Sunday, November 21, 2010

VeganMoFo: My Very Own Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord Dinner

Tonight's dinner is brought to you by "Can't We All Just Get Along?" I had this idea to combine Israeli food with Palestinian food, and so I went to the library and got some Israeli cookbooks, and a Palestinian cookbook (they only had one). Here's the thing: nearly half the recipes in all three books are the same. Hummus, Tahini, Fresh Salads, Pita Bread... and so on. Really now, can't we all just get along!?
Here is a picture of our whole Israeli-Palestinian spread!

At the farmer's market, my friend Alana asked "What are you doing on Friday night?"
I replied, "Cooking dinner! Wanna come over?"

I made it sound so fun, but then, as soon as she walked in the door, I put her to work skinning fava beans and juicing lemons. Mwahahaha!
When we were at the market, we had this fateful conversation...

Then, she shows up at my house and I put her right to work on the lemons! ha ha. What a bad friend. PLUS, all I have is one of those old-fashioned glass juicers, and all the lemons were tiny. Alana deserves a big friendship award for being so good-humored about the whole affair.
Hopefully she didn't have lemon nightmares.

I made this Israeli Orange Salad (recipe from the cookbook Olive Trees and Honey). This was a real standout dish! I'll definitely make it again... and soon! The salad itself is just oranges, avocado, red onion, and lettuce, but the orangey-cilantro salad dressing really ties it all together. It was really, really delicious.

Alana was in charge of hummus and made a huge and wonderful bowl of super smooth hummusy greatness: parsely, garlic, tahini, lemon juice... ahhhh! Hummus Heaven! Then we sprinkled some sour sumac and fresh parsley on top. It was soooooo good. I love hummus. There should be an "I love hummus" tshirt.

Every picture I saw from both Palestinian and Israeli cookbooks indicated that meals usually have a little plate of fresh cukes and tomatoes and onions and such, so I chopped up some tomatoes and cukes to go with everything. Those little cucumbers are delicious!

Foul M'dammas, recipe from Classic Palestinian Cookery. EXCELLENT. Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats was especially nutso for this. It was so good. Super lemony! The favas have such a robust beaniness to them... I guess I can't really explain it. Suffice it to say, I'm glad I have a whole 'nother can of favas in the cupboard. Drizzled with olive oil and paprika.

Also, I made homemade pita bread to go with all these delicious spreads! I've always wanted to try this. I got a great rise on the dough, and separated it into 10 little balls.

Rolling them out. The recipe said to roll them out to about 4"x4" (so small!), but 1/2 inch thick.

And here they are, all cooked and ready to eat! YUM! They didn't really get the perfect pita pockets inside, but they were delicious little breads all the same. I'll definitely try making homemade pita again. It was fun and easy, and the yummy results were worth the little bit of work.

Alana, who is awesome, brought along this wonderful little mini marble cake... which had a rum glaze on top. It was excellent! Alana spent some time living in Israel, and she remembered eating marble cakes there... so this was a good touch of authenticity! Plus, she brought her photo album from her time in Israel, AND a great CD of funky Israeli pop music. It was so fun!

We actually had two desserts. I made Malabi, and veganized a recipe out of a library book called The Book of New Israeli Food. Malabi is a sort of pudding (*recipe at the end of this post*), and according to my library book it is a popular street snack in Israel. I loved it! The recipe called for it to be served with raspberry sauce & coconut, but I actually really liked it just on its own. It had a subtle sweetness that was very pleasant and delicious. I can definitely see making this again. Also, it's really quick, but looks and tastes quite fancy. I love that!

Kitchen "helpers"


Malabi
from The Book of New Israeli Food; veganized by Amey
makes 3 servings
3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp rosewater
1/2 c Healthy Topping Mimicreme*, divided
1 Tbsp sugar

*I know not everyone can get this. sorry, but it's what I used. I'll work on a less specific recipe soon. The original recipe called for whipping creme.

Topping:
Raspberry (or strawberry!) syrup with rosewater
pistachios, roasted & chopped and/or coconut flakes

In a bowl, mix 1/4 c mimicreme with the cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved
In a small sauce pan, add the almond milk, rosewater, sugar, and remaining mimicreme. Bring to a simmer. Add in the mimicreme-cornstarch mixture and simmer for 2-3 minutes until it begins to thicken. Pour into individual ramekins and allow to set for a few hours, or overnight. (truth be told, it tasted pretty excellent to me right away)

For the syrup, I just thawed some frozen strawberries, added a little agave, and a dash of rosewater (Not too much, my first batch tasted "like perfume," according to Alana!), then blended it all into a puree.

Happy VeganMoFo!

14 comments:

  1. I love it! Me and Turnip have made it into cartoon land!!

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  2. I never had a lemon nightmare, but I was chased by a lime once. Foul M damas my fave!!! Wonderful helpers you have there.

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  3. i'm a little bit worried about you, my dear friend. i mean. what's gonna happen when mofo is over? you're going to have so much extra time!!!!! start planning now, i don't want to see you fall into a dark funk.

    xo
    kittee

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  4. Wonderful idea! This looks like an amazing feast!

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  5. love this post! all of it!!! esp your cartoons. you're so talented!

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  6. I just stumbled upon your blog from a Vegan MoFo thread - very glad I did. :) I loved reading all these posts - you're such a talented drawer!

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  7. WOW. What a feast! Everything looks amazing. Especially that salad, I'll have to be making that soon. Beautiful! Also, your cartoons are adorable. :)

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  8. i would totally wear an "i love hummus" shirt with pride. i do have an "i love falafel" shirt...close?

    i am LOVING your trip around the world. i especially love that you tell me where all the yummy recipes come from. thank you! :)

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  9. Love the illustrations! Apparently Alana sleeps with her glasses on :)

    This is a gorgeous meal, especially the orange salad and the desserts!

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  10. oh, i need to hang out with you more this month! i want to earn a cartoon sophia!

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  11. What an amazing feast! I love the drawings of you and Alana, you are so talented, Amey!

    And your homemade pitas are super impressive!!

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  12. Oh, I absolutely love the idea for this dinner! I think we can change the world with food!!!

    I love fava beans (foul medammes) too!!!!

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  13. That orange salad! So gorgeous!

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  14. Now that MoFo is over, I finally have a chance to catch up on so many posts and comments! Your theme was amazing and I'm so glad you kept up with it. This post looks especially appetizing and I'll be recreating most of it soon.

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