Thursday, July 1, 2010

How to serve a vegan

Ever since my cousin became a vegan, vegan-ness has been more on my radar screen.  We've been to a few events together and I feel like there is a lack of knowledge about how easy it really is to cater to vegan tastes.  People think it is so exhausting to read all of the ingredients, and vegans get the short end of the stick.
Some suggestions:
-Crudites.  Clearly vegan.  However, the dip that is usually served with them? Not so much.  Try hummus.
-Chips and dip.  Try a black bean dip, an eggplant dip, or plain old tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole.
-Pasta salad.  Please, you don't have to make pasta salad complicated or with mayonnaise.
-Bread and dipping oil - a nice garlic/pepper and olive oil combo and some crusty french bread is great.  You can go the next step up and whip up some bruschetta.
-Nuts, olives, or other small foods.
-Pasta salad.  Cook a box of pasta, toss with Italian salad dressing, maybe some balsamic vinegar, and voila.
-If you're grilling, boca burgers (or another *vegan* burger - read the labels for this one) for the grill.  I had a friend tell me that he thought that making veggie burgers was icky and he would rather just grill a vegetable, like a giant portabello.  The problem is that mushrooms don't actually have any protein in them, so don't serve me one and act surprised that I ate the entire rest of everything you served.

For dessert, a fruit plate and maybe some vegan chocolate (dark, high quality chocolates are more likely to be vegan) or some vegan baked goods.  (Think they're hard to find? Check this list.  Substitute applesauce for eggs and make sure to use oil instead of butter/shortening.)

I hate linking to Peta, but this list generally is pretty helpful for anybody shopping for or serving a vegan.
Any suggestions for obvious and easy vegan suggestions for party food that I missed?

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