Monday, December 26, 2011


I was drooling over the food in the December issue of the Food & Wine magazine that my mother-in-law gave to me while I was trying to find inspiration for their upcoming Christmas visit. I was search each page for inspiration when I came across the menu ideas. I saw the one for a family-style Italian dinner and was sold. When I think of Italian food, I think of family (though mine is primarily Dutch) and rich, hearty, beautiful food served family-style. It felt very celebratory, and very appropriate for a Christmas dinner, never mind the fact that it was about as far away from vegan fare as one can imagine. I took most of the menu proposed by Food & Wine, together with their recipes, and adapted them for a vegan feast. I tampered with each of the recipes to varying degrees. Some are nowhere near where they started in the magazine, and others simply swap out meat and milk for meat and milk substitutes. I was very impressed with myself, if I do say so myself! My in-laws said that it was the best vegan dinner that they have ever tasted and even went back for seconds. I think it was a smashing success. So, in this next series of posts, you will see what it took to create this lovely menu.

Tomato Tapenade and Basil on top of Fresh Ciabatta Bread
Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Lemon-Infused Zucchini Threads
Mushroom Sausage Ragu over Polenta
Blood Orange Sorbetto by Talenti (I bought this round)

Perhaps you will be inspired to do it yourself, or perhaps it will inspire you to think beyond traditional vegan entrees. In any event, thank you for continuing with me on this food journey.

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