Memorial Day is near and a fresh, new season is once again on the horizon! Memorial Day is officially a day of honor for our valiant servicemen who have served our country. Unofficially, it is the starting line of summer. Celebrations of respect and remembrance will flourish a plenty this weekend, and that means sharing food and friendship with our fellow neighbor.
Barbecues can be somewhat limiting for vegans, so I leap at the opportunity to bring creative and delicious plates to social gatherings and to those who may not otherwise engage in plant-based cuisine. Also, I need something to eat. There's nothing more swoon-worthy to me than when someone exhibits genuine surprise towards something I've made for them or when they express excitement over what I will be bringing to an upcoming event. It makes my heart sing. I'd like to share a few of my spring party favorites that may serve as inspiration for your upcoming festivities this weekend (and quite possibly, save the day).
My apologies to the guacamole purists out there, who will not be thrilled with my rendition of this sacred dip. I am not a purist. As you are well aware, I strongly encourage experimentation with creativity, color and charm. As you are also well aware, I am a huge fan of roasting everything. Even habaneros. So, I give these diminutive devils a quick char prior to tossing them in with the rest of the team. A word of caution, habaneros are deliciously unique, but outrageously spicy. This recipe is just as successful without heat, or with an alternative chili. The combination of textures, color and sweet-spicy-savory make this guacamole so much fun to put together.
I know what you're thinking. How can my favorite quesadilla recipe be so completely void of...color? Seriously. I assure you, it is not short of flavor. Roasting (you guessed it) really encourages the sugars to surface in the corn, as well as in the slow saute of the caramelized onions. This dish is worth the patience required to prepare. The delectable sweetness of these quesadillas and the saltiness of the chao cheese, have the best chemistry with a fiery guacamole.
The variations on this fruit salad are endless. In the summer, I trade the strawberries for chilled honeydew and cantaloupe, for a super-hydrating, warm weather treat. Or, keep the strawberries as the star of the show and change up the flavor profile with basil and mint, instead of cilantro. Either way, it kicks up the entertainment value of the typical fruit salad and results in guaranteed applause.
The upcoming season brings with it a bevy of barbecue and picnic invitations, so stay tuned for many more entertaining favorites as the summer, and temperatures, soar. Wishing you all a very safe and enjoyable long weekend! Happy Memorial Day and eat happy!