Vegetables have never tasted and looked this good!

A-list celebrities like superstar Paul McCartney, sexy celebrity Pamela Anderson, award-winning actress Natalie Portman, Glee star Lea Michele, and celebrity couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi are all very proud vegans. In her wedding, Natalie Portman even had a vegan menu for guests. The same went for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi who also featured a vegan wedding cake.

To them, it’s not just a lifestyle, but also an advocacy of living a cruelty-free lifestyle, helping the environment, saving water, and even reducing famine. No wonder more and more people are going vegan.

On the second episode of For Sharing, our host Andi was invited to a vegan potluck dinner. Now, we know it’s a challenge to think of what to bring for potlucks, what more if you have to think of a vegan menu? Not to worry, though because Andi showed us some A-list easy vegan recipes that are sure to be a sure hit.

For our appetizer, Andi prepared a colourful bowl of Vegan Cobb Salad. Chicken, eggs, and bacon bits are usually served for this dish, but that’s a big no-no for our 100% vegan menu. Instead, a filling heart of palm and crispy fried tofu were used for a healthier substitute. Toss in the greens and mix in a delectable blend of sauces and you won’t care that it doesn’t have any meat!

Get the party started with Andi’s recipe for the Barbecued Vegetable and Tofu Skewers. It’s going to be a hit as much as it is easy to make. With grilled marinated tropical fruits contrasting with the vegetables and tofu’s taste, your friends will keep coming back for these kebabs.

For dessert, Andi baked a vegan chocolate cake with berry filling. Don’t believe a cake without eggs or milk will taste as good? This easy recipe will prove you wrong.

RECIPES

Vegan Cobb Salad with Lemon Dressing

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 red delicious apple
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup tofu croutons
  • 1 cup chilled kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup hearts of palm or ubod (diced) , divide into two bowls
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

Chop the apples and put some lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Set aside.

Mix turmeric, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.

Toss half the hearts of palm. This will be your “yolk,” while the other half will be your “whites.”

Now, the dressing. Traditionally, Cobb Salad dressing uses Worcestershire sauce, but since that has anchovies, we’re using a basic vinaigrette.

Whisk together the white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Slowly pour the olive oil, so that it forms an emulsion. Add chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Toss the greens in the dressing if you’re serving the salad right away. Otherwise, serve the dressing on the side.

Assemble the salad, placing the mandarin oranges, black olives, onions, cherry tomatoes, and kidney beans. Cobb salad traditionally uses avocado, but we’ve replaced ours. It also uses bacon bits, but we’ve used fried tofu croutons instead.

Barbecued Vegetable and Tofu Skewers

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp tamari sauce (Kikkoman or regular soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pineapple rings, cut into chunks
  • 8 green mango chunks, peeled
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into chunks
  • 125g tofu, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, cut into thick rounds
  • 1 sweet corn cob, cooked and sliced into eight rounds

Soak the skewers in cold water for at least 20 minutes to keep them from burning on the grill.

Cut your vegetables, fruit, and tofu. I use pineapple and mangoes, for flavors that contrast with the vegetables and tofu.

For the marinade, mix the lime juice, molasses, tamari sauce, sweet chili sauce, and oil together. Add the fruit, vegetables and tofu. Sir until coated with the marinade and leave for a few minutes to soak in the flavor.

Thread the chunks on the soaked skewers.

Grill until brown.

You can also bake them for 30-35 minutes in a 180 degree oven.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Berry Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1- 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, sliced in halves
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • *leave about 6-8 strawberries whole for chocolate-dipping garnish.

Slice strawberries thin. Slice blueberries in halves. In large bowl add berries, lemon juice, salt and sugar.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 2- 1/2 cups powdered sugar, unbleached for vegan
  • 1/3 cup melted chocolate chips or high quality cocoa
  • 2-4 Tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • optional: cayenne for spicy chocolate (to taste)

Mix melted chocolate, vegan butter, powdered sugar, soy milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Cover and set aside.

Cake

Ingredients

  • 1- 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 cup coco sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • (Store in fridge until ready to use)

Mix the flour, chocolate, sugar, baking soda & salt in a stand mixer. Add the vinegar and mix until incorporated in the batter.

Pour into two 8 inch, greased and floured, spring form cake pans.

Bake at 355 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Chocolate-covered strawberries for garnish

Ingredients

  • 8 small strawberries, chop off stems (optional)
  • 1/3 cup melted chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • pinch salt
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Blend in small chopper of food processor, all ingredients: melted chocolate chips, powdered sugar, oil and salt.

Add more or less liquid/chips/sugar to get a shiny smooth consistency. Should be thick, yet thin enough to pour.

Dip dry strawberries in chocolate and place on parchment paper. Allow berries to harden in fridge for 20 minutes before use.

Assembling the Cake

Place first cake layer on cake stand. Frost entire surface.

Apply a thin layer of berries to top. Place second layer on top of berries. Frost entire surface area of top layer.

Dust thinly with confectioner sugar before putting your chocolate dipped strawberry garnish.

Dishes like these can easily be the star of any potluck, vegan or not. Try these recipes out For Sharing with family and friends! You never know, you might be invited to a potluck with some vegan celebrities.

Next week, join Andi as For Sharing goes Japanese! Catch For Sharing every Sunday at 6:45 PM only on 2nd Avenue.

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