Friday, February 21, 2014

Matt LaBombard: Planning a Vegan Feast

Storey publicist Matt LaBombard is back in the kitchen this weekend, whipping up a vegan feast fit for thirty people! Here’s a sneak peek at what he’s serving. Beware: you might just find yourself longing for an invite.

Photo by Dana Payne
When I first tell people that I’m a vegan, they usually ask questions like, “How do you get enough protein?” and “Why would you ever give up bacon?!” While my answer is always the same (I really love vegetables!), something funny happened when I attended my family’s Thanksgiving celebration this past fall.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about planning a vegan holiday meal. With those recipes in tow, I headed for my aunt’s house, ready to quietly enjoy my meal while everyone else ate the usual Thanksgiving fare. But to my surprise my aunt started to taste some of my food and began raving about the kale salad and mashed potatoes. Soon, my cousins, aunts, and uncles dove into my vegan dishes. No sooner had I gotten my own plate than I realized everything I’d brought was gone and everyone was talking about how delicious it was. Instead of being greeted with usual line of questioning, I found myself out of food and making an unexpected promise: cook for more vegan meals for my family members and friends.

So I decided to host my own Vegan Holiday.

This weekend will mark the first of what may well become a tradition for the LaBombard family and friends. I’ve invited about 30 people to sample some of my favorite vegan recipes, a mix of those I’ve developed on my own and some that I’ve taken from my favorite cookbooks. The menu is certainly extensive, but there’s not much in life that I do on a small scale — why would this be any different?

Below is the menu for everything I’m serving. I can’t wait to bring everyone together for a night of good food, good friends, and good laughs. I’m sure somewhere along the way, we’ll have some serious kitchen catastrophe, but at the end of the day, as I like to remind myself, it’s about the people, not about the food.

Freshly baked baguettes and country loaf served with my famous Garlic and Parsley Butter
Roasted vegetable platter with red and yellow peppers, fennel, red onion, and zucchini
Cracker and vegetable platter served with puttanesca-seasoned hummus and spicy harissa

Kale and Fennel Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Quinoa Salad
Barley Salad
Asian Noodle Salad

Creamy tomato soup with garlic croutons and chives
Cajun black bean sliders topped with salsa
Large baguette sandwiches layered with sautรฉed shiitake mushrooms, pickled vegetables, spicy radish slices, and spicy tahini sauce
My “Pretend Pesto” lasagna with peas, walnuts, and spinach cream sauce

Lemon cupcakes with vanilla frosting
Spicecake cupcake with maple frosting
Chocolate cupcake with chocolate peanut butter frosting
Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles
Chocolate sorbet
Coconut ice cream

Hungry yet? Matt will be back on the blog in early March to share feast details (and hopefully another recipe or two)!

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