Friday, November 11, 2011

Vegan Heaven

I just got home a few hours ago from a fundraiser for Alchemist Community Development Corporation, a wonderful organization that strengthens the ability of Sacramento residents to shape the future of their neighborhoods and benefit equitably from development by helping them identify the best ways to improve their communities.  In recent years, their main focus has been to establish urban farm stands in low-income neighborhoods that may not otherwise have easy access to fresh produce, either because there are no nearby grocery stores or because of transportation issues.

What was special about tonight's fundraiser was that it featured a fabulous six-course vegan dinner prepared by traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg, who has written several vegan cookbooks, the latest being In Search of Lost Taste.  Here is the incredible menu Chef Ploeg served at tonight's event:

Hors d'Oeuvres: Baby Mole Tarts with Caramelized Veggie Mince, Cornmeal-Almond Crust, Sweet-Spicy Chili Glaze and Cilantro-Sesame Tahini

Appetizer: Pate Trio-Garlic Lemon Cannelini Dip, Date-Kalamata Spread, Roasted Vanilla-Infused Kabocha "Baba Ganouj" with flatbread and crudites

Soup: Wild mushroom soup ladled over fried bread

Salad: Taro Root Fries, Salad Greens, Mung Beans, Black Lentils, Carrots, Peppers, Daikon, Roasted Green Onions and Toasted Sesame Shiitakes with Lime "Caesar" Dressing

Main dish: Breaded Garlic veg “Chicken” with Olives in roasted Pepper Cream Sauce with Basil Zucchini Fingers and Apricot Orzo

Dessert: Walnut-Pecan and Chocolate Tarts with Espresso “Cream” and Candied Sage

Creme de banana coconut soda
Tamarind lemonade
Wine from Pescatore Winery and Robert Mondavi.

So tonight, I'm one happy vegan!  Chef Ploeg is based in Los Angeles but cooks for dinner parties in Sacramento from time to time.  If you want to know how to hire him for your next party, check out his blog at  Information about Alchemist Community Development Corporation is available at

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