cooking for vegan's please help
I have a baby shower this saturday and the guest of honour, the one we are having the jack and jill shower for are vegan. We are having a potluck so all of us have to bring a dish or two. I am a meat fish lots of butter and cream, veal stock guy veggies to of course, but this vegan thing got me all in a twist. Could you please suggest one dish that a guy like me would like as well the other 20 guest. I am a more than capable cook with kitchen skills but I'm stumped on the vegan thing.
I know that in the UK, Mexican seasoned food is not as well known as in the U.S., but here during cold weather seasons we love our chili. There are a zillion recipes for vegan versions. I'd stick w/ one that uses whole beans, fresh onions and fresh bell peppers in addition to some powdered dried chili peppers (ancho is the best for this purpose IMO), and avoid those that call for TVP (textured vegetable protein) or other fake ground beef as it tends to have a weird flavor. I cook mine in a Dutch oven (big, heavy, covered stew pot). Then I put the chili somewhere to cool, mix up the simplest cornbread recipe using what you'd call yellow maize flour and no sugar, pour it gently on top of the cooled cooked chili as you would put a mashed potato topping on shephard's pie, and put the uncovered pot into a hot oven on a rack on the top position, and bake just until the cornbread is cooked. Here's a good vegan cornbread recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2007/10/vegan-c... For your purposes I'd mix up about 2/3 of a recipe's worth, and omit the syrup.
Peanut butter. Banana. Jam. Two slices of good white bread. Throw them into a panini press and/or frying pay with coconut oil, then cut in two. Dead simple, tastes fantastic, portable for a party, and both vegan and non-vegan will snap them up as soon as they come off the griddle.
PS: for the non-vegan, throw in some crispy bacon before grilling it and you have my version of heaven, the Elvis Special
edit: oooh, oooh, you can also try deep-frying squares or rectangles of tofu, dredged in corn starch- add wing sauce and you have a credible, tasty, greasy snack food!
This Harvest Tart recipe from the New York Times is vegan and very good. It's also hearty and very pretty and would work at room temperature. I was surprised at how much I liked the olive oil pastry crust.
It calls for pumpkin or butternut squash and I went with pre-peeled butternut squash. It grated up very easily in the food processor using a coarse grating disk and took on a nicely silky texture in the finished pie. I doubled the quantity of olives (kalamata) but that turned out to be a mistake.
Enchiladas -- i do my sauce from scratch; fill with veggies, bean puree if you like, use Daiya cheese
Tofu and/or Mushroom and/or Eggplant Curry
Tofu Tikka Masala
Vegetable Sushi Rolls
Mezze Platter - with hummus, pita, baba ghanoush, etc
Empanadas or Pierogis
Vegan Quiche - have a few recipes I like if interested
Second the pizza idea above -- wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, walnut pesto with nutritional yeast
Rather than thinking about a dish with substitutes for the dairy and meat, why not think about a dish that naturally doesn't have them? Pasta with broccoli, garlic and olive oil. Tomato sauce with onions, peppers and olives over corn polenta made with veg broth. Mashed potatoes with garlic and caramelized onions. Pizza dough with caramelized onions and peppers, topped with arugula. Just think non-dairy vegetarian dishes and you should have lots of options.
No reason to get cuter than you have to with tofu, seitan, etc if they're ingredients you're not used to working with. I think a lot of people tend to think in terms of a central portion of protein with garnishes, but that isn't necessarily the best way to think about vegan cooking IMO. I think you're often better off integrating the protein into the rest of the dish when you're cooking vegan.
Well made red beans and rice is a thing of beauty. To substitute a bit of the meaty flavor that might traditionally come from a bit of ham or sausage in the beans, you can use a little miso paste. It's also very satisfying as a main course.
A big hearty soup is easy to keep vegan. This is pretty decent recipe, but there are millions of others:
It's a lot better if you make your own vegetable stock since most of the store-bought veg stock is pretty bad.
A coconut milk curry (Thai or Indian or off-the-cuff) can be very satisfying. Mixed vegetables, potatoes - whatever you want.
What course? I'm not a vegan, but can try to help inspire ideas... Are you thinking sweet or savory, and what course? I believe fruits, vegetables, legumes, rice/grains and some breads are possibilities.
Are you looking for appetizers or desserts that can be served and eaten in individual portions, by people standing up using their fingers and perhaps a cocktail napkin, with minimal mess? Or will this be a sit down meal where a rice pilaf or fruit compote, for example, could be fine?