Whole Foods Market Addison hosted a holiday-themed vegan dinner this past Friday, and even though it was a bit of a drive from Oak Cliff, with a menu like this, how could I not attend?
- Butternut Squash Dumplings with Evergreen Pesto
- Poached Pear Salad with Parsnip Chips and Golden Raisins
- Sweet Potato and Wild Mushroom Soup
- Pomegranate Glazed Seitan Medallions with Creamy Polenta
- Homemade Pecan Ice Cream with Pumpkin Frites
Sounds yummy, right? The dinner was hosted in an upstairs area with a banquet table set up with beautiful floral and table arrangements with mini vegan cheese plates that featured all three cheeses from Kite Hill, accompanied by artisan bread and cracker selections for hors d’oeuvres. They also had a vegan wine tasting with various wines from Frey Vineyards. The banquet table allowed you to get to know the people around you, and I was fortunate to be sitting around some great people! I’d say Whole Foods Addison did a great job for it’s first vegan dinner, and they plan on doing another one in January!
So let’s talk about the food!
These were the Butternut Squash Dumplings with Evergreen Pesto. This was an interesting combination of flavors, with diced butternut squash and arugula tucked inside a crispy dumpling served with an olive oil heavy pesto. The flavors were predominantly green, and I would have liked to have been able to taste the sweetness of the butternut squash a little bit more. Still, it was pretty delicious and an excellent first course starter as the textures and flavors were just enough to whet your appetite.
Next up was the Poached Pear Salad. I really enjoyed this! It was curly kale tossed in a creamy cashew dressing, with rainbow carrots, golden raisins and poached sweet and spiced pears. The bright flavors of the carrots and kale really complimented the sweetness of the pears and raisins while the cashew cream dressing rounded it out with a subtle tang. The crowning glory was the thinly-sliced and fried parsnip chips. They added a light crisp that just made the whole salad a really spectacular texture adventure. The only thing I would have changed here would be to marinate the kale in the dressing a bit longer so that it becomes a little softer and easier to chew, but I would definitely eat this again and I’m planning to try and make my own version of this soon as it’s a great way to get your fall vegetable nutrients in.
Possibly my favorite dish out of everything, this Sweet Potato and Wild Mushroom Soup really stole the show! Subtly sweet, rich and creamy with mushrooms and thyme adding a savory depth that was just a perfect combination with the sweet potato base. Topped with fried mushrooms and fresh thyme, the soup was a visual delight, too! Everyone at the table simply loved this soup; even those who admitted they weren’t a fan of mushrooms. I hope Whole Foods releases this recipe soon because I would gladly eat an entire pot of this.
The star entree of the show: Pomegranate Glazed Seitan Medallions with Creamy Polenta. This dish was simply amazing! Perfectly-sized grilled sweet and savory seitan medallions topped with some of the best-tasting creamy polenta I’ve ever had, crowned with asparagus. The seitan was actually made by local Dallas vegan blogger and Whole Foods Healthy Eating Specialist Wendy Loven of The Loven Spoonful, and her recipe is on point! The texture and flavor was very meaty and this dish was loved by even the omnivores of the group. The pomegranate seeds served as a beautiful decoration and really brought out the flavor of the sweet pomegranate glaze on the seitan. 5 stars, would eat again and again!
The Homemade Pecan Ice Cream with Pumpkin Frites was the dessert course, and I’m sad to say it was a little bit of a disappointment. Not that it tasted bad; it was actually light and refreshing! However, ice cream it was not. It came out tasting more like an ice, and if it had been named as such, I think it would have been perfect. The pumpkin frites really paired well with the light pecan flavor and added much needed texture. I loved this idea, but I think using a full-fat coconut milk base would have solved the problem of the lack of creaminess…or maybe even a thick and creamy homemade pecan milk!
Thanks to Whole Foods Addison for putting on an amazing vegan dinner! I had so much fun and my boyfriend and I really enjoyed our evening. I look forward to the next one with anticipation, and am glad to see the trend of vegan dinners seems to still be going strong in the DFW area. Until next time, my kind gourmets!