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Topic: Help!! Vegetarian/Vegan Party--What to do???  (Read 1205 times)
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« on: January 18, 2008 11:04:28 AM »

Hey everyone!  I've been lurking on Craftster for months, usually on the knitting boards, and I finally decided to sign up.  Just in time, too, because I have a dilemma, and I was hoping y'all could help!  Huh

I'm cooking for a party of 9 people (including myself), and I have the following factors to take into consideration:

1.  Two folks are on low-carb diets because of blood sugar issues.
2.  Two folks are "vegetarian," but based on comments they've made, I think they actually might be vegan (I've asked them to clarify, but I'm not sure if I'll find out in time, so I think I should make vegan food just to be on the safe side).
3.  One person HATES spicy food.  Since we're having this shindig at her house, I would like to accommodate her as much as I can.

My goal is to make enough food for this party of nine without wasting a whole lot.  So I would like to avoid making a ton of main dishes to accommodate everyone's tastes/needs. 

The reason why I posted on the vegetarian forum is because I don't have a lot of experience making vegan food.  I cook a lot of vegetarian dishes that also include either milk or eggs, but I'd like to keep it animal-product free if possible.  Also, based on a quick google search, it seems like lots of vegan food is spicy.  I love spicy food personally, but our host does not.

I guess what I'm really looking for is that one perfect recipe that's tasty, vegan, low-carb, and not spicy.  But any combination will do!

Any suggestions?  Thanks so much for putting up with my long post!
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008 12:03:54 PM »

Okie Dokie. I have just the solution for your problem. I'm not a vegan or vegitarian BUT I don't eat red meat often, and when I cook for myself I leave out meat completely. So here we go.

It's extremely easy and tasty!!!! And any meat can easily be added.
Tastylicious Veggie Pasta

Wheat or Regular Angel Hair Pasta [eyeball your amount because of the large group)
Baby Carrots
Green Beans or any other firm veggies
Olive Oil
Any seasonings you like
such as;
majoram(my fav)
onion and garlic powder
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
sesame seeds
mint (. another fav)
[anything else should be fine]

A day or so before, clean and cut up your vegetables. Place them in a container with about 1/4 a cup of olive oil with sesame seeds, salt/pepper, and red pepper flakes[or not for your friend]. This should get them nice and seasoned and toasty.

On the day of, time cooking very well.
1. Create a spice mixture
2. Start boiling water and heat up a skillet
3. When pasta is almost ready coat the bottom of your skillet with Olive Oil.
4. cook your veggies until they are soft, with a little bit of a crunch[ add in a little of the spice mixture]
5. When pasta is done[to your taste] add it in with the skillet of veggies and some more of the seasoning
    *This gives the pasta a little bit of a crunch*
6. Serve with cheese (bags of mozerella or parmesan is perfect) and maybe sprigs of basil
7. Or Serve with italian bread w/ olive oil
8. Enjoy.

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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008 02:40:55 PM »

Hey, thanks for your reply!  The only thing is--do they make vegan pasta?  Pasta is made with eggs, I think.  So I would have to leave out the cheese, too.
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008 02:46:32 PM »

Most dry pasta is made without eggs, but you should look at the ingredients to be sure.  However, the pasta thing won't really work for your low carb friends.  You might cook up some Barilla plus pasta separately for them (it is high in protein and fiber, and I *think* low in carbs) or even spaghetti squash (can be served just like spaghetti), or serve the veggies separately from the pasta and cook up some chicken breasts or something.

Another thing that is vegan and low carb friendly is beans.  How about a nice lentil or split pea soup, salad, and bread?  People can pick and choose what salad toppings they want if you just set them out on the table.  I have a lentil soup recipe I can post if you need it.

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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2008 03:53:09 PM »

More research might not be what you're looking for, but...

This site http://immuneweb.org/lowcarb/recipes/ has a bunch of low-carb recipes, all of which are vegetarian & some of which are vegan.

This site Fatfreevegan.com is all-vegan recipes, lots of which are low-carb.
And the livejournal community vegancooking http://community.livejournal.com/vegancooking has a lot of great recipes.

The cookbook Veganomicon is (shocker) all-vegan and it has a lot of low-carb recipes, which you can look up via the icon index. Every recipe by that author rocks! You can find some of the recipes on theppk.com, in the recipe section or on the forum.

Ehh I hope that helped. Planning for large dinners is tough Smiley Good luck!
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2008 08:01:25 AM »

Oh, another idea, vegetarian chili and cornbread.  Make a mild version for your friend, then put out some tabasco sauce on the table for those who like it hot. Smiley  I like Rachael Ray's version:  Three Bean Vegetarian Chili.  You thicken it up and make it more "meaty" by stirring in refried beans.  It's pretty mild as is, but you could reduce the spices if you wanted.  It's vegan, except for the cheese on top, which of course could be left off.

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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2008 09:11:29 AM »

i'm in the low-carb catagory myself (my doc put me on it because of thyroid issues).  if you're looking for a pasta sort of thing, i'd suggest soy pasta, it's incredible and taste just like regular whole wheat pasta.  it's the hard stuff that you break up and put in the water for 5-7 minutes. i'd suggest doing that, or quinoa--which is kinda like couscous/rice sort of thing and maybe make some regular pasta and rice and then have an assortment of sauces, like regular spagehttie sauce or alfrado or soy sauce etc, and veggies, like zucchine and squash, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc and meats, like pork, chicken, beef, and maybe put out some pinnapple and marishino cherries and manderian oranges and nuts of sorts that are finally chopped up, almonds might work well, as well as peanuts and pecans. or you could put some toasted seasmee seeds out, and put out some of the spicier spices for people who want it.  and you can have your own pasta bar sort of thing.  and that way each person can have the meal to fit his or her own needs and his or her own taste.  and i got a low-carb cookbook for christmas, i can take a look at it and see if theres any good sort of party food for ya.

"Imagination is more important than Knowledge."-Albert Einstein

"Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood." - William Shakespeare

« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2008 08:40:16 PM »

Thanks for all the replies!  Number3legs, thanks especially for all the sites.  I ended up making a ton of homemade hummus--not the most lowest carb dish ever, but it pleased the vege crowd (one of whom was vegan!).  I also made a gigantic salad from romaine lettuce, cannellini beans, red onion, and green olives tossed with some olive oil and lemon juice and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Then I did my old pot-luck standby of Southern-style mac and cheese.  Not suitable for the vegan or for the low-carbers, but it worked out for everyone else.  So I think everyone managed to eat something, and luckily a good deal of folks contributed to the dinner as well by bringing their own dishes.
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008 01:00:22 PM »

That sounds delicious and like a very successful party Smiley congratulations!
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