Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Plant-strong Pot Luck-The Dessert

It's been four days since my Plant-strong Pot Luck took place and I can hardly stop thinking about it. You, on the other hand, might be sick of hearing about it!

So I want to interrupt this post to bring you a link to something I believe everyone will love, an article on 5 Ways the Nutrition Field Hinders its Own Progress by Andy Bellatti. The article was right up my alley, so I'm pretty sure it will speak to you too. It pointed out some very interesting things that I have never considered when it comes to food and health. Check it out and let me know what you think!

And now for the light and fluffy part of the blog post: the dessert. Quite a challenge, really, making dessert for a strict Plant-strong crowd. I'm going to be totally honest with you here. I know that there is a perception out there that I am some kind of a saint, but that is wrong. When it comes to dessert, I make all kinds of compromises. I'm not always proud of that, but it's the truth. Do I wish I could be "better?" Yes.

But for this pot luck, I had to stick as closely as possible to truly Plant-strong desserts. I was very inspired by these videos with Chef Aj and Julieanna Hever preparing Pear Creme Anglaise and Balsamic Strawberries. I knew I had to give that a try. But I also felt like the crowd would need something chocolately, so I got out Chef Aj's Unprocessed (you can purchase it on http://www.eatunprocessed.com/) and browsed through all of her Vegan Truffle recipes. I settled on one called Heluva Halavah Balls (named because they have a lot of sesame seeds in them).
I altered the recipe some, adding more date syrup and then rolling them in a semi defatted coconut flake. The truffles were not very sweet, but they were nice and chocolately, and people seemed to really like them. I think I'm going to have to give Vegan Truffles a few more tries before I settle on a recipe that I would consider a favorite. Anyone have any ideas?

The Balsamic Strawberries with Pear Creme Anglaise were outstanding. I think it was the Pear Creme Anglaise that really did it for me though. I'm not sure if the strawberries even needed any special treatment, but it certainly didn't hurt things any.

I could eat Chef Aj's Pear Creme Anglaise any day and for any reason. It's genius.

I like white, fluffy, creamy, sweet things. Since I've given up Twinkies, I haven't exactly had my fix lately. With a nominal amount of pantry ingredients (canned pears in their own juice, vanilla, cashews and xanthan gun), it's the perfect last minute dessert to make for yourself or a party. It could be served over any fruit or even alone.

I served it in large bowls at the pot luck, but if you have the time before a party, layering the strawberries and cream into beautiful individual parfaits would certainly impress any guest.
I also made Watermelon Frosty's after being inspired by this video on YouTube. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to take pictures of it. I was preparing them as my guests were watching T. Colin Campbell on Bill Mahar. I think I was probably pretty annoying, running the VitaMix as they were trying to hear Professor Campbell! But it was all in good fun.

So that's it for this Plant-strong Pot Luck's details. If only I had another one to look forward to . . .


Bonnie said...

My mouth is watering over these desserts. AND thanks for the link to the great article in the first paragraph. It was interesting to get the perspective of someone finishing training as a dietician.

The Healthy Librarian said...

My personal fave were Wendy's Heluva Halavah Balls--and I might have eaten three of them.

If you remember eating Halavah--you will love these.

Since I have Chef AJ's "Unprocessed", I naively decided to make up a batch on Saturday to take to company.

Can't believe I had all the necessary ingredients.

Unfortunately, they are too good--and I couldn't stop at just one.

Be forewarned if you attempt to make any of truffles. Way too good--and reserve for company!!

Not exactly low-fat or low-cal fare--but YUM!!

Chef AJ said...

Hey Wendy,

When I come to Cleveland in November, what if I come a day early and you can host another potluck? I can make my famous German Cgocoaye Cake -not in UNPROCESSED but in the next one. You can make it a contest and I will judge who has thevbest dish and they can win a package of my book and DVDs. Since you like to cook, I wish you could co e to www.HealthyTasteofLA.com in November. Dr. Campbell is the keynote.

Love & Kale,
Chef AJ

Elisa said...

Awesome recipes, beautiful pictures and what great company! I'm totally wishing I lived in Cleveland or LA right now!!! PA is a bit far ;-) Keep up your great work ladies!

katshealthcorner said...

I love your ideas!!! YUM YUM!!

I love Chef Aj's book!!! It is fabulous!

Megan C said...

Thanks for sharing the article!

Caroline Miller said...

I agree with Chef AJ. Come to L.A. for Healthy Taste of L.A.! Chef AJ, maybe you can host a plant-strong potluck??? I'd be happy to bring something :-)

Healthy Girl said...

Aj-that's a YES! on November!

Kali said...

I have been a raw foodie for years and have many uncook books w/great desserts. I live in NE Ohio and would love to be invited to your next potluck

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