Vegan 4 Course Meal Ideas
I'm planning a vegan dinner for some friends and I'm stuck on a way for all of the parts to flow together. I'm going for a salad, soup or side, a main dish, and a dessert. I wanted to do an arugula, wheatberry, and avocado salad with raspberry vinaigrette, a potato and leek soup with thyme and rosemary, and was considering an orzo, tomato, black olive, and wilted spinach dish for the main course with a sorbet for dessert but I feel like these dishes don't really go together... Does anyone have any ideas as to how to change these courses for a more cohesive meal, or any completely new dishes? I'm partial to French and Mediterranean cuisine although I'm trying to avoid a meal that's too themed. It also needs to be vegan and not too heavy since it's spring. Also if it's not super crazy hard to make that would be good too, I'm quite competent in the kitchen but I'd rather not cook anything that's so hard I'll have an emotional breakdown if possible. Thanks so much for any suggestions!!
I would stick with your first 2 courses and last course, and substitute a vegan lasagna for the entree with some nice bread. I love doing lasagna as a dinner party entree because you make it ahead and just cook it. Here's a Chow recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/29439-veg...
Maybe keep the salad and the sorbet (which sound delicious) but focus a spotlight on that leek and potato soup by making it the center of a main course accompanied by crusty bread or crackers served with a choice of spreads. Candidates for spreads: homemade hummous; artichoke spread (I throw sauteed onions, artichoke hearts and olive oil into the food processor); confit d'oignon.
You might also think of adding cannellini beans to the leek and onion soup, since the meal is a little light on protein.
The salad sounds perfect, but potato leek soup doesn't feel "springy" to me.... Maybe swap in a carrot soup with dill or a pea soup? You can make them creamy by blending in some soaked raw cashews or white beans.
I love individual dishes for parties, what about a stuffed vegetable? Like red bell peppers, zucchini, etc. I love this mujadarra from bon app, just swap in earth balance and veg broth and use to stuff the veg before baking
Or you could do these quinoa cakes with a veggie
Carrots are just so perfect (and cheap!) in the spring..
Or these roasted carrots- just swap in tofutti sour cream or cashew cream for the yogurt:
If you do either of these entrees then i would keep the salad heavy on the arugala/greens and the wheatberries as an accent.
You could definately make the soup ahead and freeze and either the mujadara or quinoa patty mixture a day or two in advance and keep in the fridge.
If you're planning wine or drinks be sure to check with barnivore for vegan options
I would make the soup as a first course, serve the salad in large portions as the main course, and end with sorbet. Forget the orzo. I think that a salad with wheatberries and avocado will feel substantial on its own. I don't think you need wheatberries followed by potatoes followed by orzo.