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 Post subject: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:17 am 
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Smuggling Raisins
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So whilst doing a bit of research myself, I figured I'd compile the results for everyone else to use. We all need a bit of inspiration from time to time. It must be one of the more common questions that comes up on here, having a go-to-thread might save people repeating themselves or spending hours researching. So... post up your go-tos. Here are links to previous recommendations, and general suggestions.

General threads about omni cooking
"Help! Cooking for an omni"
"Easy but still impressive recipes"
"Lunch with a new friend - what should I make?"
"Help! Omni relatives coming for dinner"
"Impressing omnis - how to go about it"

Savouries
Spinach and Cauliflower ricotta lasagne from AFR
Mushroom-walnut pate from Veganomicon, butternut squash and roasted poblano soup from Anna Thomas's Love Soup cookbook, Chickpeas romesco from Veganomicon.
Goddess Nicoise Salad from AFR
Broccoli quiche
Sweet-potato tamarind pancakes from VWAV, with the pancakes subbed with puff pastry

Sweets
Avocade Creme Pie
25th birthday worthy cake
"Fave sweet recipe for surprising omnis w/ yummy vegan food?"
Peanut butter cups

Add your own thoughts below, let's do this once and for all? Can we sticky this? I'll try updating it as other people add their suggestions, so long as the edit button lets me do so.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:46 am 
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Cranky
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I'm going to sticky this.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:17 am 
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This is really helpful! Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:13 am 
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These are the best forking brownies in the world (unless you're one of those freaks that like cakey brownies). Guaranteed to impress more or less everyone. I just made a batch with vegan smarties/m&m type things in. So good.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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You are awesome. Thanks for collecting all those! (I haven't tried some of these, so I will have to check them out!)

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:39 pm 
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That's a great idea.. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:58 pm 
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Has Isa on speed dial

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Location: Columbus
My tips:

Don't skimp on oil/fats! They make food tasty and filling, two things omnivores often think vegan food cannot be.

Don't rely on fake meats/cheeses or else your guests will be quick to compare what they're eating with the "real" thing. And then your meal will be "almost as good as..." which is not what you want of course. My exception to this would be if you're using cashew cream or something like that in a recipe. Just steer clear of relying too heavily on the processed stuff.

Be creative with garnishes to make dishes look impressive. For example, that Chickpeas Romesco recipe is delicious but looks rather like vomit. Garnishing with some roughly chopped Italian parsley instantly makes it look way more appetizing. I always use lots of fresh herbs whenever I cook for company - they're pretty and tasty and really show off the healthiness (real or perceived) of whatever I'm serving.

Individual ramekin dishes rock. Potpies, shepherd's pies, what-have-you in mini ramekins will make a relatively easy casserole recipe seem a lot more impressive. I find that vegan foods have more of a tendency to be stew-like, and it's nice to have something more block-like on the plate to take the place of the usual hunk of meat, you know?


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Disappearing Ink wrote:
These are the best forking brownies in the world (unless you're one of those freaks that like cakey brownies). Guaranteed to impress more or less everyone. I just made a batch with vegan smarties/m&m type things in. So good.


They really are! Thanks for the recipe!

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:15 pm 
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awesome list! thanks for compiling that.

my only suggestion for an addition in the sweets category is the lemon coconut bundt cake from v'con. holy crepe its so good!

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:24 pm 
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I would add the cashew queso recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2011/11/cashew-queso/ which is amazing. Even my (not totally vegan) hubby thought it would fool non-vegetarians. We have only recently given up dairy, so I have eaten a lot of cheese dip in my day. This totally rocks! I love to pair it with some tasty guacamole, refried beans, salsa, and margaritas for a awesome vegan pigout! Make it a dinner by adding some vegan enchiladas.

I agree with avoiding the fake meats, cheeses, etc. since they don't really fool anyone.

Another tip is to stick to a traditionally vegetarian menu such as an South Indian food. Isa's Chana Masala recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2011/08/chana-masala/ is better than some versions I've had in restaurants.

Great thread!


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:44 pm 
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hmm I have the reverse issue - I'm trying to help my very non-vegan parents plan a meal for a vegan guest. Unfortunately they are across the country so I can't volunteer to cook.

The deal is, my dad counsels drug addicts and a guy he's helping is a Buddhist new to veganism. They've already had him over once and my mom made her own pasta fagiole recipe - minus the Parmesan - as well as a chocolate wacky cake I provided a recipe for. Now my dad wants to make eggplant "parm" for the guy but I sorta advised against it because I think breading without eggs may be frustrating for them, and I'm not sure I trust them to get vegan breadcrumbs even.

Suggestions, anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:12 pm 
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my kid can make eggplant parm- especially if it's fried instead of baked, it's hard to screw it up. have them dip in cornstarch and water, then flour, then breadcrumbs. you could give them your 'special spice recipe' for eggplant crumbs so they have to start with straight crumbs, instead of buying the non-vegan one.

does the guy eat garlic and onions? last year i found myself cooking for three monks (guests of my mom's friend, who wasn't too familiar with veg diet and was desperate for help) before realizing that not only were they veg, but they didn't eat two of my favorite ingredients. We were luckily in asparagus season and made a bunch of gorgeous roasted asparagus and kale and pasta, but it was a close call.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Love it!

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:28 pm 
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This is a great idea.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:12 pm 
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I asked my omni (more like borderline carnivore) roommate which of the recipes I've cooked does she like best:

-Shepherdess Pie from Veganomicon... nothing like mashed potatoes & "meat"
-Pumpkin Baked Ziti from Veganomicon
-Edamame Pesto from Appetite for Reduction

The best part of all of these recipes is that most of them can be partially made ahead of time!


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:20 pm 
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The crepes from V'con!
Image

So eggy, rich and crispy on the edges!

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:02 pm 
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I'm having a bunch of classmates over at the end of the week. I have no idea what I'm cooking. I haven't even picked out the cupcake recipe yet!


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:41 pm 
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Victoire wrote:
I asked my omni (more like borderline carnivore) roommate which of the recipes I've cooked does she like best:

-Shepherdess Pie from Veganomicon... nothing like mashed potatoes & "meat"
-Pumpkin Baked Ziti from Veganomicon
-Edamame Pesto from Appetite for Reduction

The best part of all of these recipes is that most of them can be partially made ahead of time!


If you love the edamame pesto, try the Portland porch wraps from the PPK blog. So. Good. I need to make those again soon.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:59 am 
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I'm bringing in a baked good for breakfast for my class this week, any muffin or scone suggestions? I want to blow their minds!


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:27 pm 
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All muffin and scone recipes from Vegan Brunch will impress. Lower fat banana bread in v'con makes great muffins, especially with the added chocolate chips. The pumpkin muffins and mocha chip muffins on the blog here are great. Just stay away from anything whole wheat, or too healthy tasting.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:35 pm 
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I've taken over my omni parents kitchen for the summer and they were blown away by Veganomicon's Eggplant Rollatini. Even my 85 year old grandpa who had never tried any vegan food asked for three helpings!


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Thank you all for your great tips. I very successfully fed visiting omni friends and family without anyone having any idea they were eating a vegan meal. They even had seconds. I decided to go with Pumpkin and Caramelized Onion dish from Veganomicon, salad, and raspberry blackout cake from VWV.


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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:07 pm 
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I like to do tacos, especially in the summer. Everyone can pile on the toppings they like, and almost everyone loves guacamole.

I had 5 omni friends over last week, and we had tacos. I tried out this cashew sour cream recipe & they thought it was awesome. I used the cashews & blended in the VMix until it was perfectly smooth. I'm reposting here from a Whole Foods Engine-2 challenge email.

Cashew Sour Cream
2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (or tofu)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
Water to thin

In a high speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Slowly add water to reach desired consistency. This will last up to 1 week, covered, in refrigerator. Get creative: add scallions and/or herbs!
(Source: WFM Global Chef, Derek Sarno)

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:50 pm 
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This raw lasagna was a "home run" according to my [not veg-friendly] father: http://therawchef.com/therawchefblog/lasagne-recipe

I was eating raw for a month and had my family over for dinner. Months later, my dad and my sister's avid-hunter boyfriend still RAVE about this. It's good for hot days when chili or enchiladas might be too heavy.

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 Post subject: Re: How to impress Omnis... the PPK guide
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:11 pm 
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I always have great luck with a plain ol' cheeze board. Homemade cashew cheeze, fruit, candied nuts and olives. Yum!

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