A Vegetarian Fall Potluck on Halloween Night

November 02, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks/Appetizers

On Halloween night, we held our first vegetarian potluck in Washington DC. The theme: Halloween/Fall Spooktacular.

For starters, I made some fig, pecan and goat cheese tapendade served with spooky halloween pita crisps as an appetizer. (This dish has now been deemed “Figgy Crack” because once you start eating it, it’s really really hard to stop.) I altered the recipe a bit and used crumbled goat cheese in the mix rather than spreading it on the pitas. For the pita crisps, I used whole wheat pita, used Halloween shaped cookie cutters, then pulled the layers apart. I brushed a little olive oil on each side, placed them smooth side down on a baking sheet and sprinkled them with some coarse salt. I put in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes until crisp. (Keep an eye on them, they quickly burn.)

fig tapenade

We had a side Autumn Millet Bake from Mark Bittman’s cookbook “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.”  This butternut squash, cranberry, pumpkin seed, and millet dish is both beautiful, sweet and savory. I would proudly add this unique side to any Thanksgiving table.

autumn millet bake

Our host then set the bar high by adapting this pumpkin stuffed with vegetable stew recipe from epicurious. She adapted some of the vegetables and saved some time by using some pre-made vegetable stock and added the mushrooms and wine to make it a bit heartier. I wish I had a picture of what the pumpkin looked like before it was baked because it was a pale in hue but blossomed into a gorgeous bronze color after baking. The pumpkin cooked perfectly and you could take hunks of the pumpkin from the insides which added a touch of roasted sweetness to the stew.

pumpkin with vegetable stew

Our desserts were cupcakes that were devoured so quickly….I didn’t get a picture!

We hope to hold our next potluck in December. I will be hosting and the theme will be Indian cuisine.

Millet with Garlic and Onions

November 23, 2008 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

Millet: It’s not just for the birds. For vegetarians, it packs the perfect nutritional punch as it is rich in protein and in fiber. This makes it both nutritious and filling. Millet is also quite versatile. Although the millet itself doesn’t really have a flavor of its own, it does take on the flavor of whatever you cook with it. It also does not require a lot of work to cook, in fact, once you put it into the pot you hardly touch it at all. You can just let it sit while you concentrate on other dishes.

Millet with Garlic and Onions
Adapted from the 1986 edition of “The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups millet
3T oil
1/2 cup tamari
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, dices
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t basil
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t sea salt

Preheat over to 300 F. In a bowl, combine the millet and drizzle with 3 T of the oil. Mix to blend. Then spread on baking sheet covered in oil.

Toast in oven for about 30 minutes, until golden. (The toasting adds a nutty flavor to the millet, but it isn’t neccesary if you are in a hurry.)

Bring 3 3/4 cups water, 2 T oil, and the tamari to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the toasted millet then reduce to low heat.

Cover and cook for 25 – 35 minutes. About 15 minutes into the cooking, add the diced onions and garlic.

When the millet is finished cooking, stir in the rest of the seasonings.

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