A Farmy Friends Dinner

This week we needed some friend time, as everyone and their mother has been out of town and on vacation somewhere. Instead of hitting up a new restaurant (we’re all big eaters) I wanted to host a dinner, and of course use as many local ingredients as possible! I used veggies from my CSA, and supplemented with a few extra from The Vegetable Bin. As always, I love to trick people into eating enjoying a vegan dinner. Here are a few shots from the evening, and the menu with recipes below:

Crostini going back in the oven

Flowers on the table

Salted Watermelon

Almost ready…

Please pass the Crostini

Calee, Lindsey and Megan

The Littlest Guest

The littlest guest feeding the other littlest guest…

Serving up the “Lasagna”

And finally, the cookies

A Farmy Friends Dinner Menu

Eggplant Lasagna

Yields: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 Minutes
Ingredients:

2 large Eggplant

3-4 large bell peppers (Red, Yellow and/or Green mixed)

2 medium red onions

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 and 1/2 Jars of Spaghetti Sauce – Use a good one! Right now I’m using Victoria Vegan’s Sauce, because it has cannellini beans in it. The beans give it a creamy/meaty texture – You could also just mix in a can of the beans into a good marinara

2 cups of raw spinach

2 cups of Mozzarella or Non dairy mozzarella (I use Daiya, yum)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Peel the eggplant, slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place on a cookie sheet (greased w/ Pam) and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Meanwhile, chop the onions, garlic and peppers. Saute together until soft. Once the eggplant is cooked, lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Spread half the pepper/onion mixture over the bottom. Layer 1 cup of spinach over the mixture, followed by about 1/2 cup of the cheese. Place half the eggplant into overlapping layers, like noodles. Pour 1/2 jar of sauce over the eggplant. Continue to layer: Pepper mixture, spinach, cheese, eggplant. Pour the remaining sauce over the entire mixture. Use the rest of the cheese to top. Bake for 30 more minutes. Scoop carefully!

Arugula and Walnut Pesto Crostini

Yields: 8 Servings – with 1 heaping cup of Pesto
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Ingredients:

2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese - I chose to omit this
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large baguette, sliced thinly and brushed with olive oil

Directions: Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins. Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes. Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl.

Salted Watermelon

OK you just cube a watermelon and sprinkle some salt on it… I can’t really explain it any better than that…

Vegan Cookies with Home Made Chocolate Sorbet

You should probably make the sorbet ahead of time… I mean duh but I’m just saying…

Yields: 8 Servings (1 quart of sorbet)
Prep Time: 90 minutes (including cooling and freeze time)
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Ingredients:

Buy delicious vegan cookie dough at your local health food store (EarthFare’s Everything Vegan Cookie is one of the better things you have ever had in your LIFE) and make according to package.

To make the Sorbet:

3/4 Cup of GOOD cocoa

1 Cup of granulated sugar

2 Cups of Water

1/2 Cup of coffee (can be decaf if you’re worried about it)

1 TBSP of Vanilla

Dash of Cinnamon

Dash of Salt

Directions:

Bring the water and coffee to a boil. Whisk in all ingredients, boil together for 2 minutes or until all ingredients are dissolved. Cool in the fridge until it’s at least at room temp. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow directions.

TO SERVE:
Place a warm cookie in the bottom of a ramekin. 1 small scoop of sorbet on top of the cookie and you’re all set! Your friends will be SHOCKED how delicious this vegan masterpiece will be.

Comments

  1. Calee Yoe says:

    It was so delicious! I had no idea you made that sorbet- I was literally looking for it at the grocery store-yum! You are such a perfect hostess, vegan cook, and friend!!!

  2. What a great meal. Your friends are lucky!

  3. Claire, I posted this on the other blog but…I made your eggplant lasagna last night and my co-workers want to thank you for the HEAVENLY aroma in our health center today—-YEAH for leftovers! :) The recipe is fantastic & everyone is enjoying it. Threw in some cannellini beans like you suggested and even got a meat & potatoes co-worker (M&PC for short ;) to like them! Thanks again for the recipe!

  4. Claire, I posted this on the other blog this morning but …I made your eggplant lasagna last night and my co-workers want to thank you for the HEAVENLY aroma in our health center today—-YEAH for leftovers! :) The recipe is fantastic & everyone is enjoying it. Threw in some cannellini beans like you suggested and even got a meat & potatoes co-worker (M&PC for short ;) to like them! Thanks again for the recipe!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] first things first. I made this lasagna last night that I got from Heavy on the Veggie, and you need to make [...]

  2. [...] know you may have seen this recipe in my Farmy Friends Dinner post, but it was kind of down at the bottom so I’m repeating it!  This recipe from Ina [...]

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