Monday, January 21, 2013

A Beautiful Day for a Potluck

We've been having some pretty chilly weather around here lately... with temperatures getting down below freezing at night, and pretty cold during the day too. I know that sounds silly to most of you, but for us Californians, that's a big deal! 

So, when we decided to have our next potluck outside at the park, it was a bit of a daring move. Lucky for us, though - Mother Nature came through just in time. This weekend was sunny, warm, and beautiful. Flip flops and t-shirts! The theme of our potluck was to make something from a cookbook/magazine/website you haven't used before... 

And here's what we made:

from Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen by Talya Lutzker
For starters, I made this really delicious spin on hummus, with some fresh veggies for munching. This recipe is a great contribution to the world of hummus - it's got pumpkin seeds and avocado and fresh herbs and various other things (plus chickpeas, of course!!). It was really fantastic. I tweaked the recipe a bit, I halved the salt, left out the olive oil entirely (and truly didn't miss it one bit), and also left out the agave. You can't really tell from the pic, but this made a TON ~ maybe 5 cups?? I'll definitely make it again, but next time I'll probably make a half batch. 

 Dok Boki
Sophia made these amazing Korean giant rice doodles in spicy-sweet sauce. They were a huge hit with everyone! Apparently everyone else knew all about Dok Boki (and Korean food in general), but I haven't really had much Korean food, so this was a really big treat for me. I loved it! The rice sticks reminded me of giant cheetos and they were really fun to eat, in addition to being very tasty. I also really loved all the festive garnishes - the freshness & bite of the green onions and the crunch of the sesame seeds really added to the flavor, texture AND appearance of the dish.

 Vegan Cob Salad
Alana made this beautiful salad, that we absolutely all agreed was excellent. It was huge and full of colors and flavors. Those Hearts of Palm converted into vegan "hard boiled eggs" were especially fun. Plus, I don't know if you can see over on the right... there was a bunch of rich marinated tempeh bits that went into the salad too. I really want to make this salad again for dinner one night... it was fantastic. I've been making an effort to broaden my salad horizons, so this is definitely on the list!

Chinese Pork Buns
from Authentic Chinese Cuisine (by Bryanna Clark Grogan)
Oh Lordy, these babies were So. Damned. Good. We were pretty much all having heart palpitations and fighting over the (very few) leftovers. Nikki made these, and they were absolutely great. Instead of seitan, she used dry-fried tofu bits in the filling, which worked out just fine as far as I could tell. The filling is pungent and rich and toothsome and the dough was as pillowy and tender as could ever be possible. They were little miracle creations!

Carrot & Parsley Salad
This was a super garlicky and yummy shredded carrot & parsley salad that Rose brought. So fresh and bright! She said it had a whole entire bunch of parsley in it, which is great for me because I am a true lover of parsley. 

Pineapple-Parsley Juice
While we're on the subject of parsley, this is the amazing juice that Kendra brought: Pineapple & Parsley. It deserves to be mentioned that Kendra came to the potluck on her bike, with a giant pitcher of juice (and plastic cups) in her backpack. Well done! I think she said that the recipe was from a vegetarian cookbook she got in Mexico. It was really delicious and refreshing ~ and perfect for our sunny potluck. It turns out that pineapple and parsley are a great pair!

Here's my whole plate, brimming with healthy and delicious goodness. All in all, we were really pleased with how successful all our recipes were - given that every thing was from a previously un-tested resource. We really ate well!!

Peanut Butter "Crispy" Bars
I put "crispy" in quotes because although these contained crisped kamut, they weren't very crispy after all*. Alana, who brought these, seemed to think that meant the recipe was a failure. Clearly, she needs to change her definition of "failure" to include "resounding success," because - crispy or not - these bad boys were SUPER YUM. They got a bit melty in the sun, but no one was complaining. Sweet, naughty, glorious decadence. 

(*plus, if you read the recipe, she warns you that the bars will be more "tender" than "crispy," unless you actually use rice crispies. Just so you know!) 

  Giant Hungarian Poppyseed Spiral Bread
from World Vegan Feast by Bryanna Clark Grogan
Although I've read through World Vegan Feast many times, I'd never buckled down and made something from it before. But with a name like "Giant Hungarian Poppyseed Spiral Bread," it was pretty obvious to me which recipe I should start with. The dough rose overnight in the fridge, and then was filled with an amazing prune-poppyseed-walnut-lemon zest filling, rolled up in a giant spiral (as promised) and baked! It was really delicious, and we all agreed that we hadn't really ever had anything quite like it before.

Here's the inside of it! It reminded me a lot of making King Cakes with Kittee... except that instead of rolling the tube into a ring-shaped cake, you roll it into a big spiral. However, the very inside of the loaf was still a bit doughy, so next time I make this glorious beast of goodness, I think I'll make it a ring shape for more even cooking. That said, the spiral sure is pretty, isn't it?

I hope you're staying warm, wherever you are!


  1. mmm it all looks so amazing!

  2. Y'all really do have the best potlucks. Look at all that healthy vibrant and delicious looking food. I agree, I was also thinking Bryanna's cake looked like my beloved.


    1. :) sometime you will come back to SC and we will do an all-xgfx potluck in your honor!

  3. Oh my goodness, what a feast you had. It all looks fantastic. That spiral bread! Those "pork" buns! The salads! Everything!!

  4. I am so pumped you had Korean food~ I'm kicking it in Seoul and ddeoboki is a streetfood and drunk tummy-filler over here!! Check out my seoulside kicks via~

    LOVE your blog!!

    1. yeah, your blog is super fun. I definitely need to explore the world of Korean food!

  5. Wow o wow you really know how to do it up. Really intrigued by the Don Boki. I can't imagine rice sticks tasting like a Cheeto! Also, heart of palm eggs sounds brilliant. Really want to try that parsley-pineapple drink. Okay, basically I really just want to come to yr potluck. And eat all that spirally poppyseed cake. Uh huh.

    1. It's not really that the rice sticks tasted like cheetos... it was more of a texture thing. They were really good though, and super fun to eat too. :)

  6. What a fun theme for a potluck. I am loving Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen right now and glad to hear the yummus was good. I could tell it would make a ton of food with all those ingredients. :)

    1. oh cool! what have you made from the Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen? I have a bunch more recipes that I want to make... before I do a review for the blog. :)

    2. I can't wait to see what you like, too. I've really enjoyed these so far:
      Winter Vegetable Stew (added adzuki beans)
      Mung Bean Stew (omitted the potatoes)
      Better Than Chicken Soup (added chickpeas, probably my favourite of the bunch)
      Cinnamon Cabbage and Apples (not my favourite but a different way to eat cabbage, that's for sure!)

  7. Wow!! What a feast!! I am SO making those pb and choc things!

  8. That giant spiral bread looks *amazing*!

  9. Awesome photos and food! Very nice! Great blog you have here, toO!

  10. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Your potlucks always seemed to be the most creative and fun, you really have a great group! I’m a huge fan of World Vegan Feast, but it seems I’ve overlooked the poppyseed bread recipe, it looks magnificent. The pork buns alone have made me want to order her Chinese cookbook now.

  11. Flip flops and t-shirts in january?! I need to move! The spiral bread looks ridiculously awesome and the salad's so pretty. The Yummus sounds awesome too & I agree that the PB bars don't even look close to a fail!

  12. The temperature thing sounds a little silly to me, ha ha. :) Though I empathize now that I'm living in Austin - the days when I'm at the bus stop and it's only 40 degrees, and I'm all bundled with a hoodie and scarf...ha ha. My Saskatchewan friends would laugh at me. Korean food rocks, and the rest of the potluck food looks so beautiful. I'd be all over those pork buns and juice too.


I love comments, they really make my day! Thanks for reading my blog! I'm sorry I had to turn on word verification and comment moderation - I was getting so many spam comments!