Dinner Party with a Vegan and a "No Pork" guests

I'm hosting a bridal dinner (we all work retail so a bachelorette brunch wasn't happening) for 5. I have a vegan and a "no pork products". The vegan is a challenge. I don't want to make 3 dinners. But I will if need be! I'm looking for a few vegan "sides" that I can turn into mains, something filling and delicious and beautiful.



easyaspaella August 23, 2017
I'd make rice-stuffed tomatoes, which could easily be a side or a main depending on how many you serve. Smitten Kitchen has a beautiful recipe https://smittenkitchen.com/2013/08/rice-stuffed-tomatoes/.
Windischgirl August 22, 2017
For an impressive, make-the-day-before vegan dessert, make baklava! Commercially-made filo dough has no dairy. Brush the layers with olive oil or Earthbound margarine, melted. You can use almond meal (coarser than almond flour) or pre-chopped nuts of any kind, mixed with sugar and citrus zest or orange-flower water. Make the syrup with water and sugar (instead of honey) and orange flower water. Store at room temperature to keep it crisp.
Emily |. August 20, 2017
If you are looking for more of a plated main rather than buffet, this is my favorite vegan recipe (and I am a devout meat-eater): http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/cauliflower-steaks-spiced-corn. For protein you could serve a white bean dip with veggies and pita for a snack starter, and to keep in a summery theme you could start with a chilled soup like gazpacho, garnished with smoked almonds and fresh baby tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil. All with a good loaf of bread, a bottle of summery white like an albarino, and - this is my bias - some cheeses and salamis for the non-vegans!
Claire August 18, 2017
Agree. A table full of fresh vegies and sides is perfect. I vote for Mexican. We do this regularly at our house for guests because everyone can make their own the way they like it. We do several salads, assorted roast vegetables, dips, tortillas, grilled corn, hot sauces, Mexican beer, cheese is optional and grilled meat is optional. Even go full vegetarian, the carnivores won't even notice. It's win-win.
erin August 17, 2017
I face this regularly - my friends have a dizzying array of food intolerances and preferences - and I'd definitely go for a taco buffet. You can provide a spread of fillings and sides (corn and flour tortillas, refried beans, slaw, corn, avocado, salsas, rice) that are what I'd term 'accidentally vegan', in that they're always vegan anyway so the non-vegans won't feel short-changed. And then a protein or two (pulled chicken, grilled fish) and a bit of dairy (cheese, sour cream) for those who eat them. It's also just way better party food - convivial, casual, doesn't need to be perfectly-timed and is therefore far less stressful for you. Some jugs of margaritas and you're good to go!
MMH August 23, 2017
I agree. My daughter has a friend whose family is from Mexico. They do this regularly. For a fun authentic effect they hire someone to make hand made tortillas.
BerryBaby August 17, 2017
Buffet style eith a hige mixed greens salad. Have additional components for people to add: diced chicken, cheese, croutons, seeds and nuts,sunflower, pumpkin, candied pecans, vegies cucumbers, carrots, radishes, endless possibilities!
caninechef August 17, 2017
How about a gorgeous salade nicoise? No pork issues and the vegan can skip the eggs and fish. Maybe you can come up with a hearty side or opener that could "beef up" the meal for the vegan. You can dress up or dress down the nicoise as time and budget allow by your choice of fish. You can find variations calling for everything from canned tuna, to lox, to poached salmon to home cooked tuna steaks( search this site). The nicoise itself is a great option as any prep can be done in advance and then you just need to assemble the platter at meal time. Maybe go beyond the traditional vegetable components to supply a good variety with a variety of prep methods ( grilled artichoke hearts, roasted peppers etc. ) to provide the vegan with a special meal also.
Nancy August 17, 2017
For the main dish, serve a buffet of components so people can choose what's acceptable to each and you'll still enjoy a sense of one communal meal. Crepe or taco bar, Indonesian riijstaffel, bean curry with assorted toppings, or the like. Cook the base elements (bean, taco, crepe) as vegan, then separate dishes with vegan, dairy, fish or beef toppings. Appetizers and desserts can be made delicious for all with vegetable and fruit ingredients.
liamoran August 17, 2017
What a great idea! I appreciate it! Thanks.
Nancy August 17, 2017
Liamoran - glad the suggestion helped. To start you off, here's one delicious bean curry recipe. The only non-vegan topping is yogurt, which can easily be replaced with coconut yogurt for a vegan meal. Also the fat is a choice of butter or oil, so no butter this time.
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