A Vegan Among Omnivores

This weekend I took the bus out to my mom’s home town to have a “Girlz Weekend” (that’s 50-something women coming up with the z – oh dear…) with my aunts, cousins and mother.

Aside from being temporarily deafened by their laughing, yelling and constant talking over one another, it was a really fun time.  But since a girls night inevitably requires lots of goodies to snack on, I did have to do some planning ahead.

My mom is constantly emailing and texting me to ask if I can have this product, or that product.  It can get ridiculous when these are whole foods that obviously don’t have any animal products in them, but I appreciate the gesture, anyway.  In this particular case, she sent me a few vegan recipes for Baked Artichoke Dip appetizer.  One of them had so many random ingredients in it that I bypassed it immediately.  We ended up fiddling around with this one.

girls night2

Oh my goodness, it was so good! We actually did change it quite a bit, though.  When we were contemplating another recipe, mom had picked up Veganaise, so we used that in place of half the tofu.  I had never tried it before.  It’s definitely not something I will start using with any regularity, since I never used mayo before, but it’s pretty good! Definitely gives you that thick, creamy texture.

We also opted out of all the flavourings (not including the nutritional yeast), since mom had an Epicure Artichoke dip seasoning mix (they don’t seem to have that exact one on their site anymore). So I can’t speak to what it would have tasted like, but to be honest I don’t care! This version was absolutely delicious. I won’t lie: I ended up hiding in the kitchen with the rest of the Triscuits and the dip that didn’t fit into the tray…

Supper itself was pretty savvy for a Vegan among non-Vegans, too.  Mom had brought along the two kinds of Gardein “chicken” I have had (yeah, I’m spoiled), and her contribution to supper was rice wraps, which were actually Vegan for everyone.

girls night1

My aunt was kind enough to leave out a serving of the veggies in her potato salad, so I used some Veganaise, dijon mustard and pepper to make my own.  It wasn’t too flavourful, but it did the trick!

Before you wrongly assume that I brought absolutely nothing to this party, I’ll have you know that I brought along the Oil-Free Walnut Raisin Loaf I had made the day before.

Wow – this is yet another gem from Oh She Glows (I’m utterly addicted to that blog).  For a change, I actually followed the recipe exactly (but for a couple tablespoons less sugar) and I don’t think I would change a thing! (Except that I have to leave the raisins out next time so that my picky S.O. will eat half and not leave all the scarfing to me.)

walnut loaf1

walnut loaf 2

As Angela suggests in her post, I did turn the oven down and bake it for longer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long enough, and I ended up having to put it back in after I’d cut it in half. I think that next time I might have to give it a shot at 350 – but I’m dreadful at knowing how to tweak those kinds of things, so please don’t take my word for it!

walnut loaf 3

No one at the Girlz Night could believe this loaf was oil-free.  It is perfectly moist, deliciously spiced, and “stuff your face till you faint” kind of wonderful.  I recommend you make it.  Right now.

walnut loaf4

So, along with some Vegan goodies that my mom kindly brought along from Alternate Root in my hometown, I didn’t feel left out at all! This weekend definitely goes to show that being Vegan doesn’t mean shutting down your social life!

*Lou

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