If you've ever hosted a dinner party before, you know firsthand how stressful it can be. And when you throw in the kicker of hosting a vegan party, things can get very complicated very quickly. Fortunately, though, you can use catering services to lessen your stress and to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
We've thrown together the ultimate go-to guide for top vegan catering ideas. Our guide covers everything from proper preparation to mastering the menu and even a few recipes you'll definitely want to include at your next vegan party.
It All Starts With Proper Preparation
Whether you have two weeks or two months to plan, proper preparation is key to hosting a successful vegan dinner party. If you procrastinate on planning, it's sure to turn into a complete disaster. Some ingredients may not be available at the time you need them, or you might need to find a speciality store. With this in mind, you need to do your shopping for your vegan dishes well in advance of the actual event. In fact, you'll need at least a good week or two to properly source your ingredients.
Provide Plenty of Starter Choices
Just because you love guacamole doesn't mean everyone else is going to. This is why you need to be very diverse in the dishes you serve. Fortunately, just because you're hosting a vegan party doesn't mean you are going to be limited in what you can serve.
You'll want to start the party with plenty of dips, like hummus and salsa to go along with the guacamole and white bean dip. You can also whip up some lentil dip because it tends to a party favorite. If you're going to set out any bread with the dip, you'll want to make sure it has been baked with no eggs. And if you're wanting a crunchy bread, ciabatta tends to be good. Slices of bread like challah and brioche should be avoided; they don't go well with dips. As far as the beverages, you'll want to make sure the wine is chilled and you can even serve up a couple kinds of signature cocktails.
Do keep in mind that even though it's ideal to provide lots of starter choices, it's best to keep them light. If you offer heavy starter options, you and the guests are going to have a difficult time getting down the main course, much less dessert. It's also important to serve starters that complement the main course, and regardless of what you choose, make sure it's something that cleanses the palette and is easy to digest.
Make the Main Course the Main Event
When you invited your guests to a vegan dinner party, their minds probably went rampant thinking about the main course. From bean curries with chutneys to a salad with a side of slow-cooked veggie tagines, they've been wondering for days what you're going to serve; this is why you need to dress your main course up to be the main event. Be bold and try to pick something that you don't think most of your guests have likely tried before.
If you have a lot of guests who aren't actually vegan, then they'll be begging you for something meaty, and since meat is off the table (pun intended), you'll have to do your best to suit their preferences. You can rest assured there are plenty of ways to delight the taste buds of a regular meat eater, especially when you serve meatless burgers. Even though there is no actual meat to be enjoyed in this tasty burger, it still mimics a regular hamburger almost to a T when it comes to the flavor and texture. You'll even find some meatless burger recipes that actually bleed on the grill while you're cooking them. There are a number of ingredients these burgers can be made from, including eggplant and beets.
Dessert Is Dessert
You don't have to go wild with the dessert. Hopefully, by the time dessert rolls around, your guests will be plenty full from all the scrumptious starters and the main course. With this in mind, try your best to keep it simple. Fruits are sure to be a big hit after the last few courses, especially if you serve it with red wine.
Hosting a vegan dinner party doesn't have to be stressful. And while it can be nice to prepare the dishes yourself, you'll find it is much easier to enjoy the party when you take advantage of catering services. And don't forget to have your guests RSVP with any dietary requirements well before the event so your caterer has time to organise a vegan option.
For more information on planning your vegan menu for your next party or event, contact the expert chefs at Laissez-faire.