Yesterday being May Day, International Workers' Day, and Beltane, a celebration was most certainly called for and what better way to celebrate spring, labor, and rebirth than with a dinner party? Really, though, what better way to celebrate anything than with a dinner party?
It didn't go down exactly as G and I had planned but it was a really nice get-together. I think everyone enjoyed themselves, yes? We had homemade hummus (I found out from Mama Pea that if you peel your cooked chickpeas, the hummus gets way creamier! So G and I spent about 15 minutes shucking chickpeas...What a trooper), crudites, chips, and guacamole as an appetizer spread. G made a leafy salad and I made an orzo salad under his guidance and the chickpea-chard dish from Color Me Vegan that we also made for his parents.
For dessert, I made a lemon-pistachio cake and some chocolate-chocolate chip-coconut cookies (the recipe from V'con yes again! with added unsweetened shredded coconut. We also had copious amounts of beer, my favorite being the Brooklyn Summer Ale (not quite summer but the weather was beautiful yesterday).
Pan-Fried Lemony Chickpeas and Chard - this was great: really smoky and lemony at the same time
Lemon-Pistachio Cake - recipe below! Apparently I was really feeling the lemon.
Dessert # 2 - Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
Lunch today - collard wraps with leftover orzo salad. The orzo salad came out really well too. I'll post a recipe tomorrow if anyone's interested.
Leftovers in a wrap: guac, hummus, and salad in a collard leaf. My wraps just won't stay together lately so I had to very carefully! eat around the toothpicks.
And this is my cat eyeing my delicious lunch. Poor kitty only gets turkey from a can! Eeeww!
As to the lemon-pistachio cake, I had my mind set on making it since I saw a feature on it on Serious Eats NY. Personally, I don't think eating a sweet bread as breakfast is a great idea, but the flavor combination sounded great for a spring dessert. I wasn't sure exactly what recipe to start with; I considered the lemon pound cake from V'con but realized I didn't have silken tofu (having blended it into a smoothie for breakfast! D'oh!), considered a riff on Lemon-Almond Bling cupcakes from Kris Holechek's 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes, etc. etc. but ended up tweaking and veganizing about 3 different recipes online. This was a dangerous risk that almost didn't work out but I think the final product was really beautiful, tasty, and light (flavor-wise!). So, here she be:
1 flax egg (1 T flax, 3 T water)
1 3/4 c flour (I used White WW)
1/2 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c rice milk
1 T lemon soy yogurt
1/4 c canola oil
2 t lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
1/2 c pistachio nuts, chopped
1 T sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 in. cake round or springform pan.
Whip together the flax egg in a small bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine milk, flax egg, yogurt, oil, lemon zest and juice. Mix well.
Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet. Mix until just combined and fold in pistachios.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and top with a sprinkling of sugar, zest, and a few more chopped pistachios.
Bake about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick or knife comes out cleanly. Let cool in pan about 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool completely on a cooling rack.