Guest Post: Cynthia hosts her first Vegan dinner
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:
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.
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)
1 large karahi & cover
1 large spoon
- Heat oil in large pan or karahi on medium heat
- 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
- 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)
- 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
Bell Pepper Pickle
Bell Pepper Pickle
3 large bell peppers (green, red, yellow)
1/3 cup dressing (recipe follows)
½ cup distilled vinegar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 small saucepot
1 wooden spoon
1 large bowl
1 dining fork
1 dining spoon
- Add all ingredients to saucepot and place on medium heat. Stir with wooden spoon to dissolve
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat and let cool completely
- Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds and stem. Slice lengthways into strips
- 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
- 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
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!