In our March weekend of classes at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School, we were given The Saucy Vegetarian by Jo Stepaniak, a favorite vegan cookbook author and inspiration. One of our assignments was to choose a recipe from the book and to make it this past month. It was a difficult process as there are so many wonderful recipes for sauces and dressings in Jo’s book, but I decided to take the easy route and make a dressing that incorporated ingredients I had on hand. I also was intrigued by trying a dressing that used sesame oil, as that has never been an oil option I considered for a salad dressing. I chose the sesame cilantro vinaigrette which featured ingredients like sesame oil, cilantro, and fresh lime juice (along with a few more) that came together smashingly! It was tangy, refreshing, and had a very nice savory flavor. I served it over a romaine salad with carrots and toasted pumpkin seeds. Divine!
For my homework for the vegan chef culinary program at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School, I am supposed to make one recipe per week (between our monthly classes) that is decided upon by the class based on recipes given to us. Since I knew I would be in a pinch for time this week, I decided to make 3 of the recipes all in one night as part of a three course meal.
We started off with millet croquettes that included a nice blend of celery, carrots, and onions. The croquettes were topped with a tangy and utterly delicious creamy vegan dill sauce, that I could honestly eat by itself! This dish was garnished with red pepper, parsley, and a lemon slice. Decadent!
The next course (at least in the order that I ate them!) was a lovely autumn salad with walnut vinaigrette. This salad combined a host of fruits (apples and grapes) and hearty fall time vegetables such as radishes and celery. The dressing, like the previous dish, was amazing and really made this salad shine. It was so delicious, we decided to have it two nights in a row!
For our final course, we had the vanilla scented quinoa pudding with apple compote and candied walnuts. This was my husband’s favorite part of the meal. We love red quinoa and eat it on a regular basis, but never thought to make a dessert out of it! We served it warm in wine glasses and topped it with a chiffonade of raw apple skin (courtesy of NKCS’s recommendation). The blending of warm and sweet, with the different textures of the pudding, nuts, and fresh apple skins was unbeatable. This dessert is definitely one to impress guests.