Heather Sperling (of Tasting Table and Fête fame) and I have lots of mutual friends, and we’ve had some good times chatting it up at parties over the years. Recently, at one of those parties, I told her about One Part Plant. And without hesitation, her first reaction was, “how can I help?” It surprised me a little. Not that I didn’t think Heather was cool, but food is her THING. She’s one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met on the subject. And sometimes when you creep into someone else’s passion-zone, they aren’t so keen on it. But not Heather.
Which left me thinking that she would be an awesome host to kick off my new series, For Reals Meals. A monthly, hosted, plant-based lunch, it’s the kind of meal that leaves you feeling good in the head and the belly. For the inaugural event, we invited old friends and new: Ardie Farhadieh (The Billions), Swathi Narra (Luxemi), Molly Each (Splash/2nd Story), and Ernest Wilkins (RedEye).
Heather surprised a few skeptical guests (who were probably expecting veggie burgers and boring salads) with a creative and just plain pretty lunch menu of beet chips and pumpkin seed salsa; shaved brussels sprouts with miso, roasted carrots, tomatillos, and garlic; curried chickpeas with spinach, apples, and quinoa; chia-coconut pudding with pomegranate, citrus, and mint; and mint tea. The girl can cook and everyone was oohing and ahhing after each bite.
The food was great, but the conversation was just as awesome. We talked about everything from the guilt we feel when we don’t work through lunch to social media woes and more. The one thing we didn’t talk, however, was “shit.” It was refreshing to be at a table where gossip was replaced with goodness. I took away some really great nuggets of wisdom that day, and I know everyone else did too.
Later this week, Heather is going to share her For Reals Meals dessert recipe – you’ll want to see it, it was the hit of the party. What would you make for a plant-based power lunch? Share your favorite dishes in the comments!