Dinner Party Recipes

Raw Zucchini Hummus

1 cup diced zucchini (peel if you like)
⅓ cup raw tahini
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine all of the ingredients into a mini food chopper, and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasonings, to taste, and serve chilled with your favorite veggies.

Vegan Polenta Pie (slightly modified from this recipe)

Polenta Base

1/2 cup dry yellow corn meal
2 cups water
2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper

Whisk ingredients over medium heat and work out any lumps. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Once mixture thickens, pour into a lightly greased pan (I used 10″x10″).

Vegetable Topping

Half pint cherry tomatoes
half yellow summer squash, chopped
half zucchini, chopped
half small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon oil of choice
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil  (added to veggie saute after removed from heat)
salt & pepper

Saute onion until edges are translucent, add squash, zucchini, and tomatoes plus salt and pepper. Once veggies start to soften, add garlic and mix throughout. Once veggies are throughout cooked, removed from heat and stir in fresh basil. Taste and season if necessary. 

Additional Toppings: You can eat this as is, or you can top with regular cheese, vegan cheese, fresh herbs, or balsamic glaze.

Focaccia with walnuts and grapes


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp aniseeds, coarsely ground
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes

In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the 1/4 cup olive oil and the rosemary sprigs until they sizzle. Remove from the heat. Add the walnuts and discard the rosemary. Set aside.

 In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the flour, the yeast and 1/4 cup of the water. Let stand until bubbles form, about 20 minutes. Add the aniseeds, 1/2 tsp. of the salt, the sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup water, and the walnuts and rosemary oil. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes, adding just enough flour to prevent sticking. Place in a well-oiled bowl and turn the dough to oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

 Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.

 Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll out into a large oval 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet. (I just pressed the dough right onto the baking sheet). Make shallow evenly spaced indentations in the surface. Brush with olive oil. Press the grapes into the indentations and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Bake until golden and crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

Berry crumble – (slightly modified from the recipe from this book)

Oatmeal Topping

1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled

Fruit Filling

2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 apples, cored, thinly sliced (peel if you like)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 pints mixed berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream (optional)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

To make the oatmeal topping, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, sugar, flour, walnuts, and salt and mix well. Add the chilled butter cubes and work the mixture with two knives or your hands until clumps form.

To make the fruit filling, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the oil. Add the sugar, honey, and lemon juice and cook until the sugar is melted. Stir in the apples, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until they begin to soften and release their liquid. Stir in the cornstarch and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender but not mushy and the liquid is clear, about 4 more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the berries and vanilla.

Divide the mixture among six 4-inch ramekins, filling them about three-quarters full. Top each with a generous 2 tablespoons of the oatmeal mixture. Transfer the ramekins to a baking sheet. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let stand to cool slight, and serve with whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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