My girlfriend posted tonight about the vegan birthday dinner we did last night...sounds like some of you wanted some recipes, so I'll give it my best shot. I'll preface this by saying I've never cooked strictly vegan before - of course, some stuff turns out to be vegan, but I've never gone into a dish with that intention. So, some of you may have better ideas for substitutions and things like that. Second, I'm terrible at writing (and following) recipes, so hopefully you get the basic idea, and obviously know your tastes better than I do.
Chilled Watermelon Soup
Ingredients/equipment - watermelon, honey, lime juice, orange juice, a pinch of powdered ginger.
Throw your diced watermelon through a juicer (if you don't have one, blend it up with the rest of the ingredients and strain - if you do, take that watermelon juice and whisk the rest in.) Chill, re-whisk before serving. It's as easy as that.
Easy, easy, easy. Blanch your asparagus (or blanch it, then grill it), slice it into bite-size pieces. Same goes for your tomatoes. Caramelize your onions. (This dish is also great with olives and/or capers, if you're into that.) Dice a thick bread (I used a nice crusty French loaf), toss it all together with a mixture of 4 parts olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar (depending on your taste.) Salt, freshly ground pepper, and you're done.
Wild Mushroom Risotto with Corn Jus
You all know how to make vegetable stock? GREAT. It's essential for risotto.
You're going to need a shallot or red onion, minced. Sweat that in a saute pan. Throw your arborio (or other short grain) rice in there, with enough stock to cover it. Stir over low heat every couple of minutes. This could take 25 minutes or so, be patient - you need low heat, so don't race it.
While your risotto is cooking, you can make the corn jus. Take your juicer (or again, blender) and throw your corn kernels through it with a little water, just to get it running. Strain this liquid, and reduce it so it's nice and saucey. When the rice is cooked (you want it a little crunchy, not mushy), finish your risotto with margarine and maybe that Parmazano (subsitute parmesan, I guess - I didn't use it, though). Saute whatever mushrooms you can find with oil and a pat of margarine. That's it, you rock.
Hope this helps - any questions, leave a comment.