dinner party to remember

7 Oct

Happy Thursday!

Today I’m bringing to you the recipes that made up my dinner party for Project Food Blog entry #3.  Also, today is the last day to put in votes for all your favorite entries.  And as always, I would be so thankful if you’d check out my entry and vote if you find it worthy!  Thanks so much for your support thus far!

When I started planning the menu for my party, I knew I was going to be under a serious time crunch, so I needed something simple, yet I still wanted to wow my guests with something new and unique.  The other twist was that my guests were not familiar with vegan dishes at all…so I really wanted to create something that would show them how enticing meatless dishes really can be!

I started off with the vegan chimichanga recipe – I had made it before, so I knew exactly what tweaks I needed to make.  They were so much better this time around!

Vegan Chimichangas
original recipe from Eat Drink and Be Vegan


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp chipotle hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I may try black beans next time!)
  • 1/2 cup tempeh, chopped (or an additional 1/2 cup beans)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, for frying
  • fresh lime wedges, for garnish
  • fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish


  • In a large frying pan on medium heat, combine oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, chipotle sauce, cumin and salt.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add zucchini and tomatoes and saute for another 5 minutes until veggies are soft.
  • Add beans and tempeh and saute for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir in vinegar.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Spoon 1/4 of filling down center of each tortilla, leaving 1-2 inches spae on top and bottom.
  • Fold bottom edge over filling and roll up, tucking in sides as you go.  Place a toothpick to hold tortilla closed.
  • In a separate frying pan, heat oil, then place burritos seam-side down on pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side to lightly brown, then transfer to sprayed baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro and lime.

I also made up a quick sauce to drizzle over these.  For the sauce, add about 1/4 cup of vegan sour cream together with 1/2 tbsp chipotle hot sauce.  Mix well and then scoop sauce into a plastic baggie.  Cut off the end of the baggie and drizzle away!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Next up was the mini tacos – these were so easy!

Vegan Mini “Party” Tacos


  • 1 can of beans – whatever kind you fancy!  I used lentils, and they worked great.
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper (I like it hot!)
  • shredded cabbage
  • grilled veggies – green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion
  • vegan sour cream
  • corn tortillas


  • Place frying pan over medium heat. Combine beans, cumin and ground red pepper and heat through.
  • In a separate pan saute veggies in a little bit of oil (oops! forgot to add to the ingredient list).
  • While keeping an eye on the veggies, cut tortillas into small circles using a round object (husband used a cup).

  • Assemble! First, seasoned beans. Then, grilled veggies. Next, shredded cabbage. Last, top it off with sour cream!

Note: you could also use the leftovers “rims” of the tortillas by sprinkling sea salt on them and baking.  Then use them as toppers for your salad!  I actually almost did this…but I accidentally charred them.  FAIL!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now let’s backtrack just a little bit and talk about appetizers.

Of course there is no way I could possibly have an epic tex-mex party without the star of tex-mex, could I? But I also didn’t think my basic guacamole really fit the bill.  I mean, we’re talking epic here!  So, three kinds of guac it was.  And these are all so easy it’s embarrassing.

Classic Guacamole

1 avocado
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup onion, chopped


  • Okay, I have to be honest.  All the measurements above are guesstimations.  I basically just eye all the ingredients and have the husband taste test and make recommendations until it is unfathomably awesome.  Works for us.  But I understand some people really might appreciate a recipe, so I tried to estimate exactly how much I use of each ingredient.  I would highly recommend doing a bit of experimentation, though, because we don’t all love guac so hot our eyes water!  The cool thing is that you can add a little bit more of each ingredient until the flavor evens out.  It’s really hard to ruin guacamole in my opinion.  Unless you forget the garlic like I did for my party.  oops!

Barbecue Guacamole – just make the exact same recipe as above, then mix in about 1/2-1 tbsp of your fave barbecue sauce.  Lastly, drizzle a little extra over top!

Chipotle Guacamole
originally from here


  • 1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegan sour cream
  • 1 avocado


  • Mash avocado in a small bowl
  • add black beans, corn, cilantro and sour cream and mix well

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The other appetizer was a beautiful salad!

I mixed fresh greens (any kind will work), with jicama, cut into matchsticks  and sliced red cabbage.  After mixing it all together, I poured a Chipotle dressing over top and mixed it all together.

The dressing really made this salad.  The flavors went together like peanut butter and banana.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

And lastly, was the decadent dessert!  I honestly had huge reservations about making this, I’m not going to lie.  I’ve never fried anything in my life…and it was a bit scary. But somehow I just didn’t think baked plantains would have the same effect as fried plantains.  And in the end, authenticity won out!

I honestly didn’t think I would like this dessert much, but it was so good it hurt.  I bought some soy french vanilla ice cream to pair with the plantains and it was like a match made in heaven.  Love love love.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

And that’s it folks!  I was so happy with how this dinner turned out…and so proud of myself for pulling it together.  Whether I advance or not I’m so happy I took the opportunity to complete this challenge.  I feel like I’ve grown so much, just from the three entries I’ve created so far.  I’d love it if you’d help me get to round 4!

8 Responses to “dinner party to remember”

  1. Heather (Where's the Beach) October 7, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    I would LOVE to attend this party! You have my vote.

    • candice October 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

      Wish you could have been there:) Thanks, friend!

  2. Dorry October 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    What a delicious dinner party menu! The lentil tacos and various guacamole are right up my alley. Yum! And way to overcome a fear with frying – the dessert looked amazing. 🙂

    • candice October 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks Dorry!

  3. Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans October 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Yum! I love Mexican food!

  4. Mary Fryar October 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    WOW!Now I wish Clark and I could have been your dinner guests. Everything you made looked delicious! You know how I love mexican food. The mini tacos are so cute, and three different guacamole. Yum. We voted for you, of course, but would have even if you were not our daughter. Love You!

    • candice October 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

      haha…thanks! I thought that later – that you probably would have liked the meal. It was pretty good if I say so myself:) Next time you guys come up, I’ll have to make a couple of the dishes! Definitely the guac.

      Thanks for the vote, mom – I love you too!

  5. purity12lover October 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    I started drinking Power Tea only 2 weeks ago. I have missed a lot of my workouts and yes I really feel bad because I’ve paid for a membership with the gym I go to, but I still managed to lose 5 lbs! Actually nothing much changed in my lifestyle. I take the tea and still walk downtown for work and that’s about it. I was really struggling before because I had no time to go to the gym. It was such a breakthrough for me. I also learned about an instant business program that they’re offering but I haven’t actually tried that yet. You can go to this website http://if1s.com?111, and know more about it. I’ll try it in the next few weeks and will you know if it’s as good as it sounds too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: