Last evening we had our first meet up for the Engine 2 Nationwide challenge and I may have gone a little crazy, but I think all in all it was a successful evening. At the suggestion of one of our new members, we had an international theme. We had Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisine and also had some sugar free desserts. I chose some easy recipes and then made an ingredient list and people signed up to bring them. I gave the teams the recipes and they took off and did a great job! I also made the dough for soft pretzels from The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease cookbook and let it rise prior to the meeting. Our two youngest guests, Alex and Alizah formed the pretzels, and then boiled and baked them and made Dijon dipping sauce. They were outstanding!
My friend Kelley and I worked on the Chana masala for the Indian portion of the meal and Kim, Susan and Brittany made the aloo tiki patties. I think Christine was on this team, too! I was a little overwhelmed and she took all of these great photos, so she’s not in them. We’ll make sure to snap her next time! These dishes are a normal part of our diet and we love Indian spices, but may have been a little too much for our new folks. I need to remember to ease people into some of the more exotic flavors. They were not part of our repertoire before we started eating this way either. If you have not tried aloo tiki and you love potatoes, you have to try this Northern Indian street food. Check out the recipe at Indian as Apple pie. Just use veggie broth or water instead of oil bake them at 400 degrees on silicone mats or parchment paper for about 10 min on each side. They were a hit and no leftovers from the two trays that were made!
Next up was the Middle Eastern crew who made hummus and Quinoa tabbouleh, both from The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease cookbook. They added a raw red bell pepper to the hummus which was wonderful and my friend Gail T. made a tray of raw veggies to dip in the hummus and my husband made home made oil free whole wheat pita at home before the event, too. The quinoa tabbouleh was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The fresh parsley really made it sing and reminded me of summer. It was a little overpowering to some, but I’m finding the stronger the flavors for me, the better. Thanks to Virginia, Gail D., and Nicole for manning this station!
The Asian cooking crew with Christine, Kristina, Susan, Brittany and Kim cooked up a storm! They made Thai noodle soup before they made the aloo tiki patties. I used Happy Herbivore’s Thai noodle soup as my inspiration and adapted it and quadrupled the recipe. It is SO good, but again, may have been too spicy for some of our folks.
Michele came with avocados, a sharp knife and a burning desire to make guacamole, which was delicious!
Our dessert crew with Marlene, Gloria, and Edie made Anne’s pumpkin muffins from “My Beef with Meat,” and decided we didn’t even need the maple syrup and they were sweet enough with the bananas and applesauce! And, we forgot to take a picture of the finished product! They also chopped some bananas and added them to some blueberries Kristina picked this summer and thawed for us!
My husband, Scott also did a veggie sushi demonstration for us and his sushi is always a hit!
Finally, we had a giveaway of Engine 2 loot for the person who posted something on our Facebook page every day this past week and Kristina was our rockstar! She posted recipes, pics of her food, and what she did for fitness and I really enjoyed her enthusiasm and hard work diving right into the Engine 2 plan!
Remember to Have fun with your food and enjoy!