Juliet Manners gives step-by-step advice on how you can impress non-vegans with a sumptuous three-course dinner party.
If, like me, most of your friends and family are not vegan then this might be the blog for you. I love entertaining and throwing dinner parties, and I knew that my choice to go vegan wouldn’t affect this. Unfortunately, my friends didn’t think the same. But after a teeny bit of planning and a lot of preparation I bashed out a winning menu. I mean literally, if it was a competition I would have won. At the end of the night I had slightly drunken friends piling out of the house proclaiming their love for veganism and my delicious food…and the next day they soberly reiterated how surprised they were that the entire menu was vegan and assured me that they didn’t miss any animal products. So, without further ado, here are those three winning recipes for a starter, main and dessert…
Starter: Tomato Soup
This is a great recipe with lots of flavour. A bit of bread (homemade or not depending on how much time you have) and some vegan spread makes it the perfect, comforting starter.
• 1 onion
• 4 carrots
• 1kg tomatoes
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1 tbsp oregano
• 4 vegan stock cubes
• 1.2 litre boiling water
1. Chop up all veggies.
2. Put the carrots and onions in a saucepan with the oil and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes.
3. Mix in the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes, sugar and oregano. Let the mix cook over a low heat with the lid on for 10 minutes.
4. Add the stock cubes to the boiling water and then pour into the pan, then simmer for 25 minutes.
5. Blend the soup in a food processor until smooth.
6. Serve hot with bread!
Main: Tofu Quiche with Potato Dauphinoise
This really adds a luxurious side to your evening. Although it has a few different ingredients, the recipe is fairly simple…and the use of ready-made pastry certainly helps a busy vegan along!
• 100g tofu
• 4 tbsp houmous
• Ready-made short-crust pastry (try Jus-roll)
• 1 leek
• 180g broccoli
• 400g cherry tomatoes
• 4 garlic cloves
• 2 tbsp olive oil
Potato Dauphinoise Ingredients:
• 2 tbsp vegan spread
• 6 large potatoes
• 400ml soya single cream
• 2 garlic cloves
1. Cut the tofu into chunks and blend with the houmous in a food processor until it looks like scrambled egg.
2. Chop up the veggies, cover in olive oil and roast on a baking tray for 30 minutes at 180°C.
3. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry and put it in a loose bottomed tin, then bake blind. For those new to baking, this means baking the pastry without any filling. To avoid the pastry warping, cover with baking paper and fill the dish with baking beans, or dried pulses. After 15 minutes at 180 °C, remove the baking paper and baking beans/dried pulses, and bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes.
4. Put baking paper in a baking dish and grease with vegan spread. Then thinly slice the potatoes and chop the garlic. Then layer the potatoes, garlic and cream until you’ve run out, and leave to one side.
5. Once the veggies and pastry are cooked, stir the veggies into the houmous mix and add to the pastry.
6. Each dish then needs 40 minutes in the oven at 180°C . This means you can prepare everything early and then pop them both in the oven before/during the starter.
Dessert: Indulgent Chocolate Cake
Everyone loves chocolate right? So to ease your non-vegan guests into the world of vegan baking, this recipe provides a simple and yummy dessert. So you really can have your (vegan) cake and eat it.
• 450g plain flour
• 35g cocoa powder
• 5g baking powder
• 6g bicarbonate of soda
• 300g caster sugar
• 125ml sunflower oil
• 300ml water
• 20ml white wine vinegar
• 100g dark chocolate chips
• 55g vegan spread
• 3 tbsp soya milk
• 200g icing sugar
• 30g cocoa powder
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two round baking dishes with baking paper and some sunflower oil.
2. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar in a bowl.
3. Mix the sunflower oil, water and white wine vinegar together. Then pour this mix into the dry mix and whisk. Then stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Pour the cake mix into the two prepared cake tins and put them in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. For the icing, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and put it over a pan of simmering water. Keep mixing whilst everything melts and then set aside to cool.
6. Once the cakes are cooked and cooled you can construct your chocolate cake! A sprinkle of cocoa powder finishes it off nicely.
If you want step-by-step photos on how to make the tomato soup, the quiche and dauphinoise and the chocolate cake feel free to head over to my blog at www.julietgoesvegan.wordpress.com. I hope you enjoy entertaining guests (and hopefully making new vegans?) with these yummy recipes.
By Juliet Manners
The views expressed by our bloggers are not necessarily the views of The Vegan Society.