Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Wicked Fun Dinner

I had my son and his gf over for a Halloween dinner tonight and we had A BLAST!!! On our menu was:

Jack-o-lantern Sandwiches
Black Bean and Spider Web Soup
Missing Bloody Fingers (Fries w/ketchup)
Pumpkin Roll Cake

I was planning on a soup and sandwich dinner and thinking about cutting the bread into pumpkin shapes, then I remembered I had this vintage sandwich maker called a Toastite. It makes round hot sandwiches you cook on the stovetop. This is a Toastite.

So here's what we did. We took our bread and painted on jack-o-lantern faces using food coloring and water. Mine is the plain ugly one.

I'm sure the last time I used the Toastite we made ham and cheese sandwiches, but tonight we had dried tofu (my new fave tofu from the asian market), sauted onions and peppers, and barbecue sauce.

Then you just close up the sandwich in the Toastite and set it over the flame.

You can take a peek after a couple of minutes to see how brown they are getting.

In the meantime, we ladeled out our soup and used tofu sour cream to pipe on the spider webs. My bread face was ugly, but I did have the best web!

I found some corn tortillas in the freezer yesterday and decided to cut them into ghost shapes and bake them. They are topped with chili powder, maple sugar, and a little salt. Ghos-tados.

Here is Chase's dinner. He gets credit for most of the photography tonight. Poor child never gets a hot meal anymore!

I think he may have discovered a way to get kids to try tofu. He dipped his in the food coloring!

The sandwiches were so good. I think another good filling would be something with a chickpea gravy. There's limitless possibilities.

After we all talked about how full we were and couldn't eat another bite, I brought out the cake. It's a pumpkin cake with chocolate filling. It was moist and chocolately and somehow we all made room for a couple of pieces.

After I baked the cake this morning, I couldn't leave half a can of pumpkin hanging out in the refrigerator, so I baked pumpkin raisin mini muffins. I used Dreena's pumpkin raisin bread recipe from The Everyday Vegan.

Here are the soup and cake recipes.

This soup has a lot of flavor layers in it, intensified at the end with a little cocoa powder.
Black Bean Soup:
1 pound dried black beans
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced thin
2 bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Spicy Montreal Seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg's
1 teaspoon pimenton (smoked paprika)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons cocoa powder

Soak the beans (overnight or quick method), then rinse and put in a large soup pot with the onion. Add 9 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for an hour.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the cocoa powder, and cook for another 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Remove the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender and puree about half the beans (or more if you prefer). Add the cocoa powder, adjust seasonings, and add water, if necessary. (I added almost a cup of water at this point, and again when I reheated it.) Cook another 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Roll Cake with Chocolate Filling:
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup pumpkin puree
equivalent of 3 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 x 15 baking sheet.
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and spices. Add in the pumpkin puree, egg replacer, and lemon juice, and mix well. Spread the batter evenly into the pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Place a damp kitchen towel on a flat surface and sprinkle it liberally with powdered sugar. Turn the cake onto the towel. Beginning with the short side, roll the cake up with the towel. Place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.

Prepare filling
1 box silken firm tofu
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon canola oil
dash salt

Place all filling ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

When the cake has cooled, unroll it and spread the filling on it. (You will have some left over. Refrigerate it and have pudding later!) Immediately re-roll, without the towel, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place it seam side down on a platter and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The cake is super moist and would also be great with something other than a chocolate filling. I'm sure it would be much prettier with a white filling, but I was going for an orange and black Halloween look.

We had so much fun preparing this dinner and eating too much!

P.S. to Michelle
who asked for my tortilla soup recipe. I don't post recipes unless they are original (copyright issues!). Otherwise, I just let you know where you can find them. That recipe was from Real Food Daily.


Anonymous said...

How fun! What a great meal. I love the taste of pumpkin -- I'm going to have to try your pumpkin roll for the holidays.

My mom is fine - just want to give her quality of life, as she's not happy in her current situation. I'm happy to send the books (no charge). My email is

Okra Mary said...

Yum...everything looks so delicious!

bazu said...

Beautiful! So much creativity and energy went into that meal, and you guys must have had fun eating it. How cool. Ghos-tados- LOL! That's the best name!

Jennifer C. said...

Theme meals are so fun! The Black Bean Soup sounds scrumptious, but what is in the Spicy Montreal Seasoning?

Urban Vegan said...

This is the best! Booooooooooooo.......Happy Halloween.

Rachel said...

I love that web!

Ben Kaelan said...

Oh man!! That musta been a blast!! I looove halloween! :) That spiderweb cake looks delish!

- Ben

madeinalaska said...

wow! I guess its always so fun to be creative on haloween... no matter how old you are huh? bravo.. for awaking the kid in all of us!

Candi said...

LOL! That is all so adorable. I love the ghost-ados!!!!!!!! You are so creative and fun. The sandwiches were a great idea too! Yes, the spider web on the soup is perfectly done!!

Gaia said...

Oh how I love the Ghost-ados too !!
My youngest boy has recognized the ghost cookie cutter ... I know what I will be doing this afternoon ! LOL

Nikki said...

You need to cater parties! :)

Everything is SO cute!

Thank you for the black bean soup looks delicious.

Jackie said...

What a great Halloween meal and love the names. Must have been fun to make and eat.

I haven't seen a Toastite for around 40 years and wish I could find one here as they make the best toasted sandwiches of all.

Jackie said...

Oops, forgot to mention....

Thanks for the visit and the idea to use sweet potatoes in the salad. I was thinking of using butternut as I am not a big pumpkin fan.

Anonymous said...

This looks like such a fun meal. You are truly creative. And dipping the tofu into the food coloring - your son is brilliant. I bet kids all over this hot dog nation would scramble to be the first to eat neon green tofu! That totally rocks.