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Need vegan main dish for a potluck!

I'm looking for a vegan main dish for a potluck dinner tomorrow night (eek!) It needs to be easy to transport, partway by hand on public transit, and reasonable to reheat at the potluck site.

I did some searching around here and found a lot of ideas about vegan side dishes, baking hints, and so on, and did find a pointer to a bulgur pilaf w/roasted tomatoes, onions, and chickpeas which is a strong possibility. Any other suggestions will be gratefully received.

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  1. There's a great couscous salad recipe on epicurious that I've used in a similar situation. I don't have a link, but a search should turn it up. it has chick peas, dates, almonds, amd some other tasty stuff and tends to be a big hit at parties.

    1. The "whole foods" website has some great couscous recipes.

      1. i have this is in a local middle-eastern place and it's very satisfying:

        pumpkin kibbeh:

        * 2 cups mashed pumpkin or squash
        * 1 cups fine bulgar (soak in boiling water, drain before adding 2 tsp salt)
        * 1/2 teaspoon pepper
        * 1 teaspoon coriander
        * 1 teaspoon allspice
        * 3/4 teaspoon cumin
        * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
        * 1 medium onion chopped
        * 4 cloves garlic
        * 1/2 cup flour
        * Olive oil (for greasing)

        Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the pumpkin, buglar, salt, pepper, coriander, allspice, cumin, cayenne, onion, garlic, and flour in a food processer until thoroughly blended. (Alternatively, in a large bowl mix all these ingredients by hand.) Taste for seasoning and add more salt or spices as required. If the mixture seems to moist, add a little bit more flour and mix it in.

        Grease an 8-inch square pan with olive oil. Pour the mixture into it, smooth the surface and pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the surface looks dry. (The inside will be moist.) Alternatively you can form the mixture into 2-inch patties and fry them in olive oil.

        1. I make a mean lentil and nut loaf--kindof in the vein of meatloaf, but with veggies, nuts, and lentils. If you have a food processor, it's actually pretty quick to make (1 1/2 hours including baking time) and it transports and reheats like a dream. I make it for Thanksgiving, with a spicy, gingery, garlic-y, cranberry chutney. Send me an email if you think this fits the bill and you want the recipe.

          1. I'd make a vegan batch of enchiladas!

            So easy - this can be made start to finish in one hour if you have the ingredients on hand.

            You Need:

            Pyrex type glass baking pan (rub inside of pan with oil - sides too)

            corn (canned is fine)
            corn tortillas
            enchilada sauce - canned or home made.
            black olives

            Filling: Zucchini,corn,onion,garlic,tofu

            1.cut zucchini and onions and corn and garlic into small pieces and sautee in olive oil - place cooked mixture in a mixing bowl. **don't over cook**

            2.Crumble tofu into mixing bowl with cooked veges.
            Add salt and pepper and a touch of cinnamon*(!) Mix well. *secret ingredient*

            3.In a skillet, heat a bit of oil and "grease" up the tortillas - you'll do this one at a time - and then take a bit of the mixture and start rolling enchiladas in the warm,oiled tortillas.

            4. As you assemble the enchiladas, lay them in the pan crease side down and very close to each other.

            5. Quick enchilada sauce - if you are on the fly you can use a can on tomato sauce and add a bit of chipotle sauce and a touch of dried chili powder and a touch of natural sweetner.
            Or you can try a favorite canned enchilada sauce if you have one.

            OR - combine 10 roma tomatoes and 10 tomatillos in a sauce pan...add a bit of garlic and onion and chili powder and cook down over about 1 hour....blend or use a stick mixer...

            With sauce in hand...cover the enchiladas liberally and top with chopped black olives....cook for 40 min in a 350 degree oven and enjoy! * Cook covered with foil for 30 min and uncovered for 10

            ** alternately, you could layer the tortillas for enchilasagna!

            Have fun!

            2 Replies
            1. re: jbyoga

              Check the ingredients on yer canned enchilada sauce! La Preferida contains lard.

              1. re: Nora Rocket

                Very good point! Check the ingredients in everything....

            2. I was going to say enchiladas, I've seen sour cream enchiladas in cook books, looks different and tasty/

              3 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet

                But not vegan. This is the big challenge for me as well, because so much of even my vegetarian cooking contains dairy and/or egg.

                Thanks to all for the great suggestions - the pumpkin kibbe looks especially tempting. I have four pounds of #3 coarse bulgur on hand (I like it the coarser the better for my standard bulgur pilaf side dish.) I might try it with that, or try whirling the bulgur in the food processor before soaking to break it down a little finer.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  i prefer it coarser and mix it by hand. i agree with the post below about dishes that ARE vegan, as opposed to trying to imitate something else.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Thanks for the advice - I'll just leave the bulgur coarser, then.

                    I emphatically agree with kalidaemon as well, but while I'm perfectly happy with soup as a main dish for myself (working on a German lentil soup with beef and spaetzle for tonight's dinner right now) I'm not big on soup at a potluck. Too many logistical issues (as I mentioned above, this is going to get carried on the bus partway.) Also you can't put soup on a plate with the other potluck items - gotta worry about bringing/having bowls, are there enough to go around, etc.

              2. I would make minestrone soup. Everyone likes it, it's easy, and it's vegan. The Joy of Cooking has a pretty good recipe. My main problem with lots of vegan food is that it either unsucessfully tries to imitate foods which have meat and/or dairy ingredients or that it tries new things which are better left untried. The most sucessful vegan recipes are things which happen to be vegan with minimal tweaking.

                1. Check out a recent vegan dinner party thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361248 There are some ideas in there.
                  I suggested a mushroom risotto which might work for you.

                  Other good vegan main dish options:

                  - A nice pasta with sauteed garlic, shallots, mushrooms, tomato, basil, broccoli, kale

                  - Lentil soup/stew

                  - Meatless paella

                  - Vegan sushi (use shiitake mushrooms, avocado, radish, cucumber, etc as filling)

                  1. I don't have any specific recipe ideas but you might also check the vegetariantimes.com website. I'm sure you'll find some inspiration there. Cooking Light magazine comes to also mind.

                    1. Vegetable curry is a really good. I like Mollie Katzen's recipes a lot. I've linked a carrot cashew curry for you. You could sub coconut milk for the yogurt. If you are traveling on public transit you could split it up between a few reheatable containers.


                        1. or www.fatfreevegan.com

                          you could make "tamale pie", with veggie chili on the bottom and a vegan cornbread crust/topping

                          1. Here's a dish I like, you can make it the day before and you can eat it hot or cold.

                            1 large sweet potato
                            1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
                            1 bunch swiss chard
                            2-3 cloves garlic
                            1 red bell pepper, chopped
                            handful of raisins
                            handful of pinenuts
                            juice of one lime
                            olive oil
                            chili powder

                            Peel the sweet potato, chop into bite-sized pieces and boil for 5-7 minutes until tender. Drain. In a skillet, saute garlic in olive oil, then add pinenuts, chopped swiss chard (leaves and some of the stem) and red pepper. Then add the black beans, raisins, lime juice, chili powder, s&p. Stir in the sweet potato chunks and enjoy!

                            -Makes about 4 servings.

                            1. I happened to watch the FN this morning because the Partyline with the Hearty Boys, and actally I really like most of the food these two do. They prepared 3 very tasty items my favorite is the Cajun Mushrom loaf with a Corn and White Bean Maque Choux and an appetizer of Artichole Fritters made in the oven.
                              It all look delicious. I'm going to make these for my non-meat eating friends at my next party. Really the mushroom loaf with garlic and onion, and lots of mushrooms. wow~

                              1. So I went with the pumpkin kibbe. We had one last sugar pumpkin from our CSA still in good condition from last November; cut into eighths and roasted, it yielded just over two cups. The coarse bulgur was fine and gave it a good texture.

                                Another time I think I'll dial back on that four cloves of garlic - I love garlic, but it was a bit overpowering in this dish (maybe in part because it went into the mix raw rather than being cooked?) Also, I was generous with the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, on top of half a teaspoon of fresh-ground black pepper, and one potlucker found it too spicy for her taste. Next time I'll stick to the specified amount.

                                Overall, though, it went over well and couldn't have been easier to make. And the vegan in the group was really touched that I'd remembered that she was vegan and had gone out of my way to make something she could have. BFP liked the taste that he had of it while I was preparing it; we'll certainly do it again for ourselves, probably with some kind of a yogurt accompaniment since we won't have to keep it vegan then. Thanks, hotoynoodle! Thanks everybody else, too!