Spring Vegetarian Beer Pairing Dinner

by Sarah on April 25, 2013 · 16 comments

After having missed the winter version of last summer’s delicious dinner combination of veggies and beerand my birthday ;)–you can bet your brew I was excited for Lauren of Veg:ology‘s Spring Vegetarian Beer Dinner.*

*#rvavegbeerdinner now trending on twitterJust as before, each couple (or trio) was assigned a course, for which they could choose the beer pairing and the dish. Other than that, there were no rules.

there was, however, a lot of beer drinking. and a gnome candle.

Liz, Lindsey, and I were up first. We’d decided that since none of us knew anything about beer, nor particularly cared for it in large quantities, we could ‘cheat’ a little bit.Potter’s Craft Cider*–which I blogged about for the Virginia Bloggers site last fall–was our chosen contribution, paired with Apple-Fennel Skewered Salads w. (Vegan) Apple Ginger ‘Honey’ Mustard Dressing.

*You can learn more about Potter’s Cider here. (And then imagine me giving me a ‘history of the brand’ speech.) Then the night took an Indian twist, with Adrienne and Al making vegan Baked Samosas inspired by Skinny Bitch.

mmmmm....mango chutney....

Adrienne used Skinny Bitch’s pizza crust recipe for the pastry, and she baked instead of fried these little parcels of perfectly seasoned doughy delicious.Obviously, I was more focused on the food than the beer, so I couldn’t really tell you much about it. [Except that I poured most of my samples into other people’s glasses. Oops.] 

I can tell you that my favorite dish of the evening was our hostess, Lauren’s no-way-you-could-tell-she-made-up-the-recipe-ten-minutes-before-we-arrived Spiced Red Lentil Chickpea Burgers.

She also wrote the most detailed recap of the event, and I am going to let her tell you about the lentil-chickpea-cauliflower concoctions, since it was the funniest thing I read all day.

“Some people might go for yeast plus yeast on this pairing, but I opted to let the beer be my bun, and I left this chickpea cake naked instead of serving it between bread. Before you accuse me of garbanzo negligence and public chickpea indecency, allow me to explain that I didn’t leave them completely nude. I offered a cucumber mint yogurt sauce for my non-vegan guests. The vegans just had to make do with a large spinach leaf and try not to feel like their tasty cakes were too exposed”

i got creative with leftover mango chutney

Side dishes for the evening included a super light and fresh Citrus Beet Salad, featuring shaved fennel and chopped hazelnuts for crunch, and the optional addition of feta for a little extra creamy oomph.Confession: I put the feta on simply for photographic beautification purposes. My lactose-averse stomach thanked me for removing most of it before consuming.

this was my favorite beer of the evening...bright and light and something i might actually buy

There was also a puffy baked Asiago Polenta with beer baked in that I had just a nibble of due to the cheese. [But it was quite yummy, and cheeseless I would have devoured much more.]Finally, dessert! Shannon — who I refer to in my mind as the Cupcake Queen– had a minor oven malfunction.

And yet, she turned out some baked-in-a-toaster-oven Vegan Chocolate Brownies that tasted just like Oreos.* [They were based on this recipe, with half a bottle of the Duck Rabbit Brewery brown ale added to the batter.]

*Which are also vegan. And brought as a back-up dessert.

orange dark chocolate chunks added a whole extra level of fun

Obviously, despite oven issues–and being her very first vegan baking attempt–we were not disappointed. I can’t wait for our planned summer shandy shindig (shandig?): A Midsummer Night’s [Insert Something Beer-Related and Quippy].

Cheers for Veggies + Beers!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) April 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

What a fun event!! Makes me want to orchestrate something like that around here :)


Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers April 25, 2013 at 8:44 am

Go for it. 😉

It really does look like fun, Sarah. Your pairing sounds fantastic!


Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 25, 2013 at 7:04 am

So fun!! I do like beer, though I can’t usually do too much of it, but a taste of each would be okay with me! 😉


Liz @ iheartvegetables April 25, 2013 at 7:19 am

It was so fun to see you at the beer dinner!! :) I can’t wait for the next one 😉


Jane April 25, 2013 at 10:23 am

Orange & chocolate. One of the best combos! Looks like a ton of fun. I have to fine some foodie/blogger friends here in LA. I love pairings, especially when at least one of the people in the group knows how to pair things nicely, I’m better at simply tasting :)


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

I really really want to go to one of these dinners. I’d totally help you drink your beer. Lol!

Is there a recipe for those brownies?! They sound incredible.


sam April 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

Just so you know, hard cheese like asiago isn’t supposed to have much if any lactose! Similar to real greek yogurt. And supposedly, if you get raw dairy products, there’s enough of the enzyme that digests lactose in the actual product so you should be fine with those too! Gotta spread the word and look out for my fellow lactose-challenged :)


Michelle @ Eat Move Balance April 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

A vegetarian pairing sounds like fun, but I’d rather pair with wine! I never developed a taste for beer, much to my husband’s disappointment. He would have loved this, as he is quite the beer snob.


Maria April 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Oh my gosh – healthy samosas? I need.

With my favorite type of beer: root.


Gina @Health, Love, and Chocolate April 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm

These beer pairing dinners seriously seem like so much fun, I love the aspect of groups doing individual dishes. I’m sure your appetizer was a hit, it is creative and looks completely delicious.


Heather @ Better With Veggies April 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

So much fun, you know I love dinners like this. I still can’t believe you’re not a beer drinker, we need to do something about that. 😉


Lauren @ vegology April 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Great recap, as usual! I am so glad the lawn gnome candle made it into your post. :)


Melissa @ Treats With a Twist April 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

This is too fun! I want to play!! I wish I was a part of a fun dinner club group. Oh girl, we’d have way too much fun together. Can you say “medley of gourmet cereal dust, paired with a lovely white wine spritzer” haha


Brittany @ Delights and Delectables April 27, 2013 at 10:10 am

How fun!! Those brownies make me drool! Now if they were only gluten free too…..


Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli April 28, 2013 at 5:08 am

Aww, how FUN!! I’m more of a wine girl, but I do love a good beer every once in a while. I’ve always wanted to try cooking with it…thinking this summer, I’ll finally try the beer can chicken thing in the grill! I hear it makes the chicken amazingly moi- err, SEXY! 😀


Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets April 30, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Sounds like a wonderful food fest, and I loved your contribution. I would have brought a hard cider too.
Now about this cheese thing, we need to talk or cure you somehow….I will wave my magic wand and wrinkle my nose extra hard like in Bewitched.


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