Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vegan gourmet buffet at The Summit

Chef Robert Coltrane and his students at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College will be preparing and serving a vegan gourmet buffet from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. The Earth-friendly buffet will feature local and organic fare and costs $30 per person. The tentative menu includes:
  • Turnip –Butternut Squash Soup w/ vanilla, pumpkin spice, chestnut and cardamom
  • Arugula-Spinach Salad w/ hummus, Castelvetrano olives, pickled peppers, radish and roasted lemon vinaigrette
  • Black Bean & Lentil Cakes w/ avocado, cumin spiced collard greens, tortillas and mango-ginger sauce
  • Broccolini w/ assorted mushrooms, puffed rice and maple-thyme jus
  • Dessert: Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter Torte w/ Coconut Mousse, "Milk" Chocolate Vegan Gelato and Whipped Passion Fruit

The event, "Vegan Ooh La La," is being held in conjunction with the Great American Meat-Out, enabling participants to discover the amazing variety of delicious foods that are healthy for the planet, healthy for people, and involve no suffering by our fellow beings.

The Summit is located on the second floor of the ATLC building at Cincinnati State's main campus, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton. Paid reservations are due by March 10. For more information or to reserve your spot, call 513-929-2500 or email Checks should be made payable to VeganEarth and can be mailed to: 2310 Williamsburg Drive, suite B, Cincinnati OH 45225.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Recipe: Vegetarian Country Captain

I found this recipe in the Jan/Feb issue of Cooking Light Magazine and knew I had to give it a try. Apple and chutney give this protein-packed curry a hint of sweetness, and the currant-almond-cilantro combo nudges the dish from being merely good to truly great. We'll be making this one often.

Vegetarian Country Captain
Serves 4

1 Tbs canola oil
1 1/2 Cups finely chopped onion
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1 Tbs flour
1 Tbs curry powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Cups vegetable broth
2 Tbs mango chutney
2 Tbs whipping cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 Cups cauliflower florets
2 Cups shelled edamame
3 Cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 Cup currants
1/4 Cup sliced almonds
Chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced green onions, optional



1. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and
saute, stirring frequently, until tender; about seven minutes.

2. Add apple and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add flour, curry and garlic; stir constantly for one minute.

4. Pour in broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for a
few minutes until slightly thickened.

5. Stir in chutney, cream and salt, then add cauliflower and edamame.
Cover and cook until cauliflower is tender, about eight minutes.

6. Serve over rice and top with currants and almonds. Garnish with cilantro and green onions if desired.

Don't skip the garnishes! They make a good dish great.


Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Grove

The Grove
3938 Spring Grove Avenue (across from BP)
Tel:(513) 541-3663
Open: Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

A lot of restaurants spend tons of money striving for a hip, retro look. Not so The Grove, which is the real deal. This new Northside establishment has opened in a former greasy spoon called Ray's, and stepping in is like stepping back through time - circa 1972. The speckled linoleum floor and paneled wood walls were undoubtedly there way back when, and while the cushioning for the booths and chairs might have possibly been updated at least once in the past forty years, they certainly blend in well.

The Grove

The decor may be a little tired, but the menu isn't. Not only are there more vegetarian sandwiches listed than meat-based, they also offer for a small upcharge Ezekiel Bread and vegan cheese. Nice!

It isn’t often that vegetarians and vegans are spoiled for choice, so it took me awhile to decide on what to get. Should I try the curry tofu sandwich or the homemade black bean burger? Hang on – there’s a corn cake burger too? Oh dear, where to start?

“Well,” intoned my dining partner, “let’s start with the vegetarian chili and go from there.” It turned out to be a good choice. Made from scratch and brimming with chunky tomatoes, it was tangy, hearty and filling.

Vegetarian Chili

Like most diners, The Grove offers daily specials. The twist is that one of them is always vegetarian. Specials include casseroles, quiches, sides and desserts. Call ahead or check their Facebook page to find out what’s on offer.

While my friend was swayed by the (non-veg) Paula Dean Casserole on the specials board, I chose the homemade black bean burger from the regular menu to find out how it rates against other area veggie burgers. Verdict? Definitely in the top three. It was thick and messy – I would advise against trying to eat it with your hands – and seriously good. The marriage of patty and spicy chipotle mayo was a match made in heaven, rendering the cold slice of cheddar cheese superfluous.

Home made black bean burger and a side of housemade potato chips

The service is friendly and the choice for vegetarians is superb. The Grove is a welcome addition to the Northside community and I’m really looking forward to working my way through their entire meat-free menu.

the Grove on Urbanspoon