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Guest Post: Cynthia hosts her first Vegan dinner

January 16, 2010

Have  you ever looked on some blogs and wish that one day that you would be able to taste the food on these blogs, because the food looks so mouth-watering and the recipes are  very inspiring? Well my wish came true a few weeks ago when Cynthia from Tastes Like Home blog invited me to her house for dinner. I could not believe that I was going to get to taste the work from this talented foodie so I had to ask again to make sure it was happening. Cynthia  has been hosting her Caribbean blog for more than four years and  going on to her blog you will be floored by her stunning photography and her informative post. Cynthia is my inspiration and when I met her we totally hit it off like if we knew each other for years. It takes a really caring person to do something like that right in the middle of the Christmas rush and I would never forget it. Cynthia not only cooked vegan but, cooked a meal that pleased my  Caribbean palate. It was not really a Caribbean dinner party but she chose dishes that I could appreciate but still were different from what I am use to. My husband and I spent a wonderful evening with her chatting and we were so touched with the effort she put in for us.We rarely get dinner invitations as people know we are vegan and could not be bothered to figure out what to cook for us. Now Cynthia is a fabulous cook but it was her first time doing an all vegan dinner and she did not want my input, and, did not want me to bring dessert or anything, she wanted to challenge herself and she did. Cynthia out did herself and impressed my husband and I so much that we rank her food as our best vegan dinner to date. So what did Cynthia come up with that won us over?

Here is what Cynthia had to say:

Hi Everyone,

It is a pleasure to be in my friend Tay’s home, albeit virtually.

When Taymer told me that she and her husband Laurent, both vegans, were coming to Barbados for the holidays, I did not hesitate in extending an invitation for a meal. Her response to my invitation floored me. She said that because they were vegans they were rarely invited out to dinner. This made me more determined to ensure that they’d have a meal to remember. Click here to read my column about our dinner. It was first vegan dinner I hosted! How did I do? Well Tay and Laurent will have to tell you about that but I noted some of their responses in the column, so go read it.

In the column, you’ll also learn about how I decided on the menu and you’ll also find the recipes for the Green Bean Mallum and Chickpea Patties. Below are the recipes for the Pickled Bell Peppers and Lemon Rice.

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

Ingredients

4 cups of just-cooked Basmati Rice (you want the rice to be hot)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

1 ½ teaspoons black mustard seeds

Minced hot pepper to taste

¾ teaspoon ground turmeric

A pinch of  asafoetida (hing) optional

10 – 12 curry leaves (if you have)

¾ cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon minced ginger

½ cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves (leave out if you don’t have)

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (1/3 cup if using lemons)

Equipment

1 large karahi & cover

1 large spoon

Method

  1. Heat oil in large pan or karahi on medium heat
  2. Add mustard seeds and fry; as soon as it begins to pop, add pepper, turmeric, hing and curry leaves (if using) and sauté for 1 minute. Then add onions and ginger and sauté until onions are soft but not coloured
  3. Add the hot rice along with the cilantro/coriander and toss to mix well. Remove from heat, pour lime/lemon juice over rice and mix to incorporate. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes before serving (this is to give the rice enough time to absorb the lemon juice and flavours)

Notes

  • It is important that the rice be hot as it will better absorb the lemon juice and flavours
  • Substitute Basmati rice with regular long grain white rice
  • 1 ¼ cups raw Basmati rice will give you the 4 cups of cooked rice

Chickpea Patties

Chickpea Patties

Bell Pepper Pickle

Pickled Bell Peppers

Bell Pepper Pickle

Ingredients

3 large bell peppers (green, red, yellow)

1/3 cup dressing (recipe follows)

Dressing

½ cup distilled vinegar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

Equipment

1 small saucepot

1 wooden spoon

1 large bowl

1 dining fork

1 dining spoon

Method

For dressing:

  1. Add all ingredients to saucepot and place on medium heat. Stir with wooden spoon to dissolve
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat and let cool completely

For pickle:

  1. Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds and stem. Slice lengthways into strips
  2. Add sliced peppers to bowl, pour 1/3 cup dressing and toss thoroughly using spoon and fork. Set aside tossing a few more times until ready to serve

Notes

  • You’ll have more dressing than you need, store the remainder in an airtight container in the fridge for another use
  • Pickle can be made days ahead, stored in an airtight container, refrigerated
  • The dressing can be used as well for carrots and cucumbers

Green Bean Mallum

Green Bean Mallum

Tay & Laurent, it was a pleasure meeting both of you! Let’s do this again when next you are in beautiful Barbados!

So how did she do? She could be a vegan chef is she decided to quit her job tomorrow. Eating at her house was better than any restaurant I have been too and I am not just saying that. She even got me to eat coconut in a savoury dish .. now that is a tough one!

Donate to Haiti earthquake victims:
– Save the Children. Donate online or make check out to “Save the Children” and mail to: Save the Children Income Processing Department, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, Conn. 06880
– UNICEF. Go online to unicefusa.org/haitiquake or call (800) 4UNICEF.
– Direct Relief International. Donate online.
– Mercy Corps. Go online or mail checks to Haiti Earthquake Fund, Dept. NR, PO Box 2669, Portland, Ore. 97208 or call (888) 256-1900
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38 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2010 4:48 pm

    Sounds like an excellent night!

    • Taymer permalink*
      January 16, 2010 4:50 pm

      it was indeed the best things are foodie meet ups

  2. January 16, 2010 5:48 pm

    That’s so cool! I have the same problem- people assume that I don’t want to go out to dinner or eat at another’s house because of my strict diet. (I end up hosting a lot of dinner parties of my own because of this!)

    All of the food looks mouthwatering and I think its so cool that you guys were able to bond over vegetarian cooking!

    • Taymer permalink*
      January 16, 2010 5:50 pm

      Yes I am sick of hosting dinner parties and looking like a tired housewife! No I am kidding but it is true. People sometimes invite us at a restaurant but it does not help as the restaurant is not vegan anyways so I end up with a salad that sucks and it makes us look like if we eat crap all during the year.

  3. January 16, 2010 5:59 pm

    Tay, it was a really great meeting you and Laurent and what a sweet write-up! Thanks for all the compliments. Hopefully one day soon we can get together again and you can make some of those fabulous creations you were telling me about!

    Thanks for having me over.

    Tight hugs.

    • Taymer permalink*
      January 16, 2010 6:00 pm

      I cannot wait to have that chance Cyn.

  4. Queen permalink
    January 17, 2010 2:41 am

    Great post! Looks like you had a nice dinner. I’m happy to see the chickpea patties without any vital wheat gluten. I will try this whole meal this week. Thanks Tay and Cynthia!

  5. January 17, 2010 1:39 pm

    What a wonderful meetup, sounds like you two had a great time.! Everything looks really awesome and mouthwatering, especially the chickpea patties.

  6. January 17, 2010 9:46 pm

    What a fun post- it sounds like a really fun (and tasty) meet up! A good, solid rice dish goes far in my house, so I’ll have to bookmark this one for later.

  7. vegckry permalink
    January 18, 2010 7:57 pm

    Here are more rice dishes you might like:

    http://www.vegrecipes4u.com/rice-recipes.html

  8. January 19, 2010 3:50 pm

    Wow What a wonderful dinner. I truly love the green beans. They look so good. And I imagine they were.

    http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

  9. January 19, 2010 3:52 pm

    Love the green beans. Yum!

    http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

  10. January 19, 2010 10:38 pm

    Wow! This is great Taymer. It’s great that you were able to meet. The green bean mallum looks yummy must try it someday.

  11. January 29, 2010 9:36 pm

    HI,

    THIS IS PASTOR GARY… I AM A VEGAN, AND LOVE YOUR MEAT RECEIPTS… AND WAS LOOKING AT YOUR CHICK PEA PATTIES… WOW… HOW CAN I GET THAT RECIEPT???

    I GREW UP WITH A FATHER THAT WAS A BUTCHER.. AND I CAN TELL YOU TRUE STORIES.. OF WHAT HE FOUND IN PIG, COWS, DEER, AND OTHER ANIMALS THAT HE BUTCHERED…

    BLESS MY WIFES HEART… SHE HELPED ME TO BECOME A VEGAN EATER…

    I AM GOING INTO THE HOSPITAL FOR THE PROTON THERAPY FOR CANCER.. I WOULD LOVE TO BE ONE OF THE TESTERS… BUT I HAVE TO GO TO OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA FOR 8 WEEKS..

    MAYBE WHEN WE GET BACK IN APRIL… I CAN HELP YOU OUT..

    PASTOR GARY

    • Taymer permalink*
      January 29, 2010 9:39 pm

      oh gosh I am so sorry to hear I will add the link to the chickpea patty in the next comment i make to you get better soon Pastor I am rooting for you..and I hope I see you back here in 8 weeks do not worry yourself with testing just get better

    • Taymer permalink*
      January 29, 2010 9:48 pm

      Pastor here is the link http://www.stabroeknews.com/2010/the-scene/01/16/my-first-vegan-dinner/ enjoy the patties

      On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 9:39 PM, Taymer GUILLAUME wrote:

      > oh gosh I am so sorry to hear I will add the link to the chickpea patty in > the next comment i make to you > get better soon Pastor > I am rooting for you..and I hope I see you back here in 8 weeks > do not worry yourself with testing just get better > >

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