July was a month packed full of visitors and, while we don’t usually impose vegan food on our omnivore guests, we usually end up with many vegan meals simply because that’s the way I cook most of the time now. And, of course, even if a meal isn’t vegan, it’s always vegetarian because neither of us has cooked meat in decades (well, okay, for James it’s been one decade; for me, it’s been close to three).
Anyway, the month started off with a quick visit from Dana who stayed overnight on her way over to Hornby Island. She’s always fun to cook for because she’s completely vegan, so I usually pack her up a bunch of vegan food to take over to Hornby as well. I baked her a couple of baguettes and made her some herbed vegan boursin and later received a phone call from my omni sister raving about the boursin!
Bid stayed over later that week because the septic system at her Hornby cabin was out of commission. Because I didn’t have tons of warning, all the food we served her was plant based, and she snarfed down the lot without complaint!
Next up was a visit from Johnny, Kevin, and Gerry. They were here for three or four days and a number of their meals were also vegan, but they really didn’t register the lack of meat and cheese. I did make them a big frittata one morning and some scrambled eggs and pancakes, but I didn’t partake because I don’t eat breakfast anyway (and James is always happy to get a bit of cheese and eggs thrown in to his usual vegan fare!).
Next, Emily managed to get a few days off work and came up for a birthday visit. James made her a rich vegetarian feast for her birthday dinner, but for the next evening, she requested the vegan charcuterie I posted about last time–complete with two different kinds of vegan cheese.
A Plant-Based Weekend Menu
Em left Thursday morning, and Annie and her boyfriend, Chris, and their two friends, Jamie and Brandon, arrived for the weekend. Last summer, when Annie and Jamie were visiting, I was trying out various vegan inventions on them, so I proposed that their next visit be an entirely plant-based menu.
This was good news for Jamie’s husband, Brandon, because he’s a full-on, never-deviates-from-the-plan, vegan! It was great fun and involved three full days of entirely plant-based meals.
Most of the recipes I’ve linked to in the menu below are whole-food, plant-based (WFPB), but a few of the recipes can’t be classified as “whole food” because they contain extracted oils or processed food (for example, filo pastry brushed with olive oil). I haven’t included links to those recipes.
The kids then went off for a swim in the lake and came back to jackfruit pulled “pork” in freshly baked pitas with dilly potato salad and James’ famous cole slaw (I don’t have links for James’ recipes because they tend to be from cookbooks).
Saturday breakfast was chickpea omelettes with sauteed chard and kale (from the garden) topped with smoky paprika sauce, and seitan “bacon” made by Jamie and Brandon (it was delicious!!)…
We followed this with vegan berry tarts. These tarts are actually raw, contain no extracted oil, and are made from nuts (pecan and cashew), medjool dates, vanilla pods, berries, lemon zest, and a bit of fresh mint…
The kids went off to the beach while James prepared a vegan feast for the evening. Now, when I cook, I try to avoid all extracted oils (though I do include nuts to make the dressings and cheese creamy). James imposes no such stipulation on his vegan feasts AND he makes A LOT of food. The evening meal was grilled Caesar salad, spring rolls with hoisin and plum dipping sauces, and Sauvignon Blanc linguini with trumpet mushrooms/asparagus and cream sauce. The spring rolls recipe is from The White Water Cookbook and the linguini is from Plum). Oh, and more fresh baguettes! By the time the linguini arrived we were all too stuffed to make it even halfway through our plates…
This was followed MUCH later in the evening with a vegan pecan pie (made by James). The pecan pie is a veganized version of a Chez Piggy recipe. It was snarfed down long before I was able to get a picture though!
Sunday breakfast was a tofu scramble topped with guacamole and cilantro on a bed of fresh garden greens with more fresh baguettes. I was going to make homemade corn tortillas, but they’re a bit labour intensive, and I already had the dough ready for the baguettes!
Our lunch was hot-and-sour mushroom soup with soba noodles…
The next morning, I baked zucchini muffins with some of my zucchinis from the garden, but they took so long to bake that the kids had to take them to eat in the car so they wouldn’t miss their ferry.
No sooner were the kids out the door than Dana arrived with her new dog, Guinness–a beautiful red standard Poodle!
We spread the table with a lovely array of the left-overs from our vegan weekend and James cracked open a bottle of champagne and we spent the afternoon nibbling on food and sitting in the sun on the deck.
And, after a guest-packed July, we relaxed on the eve of my birth-month (yes, I get a month this year because I’m turning 60!!) in our fabulous deck tub! Note the pink bubbles: Jamie and Brandon brought us an amazing-smelling Karma Bubble Bar from Lush..