Sunday, March 23, 2008

One weekend, two potlucks

As you may have guessed by the title of this post, I went to a couple potlucks this weekend, both in celebration of the Vernal (or Spring) Equinox. On Saturday, I went to a picnic/grill-out/potluck in Bartlett, a surburb of Memphis. It was held outside, and yesterday was actually a little cold with temps in the mid-60s. We were all freezing by the time it was over. Most of the attendees are omnis, but a couple were veg and we threw out Tofurky Chiptole Franks and Smart Dogs on the grill.

I brought a veganized, whole wheat version of Hot Cross Buns, a traditional Easter treat:

I found the recipe online, but I made a couple slight changes. I'm going to post the amended recipe (with my variations).

Vegan Hot Cross Buns
4 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/3 cup Evaporated Cane Sugar
2 tablespoons Quick Rise Instant Yeast
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
2 cups Warm Water
1/4 cup Melted vegan margarine
2 liquid egg replacers
1 cup Raisins or part currants


In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in warm water and vegan margarine, then egg replacers. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously stir dough until smooth and elastic. Stir in raisins. Scrape down sides of bowl, cover with a clean dry towel and stand for 10 minutes. Grease 24 medium to large-sized muffin cups and spoon in batter -- no more than 2/3 full.

Brush tops with melted margarine. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost double, about 20 - 30 minutes.

Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until tops are browned. Let cool on wire racks until warm, about 10 - 15 minutes.

Lemon Icing (veganized from Southern Living):
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. soy milk
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. melted soy margarine

Combine until smooth; place in a piping bag or spoon on top of buns to make crosses.

Today, I went to another potluck at my friend Scott and Andrea's house in Cordova, another suburb. I made Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Balsalmic Vinegarette and Faux Feta.

I didn't use a recipe, just whipped it up. But it was super tasty. The star was the Sunergia Soy Feta in Mediterranean Herb flavor. They sell it at Wild Oats, and I could just eat it right out of the package.

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinegarette
1 lb. whole wheat rotini
10 black olives, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 marinated red pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. red onion, minced very fine
1 package Sunergia soy feta

3 Tbsp. balsalmic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. flax seed oil
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
black pepper to taste

Combine in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously. Pour over pasta salad and mix well.


Anonymous said...

Yummy!! I love both these recipes. I've never tried hot cross buns before, so there's no time like the present!

Veggie said...

So funny, we both made hot cross buns.

I made mine with almost all white flour because I was worried they might not rise as well and I was taking them to my aunt's for dinner.

I should try them with whole wheat flour sometime though, just to see how they turn out.

Jennifer said...

Those buns look tasty! I've never had hot cross buns, but they don't look like one of those pastries that are TOO sweet. I've never really liked things like donuts or cinnamon rolls or anything like that because they are overly sweet (I know I'm a freak).

That pasta salad looks wonderful. Mmmmmm. I like the way that dressing sounds.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the instructions - I will have to look for some scary sounding Swamp Fire Lobster Boil seasoning!

Your hot cross buns look much prettier than mine! I made some very non-vegan buns for The Brit, and they turned out kind of ugly, but he said they were good so it's okay.

Your pasta salad looks so good. I used to love feta cheese, so I will have to pick up some faux feta next time I'm at Wild Oats.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Yeah, it was cold here as well! It always seems to be cold on Easter :o(. I had a cute little no-sleeve dress, but I ended up wearing a sweatshirt for most of the day!

Love the hot-cross-buns... they sound delicious.

Anonymous said...

I will definitely be there on Wednesday, thanks for the invite! Would it be cool if I invite a friend? If not, I'm down with that.