double dippin’: the party

Roughly 1/10th of total dips that arrived at Double Dippin’

Fueling my dorky, themed party planning obsession, I hosted a dip-themed potluck and party last weekend. Double Dippin’: The Party* featured 4 tables of dips: Sweet, Savoury, Miscellaneous, No Holds Barred, and Michele performing the grand & appetizing Vegan Mozzarella Stick-Off in the kitchen.

The record was successfully broken for just how many people can fit into my apartment, surely set high for the number of dips through the door, special dietary needs were met (vegans are so nice!), my cats hid, dip rules were posted, various research was displayed, and I had an opportunity to make a giant pot of beer cheese sauce, among other dippy dishes. Dipshit was officially an endearing term, dip creativity and classicism was off the hook, and I just can’t seem to get this out of my head.

As for the actual food, contributions ranged from traditional pesto to spicy peanut sauce to chili to Russian beet dip to cashew green bean to saucey bourbon to spiced cheesecake to sweet chocolate frosting, and beyond. Beyond!

Smokey Beer Cheese

beer cheese

How To: Smokey Beer Cheese. Follow the Cheesy Sauce recipe from Veganomicon.  Add a diced poblano pepper with the garlic (up the garlic!). After you add the nooch and vegetable broth, throw in cumin, hot paprika, tahini, hot sauce, a bottle of cherished, local microbrew, and a good dash of liquid smoke.  Simmer for at least 20 minutes before making your gluten-fanatic guests happy.

Green Tea, Shallot & Cream Cheese, modified from Eat Tea

Green Tea, Caper & Shallot Cream Cheese

I was more wild about the idea of this over the finished product, but it was worth a shot. And look! garnish!

Raw Banana Coconut Almond Dip

raw banana almond dip

On one hand, sampling this dip made me realize I’m non-officially, but likely, allergic to freaking almonds. On the other, it went over well! It consists of pureed raw almonds, unsweetened coconut and banana. Once again, a pat on the back to the Vita-Mix.

Salt-Free Black Bean, Lemon & Garlic Dip

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This was another contribution for the Eat to Live crowd. One of those few ingredient recipes from the internets. It was less creamy than I’d like, but I naturally blame myself, because I forgot the tahini. However, who cares about anything else when there’s a nice garnish?

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

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So creamy! I almost comprehend artichokes now.

Jeff’s Spicy Peanut Sauce

jeff's satay sauce

My friends Lucas and Jeff combined powers to offer a damn fine spread of fried tofu, peanut sauce and tofufffalo style hot sauce.

The Sweet table

Lauren plates my ode to our friend Bram – Peanut Butter Coconut Apple Pie (dip).

lauren at the sweets table

The Bar – featuring homemade Mixed Berry, Raspberry and Lavender Mango syrups. Plenty of makings for both cocktails and mocktails. My friend Emily contributed homemade Raspberry Ginger Shrub that was amazing!

The rest of the refreshments – including Michele’s sparkling punch

This was posted above the No-Holds-Barred dip-as-you-will tator tots & dips table

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Clearly the party was an ode to this.

No-Holds-Barred Table – early in the evening

Live action at the No-Holds-Barred table. I spy a spicy sesame cornmeal encrusted tofu dipper at the muffin tray, and churros and chocolate sauce in the back.

Jack & Simon: Bros and their tots – bonus special guest appearance by Portland’s own Pretzel Necklace!

The Savoury table at the pre-party

Stage 1: Dips

*Name Credit belongs to Lucas DeShazer. No surprise.

I didn’t take as many photos as I’d like, perhaps more of the dishes to come…

Next up in themed events coming this way I’m counting down to?  The Vegan Prom of Tomorrow and the second annual Fakin’ Fest!

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

Important Update: My sister has informed me that this is “Spin Dip”. Carry on.

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

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Hello, vegan specialty ingredient time!  This Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip is absolutely a guilty pleasure of a party treat. At my recent Double Dippin’ party, it was one of the first things I noticed polished off! (because I was stoked to make more room for more dips!)

It’s a combination of veganization and pine nut and nooch alteration of every single other artichoke and/or spinach dip that exists on the internet. Extra credit to my sister Jenny for insisting I add sour cream. She’s a pro on matters of spinach meets artichoke – even if she did ask me the recipe for “dip” in the same conversation. What dip? “The dip you eat at parties”…that turned into a conversation about how the classic American dip is soup packet + sour cream + mayonnaise + cheese, etc – this vegan version is as close as I’ll ever get!

Anyway, prior to this, the only other time I can recall eating artichoke dip was at Georgetown Liquor Company with my friends Vijjy and KJ in Seattle, which rules (just remember to say VEGAN). So does their dip. And my Class of 2000 of NW club.

Onto the super cheesy, somewhat spicy, packed with spinach artichoke dip:

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip with Nayonaise

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounce jar of marinated artichokes, briefly rinsed
  • 4 ounce can of diced green chilies (I used one from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup of Nayonaise* or other vegan mayo
  • 1 cup of vegan parmesan (I used a blend of nutritional yeast and pine nuts)
  • 1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup of Tofutti Sour Cream or other vegan sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of miso (I used chickpea)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 1-2 cloves of garlic, because I simply can’t recall if I added them. It’s harder to imagine I didn’t.

Garnish: 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, added during the final 5 minutes of baking.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a casserole dish, such as an 8×4.
  2. Add all ingredients except for the spinach into a food processor.  Pulse a few times, until well mixed.
  3. Add a bunch of spinach and puree. Add another and do the same until you’re done.
  4. Spoon into the casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and add garnishes, if using. Turn the heat to 425F and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with dipping items, such as baguette slices. Go. Party.

Pre-Baked

pre-bake

The party slowly begins…hundreds of more dips arrived, seriously. This is just the primary Savoury table.

savoury

*Thanks Nasoya!!

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clean out the fridge Pra Ram style noodle dinner

fridge food

Quite recently, I purchased peanut butter after forgetting it existed for a couple of months.  I was glad I did, because it came to the rescue the other night on an almost too-warm-to-cook, clean-out-the-fridge-for-dinner evening. I was grasping for ideas and near gasping for breath until I remembered that I had just enough odds and ends of vegetables and to lightly cook and pair with an easy peanut sauce.  The sliced tofu was the last piece of Nasoya extra firm that had been marinating in a light fishy mixture of crumbled nori, soy sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, mirin, and fresh ginger.

The completed meal was reminiscent of Pra Ram, but served with buckwheat rice vermicelli, as opposed to a bed of greens or steamed rice.  I dig this type of vermicelli because it’s cheap, versatile, and remains sturdier vs. the traditional rice version – especially as leftovers.

Satisfyingly served at room temperature, and sprinkled with gomasio.

clean out the fridge

The extra peanut sauce is requesting some satay action. Dip party to commence.

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One last thing – I’m quite possibly in love with my new tablecloth.

The Teese Challenge: Broccoli Raab, Garlic & Teese Rolls

The long-awaited (in my head) goal of recreating the classic broccoli & mozzarella pinwheels of the local pizzerias of my childhood finally came to vegan, teese-covered fruition!

This is definitely the first test batch, but overall, I’m pleased with how they came out.  The one BIG difference I’d change for the next round is to double the pizza dough.  There was a little bit of both fillings left over, and with double the dough, I’d be able to make even large, spiral rolls – aka pinwheels! I used broccoli raab, because, you know, farmers markets, the joy of raab, etc.

Broccoli Raab, Garlic & Teese Rolls

teese challenge

Here’s what you need:

  • Double batch of pizza dough, fully risen.
  • Flour for the dough.
  • One bunch of broccoli raab or small head of broccoli, roughly chopped.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of minced garlic
  • One batch of Tofu Ricotta (I used Nasoya firm with the recipe from Veganomican/Vegan with a Vengeance with the addition of a teaspoon of tahini).
  • One small tube of Mozzarella Teese, shredded.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare the Tofu Ricotta and set aside.
  3. Sauté the garlic on low/medium heat in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add a dash of crushed red pepper, freshly ground black pepper, a generous pinch of sea salt, and the chopped broccoli raab (or broccoli).  Add a splash of water, and stir for 5-7 minutes, until well-cooked.
  5. Remove the sauté pan from heat, cover and set aside.
  6. Flour your hands and roll out the pizza dough to a large oval.  Use more flour if needed.
  7. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, or use a mister.
  8. Place large spoonful of tofu around the dough.  Use a spatula to spread out.
  9. Carefully do the same with the broccoli raab mixture.
  10. Spread 3/4 of the shredded teese log onto the other fillings.  It’s okay if it clumps a bit.
  11. Roll up like cinnamon rolls, and precisely cut with a sharp knife.  Rinse your knife between cuts if you need to.
  12. Lightly grease a 8×13 pan (you may need more than one).
  13. Place rolls in the pan(s).  If there is a more open side, place that side up.
  14. Sprinkle the rolls with the leftover (1/4 tube) of shredded teese and a drizzle or spray of olive oil.
  15. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  16. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.
    Ready to roll

roll

Teese, Teese, Teese! The eventual double-dough rolls will be prettier!

teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese

These rolls are part of the official Teese Challenge.  Chicago Soy Dairy generously sent vegan food bloggers their soy cheese to cook with and document.