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Come let's Kau Kau at the Vegan Luau!

Without boarding a plane or packing a suitcase, you can easily create the island ambience of an enjoyable evening at a Hawaiian luau, complete with luscious foods and traditional music, in your own backyard or living room. Consider making your next summer gathering a vegan luau with all the colorful island trimmings and just a little advance planning.

The ancient Hawaiians celebrated special life events by feasting with friends and family. During King Kamahameha's reign in the early 1800s, he named the feast "luau" and made the occasion more festive by lifting many of the aboriginal religious taboos that prevented men and women from attending together. The ancient Polynesians held their luaus in lush outdoor settings in warm evening breezes and provided food and entertainment consisting of traditional Polynesian songs, chants, dances, and hula, the Polynesian dance that tells a picturesque story with the hands.

Following in the steps of King Kamahameha, who knew how to enjoy a party, you can create a fun guest list and send out invitations early in the season so your guests can set the date aside. While many people choose the ease of computer e-vites, your own handmade invitations are much more appealing. If you're crafty, you can create an imitation tapa cloth from crumpled brown paper bags or visit the local party store to find paper versions of typical tapa cloth designs, a traditional island craft made from the bark of trees and shrubs. Your unique invitation tells guests they can expect something special when they arrive.

Creating the Island Flavor

A few things to consider when planning your luau include tables and chairs, Hawaiian music, live entertainment vs. home entertainment, games and prizes, a hula contest, and, of course, irresistible island foods and beverages. Will you prepare all the food, or is a potluck more to your liking?

Become the attentive island decorator and watch the backyard and patio transform into a seductively romantic island paradise. The secret lies in the decor--lots of it can be found inexpensively at dollar stores and party shops. To help set the scene, consider a few tiki torches, colorful votive candles, nets, extra leis, shells, and Hawaiian music.

Try finding fresh banana leaves at Hispanic or Asian markets. They make attractive and authentic table decor or appealing placemats. Fresh banana leaves have very special appeal but a short lifespan; left unwrapped, they will deteriorate quickly. But if the fresh leaves are tightly wrapped in plastic film and placed in the freezer, they will keep for a month or two. Thaw them about an hour before use, and they'll look fresh and inviting.

As the party host, you'll want to adopt the look of a typical islander complete with aloha shirt or dress, a flower lei, and possibly a flowered head garland. Or will it be an imitation grass skirt, a muu muu, and flip-flops? The fun begins at the door as you welcome each guest by draping a flower lei around his or her neck and include a gentle aloha kiss on the cheek.

Here's an old island tradition that adds to the fun: A single flower worn behind the ear announces your marital status. Singles wear the flower behind the right ear, while the married folk tuck the flower behind the left ear.

Games to Ramp up the fun

There's nothing like a few lively party games to boost the fun and add a touch of laughter to the scene. Start with something easy, like Pass the Coconut, the tropical version of musical chairs. Bowling for Coconuts involves setting up two stakes about 1 to IV2 feet apart. Participants bowl with coconuts in an attempt to roll them between the stakes. The winner is the one who scores the most.

The Silly Tourist Relay Race involves two teams. Create two piles of typical tourist items about 30 to 40 feet away from the teams. Items to include in the piles include the following: sunglasses, leis, hula skirts, aloha shirts, sun hats, cameras with strap, flip-flops, pails, and shovels. One member of each team runs to the pile and puts all the items on, one at a time, then runs back to the next person in line. As he removes each item, he puts it on the next person. That person runs the distance and takes off each item, one at a time, and runs back to the team. Participants are either putting on or taking off the items. The first team to finish wins prizes.

Now, let's Kau Kau ath Luau!

Kau kau means to eat, and you can bet there are plenty of tasty vegan recipes that re-create typical luau fare. While the early Polynesians relied heavily on meat and fish dishes, newer foods introduced by Southeast Asian cultures during the early 1900s plantation era add more colorful fruits and vegetables to the menu.

As guests arrive, offer them a tall Waikiki Wahini Cooler and start them nibbling on Lomi Lomi Jackfruit, a tasty appetizer or side dish that turns proudly vegan with jackfruit replacing the salmon. Poke, pronounced po-kay or po-kee, is a well-seasoned side dish similar to ceviche that also turns to jackfruit. The luau is famously known for its traditional pit-roasted pig, but we vegans much prefer to plunge our forks into some Passionate Hawaiian Tempeh and feast on succulent Island Tofu Pate.

And after the hearty meal, invite guests to indulge their sweet tooth on haupia, a delicate coconut-milk dessert with a historic past. While it's now thickened with cornstarch, it was quite likely thickened with arrowroot that arrived in the islands with the ancient Polynesians. Fruit lovers will revel in servings of Tropical Paradise Pie topped with mangos, papayas, kiwis, grapes, pineapple chunks, and lychee, the sweet juicy fruits of today's Hawaii. And to all who feast at the luau, a sweet aloha.

Waikiki Wahini Cooler
(Serves 8-10)

Dressed in pastel Hawaiian pink, this refreshing, naturally
sweet beverage is just what the lucky luau guests need to
greet them with plenty of aloha. To prepare ahead, make
several batches, pour them into pitchers, and chill until
ready to serve. At serving time, give the beverage a brief
whirl in the blender before pouring into glasses.

4 cups ice cubes
6 cups unsweetened coconut water
4 bananas, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups fresh strawberries, trimmed and halved
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2-4 Tablespoons maple syrup, or to taste

1 bunch fresh mint

To serve immediately, divide the ice cubes among the
glasses and set aside.

Put the coconut water, bananas, strawberries, and
ginger in the blender and process on high speed until
smooth and creamy. Add the maple syrup, sweetening to
taste. Pour the beverage over the ice cubes and garnish
each glass with a sprig of mint.

Total calories per serving: 124   Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 29 grams           Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 191 milligrams            Fiber: 5 grams

Island Tofu Pate
(Serves 4-6)

Adapted from a recipe for Southeast Asian fish pate, this
delicious vegan version makes a tasty starter with all the
zesty flavors of the original dish, incorporating the typical
sweet, sour, salty seasonings popular throughout the
Hawaiian Islands.

8 ounces extra-firm tofu, well-drained and crumbled
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red miso
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tamarind paste dissolved in
  2 ounces of water
1 Tablespoon water
4 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 teaspoon organic brown sugar
1/4 cup coarsely ground peanuts
1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, very finely minced
3 green onions, finely minced

1 Tablespoon sliced green onions
2 teaspoons diced red bell pepper
2 basil leaves

Vegetable Platter:
Lettuce leaves
Sliced cucumbers
Sliced jicama
Red bell pepper strips, cut 1 1/2 inches wide
Sliced yellow or green zucchini

Put the tofu in a deep, medium-size bowl and pound it
with a pestle to create a finely crumbled texture. Add the
miso, tamarind paste, water, garlic, and brown sugar and
mix well to distribute all the ingredients evenly. Add the
peanuts, basil leaves, and green onions and mix well. The
pate should be moist and hold together well enough to sit
on a cucumber slice. Add 1 teaspoon of water if needed
to moisten and bind the mixture.

Spoon the pate into an attractive serving bowl and
garnish the top with the green onions, bell pepper, and
basil leaves. Put the bowl on a large platter and surround
it with the vegetables. Invite guests to spoon some of the
pate onto the sliced vegetables or into a lettuce leaf.

Note: Chinese-style extra-firm tofu has all the water
pressed out and is very dry. Add 1 or more Tablespoons
of water as needed to keep the pate moist.

Total calories per serving: 144   Fat: 9 grams
Carbohydrates: 10 grams           Protein: 10 grams
Sodium: 381 milligrams            Fiber: 3 grams

(Serves 4-6)

Pronounced po-kay or po-kee, poke is the Hawaiian
counterpart to Mexico's ceviche. Traditionally made with
raw ahi tuna, this plant-based poke is made with green
jackfruit that's cooked and marinated in bright and lively
seasonings. For best results, marinate the mixture overnight.
Enjoy it as a side dish or spoon it into green leaf
lettuce leaves and serve as a delicious appetizer wrap.

1 pound frozen green jackfruit
3 green onions, sliced
5 Tablespoons diced red bell pepper
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 sheet sushi nori, torn into tiny bits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
Pinch cayenne

1-2 Tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
Sprigs of cilantro

Fill a 4-quart saucepan 1/3 full with water and bring to
a boil over high heat. Unwrap the frozen jackfruit and
plunge it into the boiling water. When it returns to a boil,
reduce the heat to medium-high and boil for 20-40 minutes,
or until tender but still fleshy to the tooth. Drain
the jackfruit and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut the
pieces into 3/8-inch-wide strips about 1/2-inch in length.
Put the pieces into a bowl and add the onions, red bell
pepper, lime juice, ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil, nori,
salt, soy sauce, and cayenne and mix well. Chill for 4-6
hours. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and garnish
with the macadamias and cilantro.

Total calories per serving: 177   Fat: 6 grams
Carbohydrates: 31 grams           Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 346 milligrams            Fiber: 3 grams

Sweet Leilani Luau Salad
(Serves 6-8)

If the luau will be a potluck, your contribution might be
this luscious luau salad blessed with the sweetness of fresh
pineapple. Contrasted with the tang of lime juice and the
savory splash of tamari, the salad blossoms as a kaleidoscope
of compelling flavors and bright summer colors.

1 3/4 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 fresh pineapple, trimmed and cut into bite-size chunks;
    reserve the pineapple top for garnish
1 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned VA inches long
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned 114 inches long
1 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup minced cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes, soaked and drained
1/2 cup roasted macadamias
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 mini bell peppers cut into thin rings

Combine water and quinoa in a 2-quart saucepan. Cover
the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the
heat to low and steam for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat
and set aside for 10 minutes. Then, remove the cover and
allow quinoa to cool.

While the quinoa is cooking, combine the pineapple,
zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, cilantro,
fresh garlic, lime juice, tamari, garlic powder, onion powder,
and paprika in a very large bowl. Toss well and set
aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

Add the drained sun-dried tomatoes, macadamias,
and olive oil, along with the cooled quinoa. Toss well to
distribute the ingredients and flavors evenly. Spoon the
salad onto a large serving platter, heaping it high into the
center. Place the reserved pineapple top in the center and
hang the mini pepper rings from the pineapple top to
resemble Hawaiian leis. Decorate the platter with clusters
of fresh parsley.

Total calories per serving: 315   Fat: 15 grams
Carbohydrates: 42 grams           Protein: 8 grams
Sodium: 369 milligrams            Fiber: 6 grams

Lomi Lomi Jackfruit
(Serves 4-6)

This is my vegan version of Lomi Lomi Salmon, a
traditional luau dish made from salted fish. Standing in
for the salted salmon is green jackfruit, a very versatile,
unripe fruit with a fleshy texture receptive to a multitude
of seasonings. In its unripe state, jackfruit is not
sweet. Canned jackfruit is tender enough to use without
cooking. Start the preparation a day or two in advance
to infuse the jackfruit with salt. For the best flavor, after
salting, assemble the salad and allow it to stand 2-3 hours
to marinate before serving.

One 20-ounce can young green jackfruit in brine (10 ounces
  drained weight)
2 teaspoons salt
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small purple onion, diced
1 Persian or pickling cucumber, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons organic sugar
Juice of 1 lime

Sprigs of fresh cilantro or parsley
1 lime wedge

Drain the jackfruit thoroughly and discard any tough
seeds embedded into the flesh. Chop the jackfruit into
1/2-inch chunks and put them into a medium bowl.
Sprinkle with the salt and mix well with your hands to
distribute it evenly. Put the jackfruit into a covered container
and refrigerate it for 1-2 days.

Put the salted jackfruit into a colander and rinse it
thoroughly under running water for a full minute. Drain
it well and put it into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes,
onion, cucumber, green onions, sugar, and lime juice and
mix well. Transfer the salad to an attractive serving bowl
and garnish with the herbs and lime wedge.

Note: Green jackfruit is also available in 1-pound frozen
packages and needs to be cooked until tender. Open the
package and plunge the frozen jackfruit into boiling water
for about 20-40 minutes, or until it reaches desired tenderness.
Look for it in well-stocked Asian markets.

Total calories per serving: 57   Fat: <1 gram
Carbohydrates: 13 grams          Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 720 milligrams           Fiber: 5 grams

Pineapple Fire Sauce
Makes 2 1/2 cups

This zingy pineapple-based sauce is not for those with a
timid palate--it's quite spicy, but it can easily be tamed
by eliminating the crushed red pepper. Quick to assemble,
this sweet, zesty topping adds a lively touch when served
over tempeh, grains, tofu, and bean dishes. Serve the
sauce on the side as an accompaniment to the Passionate
Hawaiian Tempeh (see page 14 for recipe).

One 1-pound 4-ounce can unsweetened crushed
  pineapple in natural juice
1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1-2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1-2 Tablespoons cold water

Sprig of parsley or cilantro

Combine the undrained crushed pineapple, vegan
Worchestershire Sauce, lemon juice, maple syrup, oregano,
thyme, salt, and crushed red pepper in a 2-quart saucepan
and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to
medium and simmer gently for 1-2 minutes.

Beginning with 1 Tablespoon each, combine the cornstarch
and water in a small bowl or cup and stir to form a
thin paste. Add the paste, a little at a time, to the gently
bubbling sauce, stirring constantly for about 1 minute,
until lightly thickened. If you want a thicker sauce,
repeat the process with the remaining 1 Tablespoon of
cornstarch and water. Transfer to a serving bowl, add the
garnish, and serve with a ladle.

Note: Makes enough for W2 pounds of tempeh.

Calculated as serving size = 2 Tablespoons
Total calories per serving: 25  Fat: <1 gram
Carbohydrates: 6 grams          Protein: <1 gram
Sodium: 137milligrams           Fiber: <1 gram

Passionate Hawaiian Tempeh
(Serves 7-8)

With its pungent and zesty teriyaki-style flavor so typical
of island foods, this marinated tempeh dish is one you
can pan-fry or put on the grill without the veggies. Easy
to prepare, the tempeh will quietly marinate for up to 2
hours while you take a nap or assemble other recipes for
the festivities. After the tempeh has marinated, you'll notice
the marinade has diminished somewhat. Don't worry,
the missing marinade has actually become absorbed into
the tempeh. If time does not permit long marinating, you
can marinate for only 1 hour, then pan-fry the tempeh,
adding all the marinade to the pan and cooking over
medium-high heat to reduce the liquid. You can also grill
the tempeh using the marinade as a sauce while grilling.
For extra-special flavor burst, serve the tempeh with the
lively Pineapple Fire Sauce (page 13) on the side!

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup water
2-inch piece of gingerroot, peeled and minced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 pounds tempeh
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into inch-long matchsticks
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
4 cups lightly packed baby spinach

Cluster of cilantro or parsley
1/2 purple onion, sliced vertically into half moons

In a deep bowl or 8x8-inch baking dish, combine the soy
sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, water, ginger, garlic, vinegar,
sesame oil, and black pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Score the tempeh on both sides, making diagonal
cuts 1/4-inch apart and 1/4-inch deep. Continue scoring by
making crisscross cuts in the opposite direction, forming
a diamond pattern. Scoring helps the tempeh to absorb
the marinade. Cut the tempeh in 1-inch squares and put
them in the marinade, turning to coat them evenly. Cover
the bowl and marinate for 1-2 hours, turning frequently.

Pan-fry the tempeh by putting it and all the marinade
into a large deep skillet. Add the carrots and bell pepper
and cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Turn
the pieces gently with a wooden spoon and cook another
minute or two, or until heated through. Turn off the heat
and add the spinach, tossing well for about 1 minute
until the leaves are just wilted. Transfer to a serving dish
and garnish with the cilantro and onions.

Total calories per serving: 274   Fat: 12 grams
Carbohydrates: 27 grams           Protein: 20 grams
Sodium: 638 milligrams            Fiber: 1 gram

Kona Coconut Stir-Fry
(Serves 4)

During a lovely vacation in Hawaii, my husband and I
enjoyed a tasty meal at a cafe inside a health food market
on the sunny Kona coast. We ordered a delicious Asian-style
entree that featured tofu and coconut milk with
a generous garnish of roasted peanuts. The rich blend
of flavors left such a pleasant memory that I attempted
to recreate the dish shortly after we returned from the
islands. For a dramatic presentation and appealing color
contrast, serve over any of the many varieties of dark
brown rice available in natural foods markets and some
Asian groceries.

2 medium broccoli crowns, cut into florets, stems sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thin julienne, about
  2 inches long
1 yellow bell pepper, cut vertically into strips 3/8-inch wide
1 red bell pepper, cut vertically into strips 3/8-inch wide
1-2 Tablespoons water
1/2 pound extra firm tofu, cubed
1 1/4 cups lite coconut milk
2/3 cup dried shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 dashes hot sauce
Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1-2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Combine the broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and water in
a large, deep skillet and water-saute over high heat until
softened, about 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 or
more Tablespoons of water if needed to cook the vegetables
and prevent burning.

Decrease the heat to medium-high and add the tofu
cubes, coconut milk, shredded coconut, soy sauce, vinegar,
sesame oil, and hot sauce. Mix well and season with
salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to an attractive serving
dish, and sprinkle with roasted peanuts and cilantro.

Total calories per serving: 297   Fat: 21 grams
Carbohydrates: 19 grams           Protein: 11 grams
Sodium: 356 milligrams            Fiber: 7 grams

Taro and Okinawan
(Sweet Potato Salad)

(Serves 4-5)

A dazzling rainbow in a bowl, this color-infused potato
salad is an exceptional treat with the unique addition of
Okinawan sweet potatoes and coconut cream. While this
deliciously sweet variety of sweet potato is available in
many Asian markets, it may be challenging to recognize it
because it hides its gorgeous purple color under an ivory-hued
potato skin. Even more special is the delicate sweetness
these potatoes bring to this appealing salad. Taro, a
native Hawaiian cuisine staple, is a potato-like starchy
vegetable. It is also available in Asian markets and some
supermarkets. You are looking for the tuberous stem, not
the leaves. Its natural sugars bring a sweet, nutty flavor
to this dish. Take care not to overcook the taro and sweet
potatoes; you don't want them to become mushy.

1 pound Okinawan sweet potatoes
3/4 pound taro
3 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 purple onion, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup coconut cream
3-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Cluster of cilantro
3 strips red bell pepper

Have a large bowl filled halfway with cold water standing
by. Peel the sweet potatoes and taro, cut them into
bite- size pieces, and put them into the cold water as
you cut them. When all the potatoes and taro are cut,
drain and discard the water and put them into a 4-quart
saucepan. Add water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover the pan
and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately decrease
the heat to medium and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or just
until fork tender. Drain in a colander and transfer to a
large bowl.

Add the vinegar and mix well. Add the bell pepper,
purple onion, green onions, coconut cream, cilantro,
and the remaining salt and mix gently with a wooden
spoon. Transfer the salad to an attractive serving bowl
and garnish with the cilantro and red bell pepper.

Total calories per serving: 258   Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 51 grams           Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 668 milligrams            Fiber: 9 grams


(Serves 9-12)

Coconut lovers will delight in this long-standing, easy-to-prepare
favorite Hawaiian treat. With its super-light
texture, haupia is a dessert with a consistency between a
pudding and an agar gel. Typically, the dessert is served
only as the white layer. I've taken liberties and turned
it into a two-tone dessert with a chocolate layer on the
bottom. The dessert keeps well up to two days ahead
and makes a delightful conclusion to a tasty meal. For an
eye-appealing island touch, garnish each serving with a
fresh baby orchid.

Chocolate Layer
One 13.5-ounce can lite coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup organic sugar, or to taste
6 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon coconut extract

White Layer
One 13.5-ounce can lite coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup organic sugar, or to taste
6 Tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon coconut extract

One 8-ounce can pineapple chunks
1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded coconut or coconut flakes, toasted
Mint leaves

To make the chocolate layer, put the coconut milk in a
2-quart saucepan and have an 8-inch square baking pan
ready. Combine the water, sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa
powder in a blender; process until well blended. Pour the
chocolate mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium
heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to
a pudding-like consistency and begins to boil, about 2-3
minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut extract,
mixing well. Pour the mixture into the baking pan, cool
slightly, and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

To make the white layer, repeat the process without
the chocolate and pour over the chilled chocolate layer.
Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

To serve, drain the pineapple chunks on paper towels.
Cut the haupia into squares and place them on individual
dessert dishes. Garnish each with a sprinkle of toasted
coconut and place a pineapple chunk in the center. Add
one or more mint leaves to finish.

Total calories per serving: 215   Fat: 7 grams
Carbohydrates: 38 grams           Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 8 milligrams              Fiber: 1 gram

Tropical Paradise Pie

(Serves 10; see cover photo)

A festive summertime luau deserves a gorgeous and
decadent dessert to top off the celebration with festive
flair. This ravishing dessert can be prepared a day ahead,
covered, and refrigerated until ready to serve.

1 1/3 cups raw almonds
15 pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1-3 Tablespoons water

2/3 cup raw cashews
One 12-ounce package soft silken tofu
23 pitted dates
2 Tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut, divided

Fresh fruit of your choice: mangos, papayas, kiwi, berries, etc.

Line a 12x15-inch cutting board or tray with cooking
parchment. Tape it to the bottom and set aside.

To make the crust, process almonds in the food processor
into a fine meal, while still retaining a little nutty
texture. Add the dates, coconut extract, and enough water
to process until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Spoon the mixture onto the parchment-lined board. Using
your fingers, press the mixture into a rectangle 10x7
dish, keeping edges even. Set aside.

To make the filling, grind cashews into a fine powder
in the blender. Add the tofu, dates, coconut milk, coconut
extract, and vanilla extract and blend on low speed
until thick and creamy. Stop the machine often to scrape
down the sides of the workbowl and redistribute the
ingredients. Transfer the filling to a medium bowl, add
1 cup of the flaked coconut, and mix well. Spread the
filling mixture over the date-nut crust, spreading to the
edges to cover the crust completely. Top with the remaining
1 cup of flaked coconut.

To make the topping, slice and arrange the fruits to
form tropical shapes, like palm trees on a desert island,
grass hut, hula girl, etc. Chill or serve immediately. To
serve, cut into squares or rectangles and use a pie server
to transfer each serving to a dish.

Total calories per serving: 543   Fat: 24 grams
Carbohydrates: 83 grams           Protein: 10 grams
Sodium: 15 milligrams             Fiber: 11 grams

Zel Allen is a frequent Vegetarian Journal contributor. She lives in California.
COPYRIGHT 2015 Vegetarian Resource Group
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Author:Allen, Zel
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2015
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