This is always a challenge for me. I want to make healthy foods, I'm not going to use animal products, but I want everything to be GOOD so that people will see and understand that eating a plant-based diet is not a recipe for deprivation. The last time I did this I brought three bruschetta toppings: a white bean one, a mushroom one, and the classic tomato. I don't remember what I brought for a dessert -- probably fruit.
This time I'm going with dips. I have a black-eyed pea dip, courtesy of Paula Deen (MAN, that woman uses a lot of fat in her recipes -- I am simply going to leave the oil out completely and no one will know), a red kidney bean dip, courtesy of Nigella Lawson (again -- I will eliminate the oil), and an artichoke tapenade, courtesy of my favorite blog (and in a reverse of the first two recipes, I'm going to ADD pine nuts -- fat -- to this one). I'll probably tinker with that last one a bit, too -- maybe add a few more olives or capers, I dunno.
Dessert is from Martha Stewart: chocolate-covered bananas. How cute will that be???
I'll shop for the ingredients tomorrow and make everything on Thursday. I can start first thing because everything can set a while (I might even do the black-eyed pea thing tomorrow).
All of this planning takes time, so that's why my day is shot. When you Google "vegan appetizers" you get about ten jillion recipes for hummus -- and while I love hummus (made some on Sunday and will probably be having it for lunch), I don't want to show up as a cliche.
I finished reading Eating Animals last night, and now, boy am I militant. Factory farming is a crime against nature, against humanity, against everything sane people believe in. I'm only going to rant a very little bit, but I simply don't want to give any of my money to the companies that pollute, promote antibiotic resistance (and keep animals in conditions to promote avian-swine-human influenzas), etc., etc., etc. There is absolutely not one good thing to say about factory farming. I wish I knew how to fight it -- but there are signs that the end is near (it's unsustainable, so it will end -- when and how are the questions). I really do recommend this book; I think responsible people ought to know how the food gets onto their plates. We hire people to do our dirty work for us and we ought to know what they're doing in our name. Well -- not in MY name because I don't eat that stuff and I feel really good about that.
End of rant.
My next book is one by Francis Chan. I think his most famous book is Crazy Love, which I read and was floored by. His latest book (the one I'm about to start) is called Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity and the things we made up. It's an important subject. Universalism has been around forever -- it's not new. Satan pushed a version of it in the Garden. It's sweeping evangelical circles now, though, and we need to stop and look and see what God says -- not what we wish He would say. (For those who are unfamiliar with the term, "universalism" is the heresy that says that everyone will go to heaven, no matter what.) It's easy to see why this view is attractive -- it's sure what I wish would happen. But the important thing is what God thinks about the matter, not what I wish (and I have no right to "wish" anything different from what God has ordained). Watch this clip of Chan discussing his reasons for writing this book. He's the most humble man -- I really do appreciate his heart:
Pretty heavy stuff.
Okay -- I have to go to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned.