This past weekend I had the privilege to participate in Social Bite's first ever vegan event! Social Bites, started by Annika Reinhardt, is a dinner party event where hobby chefs open up their homes to two rounds of guests for a sampling of their creations. Guests spend one hour at each home, sampling food, drinking wine and socializing then rate their experience based on taste, presentation and hostessing.
Each event features 4 teams of hobby chefs and their sous chef. At the end of the night everyone gathers for desserts, the votes are tallied and the winner is announced.
Above: Basil infused Zhugetti and Lemon Thyme Sun Dried Tomato Sauce. Picture compliment of Richard Giordano.
When I was first asked to participate, I have to admit I was a little hesitant since fine dining isn't really my thing. But then I thought...wait a minute, everyday, simple, whole organic ingredients are really really delicious. And with a bit of dressing up, simple everyday meals that highlight whole food flavour pairings can be worthy of a fine dining experience. So I thought why not? I'll give it a go...and put healthy everyday whole plant-based foods to the taste test with my dinner guests.
Above: Pizza a la Raw with Cheezy Kale Chips. Picture compliment of Richard Giordano
My dear friend and raw food chef extraordinaire, Celina Mikolajczyk, who is also passionate about simple delish food for the everyday, agreed to be my sous chef. We presented our guests with small samplings of quick, easy and healthy dressed up versions of everyday unhealthy favourites like pasta, pizza, chips, cheese and crackers. I chose recipes from my upcoming recipe E-Book: Everyday Healthy Italian and as always included a flavour theme, because I wanted to share Secret #1 for Delicious of Everyday Healthy ;-)
- A fermented apricot water kefir (in lieu of wine)
- Basil infused Zhugetti with Lemon Thyme Sun Dried Tomato Spread, raw Hemp Parmesan, Basil Ricotta Cheeze and Basil Sun Pesto
- Pizza a la Raw with Basil Ricotta Cheeze, pineapple, sun dried tomato sauce and Basil Sun Pesto on a Buckwheat and Flax Crostini,
- Barbeque and Spicy Cheeze Kale Chips
- Buckwheat Flax Crostini with a raw Cinnamon & Orange Fig Jam, Basil Ricotta Cheeze, maple glazed walnuts, fresh basil and balsamic maple reduction
Above: Everyday Healthy Italian gets dressed up wit the help of olives, heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs and raw parmesan. Picture compliment of Richard Giordano
In the end, the only non-vegan participants, Michael from Granville Magazine and his lovely partner Christi won the whole evening. Congrats Michael and Christi and all the participants for putting together such delicious and healthy menus! And course thank you to all my dinner guests Sara, Zylia, (previous vegan Social Bites champions!), Oana, Cariad, Richard, Ashely (rom Serendiptious Vegan), Joanna and Glen (from Liberation BC).
Above: We all met a Forsya Boutique on Main Street for the Grand Finale. Picture compliment of Richard Giordano
From the sounds of it..dinner guests were convinced that everyday healthy can be super delicious! Click here to check out Ashley's review of her Social Bites experience of mine and Celina's dinner.
Social Bites will be offering more vegan events in the future. Check out Annika's website socialbites.ca for info about upcoming vegan evenings. Thanks Annika for putting on a great event and for Sprout: Vegan Bakery for providing the vegan cheezecakes at the wrap up event at Forsya Bouthique that sells only Canadian designers on Vancouver's Main Street. What a fab evening!!
In my next posting I will include my new Buckwheat Flax Crostini recipe inspired by Ani Phyo that I served at the event. It includes greens! Who would have known you can get some of your veggies from eating crackers??
of Everyday Healthy and Get the GLOW!