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A Vegan at the Super Bowl!

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So, DH decided to invite a few friends over for the Super Bowl, including a couple that we don't know terribly well. We have had them to dinner once, but since then the wife has turned vegan, and I am at a complete and utter loss as to what to make for her. It's the Super Bowl, for the love of Pete, and DH likes meat/cheese, so up until this point I had been planning pizza rolls, Velveeta and Rotel dip, wings, maybe ribs, etc. - typical Super Bowl fare.

Now that the vegan has thrown a wrench into my plans, I'm trying to figure out how I can make DH (and the rest of the guests) happy AND give the vegan something to eat without making two separate menus. I'm drawing a blank, big time. The only idea I have is to do a DIY crostini bar with lots of toppings (in addition to wings and whatever other meaty treats DH insists upon). I would grill a steak and slice it thin, and offer a couple of spreadable cheeses, a vegan bean spread (hummus or white bean), maybe a romesco sauce (also vegan), pesto, tomato confit (vegan), caramelized onions (vegan), etc. Along with a crudite platter (with romesco and bean spread as dips), is that sufficient food for the vegan?

As for dessert, I was thinking I could try a vegan chocolate mousse (using only chocolate and water), and then make something more traditional in addition. Is one dessert offering sufficient? I'm certainly open to vegan dessert recipes, but I'm not a big fan of substitutions, so I'm not into anything that calls for vegan margarine, egg beaters and soy milk.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. LOL...I literally just now posted a question about how to make Super Bowl chicken wings for my meat-eating husband given that I'm a vegetarian and don't know what I'm doing in that area. Maybe I can help you though!

    Your options sound great. If you felt like making soup (potato or tomato?) that's always one that can please vegans and omnivores since you can customize with cheese and bacon on top, or not.

    Regarding vegan desserts, I made individual cherry trifles recently when I had a vegan for dinner. The recipe was inspired by one in Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm, but you could definitely just improvise. I'm with you on the substitutions but I actually dig almond milk so I made a cornstarch-thickened almond milk pudding, a cherry jam type filling, and a basic vanilla and almond flavored sponge cake with baking soda and baking powder for leaveners. I layered those components in small drinking glasses, and everyone from the vegan to meat-eaters claimed to love it. If I was doing it again I might go for a chocolate pudding because the almond flavor was a bit too delicate to mask the cornstarch, which isn't my favorite flavor in the world.

    Good luck! You should report back and let us know how it goes.

    4 Replies
    1. re: APK_101

      I went vegan a while back- loved it!

      The best way to cook for a vegan is to make something good enough that it makes the meat-eaters jealous. My junky go-to: fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwiches. Use a vegan (or kosher-pareve) margarine to fry in, and be sure to cut the bananas length-wise for proper coverage.

      Amazing.

      1. re: APK_101

        I am making buffalo style cauliflower. You could make it w/o egg wash. That way you get some hot.

        OP's menu sure looks good for any hungry vegan. She will feel special.

        1. re: Sal Vanilla

          Is cauliflower the new kale or what? haha Buffalo cauliflower has been on my radar for a while but I haven't really cared for it (maybe because I don't really know what the "Buffalo" flavor tastes like) but between your post and someone else's today, I am going to try that and/or Buffalo tempeh!

          1. re: adenhailemariam

            cauliflower is the darling of the no carb contingent.
            It is also an all around great versatile vegetable

      2. I have no idea what you would actually get if you mixed chocolate and water together, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be chocolate mousse. But I can recommend this easy-peasy super rich vegan version of it that doesn't call for the things you don't like to use:

        http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2013/0...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

          Chocolate and water mousse is actually quite delicious -- it brings out the full flavor of the chocolate. It would be a nice filling for chocolate crazy cake http://allrecipes.com/recipe/crazy-cake/
          which can be glazed with a chocolate/coconut milk ganache

          1. re: maxie

            Would you be willing to share the recipe for the chocolate and water mousse? I am intrigued! When I make [vegan] chocolate mousse, I use the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World which is super easy and uses chocolate chips, maple syrup (or agave if you prefer or have that instead), a bit of non-dairy milk (I use almond milk) and 1 package of silken tofu. That could work if you wanted more than one dessert and were making another dessert that calls for a non-dairy milk.

            But aaaanyways, the real problem in general is that it is TOO easy to make vegan desserts! I learned this the hard way, pound by pound haha You could make a simple berries and coconut whipped cream--super easy. Buy one can of full-fat coconut milk, throw it in the fridge overnight or until Saturday night, then the luscious fat will rise to the top--scoop that out, leave the liquid behind and blend in a Kitchenaid mixer or something like that with a cup of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Let it set in the fridge and serve with berries or even strawberries that have been chopped and sitting in a bowl in the fridge with some sugar and/or lemon juice.

            1. re: adenhailemariam

              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

              1. re: maxie

                thanks!

        2. I'd bet she's going to be a lot less trouble than you might think -- I actually bet she'll come with a vegan dish in hand (SMART peeps on special diets quickly learn to take care of themselves). Mind you, I have been wrong before and perhaps she's just going to come, sniff haughtily, then faint at the side of the wings.

          I'd say don't kill yourself with the second spread; a few addtitions would likely suffice. Crudites/crackers and hummus, bowl of mixed nuts, a big three-bean-style salad, a tomato-chickpea-cucumber salad, all would be simple to put together, store well, appealing to everyone, and would provide enough protein so that she'd get a decent balanced meal.

          2 Replies
          1. re: DuchessNukem

            +1

            1. re: DuchessNukem

              Yes.

            2. This is funny because I just started building a Pinterest board of vegan Super Bowl goodies today for a party I am going to (I'm vegan). http://pinterest.com/adenhailemariam/...

              Basil hummus is an interesting spin on something that is usually a not-this-again-but-i-guess-this-will-do for veg/ans and something probably new to others.

              1 can garbanzo beans
              2 tablespoons tahini
              2 tablespoons lemon juice
              2 tablespoons olive oil
              1 cup of basil (I usually throw the whole little package I buy in there

              )

              Blend and done! Serve with crackers, crudites, whatever.

              --

              You may not want to use substitutions and I understand that (I have a love/hate relationship with vegan margarine, bless it's non-hydrogenated heart). But this is too good for me not to share.

              Toss broccoli with salt, pepper, olive oil. Roast for 15 mins at 350-400 degrees (I haven't got this down quite yet). Then throw them in a pan with chopped up Daiya cheddar wedge and serve as is. If you are worried that you or non-vegan guests may turn their noses to this, chop the broccoli and vegan cheese you just made and stuff it in a tiny potato half, like the one in the one image on my Pinterest board. (OH MY GOODNESS, broccoli and Daiya cheddar wedge are AMAZING.)

              1. If you are able to get Daiya cheddar wedge where you live, you could easily make that into what I remember a Velveeta or Rotel dip is like for the vegan and anyone else limiting dairy. Just melt the cheddar wedge with salsa, maybe throw in some pinto or black beans in there (no lard, of course!). And then chip it up!

                Sometimes I think of Velveeta and Daiya cheddar wedge being similar...or similarly similar to cheese in that Velveeta is a "processed cheese product" (legally not quite cheese) and Daiya is a processed cheese substitute...and both with similar textures. But of course, Daiya is vegan and non-GMO!

                1. I'll try to make this my last post, sorry!

                  Buy this Amy's pizza (no cheese, roasted vegetable):
                  http://www.amys.com/products/product-...

                  slice it in squares and serve! This is a major hit at my parties that include people who eat animal products.

                  --

                  An interesting, awesome salad:
                  If you have a food processor, slice thinly in a Cuisinart food processor 1 romaine lettuce heart, half a tomato, 1/4th of a large onion (you could double or triple this, I see romaine hearts in 3-packs most places). Top with sliced avocado and dress with a Thai chili peanut type dressing (that you could even amp up by mixing in a little natural peanut butter--just peanuts and maybe salt type peanut butter)

                  1. just ad any type of bean salad to your array.
                    three bean salad
                    white bean salad
                    black-eyed peas salad
                    black bean salad made with corn and red peppers

                    if you make a three bean salad it's easy to add some more protein by throwing in a pkg of frozen shelled edamame in addition to the usual beans

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: westsidegal

                      cannellini bean salad is awesome:
                      http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...

                      I make them all the time just thrown together, but this is really good if you need a recipe.

                    2. We have a vegan friend and have celebrated numerous Superbowls with her. She is perfectly happy when we buy the vegan General Tsao's from Whole Foods and offer homemade hummus, guac and salsa. Our problem is always keeping the meat eaters away from the GT because it tastes so good!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mojoeater

                        Your last line is too true sometimes! In that when the people who eat animal products also dig into the [purposely] vegan dishes, they get even MORE than the vegan probably gets! haha but that's good because vegan diets are varied and very delicious! Thanks for sharing how you've hosted a vegan friend!

                        -from a vegan :)

                        1. re: mojoeater

                          This always happens! The meat eaters eat most of the vegetarian's or vegan's food... grrr.... just have to make sure there is enough so that the vegetarian guest will get enough to eat if the meat eaters eat lots of their food as well!

                          I'm also responding to this just to make sure I get the thread updates!

                          1. re: IndyGirl

                            That's a good reason to make enough for everyone of the vegan dishes, and incorporate them fully into the menu! I'm always amused when everything gets demolished because the meat eaters load up on the veggie stuff too.

                            Also vegan dishes, if relying heavily on veggies, can make the food budget go far. More money for chicken wings.

                        2. I just got an email from her and apparently, in addition to being vegan, she's now doing a spring cleanse so sugar, chocolate and alcohol are out. I guess I don't need to worry about dessert at all, under those circumstances. She mentioned bringing something so I think I'll check in with her and see if she had a main dish type thing in mind - if so, I'll just stick with some hummus and crudite and call it good enough.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: biondanonima

                            Seriously...how does this even come up. I am a diabetic and I don't call people up or email them letting know how I eat...I find that so weird.

                            1. re: LaLa

                              Well, in this case, I knew she had been experimenting with veganism, so I asked her if she was still vegan when I emailed her to invite her. She responded that not only is she now full-on vegan, but is doing a spring cleanse.

                              I generally do ask people I've invited over if they have any dietary restrictions or preferences, but this one really takes the cake. She's bringing something for herself, and there will be vegetables, bread and hummus - I'm afraid that's about all I can do!

                              1. re: biondanonima

                                My idea of hell is being at a food-centric party and while on a cleanse. Are you serving cocktails or drinks? If so maybe a few extra lemons so she can sip hot lemon water.

                                1. re: biondanonima

                                  Le sigh. ;)

                                  "I'm on a new special diet, and now I'm also restricting x and y and z"

                                  is okay as long as it's followed by

                                  "...but don't worry, I'll bring some snacks I can eat and graze what you've got, I'll be fine. Just want to enjoy the company."

                                  Sounds like at least she's bringing a dish. Let's hope that maybe she's a breezy cleanser who's just happy to be with friends.

                                  It could happen.

                                2. re: LaLa

                                  I try to let people know so they don't feel bad if they serve a whole meal of bratwurst or something. I think that being upfront saves the host from feeling embarrassed for not being able to accommodate you. I've learned this from experience--when I first moved several states for my current job, a group of well-meaning and totally awesome colleagues (who are now my best friends) threw a party featuring a bunch of meat. When they found out a month or so later that I am vegetarian they felt absolutely terrible about that and have been very accommodating ever since! So I've learned that it's best just to let people know up front and, of course, I also offer to bring a vegetarian or vegan dish so I can feed myself if needed. My goal is never to put someone out, but to help the hosts save face (not because I'm judgmental of what they serve but so that they don't feel bad about not accommodating me!)

                                  I hope that all made sense :)

                                3. re: biondanonima

                                  have a bowl of fruit, many people love fresh fruit.

                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                    I think you're right. I wouldn't do more than that. I'm vegetarian but I would never expect someone hosting a super bowl party to make all kind of special foods for me or to not serve meat. Given her extreme diet (vegan and cleanse) she probably eats like a bird anyway. Hummus, bread, veggies and fruit. Done.

                                  2. sounds like you're already set (and very thoughtful, though i'd do the same frankly...), but a few other thoughts...

                                    stuffed potato skins -- maybe with some guacamole, grilled corn, beans, salsa (or baked potato bar)

                                    mini taco bar with fajita veggies, beans, rice, salsa, onions, guac, and put out meat/cheese/sour cream for others

                                    vegetable chili (if you're feeling like it, add some TVP for meat texture...) with some chopped onions, and serve with mini slider rolls

                                    mushroom "meat"balls - finely chopped cooked mushroom, onion, roasted garlic, a little pureed tofu, herbs, S&P and some almond meal or bread crumbs.

                                    grilled fruit

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Emme

                                      Those all sound fantastic. Great ideas! Not a huge fan of grilled fruit (other than pineapple), but the mushroom meatballs are intriguing. I am headed to google to find out exactly how to prepare these unless you'd be so kind as to share a favorite recipe, please?!?

                                      1. re: MonMauler

                                        so sorry... just saw this... hope it turned out well if you made it. happy to supply my general methodology if interested.

                                    2. If you feel like making a big vat of soup this will do quite nicely for your vegan and your meat eaters will love it. I usually use chicken broth, but veg broth is the actual recipe. It gets better the longer it cooks, so feel free to throw on the night before and leave on warm in the AM. Just wait until closer to serving to put the coconut milk in. Serve with a crusty bread for dipping.

                                      carrot red lentil coconut slow cooker soup.
                                      http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/red-le...

                                      1. I've been vegan for about a year, due to health issues. Prior to that, I always made sure that when I hosted a dinner party there was always something (salad, bread, dip, raw veggies) that just about everyone could eat. IME, people on restricted diets hesitate to let hosts know of dietary restrictions beforehand.

                                        That said, if I'm going to a food-centered party in the evening, I make lunch my main meal of the day, planning on doing some grazing at the event. I never expect a vegan meal planned entirely around me. (There have been times, though, when I've been pleasantly surprised at the effort friends have gone to on my account.)

                                        1. at my local watering hole - the have a sign for the vegan option: Go home and eat than come back and drink beer.

                                          I digress.

                                          I live in SF - so if a vegan is going to be there I normally make an asian salad using the rice noodles (or slaw). which don't have any eggs or dairy.

                                          Dressing is a snap. 1 tblspn of grated ginger, 1 tblspn seasame oil, soy, 1/2 a jalepeno, galic, juice of 1 orange and 1 lime, handful of cylantro. Silver almonds or Cashews.

                                          I put the dressing together add to the sill hot noodles cooked (or hydrated) rice noodles. Toss in the rest of the veg (carrots, celary, red pepers, spring onions, snap peas etc).

                                          Normally, most vegans will bring some of their own food but I feel at least I can do something... have fun.

                                          Go Niners!

                                          1. Is the woman a 'level seven' vegan? You know. That's when they don't eat anything that casts a shadow.
                                            Call her and tell her to bring her own 'munchies'. Otherwise instead of watching the game you'd spend your time trying to convince her that the oil you used on the baking sheet to bake her the plain won ton wrappers was truly from organic coconut oil.

                                            1. how'd it go??

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: IndyGirl

                                                Well, I needn't have worried - she had to work at the last minute (real estate agent) so all my worry was for naught. Her husband came and thoroughly enjoyed the meat and cheese laden treats, LOL. The vegetable tray was pretty decimated, though, so I think the whole group was happy to have that. The white bean hummus was mostly ignored in favor of pizza dip, though. Luckily DH and I like it and can eat it this week (whereas the leftover pizza dip is going into the freezer so as not to tempt us while we're trying to eat relatively healthfully!).

                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                  Sounds like all's well that ends well! I was hoping she'd shown up and been totally low maintenance just to avoid giving us vegetarians/vegans a bad name, LOL. Anyway, glad you aren't stuck with food you hate!