Looking back at an Awesome VVP

As you may or may not be aware, this past Saturday was the Virtual Vegan Potluck, version 3.0.All of the 168 posts went up at midnight, EST, but I couldn’t bring myself to back up 2 hours after I fell asleep to start reading early.

I waited until I got up and started reading while I ate breakfast.

By 9:30, I was exhausted from skimming the appetizers, beverages, breads, salads, sides,  and soups. I hadn’t even gotten to the main courses or the desserts yet!

I started reading them by just skimming, so that I could go back and spend hours pouring over the awesomeness that is the VVP, and tell what my favorites are.

It took me hours to read, examine, appreciate, and pick out which blogs and recipes I liked the best, and trust me, it was not easy. I decided to lay out my favorite in each category (appetizers, beverages, breads, salads, sides, main dishes, and desserts) and my overall favorite. You know, the “Best in VVP.”

Now, I know that Annie, over at An Unrefined Vegan, will be posting the voting for everyone’s favorites, so feel free to let my choices guide yours (unless you want to vote for me, in that case, ignore all the other competing advice. . .).

So, my favorites in each category are:

Appetizers:

  VS.

An almost impossible choice. I was torn between Vegan Richa‘s Roasted Sweet Potato BBQ Mung Bean Sprout Canapes, and Vedged Out‘s Mini Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Slider Bites. (Just in case you’re read this, I hate you both for making your food so awesome, and mine look so mediocre.) In this head-to-head battle, I was just slightly more struck by the addition of bacon, and had to give the win to Somer over at Vedged Out.

Beverages:

 VS.

Another head-to-head battle ensued, between the Turkish Delight Martini over at Gormandize with A-Dizzle and K-Bobo (I want to laugh every time I see that name) and Matt’s Authentic Ginger Brew, over at We Go Authentic.Thsi choice, while difficult because I love ginger beer, had to go to the martini, despite the fact that I don’t care for rosewater or Turkish delight, because, well, it was the only alcoholic drink in the beverages section of the VVP!

Breads:

 VS. VS.

One of the shortest sections in the VVP this year was the bread section, but what they lacked in quantity, they made up for in quality. These three breads represent 50% of the options in the VVP, and that made it a nightmare to choose a favorite.

Bankrupt Vegan‘s Homemade Flour Tortillas are a favorite, because I just can’t get my tortillas right when I make them at home. Spontaneous Tomato‘s Sourdough Epi Baguettes are just amazing looking, and My Good Clean Food‘s Herby Olive Tomato Kale Bread looks unfairly delicious. I had a really hard time choosing here but I think, for flexibility and the way it woudl look bringing it to Thanksgiving next year (yeah, I probably will) I’m going to go with the epi baguettes, courtesy of Spontaneous Tomato.

Salads:

 VS.

So, In Pursuit of More and the French Lentil & Vegetable Salad presented me with a different kind of challenge in the salad category. I love the thought process behind In Pursuit of More (Living with {just a little} less), but I thought and thought and though about the Portabella Steak and Potato “Friendmaking” Salad by Barefoot Essence for like an hour after reading her post. So, in the end, I let my stomach decide (like all men) and went with Barefoot Essence’s Portabella Steak and Potato Salad.

Sides:

 VS.

Side dishes hold a special place in my heart (and not just because I’m vegan and when we go to an omnivore’s house that all we eat). When i was a kid, we would go to barbecues, and, while I did embrace the Standard American Diet with all my cloggy little heart, it was the stuff not on the grill that drew me in, but all of the goodies on the table next to the grill. These two sides, Annie, over at An Unrefined Vegan, made Sweet Potato Fries with Parsley, Garlic, & Lemon Zest, while over at Vegan Fling we were all offered her Artichoke and Chickpea Salad. Both have beautiful photography, and both look delicious. Not to mention that both dishes are really pretty easy. . . I was torn, but I was drawn in by the use of chickpeas, one of my favorite legumes, and went with Vegan Fling’s Artichoke and Chickpea Salad.

Soups:

 VS.

I’m a big fan of soup. The Bolnde prefers stews, but I like all types. These two seemed to me to speak of spring and summer, but while not losing the warmth and comfort of a grat soup. Eat, Breathe, Balance made a delicious-looking Caribbean Sweet Potato Stew, and House Vegan countered with a Mushroom Miso Ramen with Wontons and Spinach. Both recipies made me stop and stare, but as the Highlander said, “There can be only one!” I caved to my love of Asian food, adn gave the win to House Vegan and her Muschroom Miso Ramen.

Main dishes:

 VS.

Wow, dude. It was so difficult to choose a favorite Main Dish. Well, a second favorite main dish, after mine (of course). These two were just the brightest stars out of  many many amazingly awesome looking dishes. The Road to Serendipity made a crazy-good looking Serendipitous Stromboli, and Veggisima made Authentic Mexican Chilis Rellenos, and dual posted in both English and Spanish. I’m lucky I can post in English. The battle was tight, because I love Mexican food, and the prospect of authentic Mexican almostwon out here, but my utter and complete adoration of all things Italian took the cake. Or the Stromboli, so to speak. The kicker for The Road to Serendipity’s Stromboli may have been the fact that they actually included four recipes in their one: the Stromboli itself, the Stromboli Dough, the Sun-dried tomato and walnut pesto that went into it, and the vegan Colby Cheeze. Wow. . .

Desserts:

 VS.

Ahhh, dessert. The sweetest way to end a meal. Now, I know that there are some of you who do not like chocolate (although i don’t understand it) and I know that there are people out there who don’t like super-sweet desserts. I don’t get you either. For me, chocolate is king, and sweet is key. Thankfully the Blonde agrees.the very first dessert in the VVP curled her toes when she saw it, and i hag to tell you, I had to do a double-take. Sugar Coated Vegan created a decadent, multi-layered Chocolate Cheesecake, with Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, and Chocolate Buttercream. Melt. My Brain. In fact, I was still coming down off of a virtual sugar high when i got to Happy to be a Table of Two, and found Nick and Jacks’ Chocolate Fudge Oatmeal Bars.

I just about blacked out.

In an almost impossible battle, I had to choose based on which I woudl rather someone else bring to my house, and then leave me alone with. I could (and will) make Nick and Jacks’ Chocolate Fudge Oatmeal Bars, but I may, may, just be able to convince the Blonde to make Sugar Coated Vegan’s Chocolate Cheesecake, and so I gave the win to her, on level of difficulty.

Best Overall Recipe:

And my overall favorite, which is, hands down, the hardest choice on here (It’s like choosing your favorite child, or, in my case, pet) goes to (drum roll, please):

In a tight, tight race, I have to give it to Sugar Coated Vegan, and her ridiculously amazing looking Chocolate Cheesecake. I mean, how could I possible fight that much chocolate and peanut butter? (You can send me some now ;))

To wrap up, however, I cannot thank everyone involved with the Virtual Vegan Potluck for making this one such a wild success. Annie from An Unrefined Vegan, Somer from Vedged Out, Jason from Jason and the Veganauts, and Lidia from Vegan Bloggers Unite! and Air Eater, not to mention the over 160 bloggers who took part in the VVP this time around. It made for a crazy difficult weekend, not only reading and drooling, but then choosing and writing. BY the end, I couldn’t even think about reading a single digital word.

To all of you involved in making this so awesome, thank you, thank you, thank you. I promise to do more visiting this week and this coming weekend.

~ by VegansHusband on May 13, 2013.

19 Responses to “Looking back at an Awesome VVP”

  1. Thanks for the shout out! How did the portabella steak and potato salad turn out?

  2. Love your post. For me, it would be incredibly difficult to pick out winners! I think we’re all winners for taking part haha???

  3. Thanks so much for picking my Caribbean Sweet Potato Stew as your runner up in the Soups category! It was an honor just to be nominated 😉 I hope you’ll make this recipe and love it!

  4. Oh wow, thank you so much for this! I’m so glad you like it! I wish I could send you a slice via the internet! 🙂

  5. You did your due diligence! Worthy choices, all – and it will be interesting to see how the votes come out. As for me, I must take myself out of the running – give the other folks a chance, ya know? The desserts were over the top amazing. I’ll be going through those recipes for months!

  6. Wow, thank you so much for the recipe-love! Just as SugarCoatedVegan said, I wish I could send a virtual epi baguette your way. 🙂

    I have so much other stuff going on this week, that I’ve only made it partway through the main dishes of the potluck so far, and haven’t yet gotten a chance to look at the desserts… but I want to second your opinion about House Vegan’s Mushroom Miso Ramen– that would definitely be my favorite pick for soups, too!

  7. OMG, what an honor. Thank you very much for choosing my Authentic Chiles Rellenos as one of your favorite main dishes. Let me know if you get to try them.

    • I won’t be able to try them the way you make them, as I don’t have a gas stove. I’m going to do a little digging to see if I can find a way to use an electric stove or oven. Maybe using the broiler will be similar. . .

      Wish me luck!

  8. I know a trick to making that ginger beer alcoholic…but since we’re teetotalers round here, we don’t intentionally let it get there. And thanks for the bread love! I think bakers are hard-wired to need yummy things and bread is inherently beautiful. THat’s a part of what makes it so addictive!

  9. […]  How to select just one dish from each course when there are so many stellar recipes??  Sure, The Vegan’s Husband made it look simple and Fitful Focus has given us a sneak peak at her favorites – but I know […]

  10. I’m nominating you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award because you’ve inspired me. (Particularly about beer reviews) I just want you to know that you’re rad.

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