A Mostly Vegan Birthday Soiree

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soi·rée: an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation

Last week was my birthday and given that I love nothing more than good food and good company, I decided to host a dinner party. I really actually only thought about 4-8 people were going to be able to make it so you can imagine the surprise I felt when all 14 said yes! I mean, really when does everyone ever say yes to anything?!?! Many thoughts ran though my head… how will everyone fit in my apartment, do I have enough forks, plates, napkins, glasses… that’s a lot of dishes (given that I have no dishwasher or garbage disposal)! I did think about just going to a restaurant but I knew nothing would feel as intimate as a little dinner party cramped in my living room… and I also liked the idea of my guests not having to a ton spend money – this was my gift to them for my birthday! The one thing I did ask the guests to bring was wine so they buddied up and brought of bottle of either white or red wine.

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I spent wayyyyyy too many hours thinking about the menu but this is what I came up with. I really wanted to make vegan mac n cheese but I knew I had a few guests with gluten intolerances and other sensitivities so I decided to two 2 salads and 2 different entree type dishes to cater to everyone’s needs. I much prefer multi course meals but I definitely did not have enough dishes for that!!!… 

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Eggplant with Spicy Chickpeas and Lemon-Dill-Tahini Sauce

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A friend of mine made a similar recipe at a potluck not too long ago but hers used a yogurt sauce. So when recreating it, not only did I want to veganize this recipe but I also wanted to add a little kick to the flavor of the chickpeas by making them spicy to counteract the cooling nature of the dill sauce. Its a simple recipe but the flavors work so well together. I really felt like I was back on the streets of Istanbul…. which is a feeling I am happy to revisit over and over!… 

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Asparagus Salad

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I’ve made asparagus in this manner before when making this Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad, but since corn is not in season right now, I decided to combine it with some greens and avocado instead. This is a wonderfully clean salad because of all of the fresh herbs… and it definitely allows you to get your greens in! So if you have some extra herbs lying around that you are not quite sure how to use, try out this salad for a surprisingly simple treat…. 

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Chimichurri Sauce

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Scott is absolutely obsessed with chimichurri sauce so I decided to try to make it at home… and now I might be obsessed! I made it for the first time last week and we put it over roasted veggies and lentils and added it to wraps, sandwiches, and salads. I really do think it is the sauce that can make anything taste delicious… and it is loaded with parsley which has amazing health benefits… and you can say goodbye to bad breath! So whip some up and see what you can find to put it on :)…. 

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Two Recipes Not to Miss: Kale Caesar and Roasted Cabbage and Cauliflower Salad

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Hello my savvy chefs!

Last week was an exciting one as I had 2 recipes published on Mind Body Green, a site I love for all things health! However, you all are my tried and true so it would be a tragedy if I you didn’t have easy access to these recipes :)… so you can find the links below.

Vegetarian Kale Caesar with Homemade Garlic Croutons – this was made with my vegetarian caesar dressing

Roasted Cabbage & Cauliflower Salad with Peanut Sauce

Have a happy, healthy and yummy week!

Chelsea

Oh-So-Easy Almond Milk

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I am not much of a milk drinker but I recently wanted to make a green smoothie. I have to say, I was a little disappointed when I went to my health food store and looked through the almond milks only to see a large list of ingredients, even on the most natural brands! I decided to give it a try on my own and unless in a bind, I can’t imagine ever not making my own moving forward. This homemade milk tastes so much better and you don’t have to worry about all the added ingredients! I cannot wait to taste these with my homemade vegan cookies!… 

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Healthy Homemade Dark Chocolate

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I have to thank my friend Lissa Rankin for inspiring this one. We had dinner at her house and she served us the most amazing chocolate for dessert. She is an amazing cook that doesn’t really follow recipes so I asked her for the ingredients and went to town discovering how to make it on my own. The important thing in this recipe is the cacao butter as it allows the chocolate to be solid at room temperature. I like to make a batch and just keep it in the freezer and nibble on it if and when I want a piece because while it is better than recipes that only use coconut oils (for texture), it will still get your hands a little dirty :)… 

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Make a Meal out of Miso

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Who loves miso soup? I do, I do! When Scott woke up not feeling great last week, I figured this was the perfect dish. It is a warm soothing broth that has the yummy taste of a miso soup but since I loaded it with veggies, it was enough for a whole meal rather than just a starter. Good bye sushi joints, hello home made miso!… 

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