Tuesday, September 23, 2014

VeganMoFo Day 17: 4 1/2

Today Olivia turned 4 1/2. She is eager to get four over with because she thinks the real fun starts at five, so this was an exciting, if unofficial, birthday milestone for her. We spent the morning at a music class.

For dinner I made a trio of Pinterest finds. First, Cara's Fish Sticks, served with a dip made from Veganaise and dill relish. They're made from hearts of palm, a previously unfamiliar ingredient for me. I really liked their flavor and texture, would definitely make again since Tony and Olivia enjoyed them as well. (Jackson said they are too salty. He's become quite sensitive to salt, while Olivia has inherited my saltaholic nature.)  On the side, I served Lemony Wheat Berries with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Instant favorite! Y'all know my adoration for Brussies. And as for chewy wheat berries, I like grains that have a little bite to them! No mealy couscous for me, thanks. So this grain salad was just perfect. A note of caution, the recipe claims you don't have to soak wheat berries overnight. But if you choose not to, you'll have to really extend your cooking time. After 50 minutes, mine were still super tough. I had to cook them for 90 minutes total.

For a special half-birthday dessert, I made Mihl's Tiramisu, complete with homemade sponge cake. I had my doubts about the sponge cake because the batter was so goopy and sticky, not much like a cake batter. But it turned out perfectly because it absorbed the coffee completely!  A blend of vegan yogurt, cashews and coconut oil comprised the creamy layer typically made from ricotta and mascarpone cheeses. At first the tart yogurt flavor was a bit too noticeable, but if you follow Mihl's directions and chill it in the fridge overnight, the flavors smooth out and it's just lovely.  Rather than stacking two layers as the recipe describes, I just made a single layer. It makes a lot, so it would be the perfect "wow!" finish for dinner party.

Happy 4.5, sugar plum!

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