Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Paleo Vegan Dinner Party in the RV

Tucson, AZ

Today is our last day in Tucson, Arizona!  Then it's time for a summer road trip, ending with a new place to live.   We've been here over a year and a half, working and loving life RVing here in the desert.  

I hosted a little dinner party last night to say goodbye to our Tucson friends.  I was really excited to cook for them!  Cooking, for me, is a way to express myself.  I love bright, bold flavors, and getting creative with new and surprising ways to showcase ingredients.    I know a lot of people think vegan food is boring, limited, and too restricted.  I like to cook for non-vegetarians to show that you can have a hearty, delicious meal every night, made entirely from plants, and never feel like you're missing out on anything.  They upped my dietary-restrictions ante, and asked for the meal to also be Paleo diet friendly.  I truly love a food challenge, but this really had me scrambling for ideas.  At least 50% of every meal I eat includes grains, beans, corn, and/or legumes.  All of which are not allowed in the Paleo diet.  I know I could've just popped on Pinterest and searched Paleo vegan recipes, but I really wanted to complicate my life, haha, and create my own dishes for the occasion.  I think the dinner turned out to be a success!

Buffalo Wing Dip with some veggies and chips

Buffalo Wing Dip
gluten free, soy free, vegan, paleo

1 cup sunflower seeds (raw, shelled, unsalted)
½ cup hot sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp lemon juice

In a food processor, process the sunflower seeds into a fine powder.  Add remaining ingredients.  Process until smooth.

Dip everything in it.

Stuffed Peppers with Pesto Cauliflower Stuffing

Mixed Spring Greens and Tomatoes with
Lemon Vinaigrette 
soy free, gluten free, paleo, vegan

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼-½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Whisk to blend.  Add to salad and toss right before serving.

Roasted Potatoes
soy free, gluten free, paleo, vegan

4 cups diced yukon gold potato (¼-½  inch cubes)
1/8 c olive oil
¾ tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 425º.  In a bowl, toss all ingredients together and stir until the potatoes are coated well.  Spread potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake 20-25 minutes, stirring at 10 minutes. Stir again.  Bake another 10-15 minutes until crispy.


Main entree:
Stuffed Peppers with Pesto Cauliflower Stuffing
soy free, gluten free, paleo, vegan
serves 5

To prepare the peppers:

5 bell peppers
Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Cut off the tops and remove all seeds.  Wrap in foil and bake for about 30 minutes.

To prepare the cauliflower:

1 large head of cauliflower, leaves removed
2 Tbsp almond meal
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp olive oil

While cauliflower is raw, chop into florets.  In food processor, pulse florets until they are the size of grains of rice or small crumbles.

In a large pan over medium high heat, heat the olive oil.  Add remaining ingredients stirring often for about 15 minutes.  Set aside.

RVegan Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
juice of half a lemon (approx 1/8 cup)
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1Tbsp nutritional yeast

Process until smooth.

Scrape the pesto into the cauliflower mixture.  Stir well to combine.  Spoon the mixture into the cooked peppers to fill.  Garnish with a slice of tomato.  Recover with foil and bake at 375ºF another 20-25 minutes.  Serve hot.