We had some of our new neighbors over for dinner last week, and a few days before the dinner, the neighbor, who is a vegan, followed exactly the right protocol for letting your host know of your dietary restrictions: she texted me that they were really looking forward to coming over, and by the way she’s vegan, and she is happy to bring a dish to contribute to the dinner (soup, salad, etc.), and more than anything they’re just really looking forward to spending time with us. (Gracious, generous, informative. I loved it!)
The good thing for my new friend is that I love making vegan dishes, and I have experimented with a number of recipes that have become staples in my catalog of vegan options for dinner parties.
If you’re expecting to host a vegan or vegetarian, but cooking entirely plant-based food is new for you, you’re in luck! Below are three of my tried-and-true vegan recipes that have been hits with herbivores and omnivores alike.
- Main: Raw Taco Gorilla Wraps (via Kimberly Snyder)
I often include chips and salsa or guac with this as well.
Side: Corn Salad with Lime Vinaigrette (via All Recipes)
Note—I used fresh corn instead of canned. After shucking, I put the ears in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes, then ran them under cold water to stop them from cooking further. Then, laying them long-ways on the cutting board, I sliced off the kernals. So much better than canned!
Dessert: Berry Bowl with Sweet Vanilla Coconut Cream
Place cut up strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries in small bowls.
Pour a can of coconut cream into amixing bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup and a splash of vanilla extract. Mix together. Pour over the fruit just before serving.
- Main: Sweet Potato Shepard’s Pie (via Kimberly Snyder)
This recipe is a bit of what my mom would call “a fusser.” I usually stick with really simple recipes that I can prepare in an hour or less. This takes a bit more time, because there are a few steps. But it’s so worth it. This is a great dish.
Side: Mom Simmons’s Tossed Salad (chopped iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, 2 TBSP EVOO, 2 TBSP lemon juice, 1 TBSP Italian Seasoning, 1 tsp onion powder, a few shakes of garlic powder, all tossed together)
I usually serve rolls or bread with EVOO for dipping with this as well.
Dessert: Raw Cacao Truffles (via Kimberly Snyder)
- Main: Vegan/Gluten Free Mac & “Cheese” (via Kimberly Snyder)
Unless your guest is GF, it’s not necessary to use GF noodles. I have made this with regular vegetarian pasta noodles and it’s wonderful!
Side: Shiva’s Kale Salad with Almond Ginger Dressing (via Kimberly Snyder)
A tip for preparing any raw kale salad: before adding all of the ingredients, take a few minutes to massage the kale with EVOO. What I do is wash my hands thoroughly, then pour about a tsp of EVOO into my hands and rub them together. Then I massage the kale in the bowl for a while. This tenderizes the kale and makes it easier to chew and digest. It also releases more flavor. Makes a huge difference!
Dessert: Coconut Cashew Rice Pudding (via Food Network)
You can make this a day ahead and save yourself some time the day of your dinner party!
Let me know:
Do you host dinner parties?
Ever have a full-vegan menu?
What are your favorite vegan recipes?