Last Saturday, my friend Mark came over for a vegan and gluten-free lunch. It was my first time cooking for him and I asked if he had any theme or food requests. We agreed that the theme would be “easy”. I added the hippos for no real reason other than I wanted a fun element. Themed food makes me happy and makes a meal more memorable. Now I can say, “remember the time we ate hippo corn chips?”
Hippo Corn Chips – I did not use the cumin or pepper but sprinkled smoked paprika on half of the hippos, cut with a cookie cutter before baking
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili – I did not use the red bell pepper, or cayenne and used slightly under the tablespoon of chili powder since I ran out.
Chocolate Hippos standing in Coconut Whipped Cream over strawberries and blueberries – use a pencil and a small hippo cookie cutter to trace hippo shapes onto parchment paper, melt vegan chocolate for a 30 seconds in a microwave (I used Loving Earth Bean to Bar Dark 2.5 oz chocolate bar), put melted chocolate in a ziplock plastic bag, cut off a small corner, and pipe over hippo shapes, chill until ready to serve. Use small pieces of coconut for the eyes. I used Nature’s Charm Coconut Whipping Cream and followed the directions on the can – sweetened with maple syrup. I chilled my bowl and beater in the freezer before whipping the coconut.
My critique of the meal: I liked the sweet potato in this chili. If I had the cayenne and enough chili powder the flavor would probably be more robust. If I made this again, I would try serving avocado on top. I think it was my first time making corn chips. They were delicious and fun to eat! It was my first time making coconut whipped cream. It whipped easy and of course had a coconut flavor but I loved it. Next time I want to try it with pineapple. It was a memorable meal.