For the last two years some friends and I have been part of a monthly food swap. Each month we have a different theme, and each of us has a different assignment/category. The categories could be a type of food (i.e. vegetable, greens, proteins, grains or fruit), or sometimes a specific type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack – you get the idea). We make 2 portions of our dish for each person in the group to take home, and then we have meals already made for the rest of the week!
Our theme this month was called Monster Mash – we were each given a monster and a food category. My assignment was vampires and vegetables, so I made a roasted red pepper and tomato soup (so all the vampires would have some blood to drink) and decorated it with some MOMA type ghosts and witches and other creepy crawlies using vegan sour cream. (And while everyone’s dish looks amazing, and I can’t wait to eat them, special shout-out to Helen who made Zombie Brain stuffed tomatoes! Picture below!)
AND it was my turn to host, so I got to have some extra special Halloween fun! I did some research on the inter-webs and compiled a few fun and easy recipes, and veganized them where necessary. I had so much fun, I thought I’d share them in time to keep you busy during the “Frankenstorm” in case you get bored 😉
Pumpkin Krispie Treats – fresh4five
Ghostinis with Bloody Murder Sundried Tomato Tapenade – The Food Network
Asparagus Skeletons – VegSpinz (I changed this one up a bit, using garlic hummus(to keep those vampires away) instead of garlic cream cheese – it was REALLY GOOD!)
Blueberry Rickety Eyeball Punch – The Food Network
And my food swap recipe:
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
4 large red peppers
6 1/2 cups red tomatoes
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup *creme fraiche (I used vegan sour cream)
4 tablespoons unsalted Earth Balance
1 tablespoon vegetable base
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
Sea salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
In a medium-sized, heavy-bottom sauce pan, melt 1 teaspoon earth balance over medium heat. Add flour and combine well to create a roux. Reduce heat and cook the mixture until light tan in color and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Grill the red peppers or expose to an open flame, turning frequently, until blackened all over. (I just stuck mine directly on the gas burners of my stove-top)
Place the warm, roasted peppers in a paper bag, seal and set aside for 3-4 minutes. Peel off the skin, gently wiping away any remaining black skin from the surface. Slice open the peppers and discard the seeds and any white membrane. Do not rinse the pepper.
If using fresh tomatoes, cut a small X shape into the bottom of each whole tomato. Add tomatoes to a pot of boiling water and cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Remove tomatoes from water using tongs. Peel off the skins and discard.
Using a blender, puree the peppers and tomatoes together until smooth. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds and fiber.
Whisk 1/2 cup of the tomato-pepper mixture into the roux over medium heat and combine well. Working in several batches, add the remaining mixture to the saucepan, blending until smooth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for 5 minutes, then uncovered for 15 minutes.
Add 1/3 cup coconut milk, vegetable base, tomato paste, sugars. Continue to simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes then gently whisk in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cool, the soup, transfer to a ceramic bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The following day, heat the soup over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Top with vegan sour cream (as I mentioned, I attempted to make some fun designs, that starting out were supposed to be spider webs, but ended up going with a more artistic interpretation.)