So believe it or not, my parents went for yet another all-vegan holiday meal! This is just getting too easy!
Of course, why wouldn't it be when we're turning out scrumptious treats like this!
While I don't actually celebrate Easter, my Mom does and after all, do you really need an excuse to have a lovely family dinner? (Especially with no school the next day!) Above is the highlight of the meal, the fabulous coconut macadamia carrot-cake from VwaV. It was a bit of prep work at the start, but in the end it came together easily and everyone loved it. So worth the work. (And trust me, I don't have the best track record with baked goods.) I mean, with a glass of soymilk you're pretty much in heaven. It also gave me the confidence I need to bake some other layer-cake delicacies I've been admiring of late.
Dinner was lemon asparagus risotto. (Doesn't that sound spring-y?) I made it the same way I always make risotto. Except this time, I sauteed some asparagus and tossed that in at the end, along with a little lemon juice and lemon peel. Honestly, at this point I could make risotto in my sleep! (If I could stir in my sleep, that is.)
I served it alongside some cherry tomatoes sauteed in garlic, crusty bread, and a strawberry-spinach salad with homemade dressing (the same one I made on Valentines day, because its SO AMAZING). It all went off without a hitch.
I'd like to mention here that when I'm coming up with a menu, I keep in mind the age-old secret of different colors and textures on a plate. Thats why I chose tomatoes- more greens would have been overkill with the spinach and the asparagus, and some gingered carrots would have been way too reminiscent of the dessert. This worked out well, but I still wondered what else could have been served alongside to spice things up. Maybe some smoked tofu? The blog What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway? always has great ideas for full menus, as does Eat Air, another blog I love.
***In travel news, I am in the midst of preparing for my big trip in May. I have all my flights booked, my shifts covered at work, and Lonely Planet guidebooks/ dictionaries for everywhere I'm going. At this point, I'm trying to figure out how to distill my clothes into about 2 interchangable, weather appropriate outfits. I'm also working on booking hostels and coming up with itineraries based on where I might be staying. And of course, I'm also heavily focused on the food! So far, it looks like Budapest will be the most vegan friendly, based on the number of vegetarian restaurants listed in the guidebook. But, its always a different story on the ground.
One of the things I plan to do to prepare is to veganize a few recipes from each country to get familiar with the kind of ingredients used in popular dishes. (Also, basically just for fun.) I've never made a "goulash" before, I've no idea what kind of spices are predominant in Turkey, and I assume that many yummy Viennese pastries are packed with eggs and cream. So lm going to have to find out! As for Germany, having lived with a German for a year I feel fairly confident that there will be vegetable dishes galore in Berlin. Either that or he adapted amazingly well. :)
Hope everyone had a relaxing/ revitalizing holiday! Here's me gloating over my well-turned-out cake.