Help! I know I keep asking but can you please give me some ideas on how to feed 12 (maybe up to 20 when they have all made minds up) family members? At least 5 of them have decided to become vegetarians and 2 are definitely vegans.
As I am unsure of numbers I suppose it will have to be a buffet. Shame really because a sit down meal is so much easier. I don't cook for large numbers anymore so would welcome some suggestions. No. I am not taking them to the local chippy.
oh dear @Flossy its not easy is it, vegans often wont eat Cheese or eggs, vegetarians are so much easier to cater for, it might be easier to do a buffet, where they can pick and choose themselves. there are lots of recipes that you can use, that are rice or pasta dishes, salads etc, would you like me to look about and see if I can come up with a few things that are not going to take you long to put together.
Baked potatoes are a good idea, a lot of them, with dressings of grated cheese and onion, in another dish so they can help themselves, tossed salads, rice salads, crusty bread...... well its a start you can get cheese that says suitable for vegans
Sorry I can't be much help @Flossy as we only have a couple of friends who are vegetarian and we don't see them that often! (pleased to say we do have some other friends as well!!). @JustJoy has come up with loads of great ideas and I think the baked potatoes are an excellent one. Everybody loves those don't they? I know we do. What about Tapenade spread on a suitable bread/bagel/cracker/biscuit? Anyway, hope you soon get confirmed numbers so you can get cracking and have a fun time.
Thank you @JustJoy Just the kind of feedback I need.
Buffet it is then.
Butter and spreads
Cheese and vegan cheese
Soup - of course! Will serve it in the slow cooker so they can help themselves.
They won't starve - but won't be impressed either! What do these people (family actually) eat at home. No use asking they say 'oh I'll eat anything that isn't meat!
Vegan Bolognese with red lentils
Vegan chocolate brownies (I have a good recipe I found on the Internet, all recipes if you are interested)
You can make your own vegan milk from cashew nuts, almonds, etc and use the 'pulp' in porridge or cakes
investigate a product called Nutrirtion Yeast, available from Holland and B, where there is also a selection of vegan foodstuffs. The nutritional yeast should enable you to make a 'cheese' sauce which opens up a field of choice
Many of Lidl's regular everyday products (including the party food snacks) are suitable for vegans with the labelling being quite clear.
some products, like dark chocolate, are probably suitable for vegans but may not be labelled as such to to the factory where they were made (check with your guests to see how they feel about this)
if if you are having a buffet then the party food is a great option, and the buffet could easily be split into 3 sections catering for all requirements.
If you would prefer a sit down meal then there are options. You could do a hotpot, shepherds pie, or curry style dish, a vegan version and another for the others.
Maybe if you can find a bechamel sauce recipe suitable for vegans (using nutritional yeast?) you could do lasagne, one vegan and one meat.
The leftovers can easily be frozen so not too concerning regarding the numbers.
Vegetables are obviously suitable, perhaps stuffed peppers?
dont forget that you can buy vegan spread (margarine stuff). The main issues I discovered were cheese (which can be found along with many alternatives) and eggs.
once you get your head around the idea of catering for vegans it is quite fun!
Good luck @Flossy and I am sure your event will be a great success
I use nutritional yeast it's supposed to taste cheesy but it doesn't to me, it's just got a lovely savoury flavour (that being said I haven't ever made cheese with it ) I'm not vegan I just started buying it as I wanted to eat less cheese, so I use it on bolognese and things like that but it's got good B vits in it too, which is another bonus. Vegan cheese is pretty easy to get these days so no need to make your own if you don't want to.
You could look at some vegan blogs for ideas and take some of the simpler recipes from them @Flossy they aren't all complicated , but you're a confident cook aren't you, so I'm sure you'll make something wonderful quite easily. Deliciously Ella is a popular one, or you could just google plant based food and you'll get loads of recipes to choose from.
Rather than expect you to provide a spread of various options to cater for the numerous dietary spectrums why not express your concern and ask if they can help you by bringing at least one thing that they would like to eat - then that takes the pressure off you.
If I had a bunch of carnivores round I would be happy to have them but I would not be buying and cooking meat based food for them - they would have to bring something for themselves!
Keep it simple and you'll be fine, too many people get anxious about feeding fussy guests when the whole point is to
make it a nice social event.
Some things you could do though are:
Hummous (always goes down well, and homemade is really easy!)
Mexican salad with kidney beans, red and green peppers, tomatoes, oregano, ground cumin, a little chilli powder, a swish of olive oil and a big squeeze of lime juice
Indian vegetable samosaa
Serve it all with pita bread and tortilla chips
Here's cake recipe that's not too difficult to make and everyone should like a piece of it I'm sure.
Vegan Chocolate Gateau
10oz self raising wholemeal flour
2oz cocoa powder
1tbsp baking powder
9oz caster sugar
9tbsp sunflower oil
12fl oz water
2oz soya margarine (or other vegetable marg)
9oz icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
Heat oven to 160deg c
Grease and line a deep 8" round cake tin
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together
Add the sugar and vanilla
Gradually beat in the oil and water to make a smooth batter.
Pour into the cake tin
Bake for 45minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean
Leave in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out to cool.
Slice the cake into two.
For the chocolate fudge
Melt the margarine and water together
Remove from the heat and add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat until smooth and shiny.
Allow to cool until firm enough to spread.
Sandwich the cake with about two thirds of the fudge and spread the rest on the top.
Decorate with some chopped nuts (but not if anyone has a nut allergy of course)
Thanks @homebaker - really good ideas - and to make it easier I've got all the ingredients for your cake and fudge in the fridge/cupboards. Great - will make a 'test run' and 'test' the results myself - anything not to my own taste will be off the menu.
The idea of 'bring something you will eat' is brilliant. That's my get out of jail card. When we visit anyone and I mean anyone - even in restaurants - I always make sure that I take meals - ready for my son who is diabetic, etc and needs to eat the right food at the right time. So why shouldn't I turn the tables and ask them to bring something. Rob I should mention is now 40+ and relatives still do not cater for him. Wow - gone into a moan there - sorry. Didn't mean to. Shrug of shoulders and continue. I am actually looking forward to seeing everyone - just seem to have gone into a tizz about food for no reason. Put it down to silly old biddy syndrome. lol That was intended to be a joke.
@niceguy Know what you mean about nut allergy - lt's a shame that my nephew and his wife cannot make it - but that does save me another quandary - she is diabetic, strictly vegan, has nut allergy, has wheat intolerant, lactose intolerant - can't remember the other problems - but to be frank she is a nightmare to feed. But I must admit that a few weeks back she did make some really good soup and fed us very well - perhaps I should ask her for the recipe.
Is it just me? Do other family's struggle like this? I think it is something to do with age - things just seem to get harder.
BBC is a good idea to @Duchess - thanks.
Thanks too @Anonymous
All this talk of food has made me very hungry - so much for starting the new year easting sensibly