VegRehoboth kicked off its first What’s Cookin’ dinner of the fall season with a four-course meal hosted by Chef Denise Vansant, Cave Girl at the Beach. A new series from VegRehoboth, What’s Cookin’ invites local chefs to share their talents in small gatherings that enable guests to learn the benefits of plant-based eating in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
“We all know eating more plants is better for us – our What’s Cookin’ series shows us how to do it,” said Tara Sheldon, president of VegRehoboth. “We were not surprised this dinner filled up quickly. Denise is an amazing chef with a big heart and a tremendous passion for what she does.” The theme of the dinner was farm-to-table vegan dining. Easter egg radishes, green radicchio, portobello and crimini mushrooms, gala apples, and striped Italian and graffiti eggplant were highlighted.
Dahlias from Tuckey’s Farm decorated the table, and glasses were filled with cucumber-rosemary flavored water. Vansant welcomed guests with a savory, spicy root ceviche followed by her roasted sunflower apple salad, and was quick to point out the many benefits of radishes, including being a good source of vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium. The main course was an Armenian layered eggplant cake, consisting of roasted eggplant, lentils, mushrooms, peppers and turmeric jasmine rice, was delicious as well as beautiful, said Cindy Wanapom, who said she’s been experimenting with vegan dishes since joining VegRehoboth.
“The meal was not only filling and satisfying, it was energizing! Instead of wanting to go to sleep for three hours, I feel like I could go take a six-mile walk!” said Teresa Rodriguez, a longtime member of VegRehoboth.
Vansant reminded guests the entire meal, including dessert, was robust with nutrients known to be antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and plentiful in protein. Eugina Shelton said Vansant’s vanilla chai chia seed pudding was the perfect ending to the evening.
With the exception of the chia seeds, everything was purchased from Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market. The four farms represented were Tuckey’s Mountain Grown Vegetables, Celtic Acre Farms, Mossflower Cottage and Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms.
Never one to miss pointing out the impact what we eat has on our environment, longtime VegRehoboth member Micheala Coffaro said, “We are what we eat. Vegans are going to save the world!”
The theme for the next What’s Cookin’ Wednesday, Oct. 5, will be a Mexican Fiesta dinner hosted by Dorothy Greet, who shares her journey from a heart attack survivor to Cornell-certified, plant-based nutritionist on her Go Veg blog for the Cape Gazette.
VegRehoboth will host its fourth ThanksLiving dinner Sunday, Nov. 20. The event will benefit Children’s Beach House. For more information about What’s Cookin’, ThanksLiving, and other events sponsored by VegRehoboth, go to VegRehoboth on Meet Up and Facebook.