Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tapas Night

Rather than chowing down on a big entree and a couple of sides, tonight's dinner was more of a "small plates" kinda thing. I'd been working on this Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese from Vegetarian Times for days:

The cashews must soak for six hours, and the nut cheese mixture has to rest for another 12 hours. Then it's baked and chilled before serving. So when this cheeze log was finally ready, I decided to make dinner out of it.

I served it on some Crisp 'n' Light Wasa Crackers (the best flavor!):

This was phenomenal! The log remains pretty soft, so the cheeze is spreadable and it really melts in your mouth. And it only has a few ingredients — cashews, tahini, lemon juice, and oil.

I could have eaten the entire "goat cheese" log for my dinner, but instead I created these Sweet 'n' Sour Notballs for my cookbook's appetizer section:

They're basically bean and TVP balls simmered in a sweet 'n' sour barbecue sauce. It's the kind of typical Southern fare you might find lurking in a Crock Pot at some redneck church potuck. Always a fan of white trash cookin', I knew I wanted some classic trailer park-style appetizers in the book. These balls would also be tasty served atop spaghetti with marinara.

I also made a quick Citrus Broccoli Salad using local farmer's market broccoli:

It's really quite simple — lightly steamed broccoli seasoned with a little lemon zest, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. A light, refreshing way to enjoy broccoli on a hot almost-summer day. I was going to use it for the cookbook and then realized that the idea seemed awfully familiar. That's when I remembered Bryant Terry has a Chilled Citrus Broccoli Salad in his Vegan Soul Kitchen book. His has a few more ingredients and sounds even better, so I won't be using this recipe in my book. I'll just give it here.

Citrus Broccoli Salad
--------------------------

1 head broccoli, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar
salt & pepper to taste

Steam broccoli for about 4 minutes, until slightly tender but still pretty crispy. Allow to cool, and then stir in other ingredients to combine. Chill for several hours.

25 comments:

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, yum! I've been meaning to make that Goat Cheeze since the recipe popped up.

Sal said...

that cheese looks outstanding. The notballs sound great too.

VeganCowGirl said...

Wow - that nut log is a labour of LOVE! I hope it was everything you imagined it to be. Either way - totally great endeavour.

shelby said...

I have those cheese recipes marked and ready to make very soon! love it!

Gina said...

Ooh, that cheese does look awesome. Altogether, it looks like one yummy meal :)

Breedale said...

That cheeze looks awesome! I love Wasa crisps. They are the best. I have had craving of sweet and sour meatballs for months. Every time I go to a party, I feel so left out because they are meat filled. It is good to know I can fit in at the trailer park throw downs now! Broccoli is awesome of course no matter how you eat it, but thanks for the recipe!

urban vegan said...

I was skeptical about that recipe when I saw it. Now maybe I'll give it a try.

miss v said...

awesome! i guess i need to make that cheeze log for sure! yum!

Susan G said...

I've been looking for a good sweet n sour meat ball recipe to veganize - can't wait to see yours!

East Village Vegan said...

The appetizer looks great. Can't wait for your cookbook to come out!

Latayy said...

I saw the copy of the Vegetarian times with a whole section on vegan cheese. I have been craving cheese for ages now. Your cookbook is going to be so great.
I kinda gave up on mine for now until I move to a country where ingredients are easy to find.

Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

I want to try this broccoli salad, sans cooking the broccoli!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Yum! It all looks so good. That "goat cheese" block looks and sounds quite tasty, I might have to give it a try.

Those sweet and sour notballs sound pretty dang good as well!

Sophia.Pflieger said...

I have a subscription to VT and Ive had my eye on that cheese recipe since I got it last month. I miss goat cheese since becoming Vegan.
I don't see you eating a lot of fake cheese, so If you like it, it must be pretty good.

A said...

YOU.CRACK.ME.UP!!!!

"It's the kind of typical Southern fare you might find lurking in a Crock Pot at some redneck church potuck. Always a fan of white trash cookin', I knew I wanted some classic trailer park-style appetizers in the book."

I just laughed out loud in cubicle land. Sorry co-workers!
-A

Courtney said...

Yum! Any chance those Sweet 'n' Sour Notballs will make it to the tester site?! :o)

Courtney

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen) said...

That cheese on crackers looks amazing- and sounds so simple to make.

burpandslurp said...

goodness...I didn't know vegan food could look sooo scrumptious!

Mike K said...

I really like that goat cheez, but it is kind of a production to make...good though! The notballs look delicious - exactly like church/holiday potluck food I grew up with, and a great idea to veganize...the sauce sounds nummy.

shellyfish said...

I have been wanting to make that log, but am waiting to buy the nuts! Glad to know it's worth it!
Your food always looks so delicious, Bianca! Lord- I really can't read your posts until after I've eaten!

aTxVegn said...

I'm always glad to see a nut cheese in place of a tofu version. You sure give a great review. Sounds like it's worth the time to make. And it looks fantastic! You know I'm loving that broccoli salad too.

Sheridanna said...

Ooh! I like the sound of that broccoli dish - I will have to try that. And the notballs!! Mmm mmm good.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

thanks for the tip on that cheeze recipe! I found it online to bookmark. I used to make an uncooked pasta sauce with nuggets of goat cheese and this might work.

sweetkaroline said...

cashew goat cheeze sounds really good and looks awesome just based on your pictures!

Shenandoah Vegan said...

You make everything sound so simple and easy.