I’m having friends over for a little cocktail party (well, really just wine and beer) and am enjoying the challenge of putting together a good menu. My friends are easy-going types, but they aren’t vegan (or even vegetarian) so I want to make sure everything is especially yummy. And I want it all to be finger food. And I don’t have time to do a whole lot of cooking, so it has to be easy with a mix of fast recipes and store-bought items.
Here is what I’ve decided to serve:
Phyllo Cups with Artichoke Filling. In the best of all worlds—in which I’d be a lady of leisure—I would make my own little phyllo cups, but I’m using pre-made ones which I found in the dessert section of the grocery store freezer. And they are vegan! For the filling I’ve chopped 8 ounces of artichokes (packed in water, not oil), and mixed them with ¼ cup chopped green onions and 8 ounces vegan cream cheese. The little cups are precooked, so I am baking these at 350 degrees just long enough to get heated through.
Hummus: I’m buying Sabra brand—the only kind of premade hummus I will eat. It’s actually better than my own homemade hummus.
Guacamole: From Costco. I always have a stash of this in the freezer.
Little Vegan Spring Rolls. I just found these in the grocery store and they were on sale! They come with their own sauce, too.
Curried “Cheese” Dip: I’ve veganized this from a recipe on a cracker box. Stir together 8 ounces of vegan cream cheese, 5 tbsp mango chutney, 4 chopped green onions, 1 ½ tsp curry powder. Easy!
Toby’s Tofu Paté: I love this dip which is tofu blended with seasoning and celery. It’s usually in the refrigerator section near the tofu in natural foods markets. There are several different flavors, and also a low-fat version, but I use the “original” one.
I’ll have platters of tortilla chips, crackers, French bread wedges, and vegetable crudités. Mixed nuts and some kind of vegan chocolate, too. All told, I don’t think it will take me more than an hour to get things made and onto serving platters. A fun, sustainable and cruelty-free party that comes together with ease.
I left a message on the Self website, but I wanted to be sure you knew how much I appreciated the time you spent answering questions on that site. They were always thoughtful, thorough and seemed spot-on. I just wanted to send you some big thanks for being such a great guest expert. You have been so informative and complete in your answers – really one of the best I have seen on that site. Thanks so much for taking the time and being a conscientious advisor.