October 23, 2012

Birthday dinner number two


My husband and I went out for my birthday on Friday night, but the family wanted to celebrate, too, and the only night we could get everyone together was Sunday. My husband volunteered to cook, and the guests contributed gourmet salad and cookies.


I requested Dreena Burton's No-Fu Love Loaf as the main course because I had just read a wonderful description of it on Facebook, and it sounded so homey and delicious. Plus the recipe is on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog as part of Susan Voisin's review of Let Them Eat Vegan. I don't yet own the cookbook but I want it.


To go with the loaf I asked for smoky potato wedges from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions because they're so delicious, and potatoes just seemed the right choice with the loaf. To add more green, my husband steamed a big potful of Brussels sprouts. It was a dark and gloomy night more suited to Halloween than a birthday dinner, so the photos you see of the loaf were taken the next day when there was a tiny bit more light. The actual dinner plates were much more festive!


Instead of using bulghur wheat for one of the ingredients in the loaf, we subbed quinoa, and it worked great. We also subbed toasted cumin seeds for the fennel. The loaf was just as good as I hoped it would be; everyone at the table enjoyed it. One son said "this tastes just like something you would get at a vegetarian restaurant." And he meant that as a complement. The surprise hit of the evening, though, and totally unexpected, was Miss E's reaction to the Brussels sprouts. They must have been steamed just right because she LOVED them, and gobbled them up. Go figure.

22 comments:

  1. Celebrating a birthday a second go round is the only way you can never have too many birthdays in my book. Otherwise, you really can.

    I wish dazee would cook!

    xo
    kittee

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    1. Maybe he doesn't want to compete with your stellar cooking. When I first assigned Ken a cooking night, he made the exact same thing every week — tacos — but I didn't care as long as I didn't have to cook. We haven't had tacos in a really long time...

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  2. Wow this has been one celebratory week Ms. Libra! Fantastic meal and festivities. Great job, hubby!

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    Replies
    1. I highly recommend the loaf — no added oil, either!

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  3. Happy belated birthday!!!

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  4. Happy Birthday! Celebrate as much as you can I say! The loaf looks really good, nice that you made it GF and soy-free. Did you use the oats in it? Just curious. I am looking for more lower fat recipes. Thanks for reminding me of Susan's blog too.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I used gluten-free oats, though I know some people can't eat oats. The recipe seems pretty flexible and I'm thinking of trying buckwheat next time.

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  5. Brussel sprouts are awesome; she has great taste! I usually roast them, but recently had a sauteed version in a restaurant and it was phenomenal. Anything trumps boiling ;-)

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    1. Roasting is my favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts, too, but we already had the loaf and potatoes occupying oven space and opted to steam them instead. They actually tasted really good, reminding me that steaming is still a credible way to cook veggies. (no boiling, though. no boiling.)

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  6. wow. I am totally amazed that your husband made you such a fancy and special birthday dinner!!!!!! He's a good catch! And it looks like a great meal! :)

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    1. It was a great meal, and I wish we were having the same one tonight!

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  7. I really enjoy no-frills kind of food like this. Looks like an awesome job on it. I'm actually swooning over those tomato slices.

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    1. What do you mean "no frills?" This was a major undertaking by my husband. He doesn't usually get this "fancy." :D

      The tomato is from our garden and so delicious. Real tomato flavor! It was just added for the photo shoot which was actually my lunch the next day.

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  8. Happy Belated Birthday! How nice to have so many birthday dinners! Perhaps you can convince your hubby it should be a birthday week of meals. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I was thinking of a birthday month.

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  9. Wedges and brussels sprouts? That's definitely a happy birthday in my book!

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    1. The potato wedges are really great and I recommend them highly. We love them!

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  10. I've heard great things about that loaf, too! Can't wait to try it. And looks like a lovely b-day celebration!

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    1. It was good, no question. It's nice that the old vegetarian standbys like lentil loaf are being rediscovered. I'd love to go through my old recipe files and drag out some of the classic recipes. Except that I don't know where my old files are. :(

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  11. I'm gonna go ahead and say that your husband is a keeper - but you probably already knew that! :D

    That is quite the birthday dinner! The loaf looks SO good! Thank you for the recipe linkage (I don't yet have Dreena's latest cookbook.) Those must have been some super tasty Brussels sprouts for tiny Miss E to gobble them up. I'm so glad you had such a nice birthday dinner!

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