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Rounding out a vegan, gluten free dinner party

I'm having a gathering for guests with mixed dietary needs, and am just going vegan and gluten free to include everyone in all the of the dishes. I'm thinking of making a kale salad with avocado, apple, pomegranate seeds, and pistachio nuts, and a cauliflower/Jerusalem artichoke soup. Does anyone have any ideas for a third dish that would elegantly round out the meal?
Dessert suggestions are welcome, too!

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  1. I'd go for a vegan panna cotta with the fruity accent of your choice for dessert.

    1. You have soup and salad but without something a bit more hearty it may feel like a lunch, especially since you are serving the soup without bread, I would look to add a protein - something "meaty" I am thinking quinoa for protein and something like mushroom or eggplant that gives the umami of meat - maybe a loaf of some kind - something like this http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip...

      1 Reply
      1. re: JTPhilly

        I'm hardly an expert in vegan cooking, but I agree with JTPhilly - you need something substantial for your third course. A mushroom pot pie with a gluten free crust, perhaps, or a grilled/fried tofu steak with some type of savory sauce - ratatouille?

      2. My niece just made the black and white cookies from Veganomicom cook book for a party and swears they were amazing. She's in a different state so I didn't get to try them. :(

        The same cookbook has an amazing eggplant and potato moussaka with pine nut cream that is so wonderful. The pine nut cream is a really unique touch. It would be hearty and elegant addition after the soup. It does call for panko but you could easily skip or use any GF alternative you like.

        I couldn't find the cookie recipe on line but the moussaka is availalable at http://www.veganpeace.com/recipe_page...

        1. Soup, salad and - why make this difficult? Serve a gluten free bread. The Red Mill gluten free mixes are simple and good.

          Maybe a pear frangipane tart for dessert. There are vegan, gluten free versions of both crust and frangipane.

          A simple, classic bread/soup/salad meal followed by a spectacular-looking, make-ahead dessert.

          3 Replies
          1. re: AdinaA

            Perhaps I'm atypical, but I would be seriously unsatisfied with just a salad, vegetable soup and bread. There's not a speck of protein to be found in that meal. I'd either be asleep or starving (or both) from the carb crash in an hour.

            1. re: biondanonima

              Point taken. I do a lot of vegan/veggie meals; and protein can come with dessert, as here. Either pureed or whole cannellini beans would make that a hearty soup.

              But if the OP wants a soup - main - dessert menu, I would suggest serving Deborah Madison's green/French lentil recipe over rice alongside the kale salad.

              1. re: biondanonima

                I'm not one to obsess about protein in every meal. That said, there is protein in the kale, nuts and sunchokes.

            2. Bake butternut squash with wild rice, dried currants, chopped walnuts, sage, whatever else tickles your fancy. Top with vegan mushroom gravy.

              1. With a few tweaks would Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Bourguignon work? Obviously have to sub all oil for butter and use a non-wheat flour to thicken.

                1. Not being vegan, I add an egg for increased structure, but recommend the googlable Nikki's Healthy Cookies as dessert. Not too sweet, and with lots of fiber to make them satisfying.

                  1. Also, what about a taco bar? Corn tortillas are gluten-free, and I'm sure there are vegan ones (not sure about their use of butter). Fillings can range from black beans to grilled/roasted veggies, to avocado and lime and soyrizo. Play around with nut cheeses and sour creams.

                    1. Just a quick note about the soup... Which sounds delicious ... But Sunchokes can give some people bad gas or diarrhea. Me the former, my partner the latter. Learned the hard way.

                      But it obviously doesn't affect everyone.


                      3 Replies
                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        Here's my favorite soup recipe…I'm not vegan or gluten-free, but strangely, this soup is….
                        roughly cut a bunch of carrots (no need to peel)
                        boil the crap out of them using veggie broth instead of water untill they are super soft
                        using a slotted spoon, put the carrots in a blender, along with a generous scoop (about 2 big tablespoons) of solidified canned coconut milk (meaning the creamy white part, not the clear watery part). Add the veggie broth sparingly (you can always put more in, but you can't take it out). Blend for a while. You want to end up with a thick, creamy soup. Salt to taste (but do not forgo the salt-it really brings out the sweet creaminess of the soup).

                        1. re: C. Hamster

                          Wow. I've loved them for years and I had no idea. True, I'm usually too lazy to scrub and prep them. Do I now have to stop liking them?

                          1. re: AdinaA

                            Enjoy away - but it was definitely a lesson I learned the hard way. Roasted sunchokes were definitely not what I should have packed in for lunch that day.....sigh.....

                        2. Maybe some bean or lentil cakes? These are good: http://www.theppk.com/2010/12/olive-l... You'd have to sub gluten-free tortilla crumbs or something like that for the bread crumbs, but they go with the somewhat Middle Eastern flavors in your menu, and since they're baked, you can knock out a lot at once. (Even though they're presented on PPK as a burger, they'd be nice alone, and could be pretty elegant served on a platter sprinkled with gremolata or served with a light tomato sauce.


                          Alternately, maybe something with tempeh? This is a favorite of mine, very hearty and homey-tasting, but appropriate for a formal dinner: http://www.food.com/recipe/tempeh-sca... ,

                          A last thought is some version of mujadara. It can be a really splendid main dish, especially if you take time to do crisp, slowly caramelized onions for the top.

                          1. don't have a recipe (my sister's recipe is in French, I'm sure there are tons of choices if you google it) but black bean brownies as dessert would make this meal more filling.

                            1. My cup runneth over! Thanks for all of the suggestions! I like the idea of the baked squash with wild rice. I sort of wanted to avoid quinoa, just because it's become so ubiquitous, but I do like the idea of something mushroomy. Wonderful ideas, thank you!