On Saturday morning, my sister, niece, and I went to a food demo at Native Foods Cafe called “Hold the Butter! Veganizing Paula Deen’s Recipes”.
Probably the first time the words vegan and Paula Deen have ever been in the same sentence.
When we arrived, most of the seats were taken and we thought we would be sitting in the way back. Just as we were sitting down, one of the hosts approached us and told us that someone had cancelled and asked if we would like to take their seats in the front row. Um, would we? Duh!
I have to say, I’m pretty sure we were chosen because my niece was with us. Bringing cute kids along to events never hurts. Borrow them if you need to. I swear every time one of my nieces or nephews are with me we’re like a magnet for perks – front of the line, front row, free gifts, etc.
The demo was given by Chef Kendall, who wore a Paula Deen-esque wig for the event. Where can I get one? Hot.
As the demo began, we were each given a small cup of warm, organic chai tea.
Disregard my pre-manicured nails. That was later in the day.
Anyway, the chai was excellent. I don’t know why I don’t drink it more often. Actually, I do know why. I’m usually drinking that coffee stuff.
The first recipe was “Paula Deen’s Dawg Bites”.
Every time I hear/see the word “Dawg” I think of Randy Jackson. Dawg.
Where was I?
(I spied the Vitamix right away. Hello, darling).
The recipe involves soaking cashews, blending, straining, using cheesecloth, baking, etc. It actually didn’t look all that difficult, but the fact it takes a day or more to make automatically cancels it off my list of recipes to try. I’m far too impatient. Although, the finished product was pretty darn delicious.
We were then given a small cup of Lavender Lemonade or Watermelon Fresca (our choice). I chose the Lavender Lemonade, which should come as no surprise considering I attempted my own version recently.
That stuff is SO GOOD.
The next recipe Chef Kendall made was “Paula Deen’s Alice Jo’s Spaghetti Sauce a la Native”.
She had a couple of little girls walk around with some of their homemade seitan to show everyone what it looks like.
Um, looks like a football. Weird stuff. Good stuff.
The spaghetti sauce was easy enough. I’m sure you could use tempeh or meatless crumbles (Boca, Morningstar, etc.) if you prefer.
The pasta she used was Quinoa pasta, which is organic, gluten-free, and a great source of protein. I’ve seen it sold at Jewel, so it’s definitely not hard to find.
The last recipe Chef Kendall showed us was “Deen a la Native Peach Cobbler”.
I liked this recipe because you can easily make substitutions for what you have on hand (apples for peaches, agave for sugar, almond milk for rice milk, etc.).
Not to mention it was pretty delicious.
In addition to all the food samples, each of us were also given (2) $5 gift cards to Native Foods – saaaweet!
If you have a Native Foods near you (I believe they are in California, Portland, and Chicago), I highly recommend going to one of their food demos. They are free and at the very least you’ll get some delicious samples out of it.
Oh, and has anyone else seen Paula Deen’s English Pea’s Recipe? If not, please check it out and be sure to read the comments. You can’t make this sh*t up.