August & September were extremely busy months for me, and Vegan Vitals. In late August Vegan Vitals had a great opportunity to help with opening a new yoga studio in Pittsburgh, PA called Yoga Digs. I had been teaching yoga with Yoga Digs all summer at the Beechview Community Garden, and this opening was scheduled at the end of August to transition to in indoor space. Being one of the teachers at the studio, Lindsey Grantz, studio owner, asked if I’d like to cater the event. I jumped on the opportunity knowing that this would be great not only for my blog, but it would allow me to share delicious vegan food with the public.
The event turned out to be a huge success! Lindsey and I co-taught Yoga Digs’ first class at the studio. After class, we quickly transitioned into party mode. As Lindsey greeted the additional guests who did not attend class, and cleaned up the studio/dance floor, I quickly laid out the spread of delicious vegan goodies. DJ Strobe began to lay down the beats, and the party was in full swing. I did not even finish laying out the food before people started diving in (That’s a good sign!).
Developing the menu was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life. I love cooking at home, and I do it frequently, but I’m only ever cooking for me and my boyfriend. Now, I had to make a bunch of food to impress a lot of people. That’s stressful. Good thing there was yoga involved. Let’s talk about this menu.
The party started at 8 PM, so I didn’t want to provide anything that was too heavy. I also did not have any type of heating element, so everything had to be cold or room temperature. This was challenging, but I managed to do it. I also received many kind positive comments from the guests, so they must have enjoyed the food. Everything was pretty much gone too by the end of the night, if that isn’t a compliment to the chef, then I don’t know what is. There were people taking to-go containers, amazing! Anyways, here’s the menu, a few of these items are already on my blog. I encourage you to take a look if you’re interested.
Hummus: I love hummus, and you love hummus. Everyone LOVES hummus. So, I provided two different types of hummus. Red Pepper Hummus, and Traditional Hummus. These were served with a variety of fresh vegetables, and Homemade Pita Chips baked with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. The Red Pepper Hummus recipe is not included in that hyperlink. However, the recipe is the same as the Traditional Hummus, just add about 3/4 of a large red bell pepper (raw), and do not add water. There will be enough water from the red pepper that adding additional water will ruin your hummus.
Fruit Dip: This fruit dip was extremely easy to make, and no one believed me when I told them that it was vegan. It was made primarily of silken tofu, maple syrup, and spices. I served it with apples, strawberries, and blueberries.
Mango Salsa: I brought this Mango Salsa to my office for a pot luck, and it was a great success, so I figured since it was nearing the end of mango season that this would be a good opportunity for it to make another appearance. I served this salsa with blue organic corn chips.
Oriental Slaw Salad: This salad is delicious. I make it all the time. I made two giant bowls of it for this event, and they vanished almost immediately after I placed it on the table. Since this dish was so popular, and I realized that it was not included in my blog yet, I will add the recipe onto the end of this post.
“Potted Plants”: This was my dessert contribution. I originally wanted to make vegan dirt cups, but this idea was so much more clever. Get it? Dirt Cups for Yoga Digs? Haha… anyways… I spotted this idea on Food Gawker, and made it vegan. each cup had vegan chocolate pudding, dark chocolate chips, crushed Oreo cookies (just the cookie part, not the filling), and I topped each one with mint leaves for the “plant” effect. Genius!
Oriental Slaw Salad
- Broccoli Slaw
- Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin slices
- Snow Peas
- Green Onion, sliced
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Shelled Edamame
- Cilantro, chopped
- Fresh Ginger, finely chopped
For the Dressing:
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Agave Nectar
- Sesame Oil
- Soy Sauce
- Sesame Seeds
This recipe is very versatile. I rarely measure ingredients when I cook, so unfortunately I do not have exact measurements for you. My rule of thumb when cooking is use everything in moderation. Also, if you don’t like an ingredient, and it won’t drastically effect your dish by leaving it out, then don’t use it. Like, if you hate green onion, then don’t use it. This will still taste like a salad if you don’t include green onion. Moving on…
Prep all of the veggies, and toss them into a large bowl. In a measuring cup mix equal parts of the red and apple cider vinegar so they equal no more than a quarter cup. add a tablespoon or two of agave depending on how sweet you want your dressing to be. Add a splash or two of soy sauce and sesame oil. Then, sprinkle in the sesame seeds. Mix with a fork until blended. Taste the dressing you just made, and make sure you like it. Slowly add to salad. You’re probably going to have extra dressing. I usually add about half the dressing, then toss the salad, and add more if it is needed.
Enjoy! This salad usually lasts for a couple days after being refrigerated. But, it probably won’t last that long.