Vegan Hospitality

I had one of the best vegan, gluten-free dining experiences of my life not last Saturday night, but the Saturday before. No joke.  Of course, I had to blog about it– better late than never!

So, a few weeks back, my husband met a lovely woman who was basically a friend of some of our friends. L, as I will call her, got to talking to my husband and somehow they stumbled upon the topic of me being vegan and gluten-free. She immediately invited us over to her house for a vegan, gluten-free dinner party along with the other friends we have in common.

I had never met L until I showed up on her doorstep on Saturday night, but upon our first handshake, I knew she and I would get along beyond swimmingly. She is not vegan or gluten-free, but rather just loves to cook and entertain, so she thought it would be fun to give the whole vegan/gf thing a shot. The fact she wanted to invite us into her home and cook food totally based on my restrictions is beyond generous in and of itself, but her warmth and enthusiasm I felt upon meeting her sealed my opinion of her as just plain super awesome! I mean, how many people do you know that will throw an epic dinner party catered to the dietary needs of just one of several guests invited? Not many, I’m sure of it!

When I walked in the door, the first thing I saw was this table full of appetizers that again, were all vegan and gluten-free. I was in heaven and had trouble peeling myself away from the table. Her spread was spot-on!

I ate an endless amount of this amazing spicy tortilla chips.

IMG_6319 Lia's Chips

Her guacamole was hands-down the best guac I have ever eaten. It was homemade, super flavorful, and full of huge avocado chunks! The addition of grape tomatoes didn’t hurt either! Plus, there was this bowl of what basically can be described as massive corn nuts to munch on, as well as veggies and a delicious garlic hummus too!

IMG_6320 Lia's guac and crudites

Roasted sweet potato rounds “rounded out” the appetizer spread.  Talk about vegan, gluten-free appetizer heaven!

IMG_6321 Lia's sweet potato rounds

Soon enough, dinner was served.  We all sat around the dining room table and enjoyed an epic meal.  I could not believe how much I ate, but it was all just so good.

First, L made an amazing pot of bean chili.  I need the recipe asap.

IMG_6322 Lia's ruce and chili

Brown rice served as the perfect accompaniment. I don’t know how she cooked it but it had the best texture– nice and chewy!

L also roasted up some cauliflower with lemon and parsley. So, so good!

IMG_6323 Lia's cauliflower

I totally failed to take a solo picture of what perhaps is was my favorite food of the night, but you can spot it on my plate below. L made a vegan, gluten-free cornbread that was to die for. Seriously, you would have never known it was vegan or gluten-free because it was everything corn bread should be and more.

IMG_6324 Lia's my plate

I ate a little lot bit of everything and I was so stuffed by the time dinner was over. Have no fear though because I did leave some room for dessert!

First, she presented us with this gorgeous fruit plate, complete with fresh figs!

IMG_6325 Lia's fruit plate

I had picked up some vegan and gf cupcakes from Wildflour so those were put out too.

IMG_6326 Lia's cupcakes

But our fabulous hostess was way ahead of me because she had gone to Wildflour earlier in the day and bought this most beautiful raspberry chocolate torte!  Look at how pretty this cake is!  I have always wanted to try this cake too, but never had an occasion to buy it because it is so huge.

IMG_6327 Lia's raspberry chocolate torte

I enjoyed this slice (plus some more later) and it was perfect.  Like really, really perfect.  Thank you L for going out of your way to even get a special vegan and gf dessert from my favorite bakery!

IMG_6328 Lia's raspberry torte piece

And she even gave me a huge chunk to take home.  Winning!

I have to say, this was such an amazing meal.  Ever since going vegan and low gluten, I don’t think I have enjoyed such a bountiful, varied and tasty meal as the one I did on Saturday.  I want to give the biggest thanks ever to L, her husband R, and her two hilarious children for inviting us into their homes and feeding us so well.  The whole experience was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me, and I truly appreciate their hospitality from the bottom of my heart!  Thanks again L!

Of all the things I ate that night, which one would you have most wanted to try?

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