Organic wines brought by all guests. Check.
Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Caps: Me likes! The mushrooms were marinated first with Nama Shoyu, then stuffed with a guacamolesque filling.
Mock Salmon Pate: made with walnuts, celery, red bell pepper (for the pink color) and scallion. Pate normally scares me because its "the rest" of the animal no one wants to eat grounded up and given a French name. My blood pressure and I were at peace and tranquility eating this vegetarian, raw pate.
Cucumber-Dill Salad: Also very refreshing with delicately sliced cucumber slivers, red onions and a tangy lemon dressing. It reminded me of tzatziki sans the yogurt.
Cucumber food porn close up alert!
For the main course: Zucchini Pesto Pasta. After all the nibbling on the appetizers, tastings of organic wines, and entrenched in deep conversations of all things dear to our hearts, I neglected to photograph the noodles dressed in their pesto sauce. But I can tell you that the raw pesto sauce made with Thai coconut water, raw pine nuts, fresh basil and just a hint of garlic was truly Divine. I love the spaghetti-style zucchini noodles and luckily Joan has enslaved a little ninja child to cut the veggies so delicately. Thank god for Amazon.com!And now, the moment you've been waiting for: desserts! I was about to put the deserts first, thinking back to one of my college volleyball teammates who'd told me as we were perusing the cafeteria with our bright blue plastic trays, "Always eat desert first because you never know when you're gonna die. You could choke and die on your spaghetti without ever getting to take a bite of that delicious chocolate chip cookie." Nightmares!
Raw deserts are a force to be reckoned with. They are dense and full of flavor. To hold the pie below, took weeks of 10 lbs dumbbell reps. The Chocolate Ganache Tart, Oh jes, and since our gracious host, Joan, supplied her dinner guests with recipes, I can tell you what's in this masterpiece. The crust is made of cocoa powder, almond flour, maple syrup and coconut butter. The ganache filling has just three ingredients: cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut butter.
Strawberry Fields Forever cupcakes - so cute! The crust was made with almonds and agave nectar ground up and the filling was just strawberries sweetened with agave nectar. Very simple, yet still elegant and tasty.
I didn't know there was such thing as raw ice cream, but Joan whipped up a batch for us. She originally called it vanilla ice cream but it was more exotic - it was cashew coconut raw ice cream. She made this using soaked raw cashews, coconut meat, agave nectar, water, coconut butter and vanilla extract. It was a lovely and had a creamy element to it.
And now, I rank the organic and/or no sulfate wines from favorite to least favorites (from the ones I photographed). I don't want you to think I'm a totally lush, so I'll just pretend I only drank these ones.
The first was the cheapest, I think $5 from Trader Joe's. I got dibs on the cases at the Silver Lake TJ's y'all. I liked the color and fruitiness. Second, the Nabuko. I brought this one - found it at the BevMo in Arizona on my way back from the monastery. I'm not sure if they sell this one at the CA locations. Next, the Coates, a $20 bottle found at Whole Foods. Complex with a peppery bouquet.
Another Trader Joe's wine: the Albero, from Spain. This would be a great every day casual wine that goes well with anything. Nothing really jumped out at me.
And lastly, the Well Red, also found at Trader Joe's. I felt this wine had no backbone - nothing holding it up. No soul, but a fantastic option if you're severely allergic to sulfates and inorganic things.