October 22, 2011
LV Community Vegan/Vegetarian Potluck October
Last night was the sixth Community Vegan/Vegetarian potluck in Longview and I think it was one of the nicest. We had about the same amount of people, thirty or so, made some new friends and ate some great vegan and vegetarian food. We didn't have very many vegetarian dishes this time or the last. It seems the potluck is going in a vegan direction all by itself. There were lots of gluten free dishes including cookies, pumpkin scones, and brownies. I made two batches of the popular vegan mac & cheese one with brown rice noodles and the other with quinoa noodles. I omitted the bread crumbs for gluten free mac & cheese.
All the cooks put on an impressive buffet. Among the wonderful dishes we had were: Black eyed pea salad with a homemade dressing, steamed cauliflower with onions, fresh frozen peas, and a sauce made with veganaise and mustard, French green lentil stew, Turkish garbanzo bean salad, a harvest grain salad, a fresh fruit bowl, spinach salad, tofu adobo, a cactus and black bean salad, a pitcher of fresh berry smoothie, and lots more. The desserts were plentiful, all vegan, and most were gluten free: Pumpkin spice carrot cake with cream "cheese" frosting, raw cashew chocolate, coconut fudge, Gluten free pumpkin scones, gluten free chocolate brownies, and Gluten free vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. What fun it was trying all the different dishes. I was thinking that it was such a joy that everyone made something wonderful themselves and it was obvious that they put care into it. I remember hosting potlucks for another organization years ago and I was usually disappointed when the store deli fried chicken and pre-made macaroni and potato salads showed up.
Many of our guests are new to plant based eating and it's such a treat to see the joy on someone's face when they discover the many things they "can" eat that they didn't think they could before. The gluten free folks, for example. I know many women who are gluten intolerant or avoid it for pain issues and didn't think they'd ever get to eat baked goods again.
Our guest speaker didn't appear, but that didn't hamper our fun at all. It was a rainy night and there may have been bad traffic. I was told by Jill from NW Veg when I was thinking about this potluck that sometimes that happens there is no speaker, so they've often just gone around the room and introduced themselves and talked about why they are there. So, after a lively dinner filled with the conversations about the new and interesting foods we were eating, I talked a little bit about why I suggested we start this potluck and opened up the room for questions, comments, or success and/or failure stories. We had a great discussion. There was some sharing from a couple people about how eating a plant based diet has changed their health for the better. There were questions about diabetes and other diseases from people who's doctors have suggested they try a plant based diet to improve their health. It was a warm, interesting, conversation between us all. We all got to know each other a little bit better too. As it turned out, no one missed our speaker at all. I've had a couple emails and phone calls today from attendees who wanted to tell me what a good time it was and that the discussion was very good. Each one of them told me they learned something last night. YES! That's why I started this potluck. Smiles and JOY! I am hoping we can all learn more together.
Thanks everyone for your culinary efforts and for showing up! Our next potluck will be in January, probably around the third week on a Friday night again. I'll let you know the date. I think I am going to round up some equipment and show Forks Over Knives after dinner.