Plant-based blogger and vegan dessert guru (seriously you have to try her Twix Cups Michelle Chen from @run2food on Instagram shares her top tips on how to cater for vegans at your next celebration… Celebrating and food and drink go hand in hand – but what do you do if you have vegan guests? Catering for vegan friends and family is pretty straight forward with a few easy swaps and if you’re vegan or plant based yourself, there’s definitely no need for FOMO over the festivities. Here are some ideas for easy festive feast swaps and plant powered party alternatives:
Let’s start with sides!
Make your sides enjoyable for everyone by cooking your vegies in vegan alternatives to butter and animal fat. Coconut oil is a great option! Have toppings like cheese or bacon served on the side instead of mixed into the dish, so that the side itself is vegan and non-vegan guests can add extras to their liking. Instead of using honey for dishes like honey-roasted carrots, try a natural vegan sweetener like maple syrup or rice malt syrup. Everyone enjoys crisp green salads and fresh vegies, just leave the creamy dressings to the side for guests to add themselves. Watch out for honey and fish sauce in ingredients if you’re buying ready made. Click here to check out some recipe inspo!
And for mains…
Roast meats are usually the star of the show at Christmas and Easter but there are lot of alternatives available these days! Coles and Woolworths now have plant-based roasts. These are usually made using soy-based mock meat and some people may not be a fan of it. Make sure you check with guests if it’s something they are keen on, as these dishes can be expensive and you’d hate to leave them uneaten. Nut-roasts are also an alternative to mock meats and vegan gravies are also usually available at major supermarkets to go alongside the roast.
Alternatively, cook up a batch of vegie Thai curry or lentil dhal, using coconut oil as the base to get those flavours toasting. Serve with rice and flatbreads. Everyone can help themselves and it adds a bit of spice to the party!
Cheese and dips
It’s super easy to be inclusive here as there’s a plethora of vegan ‘cheese’ options now readily
available at the supermarket. Just buy a couple and add them to your cheese board!
If you really want to impress, you can try making your own vegan ‘cheese.’ There’s lots of recipes for these online – have a google and see what you find.
Serve your ‘cheese’ with a side of colourful fruit, vegie dips and crackers for max wow factor.
Popular vegan dip ideas include hummus and guacamole. Many other dips can also be accidentally
vegan, just check the ingredients to make sure they contain no egg or dairy.
Many wines aren’t actually vegan. In order to clarify and stabilise the wine, producers often use of fining agents like egg white, gelatin (which is made from animal products) and milk proteins. These are usually passed through the wine to draw out undesirable particles and small traces could remain.
Vegan wines are either completed unfiltered or un-fined or are fined using materials like limestone, carbon or bentonite clay. Australian labelling laws require producers to declare the use of processing aids and whether or not a wine has been fined or filtered.
Alternatively, how about a delicious tropical mocktail made with hydrating coconut water?! Click here for some recipe ideas.
Of course, the most important part of any celebration is the people you share it with! A little extra thought and preparation with these easy swaps will allow vegan and plant based guests to leave the table as full and satisfied as everyone else.