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Recent Dinner Success

<x-rich>Hi Folks,

Just wanted to share a recent dinner success.  The list as always is partly

About a week ago I had some free time, and some free space, so I invited
some friends over for a massive dinner.   Since I had recently acquired the
Millennium Cookbook (based on recommendations from this list), I decided to
use it as the base for the dinner.

I think that this meal would be ok for most people on the list.  When I
cook I try to keep the individual items very low fat (although any grains
seem to have 10-12 % fat), and then have some fatty additions on the side
for people who want them.  Over the course of the dinner, I estimate that
calories from fat were around 10%.  The 'entree', so to speak, was a bit
high in fat (about 20%) but I just couldn't resist, and served about half
the suggested serving.

Anyway, I had the Pate Francais, taken from the Eco-Cuisine book, out for
early arrivals to munch on (it has way too many walnuts for this list, but
actually comes out to about 12% CFF, if the oil is left out).

For the salad course, I made the Quinoa Pilaf.  I served it on a bed of
romaine lettuce (not the outer leaves), with three slices of tomatoes on
the side.

For the soup course, I made a Gazpacho soup, based on a recipe submitted by
Zoe Sodja.  I have made this recipe several times, and I consider a bit
spicy.  I never use the Tabasco sauce, but might cut back on the vinegar
and garlic in the future.

I then had a vegetable course with steamed broccoli and asparagus, arranged
on the plate nicely.  I prepared a cheese sauce for those who wanted it.
FYI, the cheese sauce was just the base (sans eggs and baking) that one
would use for a cheese soufflé.  Although I have three steamers, I
invariably use my bamboo steamer and Wok.  It seems the most efficient

After all this, I had a Saffron Basmati Rice pilaf and a Polenta Torte with
Puttanesca Sauce and Basil Cashew crème.  The Torte is incredible high in
fat (especially with the crème), and for this reason I served more rice
than torte.  The torte was appreciated, however, by the people I had
invited (all omnivores, not particularly worried about fat intake).  I kept
the torte to the end so that everyone would fill up on the good food first.
The sauce and crème were on the side for people to get as they chose.

For Desert I made the millennuim fruit crisp using frozen blue berries.
This was the only thing that didn't turn out perfectly.  I seem have
trouble using the arrowroot.  There was a bit of ice cream for people who
wanted it.

I believe the dinner, as served, without the fatty additions, figures to
about 11% CFF.  A bit high in fat, but maybe still acceptable.

As an added bonus, I believe I was able to buy everything except for the
mushrooms, blueberries, and most of the herbs, organic.

I do like the Millennium Cookbook.  I think it uses too much tofu (a lot
can be done with grains and vegetable, and I don't like to cook out of a
packet) and some of the instructions are difficult to follow; definitely
not a beginners cookbook.

Furthermore, this is a problem with most cookbooks.  It seems that the book
is vegetarian, low fat, or a combination of both, but stylistically
inadequate.  The many hundred fat free recipe books just seem to be based
more on food as survival that good healthy food for the mind and soul.

Anyway, that is my rant.</x-rich>


We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there
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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension