Monday, June 16, 2014

Everything is different the second time around

The official start of Summer is coming up next week - but the 90 degree weather today during a run definitely made it feel like summer!

It also was nice to do a quick beach trip this past weekend to make it feel even more like summer vacation. Although being in the "real world" doesn't give a 3 month vacation anymore (how much longer until I am a teacher?!) - warm weekend trips throughout help savor the fun times that go along with summer.

Going to BBQs and potlucks is a key component of summer and it's fun to bring food and try what others make. I've been vegan for almost 7 years now, so I'm quite familiar and used to bringing my own food and either being surprised that vegan options are available or making sure I love what I bring knowing that may be my only option. These two dishes that I made a couple weekends ago for a get together - a salad and dessert - are sure to please any type of crowd for a summer bbq.

Who can resist Peanut Butter Blondies topped with chocolate chips? Seriously - if you know who, then please tell me. Although, I suppose those with nut allergies or who do not like chocolate (do those people exist?!).

These were made with the recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar cookbook. I've made them once before for a 4th of July bbq, and knew they are a no-fail recipe!
I then added some fun and topped with chocolate chips prior to baking.
You can find the recipe on the PPK website - Peanut Butter Blondies

Quinoa salads are the perfect pot luck food. They don't go bad if they are left out for a while and the flavors seem to get even better the longer they sit. Plus, quinoa is so delicious and is great for any gluten-free friends!

Pineapple-Edamame Quinoa Salad:

1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups water
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 cup chopped scallions
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
3/4 cup chopped pineapple chunks
2/3 cup edamame
1/3 cup toasted cashews
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the quinoa first - In a sauce pan, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. One boiling, turn down the heat to low and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Let stand covered for 5 additional minutes, and then fluff with a fork. Set aside, in the fridge preferably to chill.
In a large mixing bowl,  mix the pineapple, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro. Add the vinegar, 1 T water, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and mix. Add the quinoa, then the edamame and toasted cashews. Stir until everything is well incorporated. Taste for seasoning.

Enjoy your summer BBQs! And don't forget to bring a veggie burger :)

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