Two recipes today from Erin Pavlina's Vegan Family Favorites: Black-Eyed Pea Dip in mini-pitas and Carrot Pecan Salad, made with apple juice, Vegenaise, pecans, and dried cranberries.
I've started thinking of Vegan Family Favorites as the cookbook version of a coffee clache. I imagine all the moms that contributed their favorite recipes gathered together at a kitchen table, sharing stories while the kids play. The dishes are simple, easy, and very straightforward, just right for that mother of three trying to get healthy vegan food on the table that their kids will eat.
To complete the meal I tucked in a pear, some vanilla soymilk and a bottle of water, and two peanut butter creme sandwich cookies.
The final ingredient listed on the cookies was "natural flavors". Just out of curiosity I called the company to find out if the flavor was dairy-based. I learned (sorry if you all already knew this) that "flavors" are proprietary (meaning they won't tell you), but if the flavor is derived from one of the eight main allergenic foods (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish), they are required to print that little "may contain..." warning on the package. So since it did not warn that it may contain eggs or dairy, the operator and I figured it was safe and that that was about as close as we could get to knowing for sure.
Verdict: So nice to have a meal that involves no hot stove or oven today! I had never considered using black-eyed peas to make a hummus-like spread, but it worked well and we all liked the field pea flavor. Shmoo ate all the fruit, cookies, and pita breads, but only two bites of the salad. He said it was the dried cranberries that put him off, but I wouldn't dream of leaving them out. Double up on them (and the pecans!) and let your picky shmoos pick them out. 3 stars.