Whew! What a weekend!
The fabulous Nikki Benoit, Vegan Outreach Superstar, was in town for the weekend and there was a whole lotta celebratin' goin' on. Friday night's shin-dig had the most amazing spread of vegan food that I've seen since ThanksVegan. Our friend Kim is a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen! I didn't get pictures of everything, but here are the highlights.
This cheeseball was one of my most favorite things that night. Kim said she made it with Daiya and cashews...and I can't remember what else. I never had a cheeseball like this in my non-vegan days, so I couldn't tell you how it compares to that, but I CAN tell you that this was absolutely amazing.
My other favorite offering that night was Kim's 7-Layer Dip. Taco crumbles, refried beans, Daiya, lettuce, salsa, Tofutti sour cream, and tomatoes with a few different chips to choose from. This isn't the best pic, but trust me when I say it was amazing.
My friend Amber made a cookie dough dip, inspired by a recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie.
There was also a roasted cauliflower dip, a southwestern quinoa salad, and jelly donut cupcakes (with blueberry jelly filling). I made some no-bake chocolate balls, following a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.
On Saturday, we all gathered again for a fun lunch at Khun Pim Thai House in Largo. Nikki picked the restaurant because apparently this place has a phenomenal peanut sauce that she just cannot find out in Los Angeles. (And here I thought LA would have everything!)
Due to heavier traffic caused by that fact that it was Saturday AND a holiday weekend, this ended up being a late lunch. I ordered the dish that Nikki raved about, Pharam Delights, with tofu and vegetables. It did not disappoint!
An ever-so-slightly sweet and perfectly savory peanutty sauce, tofu fried to absolute perfection, and a generous garnish of cilantro to add another layer of flavor... The only thing that would have made this dish better would be more veggies, but as a lunch portion, this was just right.
After lunch we all had a great discussion about activism and outreach. Nikki is a super-activist with Vegan Outreach. She's currently a full-time leafletter in the LA-area. She recently passed out her 400,000th booklet! She's also known as "the girl who asked Obama the vegan question," back in 2008.
Nikki is beautifully optimistic and insightful and has such a positive outlook on life. She talked a bit about keeping that positive outlook, especially as an activist, as activism can really weigh a person down. Nikki said a lot of things that resonated with all of us and I know we all walked away from that lunch with delicious food for thought rolling around in our minds.