Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Vegetarian Help!

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Mammavan:
A few minutes ago a colleague told me about a party she is planning (but not hosting) for our company.  It is planned with an "All-American Picnic" theme because a large number of the guests will be from China and India.  The menu had included hot dogs, hamburgers and the like.  I reminded her that many of the Indian guests will be vegetarian and we're trying to add items to the menu that they will able to eat.  She already had grilled veggies and a pasta primavera salad on the menu.  Any suggests for additional items?  I know that some Hindus are also vegan.  Should we plan on having only vegan items?  We are also trying to find some ideas for (passed) appetizers.  It's too late to back out of the All-American theme and every idea we've come up with either has cheese or is Mexican or Asian.

We'd appreciate any suggestions you could give us.  We're too old to look for new jobs!

twinkletoes:
I love a good portobello mushroom thrown on the grill.  You can marinate in Italian dressing, if you want.  You might also want vegan burgers. 

I think you might need to be careful regarding the use of the grill.  The folks I know who are vegetarian (not for religious reasons, FWIW) will not eat a veggie burger that was grilled on the same rack that had, say, burgers or chicken.  Depending on how many people are there, you might need a grill dedicated just for the vegetarian food.

If you can, grill some veggies (onions, asaparagus, zucchini, and eggplant, for example).  It's simple and vegetarian.

I think chips and salsa would be a good snack, too. 

Bethalize:

--- Quote from: Mammavan on May 29, 2007, 12:08:01 PM ---Any suggests for additional items?  I know that some Hindus are also vegan.  Should we plan on having only vegan items?  We are also trying to find some ideas for (passed) appetizers.  It's too late to back out of the All-American theme and every idea we've come up with either has cheese or is Mexican or Asian.

We'd appreciate any suggestions you could give us.  We're too old to look for new jobs!

--- End quote ---

Salads  (rice, pasta, potato) can be easily vegan, and a chickpea or bean salad can be the vegan protein dish. Vegetable kebabs are a mainstay for barbecues here.

You could always do something like baked beans :-) Cornbread? succotash? Candied yams? I apologise if I am stereotyping, but as a foreigner it seems 'traditional' to me.


What about crudities with US dips for appetizers?
HTH

Summrs:
Fruit is great grilled.  Cut cantaloupe into wedges (cut rind off) and baste with butter and lemon while it's grilling.  You can also use margarine for vegans.

Fruit skewers... since it's All American, make them red, white, and blue:  strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, peeled apples (with lemon juice to prevent browning), raspberries, blackberries, etc.

Here are a couple of other ideas for things you can also offer, that aren't grilled.  These are vegetarian, but not vegan.  I'm not sure how you'd replace the eggs to make it vegan, but I'm pretty sure vegetarian would be good enough for most of your guests.  

MEATLESS “MEATBALLS”

2 cups cooked white rice                     
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs      
1/4 cup milk             
1 tb chopped fresh basil leaves
2 ts chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 ts ground cayenne
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tb vegetable oil

In large bowl, mix rice, oats, onion, bread crumbs, milk, basil, oregano, red pepper and egg. Shape into 12 balls. Roll balls in wheat germ.  

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook meatballs in oil about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown.  

You can serve these in BBQ sauce with toothpicks.
==================

VEGETABLE AND RICE STUFFED CABBAGE*
8 Servings

1 large head Savoy cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
4 tb extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, chopped fine, (about 1 cup)
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup chopped cleaned leek whites
1 cup chopped trimmed scallions (green and white parts)
2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears corn)
4 cups shredded fresh spinach, washed well and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tb unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup minced Italian parsley
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (I prefer Asiago) cheese
1 cup vegetable stock

Choose a pot large enough to hold cabbage, fill halfway with water and bring to a boil. With a paring knife, cut out the core from the cabbage. Whack the cabbage core side down against the table a few times to loosen the leaves. Immerse the cabbage in the boiling water and place a plate over the cabbage to keep it submerged while cooking. Cook until the outer leaves are softened, about 10 minutes. Remove to colander and run under cold running water until the cabbage is cool enough to handle. Drain the cabbage thoroughly.

Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil in a 3-quart pot. Add the Arborio rice, 1 tb of the olive oil and the bay leaves. Reduce the heat to simmering, cover the pot and cook the rice until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain the rice thoroughly, but don’t rinse it, and set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tb of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add red pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the leeks and scallions, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until the leeks are wilted, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the corn and sauté just until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir just until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a bowl. Stir in the cooked and drained rice, season with salt and pepper and cool completely.  Carefully peel off 16 whole leaves from the outer layers of the cabbage, reserving the rest of the cabbage for another use. Cut out the thick, bottom part of each leaf’s stem and drain.

Heat the oven to 375°. Using about a tb of the softened butter grease a 9x12 inch baking dish. Stir the eggs, parsley, and 1 cup cheese into the rice mixture. Divide the rice mixture into 16 equal portions and roll in cabbage leaves.  Place the rolls, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Pour the vegetable stock into the dish and dot the tops of the cabbage rolls with the remaining butter. Sprinkle the cabbages with the grated cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
=================

Oh, and here's another one for the grill:


GRILLED SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes
Apricot preserves
Garlic powder or minced fresh
Salt and pepper
Madeira wine

Bake or boil sweet potatoes in their jackets until almost done.  Make glaze with remainder of ingredients (to taste).  Peel and slice potatoes lengthwise into thick slices.  Grill potatoes until browned and cooked through, basting with glaze.  Allow 2-3 slices per person.

Sibby:
You cannot get any more "All American" then grilled corn on the cob, and so long as the butter is on the side it's fully vegan (but a crowd pleaser for veggies & ominvores alike!)

Potato salad & pasta salads - if made without bacon or hard boiled eggs and a mayo free dressing (which is better for hot weather anyway) again is vegan yet a crowd pleaser for all.  Italian dressing or pesto are both great pasta salad dressings.  Potatos wrapped in foil and baked by being nestled in the coals is also very traditional and vegan/crowd pleaser.

Definately be mindful of grills.  I know many Indians who will not eat anything that has come in contact with beef including food that was cooked on a grill that was used for beef.  The idea of sacred cow goes beyond vegetarianism.

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