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Feb 9, 2007 07:06 AM

Help: localvore veggie dinner menu (VT)

Hi hounds
this is a challenge that I've set up for myself, partly because I've been reading the Omnivore's Dilemma by Micael Pollen and finding it very inspiring. I could use some help though. Here's the lowdown:
I'm hosting some friends for dinner. I want the meal to be locally sourced (within about 100 miles of my home in central Vermont). One of the friends is veggie, and all of us are fine with tofu, etc. But, I have no local tofu source. I can get local tempeh. this is what I think I can find to work with:

winter/storage veggies (hard squash, beets, onions, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc...)
the aforementioned tempeh (unseasoned)
dairy (butter, milk, yogurt, cheeses, cream, etc...)
maple syrup
apple cider
wheat flour ( i have white and whole wheat pastry flour)
dried beans
green beans and corn that i froze this summer...they would probably not be great solo...but okay in something.
pickled carrots and beans(dill flavored)
frozen strawvberries and strawberry puree, frozen blackberries and blueberries

herbs and salt are fine to use, and I even dried some of my own last summer. I'm fine with using a little of something not local (like some soy sauce) but I want most of the main ingredients to be from here.

oh, and one of the other guests does not like pasta, and I think another does not like stinky cheese (or I would have made that cabrales souffle with a local a half of a heartbeat).

So all I've come up with so far are various possibilities:
roasted veggies with a maple or cider glaze
marinated & baked tempeh
veggie pot pie w/cheddar biscuit crust
souffle (cheddar?) epi has a recipe for cheddar and parsnip souffle that looks interesting
mixed berry shortcakes

any other good ides?
I'm especially confounded with the tempeh...should I just leave it out?

thanks in advance for your always wonderful ideas!


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  1. I would want to make some kind of slow cooking stew with the beans and root veg, perhaps incorprating a little bit of the maple syrup combine with a little heat (chilis)

    Tempeh burgers with cheddar

    Bean salad with some of the dried beans, the green beans, pickled carrots and pickled beans

    Yogurt drizzled with the honey.

    Apple coffee cake with the wheat flour, dairy, eggs, yogurt, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pescatarian

      I've never made tempeh burgers, do you have some tips?
      Honestly, I love tofu and am trying to get used to tempeh. I need help!
      I was thinking of putting out the dilled beans and carrots as munchies before the meal, with some local cheeses and maybe some of those homemade crackers I saw posted about here a while back.

      So If I make a stew, what to serve with it?


      I love the apple cake idea, didn't even think of that. I have local applesauce, too.


      any more ideas?

      please help me with the tempeh! It just tastes like beans to me (it is!!)

    2. How about vegetarian chile? The revised Joy of Cooking has a great recipe for Wild Caribbean Chile which calls for various beans and spices. It has orange zest and perhaps juice in it which won't fit into your local supplies, but perhaps you could replace it with something else acidic like vinegar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cheryl_h

        I'll look at that recipe. I can add some orange zest without feeling too bad, esp b/c I have a bag of oranges in my fridge. Have you ever added tempeh to that? what would you serve it with?
        I have been thinking a souffle would seem more fancy and dinner-partyish so that is tempting to me, but I can't see a souffle and a chili together. kind of like a ballgown with sneakers...

        1. re: amyamelia

          I have no experience with tempeh, sorry. I believe some vegetarians use it as a meat substitute and if it tastes like beans, perhaps it will be fine as a chile ingredient. I don't bother with sides when I make chile but cornbread would be nice, or some good fresh vegetables. Roasted root veggies sound good to me (I'm planning this for tomorrow).

          I agree souffles and chile don't seem like a good match. If you want something more dressed up, skip the chile and go with the vegggie pot pie which would be better with souffles. If you want the chile, why not make a berry crisp or pie instead?