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