Friday, April 12, 2013

A Perfect Potluck Lunch with Friends

Last weekend, my excellent group of vegan pals came over for a potluck lunch. We try to get together every 5-6 weeks, and it was high time for more potluck fun.

Unfortunately, I went and tore my calf muscle (it's slowly getting better!) two days before hand. I was afraid maybe my injury would stop the whole potluck plan! But, as is evident, the potluck went on. Isn't it just so awesome to have friends with whom you are so comfortable that you don't feel compelled to wash the floors and clean the sink before they show up? It felt great to look forward to an afternoon with my special pals, even with my gimpy leg, and know that we would just have a great time together - that's gotta have some healing power all on its own, right?

The theme of our potluck (yes, we always make themes!) was "Spring Cleaning" - to use something that's been lurking in your pantry. 

The first thing I made was the Hearty Barley Fruit Bread from my brand new copy of Whole Grain Vegan Baking. I LOVED IT. As soon as I saw the picture in the book, I knew I wanted to make this bread, and it fully delivered. I can't wait to cook more from WGVB!

And, as for spring cleaning, this bread used up all my dried figs, my raisins, AND some prunes, plus the rest of my soy yogurt tub, and almost all of my leftover homemade candied orange peel. How rad is that? I just finished the last piece this morning (straight out of the freezer!), and I think I'll have to make more pronto. It's one of my favorite things ever.

I also made the Lumpia with Potato and Watercress from Vegan Eats World. I had made these when I was a tester for VEW, and I still had half of a pack of lumpia wrappers in my freezer. So, pretty much the moment we came up with our spring cleaning theme, I thought of using up those damned lumpia wrappers! Holy mother of yum. These babies are so totally delicious!! And, I love that they are lightly sprayed with oil and baked, which is way more my scene than frying things. Let me just say that there was not a single lumpia left, because they are that good. You should really go make them for yourself.

I feel like a bit of a jerko, because I realize now that I only took glam shots of the things I made. I'll blame it on my pulled calf muscle, and my strong desire to not be standing around. Anyhow, I did get a good pic of both my dinner and my dessert plates!

Up top:
Sophia and Max brought some amazing mini loaves of Sour Rye Bread with Sauerkraut in it (using up their leftover sauerkraut), AND they brought some amazing Aged Vegan Cheddar from Artisan Vegan Cheese. It had been aging and they hadn't tried it yet. It was really delicious, and paired super well with their lovely bread. You could totally taste the sauerkraut in the bread!

Miss A addressed her "orzo problem" and brought a really lovely Orzo Salad with Roasted Asparagus and Almond Pesto (the pesto was from Yellow Rose Recipes). This salad was so good! One of our potluck traditions is to divvy up the leftovers afterwards, and I must say, this salad was even more delicious for lunch the next day. It turns out Orzo is really a good shape for pasta salad!

Bottom Left:
Sophia and Max have been experiencing a crazy arugula explosion in their garden, so they brought a lovely and simple fresh Arugula Salad.

Also, they won the WHAT IS THAT award with a totally wild Korean Acorn Gel with a savory sauce. The sole ingredients were: water, salt, and acorn flour! Have you ever had this? Honestly, I can't say I loved it. The sauce was super delicious, but after a few bites, I got freaked out by the texture. Still, we were all totally impressed with Sophia's courage at attacking a 100% new-to-us ingredient!

Nikki brought along a pitcher of super delicious Mint Lemonade. It was thick like a slushy and full of fresh mint. I think she said it was from the 30-Minute Vegan, which I just bought, so I'll have to look it up. She used the abundance of mint and lemons from her landlords' garden... the land of plenty! This drink was really delicious and refreshing, and I want to make some for myself!

Dessert Plate!
Oh yeah! Three desserts at a lunch potluck? Why, yes! That is how we roll.

On the left there is the 100% perfect and beautiful-in-every-way Cashew-Ricotta Cheesecake from Vegan Eats World, courtesy of Miss A. I couldn't believe how totally glorious and beautiful it was, and I really regret not getting a better pic of it. She had a jar of raspberry sauce (a free gift from Penzey's!) to use up, and lucky us, she decided to make an entire cheesecake to go with it. 

Up top is my Hearty Barley Fruit Bread again. Do you notice how I very demurely photographed my plate with just one half-slice? ha ha ha ha ha ha!

On the right, is the Rice Pudding from Viva Vegan, made my Nikki (using up some rice in her cupboards). Holy moly this was delicious! I loved it so much. It was full of cinnamony goodness, raisins, and big chunks of orange peel. So magical!

me basking in the afterglow of good friends and good food


  1. mmm everything looks great! i'd love to try that "cheese" cake!

  2. You always have the best potlucks! I think I need more vegan friends.

    1. vegan friends are so important! I found all my vegan friends on the PPK, but I know there are lots more out there.

  3. That is some awesome potluck food. I am a fan of the dessert plate!

    1. ha ha, good taste! I am also a fan of that dessert plate!

  4. Looks like you were all mighty lucky at this pot luck--so much yumminess and a gathering of friends sounds like good fortune to me.

  5. Why have I never spotted that Lumpia recipe?! They look perfect! I love you guys' themed potlucks, and that's a great theme, I hope I can make it to one one day!

    1. how fun would THAT be??? If you ever make it out this way we will promise to have an epic potluck in your honor! :) And yes, those lumpias are amazing, and you should totally go make them!!

  6. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Spring cleaning is such a great idea for a potluck! And, of course Sophia and Max were the most adventurous :) I love that a whole cheesecake was made as an excuse to use up a jar of raspberry sauce. And, your awesome looking barley bread reminded me to add that cookbook to my wishlist.


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