Food for a Crowd

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A last burst of summer before we head into autumn. The red new potatoes aren’t quite so new anymore. Baby green beans and carrots are showcasing their sweet, tender crunch. And cherry tomatoes are making one last stand before calling it for the season. This was the meal I made for my first foray into catering a couple days ago. Pictured above is actually my lunch the next day – aren’t leftovers amazing? – featuring the full vegan, gluten-free version. Most people ate some salmon instead of my rice & bean salad, what are you gonna do? One day maybe people will realize that vegetables have protein, too! Until then, eat your locally caught fish.

I tried to keep the whole dinner very simple, wanting to showcase the flavor of the vegetables, and making sure everything tasted good together (and with the fish). My recipes all follow:

Dinner Menu

Sungold & Black Cherry Tomato Salad
Lots of cherry tomatoes, halved
Red onion, sliced thin
Basil, chiffonaded
Parsley, finely chopped
Good quality olive oil
Juice of a lemon
Salt & Pepper

Let the red onion marinate in oil and lemon juice while you halve the tomatoes. Then delicately toss the tomatoes, basil and parsley with the marinade. Salt and pepper to taste.

Steamed Red Norland Potatoes
Lots of small new potatoes (or chopped large)
Garlic, minced
Juice of a few lemons
Good quality olive oil
Dill, chopped fine
Salt & Pepper

Blend the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix in the dill.

Bring water to a rolling boil underneath a steaming basket. Add the potatoes to the basket, and seal the pot well. Depending on the size of the potatoes, they’ll be soft and buttery in 20-30 minutes. Toss in the garlic-dill dressing and serve warm.

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Roasted Green Beans & Carrots

Lots of green beans, topped & tailed
Lots of baby carrots, topped
Shallots, minced
Garlic, minced
Mustard seed
Good quality olive oil
Juice of a lemon
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & Pepper

Make the dressing by blending together a few shallots, garlic cloves, mustard seed, oil, lemon juice and fresh thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.

Roast the green beans and carrots in a 375 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, until brightly colored, and just starting to crisp. Toss in the dressing and serve warm or room temperature.

Tongue of Fire Beans & Rice 
Brown rice, soaked overnight & cooked
Beans, soaked overnight & cooked
Huge handful parsley, chopped
Sweet peppers, finely diced
Red onion, finely diced
Juice of a few lemons
Good quality olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Simply toss all the ingredients together in the ratios of your choosing, and let marinate overnight. Serve at room temperature.

And apparently no catered meal is complete without dessert…so I gave it to ’em raw, vegan and gluten free. Surprise, surprise – no leftovers of this baby, but there were plenty of store-bought cookies and pies untouched.

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Blackberry Tart with Caramel-Almond Filling
2 cups walnuts
1 cup cashews
3 cups raisins

1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup date pastesprinkle of cinnamon
pinch of salt

Blackberries (or any in season fruit)

Blend the walnuts and cashews into a fine powder. Add the raisins, and blend until it reaches a sticky consistency. Press into a tart pan, and let set in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Soak 3/4 cup dates in hot water, and blend together to make a date paste. Add in the almond butter, coconut oil, cinnamon & salt, and blend until smooth. Pour over the “crust” and let set for another half hour.

Top with berries, and serve!

I made another version of this pie a few days ago, and I have to say I think my artistic side came out a bit more. But when you’ve got Indian Blood Peaches & fresh raspberries…there’s just not a lot of competition.

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