Monday, October 14, 2013

Rainbow Potluck!!

Our Beautiful Rainbow Buffet!

They say you should "eat the rainbow," and so we did! This weekend was our third annual Rainbow Potluck, and it was such a blast. Over the years our sweet little gang of buddies has gotten a bit more busy (new kiddos, grad school, jobs, responsibilities...), and we don't all get together quite as frequently as before... But the lure of the Rainbow Potluck was strong enough to draw us all together and it was great. 

Our usual format is to have a sweet dish and a savory dish for every color of the rainbow... And we did a pretty great job this year! 


Red Savory: Masala Potatoes with Red Potatoes 
These were so delicious!!! I was nuts about them and went back for seconds. The spicy quotient was just perfect, and they were bursting with flavor. I'm not always a potato fan, (I know, that's weird), but I loved these. 


Red Sweet: Raspberries with "cloud sauce" 
Fresh organic raspberries with an amazing dipping sauce based on the lemon cheesecake recipe from Vegan Pie In The Sky. It was gloriously delicious - lemony, creamy, and perfect with the raspberries - plus it was billowy and white, just the clouds next to the rainbows! The berries were so popular with the little kiddos at our party, it was hilarious! They were practically ready to pull the tablecloth down just to get their paws on more berries. There was a chorus of tiny little voices saying "berries?" "more?" over and over. So cute!


Orange Savory: Tomato and Canatloupe Gazpacho 
Amazing! This soup was so delicious. I wasn't sure what to expect, but with one taste, I was instantly converted! You couldn't really taste the cantaloupe, but what you could taste was a strong, pure blast of tomatoey goodness with a hint of sweetness, and without any acid. It was awesome. Plus, perfect velvety texture and super beautiful 100% orange color! 


Orange Sweet: Sweet Potato Bourbon Ice Cream! 
What?! It was so pretty and orangey and delicious. Sophia is our resident ice cream pro, and she is always coming up with such neat, creative combos. It was a great flavor profile for the beginning of autumn. Also, it was cool how she used "orange" to create such a summery savory dish, and such an autumnal sweet dish.


Yellow Savory: Chickpea Salad with yellow bell peppers and celery
Mmmmmmm, ... Served with little freshly-baked rye bread toasts. This was such a great contribution to the overall selection - fresh, light, healthy, and delicious. One the dishes that drew me back for seconds, for sure!


Yellow Sweet: Curried Macaroon Pie 
(from Vegan Pie In The Sky)
I will admit, I was a skeptic about this pie. It just sounded so crazy! But guess what? Crazy, or not crazy, it was super delicious!! You could definitely taste the curry and definitely taste the mega presence of coconut... But it all worked together and I loved it! Everything about it was oddly wonderful. :) 


Green Savory: Special Pesto Bruschetta
These little bruschettas with pesto probably don't look so exotic, but this was some super special pesto made with Basil, Cilantro, Mint and coconut!! It was insanely delicious, and I could not stop eating these guys. I think it might have been my favorite pesto ever. Even while everyone else was oohing and aaahing over the desserts, I was sneaking into the kitchen to eat more of these. I really love the cilantro-mint combo... and somehow the whole thing was just right up my alley.


Green Sweet: Kiwi Fruit Tart
A Fruit Tart with vanilla custard, shortbread crust (yum!), an stopped with bright green kiwis! So pretty! Kiwis are a great fruit for this kind of dessert because they are so pretty, and also because they are a bit tart, which is a nice balance with the other sweet elements.


Blue Savory: Blue Corn Chips
Garden of Eatin Sesame Blues, to be precise. Okay, okay, I took the easy road with blue this year. So sue me! It's better than nothing. Plus, I love these chips, they are yummy, and they are blue(ish). Plus plus, the children loved them.


Purple Sweet (#1): Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie
This is my favorite smoothie, I make it all the time. One scoop of Vega Chocolate protein powder, 1 cup of frozen bloobs, and 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk. After many so-so smoothie results, I found this simple combo, fell in love, and I'm sticking with it. Plus, it's totally purple! So, I made a big double smoothie and brought it along with a bunch of small glasses so everyone could have some.


Purple Sweet (#2): Lemon-Lavender Raw Cheezecake! 
Wowsers. So beautiful, huh? I love how poetic it is to bring something that's supposed to "taste like violet." This lovely creation was super lemony with a hint of lavender and a raw walnut and cocoa crust. It had a perfect texture and was really delicious. I'm not even a huge lavender person, but it was more lemony than lavendery, so it won me over! :) 


Rainbow Lasagna!
I'm not sure where this fits in the mix, but somewhere along the line, I had an idea to try to make a rainbow lasagna, and I couldn't shake it. I used my favorite lasagna recipe as a starting point... but wanted to clearly have the  bottom level green, then the next layer yellow, then orange, with red on top. I wasn't sure if it would turn out, but look how beautiful it is!! Eat the rainbow indeed! Best of all, it was also really delicious and bursting with veggies.


Here's what I used for the lasagna layers. After preparing all my different batches of veggies, I made a batch of the tofu ricotta and divided it in thirds. I mixed some of each veggie batch with some of the tofu ricotta - to stretch out the color and to keep the tofu ricotta without ever having any distracting white layers in my final lasagna.

Green: 1 lb spinach steamed and squeezed, 2 medium zucchini, 1 ginormous pile of fresh basil leaves 
Yellow: 2 medium yellow summer squash, 1 yellow bell pepper (sauteed with garlic and dried herbs)
Orange: 5 medium carrots and 1 roasted orange bell pepper (sauteed with garlic and dried herbs)
Red: Marinara Sauce with tomatoes, garlic, red bell pepper, and red onion


My dinner plate of rainbowy goodness


My dessert plate of rainbow goodness
(here you can see the yummy "cloud sauce" that went with the raspberries)

Our rainbow gang!

bonus kitty: our kitty hostess, Gertrude!!


16 comments:

  1. wow, what a colorful, delicious feast!

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  2. So beautiful! What a fantastic idea :)

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  3. This is so so fun! I remember you posting about the rainbow potluck last year and loved the idea back then.
    All the contributions are so creative and yummy-looking, especially your gorgeous rainbow lasagna :D

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  4. O my gosh, this looks amazing and so tasty. What a lovely and sweet tradition! And bonus kitties are always a bonus.

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  5. I LOVE this idea SO MUCH!!! Especially since our Memphis gay pride parade was held this weekend. I wish I'd have gone to a rainbow/pride potluck!! I MAY steal this idea for a Memphis potluck one day. :-) We have the "magical traveling vegan potluck" here, and we rotate houses every month. But we should totally do a rainbow theme one time!!!

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  6. Fantastic! It all looks great :D

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  7. That is pretty amazing! The tomato and cantaloupe gazpacho and that ice cream sound super great!

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  8. WOW! That all looks so YUM!

    ~Have a lovely day!

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  9. How fun! That's such a cool idea for a potluck! Everything is so colorful, rainbow indeed. :-)

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  10. everything looks amazing and that rainbow lasagna is genius!!

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  11. I love this idea for a potluck! I may not be able to stop thinking about rainbow lasagna until I make it also!

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  12. Wow this looks soo colorful! I love that your friends are eating as healthy as you are.

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  13. I love your rainbow potlucks, everyone is always so unbelievable creative!

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  14. I like all the dishes but chickpea salad is more energetic and healthy. I am thankful for getting food recipe ideas and will give it a try.

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  15. Who needs the gold at the end of the rainbow when you can score all this beautiful food!!

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  16. I love the rainbow potluck! I wish our trip had coincided with it, that would have been so cool! Everything looks amazing and I'd totally have been in the kitchen with you eating that presto bread - so perfect.

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Happy VeganMoFo! I love comments, they really make my day!