Cooking with friends on a vegan, gluten-free Menu Plan Monday

The past couple of months have been wonderfully full of cooking with friends. Having a menu plan is so helpful – I can invite someone over for dinner and say, “Take a look at this week’s menu plan and pick the meal that sounds best to you,” which totally takes care of the “what shall we have for dinner?” conundrum. This also gives the added bonus that, because I’ve planned for these meals in advance (usually to take advantage of what comes in my CSA box), I always have the ingredients on hand for what we want to make.

Some friends are just learning to cook, some are quite competent, others are masters. I am attempting to teach one of my friends to cook starting almost from scratch (which is harder than it seems – my curriculum so far has been pretty haphazard; more on all of that later). Several others are happy to make whatever I set them to as long as I give them explicit instructions. Still others would rather do the washing up while I cook. It all makes me happy! I adore sharing cooking and eating with the people I love. Last night after an epic game of Arkham Horror my fellow investigators and I proceeded onwards to an epic sushi-rolling extravaganza. As we sat sipping our gin and tonics and eating our unlimited supply of vegan sushi I looked around the table and thought to myself, “It absolutely, truly doesn’t get any better than this!”

This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by Heather of Celiac Family with the theme of Beans. I eat refried beans almost every day in my vegan breakfast quesadilla, so I don’t tend to crave them in my dinner planning. I am planning to make one of my favorite easy, delicious go-to recipes, Tangy Red Lentils, and lentils are definitely in the “bean” category, for me at least. A while ago I hosted a blog event gathering up people’s very favorite, tested and true bean and legume recipes (in an attempt to get over my phobia of cooking with beans), and I encourage you to take a peek at the great recipe collection that resulted, organized by type of bean and legume.

Thai yellow curry with potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, and peas

For a huge and comprehensive collection of Menu Plan Monday posts from all over the web, check out the MPM compendium over at OrgJunkie!

Sunday
Sloppy-style sushi (many rolls cut into pieces) made with cucumber, avocado, shitake mushroom, kanpyo, ume (sour plum paste) and vegan cream cheese

Monday
Tempeh reubens on GF bread (Vegan with a Vengeance)
Homemade sauerkraut
Sweet potato fries with vegan aioli

Tuesday (start marinating tofu for next day)
Pear salad with toasted or candied walnuts and Sheese-brand blue “cheese” on red leaf lettuce with this dressing or this dressing (make without poppy seeds?) or this dressing
Bruschetta on GF toast made with heirloom tomatoes

Wednesday (marinate tofu overnight!)
Tommy’s tofu tikka masala
Roasted broccoli with lemon zest and pine nuts
Brown basmati rice

Thursday (defrost frozen peas)
Yellow curry with potatoes, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, basil, and peas with Bhutanese red rice

Friday
Leftovers

Saturday
Tangy red lentils
Kale with kale sauce
Quinoa

Shopping list: Kale, zucchini, 1 tomato?, Thai basil

Sweet potato fries!