Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The 1960s Meets the 1990s

One of my New Year's goals was to really buckle down and finish up recipe development for my vintage vegan cookbook project. If you've been reading my blog awhile, you've heard me talking about it for years now. And I swear it's coming! But I have a day job and other books and products to review, so I've really been taking my time with it.

I did get a couple easy appetizer recipes together this week. Both of these are so easy they don't even really need written recipes, but I'm including them in the book — a veganized look at American food trends over the last century — because they're so retro and so tasty.

Someone sent me this article on The Kitchn awhile back. It features 10 recipes that defined the 1960s, and one of those was stuffed crescent rolls. You know, like pigs in blankets. That's straight-up 1960s cocktail party fare. But the photo in the article showed a classier version with asparagus. I veganized that with these Asparagus Roll-Ups. They're super-simple — wrap steamed asparagus spears up in a crescent roll with a sprinkling of vegan cheese. I used Daiya cheddar for some and the new Follow Your Heart smoked gouda slices for some. Both were amazing.

Tip: Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are vegan, but for these, I used the Immaculate brand because they're made with better quality ingredients.

Fast forward about 30 years for this next one — Veggie Bacon-Wrapped Dates. Bacon-wrapped dates (well, bacon-wrapped anything really) were all the rage in the 1990s. And while it sounds like a weird combo, the smokiness of the bacon really does do something magical with the sweetness and softness of dates. For these, I literally just cooked a couple slices of storebought veggie bacon (Lightlife or Upton's works well) and wrapped it around dates. See? I almost hate to include a recipe that's so easy, but it's so 90s that I just can't leave it out.

I had my asparagus roll-ups and my bacon-wrapped dates as part of what I like to call a "snacky dinner," my very favorite kind of dinner. I love to make a big plate of finger foods, pour a glass of red wine, and savor every casual bite while catching up on reading. Tonight, my snacky plate also had a pitted olive mix and marinated mushrooms (from the Kroger olive bar), white bean hummus, pretzel chips, and baby carrots. All washed down with a side of cab sauv. 


vegan peace said...

I love snacky dinners too! Both appetizers look delicious I've been wanting to make vegan bacon wrapped dates for forever, but I always end up eating the dates plain!

Babette said...

I'm not sure I'd enjoy dates wrapped in bacon, but I'm willing to try.

Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

These both look great! The problem I would have with snacky dinners is that I'd end up eating about 12 of everything ;)