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Vegan friendly family potluck Milwaukee style? LET’S GO!

March 29, 2010

The following 2 recipes come from my cousin Dan Hermsen from the Milwaukee, WI area.


Olive oil (for saute)
2 Tbs onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
ground cumin to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
1 15oz can chick peas (or great northern beans but then put in 1/3 less lemon juice)
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs toasted sesame seeds (I usually put in more because I like the taste and texture)

In skillet, heat oil. Saute onion and garlic until onion is softened. Add seasonings. Stir just long enough to soften parsley. In food processor, combine chick peas and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in onion, herb mixture & sesame seeds.

I like to serve it on whole wheat pita bread with sprouts and/or cucumbers.


1 medium chopped onion
2 medium bell peppers, cut in strips or cubes (I like to use yellow and orange bell peppers)
2 small or 1 medium zucchini, cubed (or summer squash)
1 small eggplant, cubed
4 cloves fresh garlic
2 medium tomatoes in chunks
1 bay leaf
1 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano
dash of ground rosemary
3 Tbs of red wine
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
freshly chopped parsley

Heat olive oil in large, heavy cooking pot. Crush the garlic into the oil. Add bay leaf and onion, salt lightly. Saute over medium heat until onion begins to turn transparent. Add eggplant, wine, tomato juice and herbs. Mix well, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes over low heat. When eggplant is tender enough to be easily pricked by a fork, add zucchini and peppers. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Mix well. Continue to stew until all the vegetables are tender. (How tender is tender? Do a taste test and see what seems right for you.) Mix in the fresh parsley just before serving. Serve on a bed of rice or in a bowl accompanied by some good french bread. Top with vegan cheese substitute and chopped black olives.
(From The Moosewood Cookbook 1977 edition)

Dan, these were great and you set the bar high! Cousin Susan found an awesome vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cake @ Outpost Natural Foods Co-op. We commandeered the leftovers and enjoyed it for breakfast the next day in Chicago. Here’s what we brought to the potluck…

Pasta Salad
PARTY SIZE – serves a lot! Feel free to cut this recipe in half :)

2 lbs mezzi rigatoni pasta
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cups pitted whole black olives
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 14oz can artichoke ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥s, chopped
3oz jar capers, drained
1 bunch finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup your favorite vinegar
S&P to taste

Cook pasta as directed on box for “al dente” and drain. In a giant serving/mixing bowl combine cooked pasta & all other ingredients. Mix well, set aside until cooled down, store in fridge until ready to serve. Make this the night before and the flavors will be even more robust.

We used some awesome taragon infused vinegar that we found at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market. “The Vinegar Man” from Herbally Yours was so nice he even put a VL sticker on his van.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 5 dozen.

The evening before our Milwaukee trip we went to a 1st birthday for our good friends. Party guest Rosanna brought oatmeal cookies she made with a new twist on our recipe. We liked them so much we made them in the morning to share at the potluck. Same cookie dough but with the chocolate chips mixed in, not melted and sandwich-style. Revisit the recipe or watch the holiday magic in this video from VL Season 2 featuring THE SCISSORS, who just self-released their new album You Can Make It Dangerous!

Thank you for having us. So great to see you all.
Kelly & Jason

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 30, 2010 10:10 am

    I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Booya is really making a splash these days!

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