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Monday, March 7, 2011

Cooking by Color

You may or may not remember how excited I was to have received a copy of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's newest cookbook, Color Me Vegan, about a month ago.

The basic idea behind it is to eat by food color to get the most vitamins from each group. I pre-ordered it at work as soon as I heard about it because I have both The Joy of Vegan Baking and The Vegan Table, neither of which have ever let me down. Once I brought it home, I put it on my shelf and left it to languish, as is the fate of far too many of my cookbooks.
G set out to change this yesterday. We threw a dinner party in honor of his father's birthday, and the whole family came over in the rain. We had to serve them something good for being troopers and as it turned out, almost the entire menu was from Color Me Vegan. There are no photos from the night, as we were all too busy eating, but here is the menu (Bolded items are from CMV):

-Pita chips and crudites served with the Earthy Eggplant and hummus
-Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Green Olive Tapenade (tasty AND cute: my favorite food combinations. Made by G! Nice job, kiddo.)
-Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Spinach
-Salad made by G's bro (or mother?) This was really good and chunky - bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, apples, etc.
-Lemony Pan-Fried Chickpeas with Chard
-Asparagus and Carrots in Walnut dressing
-Lemon cupcakes made by G's sister-in-law (from VCTOTW)
-Banana Oat Date Cookies

His dad is diabetic, so all the more reason for him to eat healthfully and vegan, but apparently he shouldn't be eating sweet potatoes. That was one minor flub of the night but everything was very good and definitely went! G's sister in law, Maritza, made tiny cupcakes just for his dad. I think the surprise winner of the night, however, was the tomatoes!
Anyway, there wasn't much leftover from the party, but I tried to finish some of it today. For lunch I ate collard wraps with the usual veggies, but the last of the walnut "dressing" from the asparagus-carrot dish. It was pretty chunky, but that may be because my blender is kind of old. It worked well in the wraps, though. It was walnuts, miso, soy sauce, and rice vinegar which was pretty salty but was mellowed by all the raw veg.

I also ate some of the eggplant dip on red pepper slices.
After this healthy picture though, I ate even more eggplant dip on MAADDDD pita chips, which was a little less healthy.
I followed everything up with one of the last two banana oat date cookies:


I liked these a lot. There is no added sugar, as dates are basically candy on their own, but there is added coconut for extra chew! So that was the dinner party. Do you guys host often? What do you like to whip out for guests? Do you follow the "Don't serve what you haven't made before" rule? I don't - dinner parties always end up being my once chance to ever bake from the many cookbooks I have. It was great to break in a new book and find some definite repeat recipes!


  1. the "Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Spinach" sounds so good, wish everybody could have enjoyed it:) i guess they are high in sugar. sounds like you all had a really fun night!!i dont do to much entertaining, if i do id say i do a mix of old tried and true and a few new things mixed in:)

  2. since I don't try a lot of fancy recipes just for me and the bf, I turn dinner parties into experimentation nights. Most the of the time my guests don't mind...

  3. I want this cookbook! So you'd recommend it? I think I'd love the lemony pan-fried chickpeas and chard especially.

  4. Sounds like a nice evening. When I was first cooking I stuck with recipes that I knew worked for company. Now I have no problem making something up but that is after 30+ years of cooking experience. The tomato and olive spread sounds good. Love the collard wraps those are one of my favorites. ;-)

  5. We don't ever host parties, and I don't really know why. I guess the reason would be because we don't have anywhere for people to really sit. You however, throw an awesome dinner party! I thought about naming all the things that sounded so good, but I would be naming every thing! Great job on the party!

    I've seen that cook book around and wondered if it was a good one. Looks like I need to add it to my Amazon wish list!

  6. Sounds like a veritable feast and a fab dinner party. The stuffed tomatoes do sound really eye-catching and I'm sure delicious. Sometimes the smaller things can be the biggest hits!

    I'd love to go to a dinner party with a menu like yours! If we have guests, I usually try to make several courses, much like you did, in order to drag out the enjoyment of the meal, and I think I'd usually make things that I'm pretty sure will turn out.

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  8. This cookbook has really intrigued me.

    I love raw red pepper, and your photos do highlight the color. This looks like a great menu - I'll have to get serious about looking into the cookbook.

  9. OH YES!!!!

    I love that book!!

    Mmm. Yum. Drool.

  10. Sounds like a great dinner party — I love your menu choices. There were so many choices that even though the sweet potatoes were off limits for one guest, there was plenty of other stuff to eat. (How many parties have you been to where your only choice was salad?)

    At our last dinner party not only did I not make familiar recipes, I didn't use recipes at all! I just now realized that I don't usually do that. I usually at least consult a cookbook. What was I thinking?

  11. Michelle, yeah, it was a big hit with those who could eat it, I just felt bad about it!

    Dianne, I'm totally the same way. Plus, dinner guests are usually family and old friends, so a small kitchen disaster won't have anyone disowning you:)

    VB, I would definitely recommend it! The Vegan Table is great too. The lemony chickpeas with chard were delicious, and really easy.

    Ali, thanks. Maybe after 20 more years myself, I'll FINALLY be able to cook up something on a whim without bending over a book!

    Thanks Michelle! We actually don't have a lot of places to sit either - I think one of our seats yesterday was Greg's drum seat! But it was pretty casual, so no big... You should get the cookbook - her photos are so nice, they make me want to cook everything!

    Clever one, Shen ;)

    Rose, we totally dragged the night out! I felt bad for his parents who had to drive an hour back home! But I agree, it's more fun to have courses: it feels classy even if we're drinking out of jam jars.

    Jessica, everything in it looks really tasty. There are actually even some preview recipes on Amazon if you want to check it out. I love raw red pepper too but we have to remember to be careful about buying organic ones!

    LS - Ditto. Drool town.


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