too amazed and inspired by all the athletes and their example of motivation and determination and skill and beauty to be swayed. Viva los Olympics!

As host of the party, I felt compelled to represent Canada, the host nation. So, first I made a Quebec Tourtiere - a vegan version of a meat pie, believe it or not. I mostly used Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipe, but I added a whole ton of mushrooms and a dash of cinnamon & clove, which I saw in many other recipes posted online. For the mushrooms, I chopped 'em up in the food processor, added a little soy sauce and liquid smoke, and cooked 'em and cooked 'em until all the juices were gone and they were getting lightly browned. Then, I added that to my ground up seitan and proceeded with the recipe. Before this party, I had never even heard of touriere, but this pie turned out really great and there were no leftovers!

Of course, when I think Canada, I think "maple syrup" almost immediately. So, I also made a batch of Dreena Burton's "Maple Walnut Cookies," one of my favorite recipes of all time. (Bonus, Canadian recipe author AND Canadian maple syrup!)

Mr. Vegan Eats and Treats represented Croatia, and as such prepared a big platter of sliced french bread slathered with ajvar veggie spread and topped with a slice of cucumber. Mmmm. We ate SO MUCH ajvar when we were in Croatia... and lucky for us there's a little shop nearby which sells a pretty good selection of imported Croatian foods, so it's still easy to find.

My aunt brought this Lebanese-style rice salad, which was really great (and - surprise! - she used Bhutanese red rice for extra international flair). It was so super yummy, and beautiful too! She also brought along some plain steamed broccoli and green beans, which were representing Ireland (green - get it?!). :)

My mom decided to represent Morocco and made this really great Moroccan Tempeh with Charmoula (from Fresh Food Fast)...

... and this is part two of my mom's Morocco contribution: Couscous with snap peas, red onion and mushroom... used as a base for the spicy tempeh dish. So tasty!!

We even had an international selection of beverages. My dad came representing Jamaica, who apparently has a medal contender with their one winter Olympian, and so he brought along Red Stripe beer.

Here's my platter full of delicious (and healthy) goodies! It was a really fun night! Now I have to go run off and watch some more snowboard cross and downhill skiing and women's half-pipe and slalom ....

19 comments:

  1. What an awesome idea! All that food looks amazing! :) -Eve

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  2. I love this idea!

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  3. What a great variety of international foods! HOw fun you had with this!

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  4. Great looking feast! I admire the selection of international beverages, as well.

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  5. you get some serious international cred for representing so many countries with all that delicious cuisine! everything looks really good. what a great way to celebrate the olympics, which brings so many people from different countries/backgrounds together! :) :)

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  6. I love that everyone bought food inspired by lots of different countries! I really want to make those maple cookies!

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  7. I need to make those maple cookies. I wish I was there to watch the Olympics with you. I am not an athletic person and the skill and dedication the athletes have always amazes and inspires me.

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  8. Your family throws the best parties! What a fun way to watch the opening ceremonies. I watched too and thought it was beautiful.

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  9. Wow, love the international potluck theme. What a great idea for watching the Olympics. :-)

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  10. I was so busy that night that I was doing good just to make it in time to watch the ceremonies.
    Your idea is awesome. I am so stealing it for 2012 London.

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  11. That is a pretty cool theme for a party!

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  12. hey i don't know if you were drinking it or if you don't care but Red Stripe is unfortunately not vegan- booooooo

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  13. hey cookingforaveganlover, thanks for letting me know! fortunately, I'm not a drinker, so I didn't have any... but still, I'm glad I gave the leftover bottles to my parents to take home. It's always a bummer to find out things like that aren't vegan. :(

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  14. Cool idea. Very creative. Are gonna have a closing ceremony potluck too?

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  15. How fun! What a great idea for a pot luck. I love watching the winter sports. So many skiers and snowboarders have been falling, though! I'm watching with my eyes half covered!

    I'll take some of that Moroccan Tempeh, please...

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  16. What a fun idea! Your feast looks delicious.

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  17. Red Stripe... love it! In fact my taste buds are salivating over the memories of a Red Stripe.

    Looks like the party was great! What a neat idea!

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  18. MAN, your family rules at theme potlucks! SO cute!

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