Vegan Entertaining -- Made Easy!

>> Thursday, September 2, 2010

Melissa writes:

I really enjoy reading your blog, and I've tried making some of the recipes that you share (most recently, the vegan oat pancakes, which were tasty!). I was wondering if I could ask for your advice on a vegan recipe matter -- I'm having some friends over for an after-work get-together, and I'm hoping to make it vegan friendly. Do you have any suggestions about good vegan appetizers that are pretty low maintenance? I'll have about an hour-ish after work to make stuff. Usually I'd go for cheese and baguette in this situation, and for some reason I'm stuck in thinking of something equivalent that's vegan, aside from a hummus and veggie tray.

What a great question, Melissa! Entertaining can be stressful -- am I right? You want to please everyone -- fill their stomachs with the foods they like to eat -- but you also want to keep it budget-friendly and fast. You're in luck -- vegan appetizers and finger foods are not only easy on the wallet . . . they can also be super simple to make -- AND more impressive than veggies and hummus.

Here are some ideas that we can offer from our recipe archives:
  • Easy Guacamole is a sure crowd favorite. It's hard to resist the stuff when you pair it with some chips (our favorite are blue corn tortilla chips) or pita bread. The trick is in the mix of seasonings, so be sure to test yours before serving!
  • Portabellas with Peanut Sauce are just about as easy to make as it gets. Plus, they're something unexpected.
  • Pumpkin Garlic Knots can be made vegan by substituting nutritional yeast for the Parmesan cheese. If you don't have time to make your own dough, go store-bought.
  • Veggie Summer Rolls seem difficult at first, but once you get a hang of the rice paper -- you're golden. Serve with different sauces -- our favorite is hoisen sauce.
  • Coconut-Garbanzo Bean Salad has a unique mix of flavors and is incredibly healthy. Eat leftovers for lunch the next day, too!
  • Frozen Banana Bites are a great dessert-y thing to try. Even if you make them five minutes before company arrives, by the end of the night, they'll be done . . . a sweet treat to enjoy.
  • Red Zinger Lemonade is a fun drink choice that will work for kids and adults alike. If you can, make the tea in the morning -- it will be all the faster to mix together in the afternoon.

Those are just a few of our favorites. But there are a ton of other vegan appetizers on the web:
However, if you're really pressed for time, consider asking guests to bring a dish to pass. That way, you can learn what kinds of foods they enjoy for future gatherings. And Melissa's idea for a veggie and hummus plate isn't as dull as it might seem. If you pick out some unique selections (think parsnips instead of carrots or radishes instead of broccoli, etc.) and mix up some flavorful hummus dips (use your spice drawer to the max), you're sure to leave everyone full and happy!

Do you have a burning question you'd like to see us answer on the site? Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com. And while you're at it, tell us what YOUR favorite fast and tasty vegan appetizer is. The more the merrier!

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