Once again we have the pleasure of welcoming a guest blogger. This week, Katie Georgeson from Stoves, suppliers of fine cookers, explains how to host a vegan dinner party that everyone will love. If you have never done it before, it sounds daunting, but follow Katie’s advice and you can’t go wrong!
Hosting a dinner party is a lot of fun — especially if you’re a foodie! Not only do you get to create loads of tasty recipes, but you get to share them with your closest family and friends. Whether you’re a vegan yourself, or simply have one coming round for dinner, there are so many great options to choose from.
The best way to throw any dinner party is to keep the process as streamlined as possible, with simple yet hearty food that will leave everyone feeling satisfied. With that in mind, here are my tips for hosting a brilliant vegan dinner party.
Start the evening off with a selection of dips — they’re simple, yet there are so many different combinations you can try. By putting this out as an appetizer, you allow your guests to nibble from the moment they arrive. There are all the typical dips you might expect, such as hummus, baba ghanoush, and guacamole, but why not try something new?
The beauty of having a good food processor is that you can make a dip out of almost anything. Instead of chickpeas, try using lentils and beans with your favourite herbs and spices to create your own blend. Other great options for dips include spinach and artichoke, carrot and miso, and French onion.
Whatever you go for, you want to get the consistency right. A thicker dip will be great for spreading onto toasted bread or crackers, whereas runnier dips are better for dipping with vegetables such as peppers, celery, carrots, and anything else you like.
If there will be meat eaters in attendance, you may be tempted to try to use substitutes to win them over. But, in my experience, it’s always better to avoid these imitation flavours and create vegan dishes that are naturally hearty. I typically like to create one dense main with a selection of tasty sides to complement it.
Cauliflower steaks have become increasingly popular and are a great choice for a vegan dinner party. But if you want something a little different, I’d recommend going with aubergine or mushrooms. You can use them as steaks: just cut them into chunky slices, coat them with a mix of your favourite spices and roast them at 200 °C for 15 minutes.
Pick a side that will complement the rest of your menu’s theme. If you’ve gone for a simpler palette, then a side of peas mixed with shallots and tarragon is a brilliant choice. But, for something more flavoursome, why not make some Indian green beans by combining them with chillies, turmeric, and ginger garlic paste.
Some of my other favourites include roasted Brussel sprouts with chestnuts, a root vegetable selection, or potato and spinach baked fritters.
There are so many tasty treats you can make ahead of your dinner party, which is why I always like to make a few different things to feast on. All you have to do is avoid eggs and dairy and use natural, whole ingredients.
A great choice that always looks much more complex than it actually is, is a vegan cheesecake. They can be created fairly easily using a food processor. Simply blitz some nuts and raisins and press the mixture into the base of a baking tin. In your food processor, add some vegan cream cheese, cashews, coconut cream, vanilla extract, honey and cocoa to make a creamy topping and spoon it onto the biscuit base. Leave it to set in the fridge overnight and bring it out 30 minutes before serving.
Vegan cheese is increasing in popularity, and there are more options available on the market than ever before. So, why not make the most of it with a great tasting vegan cheese board? These non-dairy versions are made from a range of different ingredients, including soy, nuts, and coconut. All you need is a selection of breads, crackers, fruits, and chutneys and you’re set.
Please note: As many vegan alternatives contain nuts, always check your guests’ dietary requirements beforehand.
All that’s left is to ensure there is plenty to drink, and your night should go off without a hitch. Hopefully this article has got your creative juices flowing and you’re ready to host a vegan dinner party your guests won’t soon forget.