What a vegan doesn’t eat
Before you can start planning your delicious menu for your party guests, you need to understand what the vegan diet is all about.
Essentially, being a vegan is a lifestyle, a choice not to consume any animal-derived foods or use any animal products or by-products.
In other words, they eat only plant-based foods. So eggs are off the menu, as well as meat and fish, dairy produce and products that contain any of these ingredients.
Most vegans (and vegetarians too) prefer it if their food is on separate plates and dishes than foods containing meat, fish and dairy produce etc. They’ll also be keen to know that you have prepared them away from meat and the like.
You’ll also need to take care when ordering party catering supplies too, as some vegans prefer natural products, staying away from animal skins, wool etc. so make sure your supplies are vegan -friendly too.
The vegan party menu.
Here are just a few ideas of delicious treats you can serve to your vegan guests.
Canapes – Pecan stuffed dates
Make a stuffing out of a finely chopped onion, breadcrumbs (check the label for milk), vegan vegetable stock dissolved in a little water, finely chopped pecan nuts and a dash of olive oil. Mix the stuffing well and then pack sticky, sweet dates with it. Place on a baking tray and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until gooey on the inside and crisp looking on the outside. Add a liberal dash of olive oil over the top of them at the start of cooking.
Main course – Build your own pizza
Vegans may not eat cheese and other dairy products but with a little imagination, you can make delicious vegan pizzas that you find everyone will love, not just the vegan guests!
You can make your own pizza dough, taking care to use water instead of milk to combine it together. Or some shop-bought, prepared pizza bases are perfect too and certainly save time and effort.
The toppings can be a delicious array of vegetables and the like that your guests are sure to love. There is also vegan cheese that can be used to add a hint of cheesiness for the topping.
Use a good quality tomato sauce for the base as you would on other pizzas, and then offer guests a chance of adding;
- Sliced peppers – use all the colours for a delightful and colourful effect
- Sliced mushrooms – don’t just opt for white mushrooms, but consider the earthier flavour of chestnut mushrooms and other exotic fungi too
- Olives – green and black olive add a hint of saltiness to the pizza topping
- Sweetcorn – for sweetness, there is nothing better than a scattering of sweetcorn
- Sliced courgette – adding courgette gives it a tasty hint too, as well as fresh consider pickled courgettes too
- Leaves – peppery rocket and spinach make great additions too
Don’t forget seasoning like salt and pepper, as well as chilli flakes.
Vegan desserts – Lemon cheesecake
Desserts can be a little trickier, especially if you are not accustomed to baking or cooking for vegan guests.
As you would expect, there are all kinds of ideas online but the one we enjoyed because it tasted sweet and decadent is this vegan lemon cheesecake.
The crumbly base is made from a combination of dates and almonds, held together with coconut oil.
The topping has the piquancy of lemons mixed with almond milk and agave syrup, a natural sweetener you will find in most large supermarkets. If not, take a trip to your health food store and you’ll find it on the shelf there.
Vegan sweets and birthday cake
In the main, most common sweets and chocolate products are not vegan-friendly but as the vegan lifestyle becomes more mainstream, manufacturers are producing vegan versions.
For the party bags, a few packets of vegan sweets would pad it out a bit and you may need to consider that your birthday cake won’t be vegan-friendly if you use the usual recipe of eggs and butter.
This vegan sponge cake would work a treat but keep the decoration light and consider that some icing sugar decorations are not always egg-free.
There are many more vegan party food recipes online and your vegan guests are sure to appreciate the effort.