Tuesday, February 7, 2012
SUPER BOWL DIPS AND DINNER
Our (vegan) friends Mike and Fireweed have joined us for Super Bowl Sunday for the last few years. Mike and DH Brian watch the game, with munchies supplied by me. Fireweed comes a little later and we have a visit together, then the four of us have dinner. I kept it pretty simple this year because Fireweed, DH and I are all trying to eat low fat and moderately. (Mike can eat like there's no tomorrow and not gain an ounce!)
I decided to serve two hearty dips with vegetables and Ryvita crackers, one a recipe from Betsy DiJulio's blog and one my own recipe, with a little tweak inspired also by Betsy. Betsy, author of The Blooming Platter Cookbook, is one of my favorite vegan cookbook authors (see my review here to find out why!).
Betsy's dip is a clever take on the old spinach dip-- Vegan Spinach-Three Bean Dip (fat-free if you use tofu instead of vegan mayonnaise). I loved the idea of sneaking three kinds of beans into a dip! Here's Betsy's recipe, but I changed it a wee bit according to the ingredients I had on hand. I didn't have the dry vegetable soup mix, so I added 2 tablespoons of vegan bouillon powder instead, plus a little dried thyme, basil and oregano. I used my quickly-made silken tofu mayonnaise (with no added fat) because I didn't have any of my usual homemade low-fat mayo on hand. The guys ate about half of it at one sitting!
The second dip was an old favorite of ours that I've posted on this blog-- Cheddary Spread.-- except that I added a twist from Betsy's book, which she uses in her homemade vegan cheeses-- I added some beer to the recipe! This ingredient is genius! It adds just the right amount of tangy fermented taste, which really adds to the over-all flavor of the spread, or dip. Thank you, Betsy! But, in order to do this and not have it turn out too liquid-y, you have to crumble the silken tofu into a nut bag or a large square of white cotton sheeting-sort of material and twist and squeeze the bag until you have 1/4 cup of liquid from the tofu squeezed out. Then proceed with the recipe, but add 1/4 cup of beer to the mixture. Simple!
For dinner, we had a lovely salad with an avocado dressing that Fireweed brought, and lasagna made with DH's leftover homemade spaghetti sauce (with some red wine and Yves Ground Round hamburger substitute added), Okara/Cashew Ricotta, my vegan Bechamel Sauce, and some Daiya Cheese on top. For dessert we each had an espresso cup of organic drinking chocolate. A great evening with good food and good friends!