Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vegan Meetup's First Potluck!

We have a newish vegan group in Memphis — Vegan Dineouts & Potlucks —that's organized through meetup.com (here's our page!). Memphis vegan Susan Stern started the group when she moved to Memphis last year, right around the time our decade-old meetup group, Food Awareness, was going on an indefinite hiatus (Food Awareness is officially retired now btw). The Universe has a strange way of working like that.

Since Memphis Vegan Dineouts & Potlucks launched, we've been on a ton of dinner, lunch, and brunch outings. But the group held its first potluck this past weekend. Vaughan (the lead organizer of the now-defunct Food Awareness group) and Nicole opened up their lovely Midtown home for the party. When Paul and I arrived, we were greeted by this cute sign in the yard!

I made Spanakopita using the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance (tofu, spinach, scallions, walnuts, and nooch). I'd made it once years ago, and I remember thinking that it was easier than it sounded like it'd be. But on Saturday afternoon, before the potluck, I was cursing my decision. It's not hard to make, but filo dough is a pain to work with. And my oven crapped out on me, so I had to bake these in Cassi's oven down the street.

I had leftover filo after I ran out of the tofu filling, so I opened up a can my Granny's homemade pear pie filling and made some Pear Fruit Pies with cinnamon and agave.

There was sooooo much delicious food at this potluck! So much! I can't remember who brought everything, but I'll do my best. This Veggie Wild Rice came from a girl I hadn't met before, but it was so good.

Somebody made a Garden Salad, which was probably a good call considering all the madness we ate.

Pam's Asian Cabbage Slaw with Tofu and Shiitakes was off the chain. I could have eaten this whole dish full.

Nicole's mom — Beverly — made a really unique and delicious dish with Lima Beans, Tomato, and Vegan Chicken.

Dinesh and his wife, whose name I did not catch, brought some amazing Indian food — Basmati Rice and a Red Bean Curry. Paul probably ate two bowlfuls of this alone.

Steven brought a tasty Kale & Sweet Potato Salad. Sorry for the blurry pic though! The sweet potatoes were mashed and mixed in with the kale.

Vivian's Macaroni Salad so colorful and delicious. I LOVE a good macaroni salad. This got me in the mood for picnic season!

Vivian also brought some soft and sweet Cornbread! Vivian and I share a taste for good country cookin'. YUM!

Susan made this fun White Bean & Quinoa Salad with tomatoes and greens. I love dishes like this at a potluck because I can eat lots and feel good about eating something healthy and tasty.

Susan also brought Potato Salad. It tasted like summer with lots of lemon and dill!

Adam and Emily showed up just in time with this Roasted Vegetable Pizza. The crust was just perfect! I really need to invest in a pizza stone.

A new fellow whose name I cannot remember (was it John?) brought this colorful Potato & Kale Curry with Rice Noodles.

Nic showed up super late with Roasted Veggie Lasagna. By then, I was stuffed, so I packed a slice to take home. I had that for dinner tonight, and it was fan-freaking-tastic.

Wai also showed up late with this Chickpea & Cabbage Saute. I also packed a bit of this to go. Perfect healthy side to my lasagna!

Here's my plate! Well, my first plate. There was a second plate with pizza and curry noodles. And a third plate with dessert (but more on that in a few).

After we ate the main course, we all sat around and chatted, waiting to find room to stuff down dessert. Here's Paul and I.

A posse in this kitchen with our hosts Nicole (in the foreground) and Vaughan (with the eye patch).

Some grown folks and a baby in the living room. That's Adam — the pizza guy — with the baby and Emily is in the floor. Dinesh and his wife are on the couches.

Max, Beverly, and Rita stayed close to the food table. I don't blame them.

And Cassi has a policy now that she'll only make weird faces in pictures. So there ya go.

Speaking of Cassi, of course the vegan cupcake diva brought cupcakes from her bakery, Pink Diva Cupcakery. She brought Sweet Potato Mango, Fruity Pebbles (flecked with Fruity Pebbles, of course), and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I tried the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and it was delicious. She uses fancy cinnamon, and it makes a big difference.

Susan brought these yummy Raw Truffles! I can't remember what all was in them, but they tasted just like an Almond Joy, so there was definitely coconut in there.

And Karen brought a delightful Maple Brown Sugar Cake. I'm such a sucker for maple everything. I only had room for a sliver of this, but I wish I could have fit in a whole slice.

Well, that's it! We ate sooooo much. And of course there was wine to wash it all down. Memphis vegans knows how to party.


Christine (The Raw Project) said...

Wow, what a great party with so many great eats! I'm so thankful to have local vegan Meetup groups here too and this makes me want to head to our next potluck!

Susan said...

That looks amazing! So much glorious food!

vegan peace said...

Wow, everything looks so delicious! Makes me want to potluck right now!!

KathyD said...

Everything looks so god. So nice to have a community that cooks real food!

Veganopoulous said...

vegan potlucks sound truly awesome and all that food looks fab-- I'm with you, maple everything works for me.