Monday, March 28, 2011

Dinner Partay! 3 Easy Recipes

On Saturday I had a dinner party with some of my friends and we had an awesome purely vegan feast! It just-so-happened that way, as 3/4 people eating were not vegans (win for me!).

My friend lives in a beautiful apartment down by the river on the Lower East Side. I never remember the code to his building though, and I have to call him every time and ask like an idiot. Hahah, I've only been there about 17 million times in my life. That is an actual scientific measurement, if you were wondering.

You'd think my brain would retain the info, but. This is my brain we are talking about! It is too preoccupied with food. Unless I can eat that door code, I am not interested.

The long trek to his place from mine feels like a journey across several countries and perhaps a small continent. There is even wildlife to behold (rats and the occasional Hips. ter sapien)! After braving the frigid March weather and wild beasts like Indiana Jones, we all got to eat a cornucopia of wonderful dishes. I used the word cornucopia!

Luckily, I also had another friend to accompany me on the long walk. We always have earth-shattering, revelatory conversations when we travel to the Dinner Party Apartment, as if Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were strolling the cherry blossom-lined paths of Washington together discussing the epic problems of our modern era! (Not really). We usually talk about boys.

So, food!

My contribution to the evening (I say evening because it sounds Classy) was Pineapple Coconut Rice with black beans, white onions, and yellow peppers. I also made broiled mango- so delicious!- and fried bananas. Eating them separately is great, but I especially liked to mixed the fried bananas into the rice. Mmmmm.

Everything else at the party was amazing as well... we had some great tabouleh (cashews, lemon-olive oil dressing, peas, quinoa in lieu of bulgur wheat, and asparagas), delicious hummus and babaganoush, roasted red peppers, and of course wine!

Pineapple Coconut Rice

2 cups wild rice
1-1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tbsp citrus (I used kumquats, but lime and lemon work too!)
1 yellow pepper
1-2 cans black beans
1-1 1/2 yellow onion
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup pineapple juice

The picture of this dish is much less appealing than what it looks like in Real Life with its popping yellows and blacks. I promise it's incredibly tropically tasty and filling.

1. I used a rice cooker and 1 cup water, 1 cup pineapple juice to cook my 2 cups wild rice.
2. While that was happening, I stir-fried the yellow pepper and onion in the coconut oil on med-high until the onions are translucent.
3. Add the black beans to the rice when its finished cooking, stirring so everything is even.
4. Add soysauce into the rice mixture, stir well. Put rice into stovetop pan with the vegetables to heat everything today on low heat for 8 minutes.
5. Top with citrus and stir, add additional pineapple juice if you wish!

All packed up for travel.
Roasted Mango

1-2 mango
lime juice

This is delicious because the sugars in the mango carmelize and give amazing depth to this already refreshing, tangy fruit.

*** Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Cut & skin mango. The easiest way to do this is by cutting off both ends, and then carefully moving your knife down the ripe mango to remove the skin. Avoid the inner seed and slice off mango meat from around it.

2. Place on a broiler pan and roast mango for about 10 minutes. Check and see if any broil marks show up, if they do, turn the mango over and cook for another few minutes.
3. Remove mango from pan and place on serving dish, cover in lime juice. AMAZING, I PROMISE. Seriously, it's one of the best ways I've ever eaten fruit in my life.

Fried Bananas

4 semi-ripe bananas
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (or any flour)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
2 tbsp vegan margarine

I used garbanzo bean flour because one of my friends is Celiac. No whole wheat flour for her! Same reason we used quinoa in the tabouleh. What a downer. hahaha Just kidding.

1. Peel and cut the bananas in half. Then, slice them down the center from top to bottom.
2. Mix the flour and spices in a small dish.

3. Heat up a frying pan and melt the vegan margarine. I used med heat.
4. Cover each banana with the flour mixture and fry them until both sides are brown. Around 3 minutes on each side.


  1. It was such a great dinner, Cherise. Thank you for inspiring within your carnivore friends a love for vegan food!

  2. i'm so glad you posted these recipes cherise! i'm making that rice dish ASAP and storing the other two for future reference :) a delicious dinner indeed!

  3. Quinoa a downer? I think not. :-)

    This all looks so amazing. I am definitely going to fry some bananas soon.

    I love the new header!

  4. Thanks, guys. <3 You are all so great.

  5. What a cute blog!

    I just received a review copy of your book "The Part Time Vegan" and I saw your blog address on the back and thought I'd check it out before I delve into your book. I'm really excited to learn all about Vegan cooking. My 10 yr old daughter has been trying out Vegetarianism for the last month, so it'll be fun to immerse ourselves even further with your book. I'll let you know once I post the review. :) Keep up the good work!

  6. Nicki,
    I am so happy to hear from you! Thank you for the compliment on my blog :) It is so fun to cook with kids and I'm really excited that you and your daughter are trying out some new vegan recipes from my book! I really hope it helps you both along your vegan/vegetarian journey, and that you can find some new favorites! :)