Sunday, 28 February 2010

vegan + gluten-free picnic potluck

So, I don't want to be the Spaminator or anything, so I've been holding off waiting for other people to post to Planet VeGMeL, but I am impatient and eager and cannot wait! And so I bring to you now:

(please come back for updates as I link to other bloggers and posts)

On Friday afternoon I hurried out of work and jumped on the train, impatient to arrive home. I dashed off the train and to the house, straight up the stairs and into the kitchen, pausing only to kiss Danni hello.

I had important cooking to do!

But before all this: I woke up and marinated some tempeh in a mixture of tamari, garlic and sesame oil.

And before this: I cooked dinner Thursday night, and as the beans simmered, I prepared a nacho cheesy dip.

We were going to a potluck!

Kristy is new to the world of gluten-free living. Prior to this, she had been planning a cheese-themed picnic potluck for Friday afternoon, so she modified it to a gluten-free and maybe cheesy (vegan OF COURSE) picnic potluck. So keep in mind as you look at these delicious foods that everything that follows is vegan, gluten-free, and VERY TASTY.

So, you may be thinking, in what did all Steph's rushing about result? Well, I am glad you asked! It resulted in an amazing nacho cheese dip, about which I will blog (in detail) shortly. It tasted just like nacho cheese doritos, it was excellent! I do wish that we'd perhaps allowed it to soften a bit before we'd served it, as it was a bit on the solid side. And, since we were a bit time poor, Danni made a guacamole to accompany it.

cheesy nacho dip of amazing guacamole


We rounded out with a quickly thrown-together set of sushi - it's the perfect picnic food, though admittedly not very cheesy!

Cindy and Michael astounded us with these cheese and sausage stick things - they were pretty nifty! I really enjoyed both their taste and the novelty factor (cheese and sausage on a stick! Reminds me of primary school).

sausage and cheese things

I know (because she told me) that Jo really wanted to stick with the cheese theme, so went with 'things you might find on a cheese platter.' I think she should be commended for commitment to accuracy, because the mushroom pate she made included a thin film of oil across the top, similar to one you might find on actual pate. (gross but) Awesome! :o) The recipe she used was this one here.

Her submission also included an olive tapenade, no opinion on its awesomeness because I can't stand olives.

vegan pate + olive tapenade

Vicki managed to track down the mysterious and elusive (and expensive) vegan and gluten-free pastry, rumoured to exist somewhere in the supermarkets of Melbourne. With this critical item in hand, she rocked in with spinach and 'cheese' sausage rolls! The pastry was a bit crumbly (to be expected, as Vicki reported it was falling apart as she tried to roll it), but the filling was delicious and it was an excellent and tasty addition to our picnic! She has blogged the recipe here.

gluten-free spinach and "cheese" sausage rolls

In VERY delicious news, Bec and Craig turned up with some amazing potato products. Craig made some potato cakes, which I am going to attempt to replicate ASAP, and because Craig refuses to blog, I am also going to replicate the recipe here shortly, so that everyone else can try them. They were deep-fried battered fatty potato goodness, they were so tasty. I want to make these for Amanda immediately!

muffins, and potato cakes mash potato (really amazing)

Then Bec produced this mashed potato. "So what?" you might say. "Anyone can do mashed potato." Well, anyone can do mash potato, but this mash potato included some Tofutti sour cream, and I have never done that before but I am totally going to do it from now onwards. It added something awesome to the potatoes (I love potatoes).

things made by k + t

Kristy and Toby made some cheese-related items. Toby made a goat's cheese sort of thing, that a lot of people declared was more like a loaf, and Kristy made this cheesy dip - I didn't try either of these, they were on the wrong side of the blanket and I was too full! Hooray picnics!

the spread (part 2) the spread (part 1)

I didn't manage to sample everything savoury, nor did I get close-ups of everything. Some of the stuff I missed: a beetroot salad; crumbed tofu (actually I tried this, it was like fish fingers); strawberries; more chocolate things; olives; more chocolate things; a rice salad; crackers; and apparently my feet. And apparently also whatever Johanna made, but I'm sure I ate it. Hmm.

blueberry cheesecake icecream by kristy raspberry ripple coconut icecream

I am really enjoying this obsession with ice cream. Every picnic, every gathering, it seems we have amazing ice cream with which to contend. This potluck, fantastically, was no different! Cindy pulled out a raspberry ripple coconut ice cream, constructed at Craig's request. What an amazing idea! This idea, plus the execution of the potato cakes, may possibly have made Craig the winner of the potluck, but that is open to a vote and he would have to contend with Kristy's blueberry cheesecake ice cream! BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM. My word, we may be vegans but we do not sacrifice taste and deliciousness, I hope that is obvious.

things made from chocolate

There were other dessert things, some of which I tried, many of which I did not. I made the tactical error of trying the chocolate goods before any other sweets (aside from the ice cream, of course, which had to be eaten first before it melted, oh the horror). I really have to remember that chocolate, in bulk, does not agree with me, and there was a large number of chocolate sweets with which to contend, including chocolate balls and a number of slices (not all of which are pictured below, mostly because my camera skills - and the fading light - failed me).

Other sweets included carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting by Vicki, buttery cupcakes by Carla, and a pear torte by Bec (the latter of which was so rich). Also pumpkin cheesecake brownies.

carrot and something muffins by vicki pear torte

There should be more picnics. Because they're awesome.

all photos here


Anardana said...

Yum!! I can't wait for picnic weather in this part of the world (Canada)!

Seitahn said...


I'm spewing I missed it!!!

When's the next one???

Vicki said...

I can't stop thinking about those potato cakes, I am also going to try to replicate them very soon. I didn't try try of your food because it was too far away from me but I am very interested in your nacho dip - sounds delicious.

Mandee said...

So much gluten-free goodness!

I think sushi is the best gluten free picnic food and I'm with you on the olive-hating! Ick!

Johanna GGG said...

lovely round up of the pot luck - so much food is so overwhelming that it is hard to taste and remember all the food. but also so many new and yummy dishes to taste. I am looking forward to the cheesy dips

Johanna GGG said...

I mean I look forward to the cheesy dip recipes - and btw - my dish was pumpkin cheesecake brownie - will try and post about it soon - hope to see some of the other chocolate slices recipes posted too

steph said...

Tahn where were you?!

Vicki, the potatoes were so good! I was surprised how much I've been thinking about them!

Mandee - I always feel a bit naughty picking the olives off!

Hey Johanna - yes, there was so much food that it was difficult to remember it all. I didn't realise you only brought a sweet dish - but it was lovely!

Johanna GGG said...

I had intended to also made a salad but Sylvia needed attention so I decided the brownie would have to be enough for Friday!

Cassie - Vegan Fox said...

Oh man, what a load! Wish I lived near you guys.

kimberly said...

i'm so jealous of both the potluck aspect and the PICNIC aspect of your post! i also love potatoes and am going to have to try the tofutti sour cream in them.