Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vegan Party Time

On Friday I hosted a reception for the new grad students entering our department. I made the food, others provided the drinks, and everyone had a good time. Despite a few early bacon jokes, the menu went over smashingly with everyone (even bacon boy). I think if the food is good no one cares if it can be labelled vegan or not.  Above is the savoury table.

 In the back left are sliced baguettes (Peter Reinhart, of course).  In front of that, a plate of focaccia.
The idea was to use the bread a base for various toppings.  Pesto, for one.  The larger yellow bowl is garden fresh tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Simply, but really tasty.  There was also hummus, along with plenty of veggies.  The only thing not made by hand was the tortilla chips.  I went with the "scoop" variety of chips so they could easily hold the bean salsa (black eyed peas and black beans with chopped yellow and orange pepper, red onion, celery, and corn.  All this was tossed in olive oil, white wine vinegar, and lime juice then seasoned.  I would have added jalapeno and cilantro, but sometimes that does not go over well at parties).  
Rounding out the savoury table were samosas (curried potatoes and peas wrapped in phyllo and served with a mango chutney (oh, I bought that, too).
And here is the sweet table.  Ye olde classic fruit trays are at the end (berries and melons, mostly).  
The mini cupcakes were a hit--chocolate and vanilla with mocha buttercream.  Simple, but tasty.  
I also tried my hand at palmiers.  I will have to revisit these and post a recipe.  They did not stick together like I would have liked, but they tasted great and were not a lot of work.  
I also made a batch of mini turnovers (1 inch square pieces of dough) but found them too fiddly and did not make any more.  
All the food could be eaten without a fork, which is great when you are standing trying to negotiate food into your mouth whilst not spilling your drink.

I made and baked the baguettes, focaccia, turnovers, palmiers, samosas, and cupcakes ahead of time and froze them.  The thawed cupcakes were iced on the day of the party, and the samosas reheated.  Pesto and hummus were made the night before, and fruit and veggies were cut the day of the party.   

41 comments:

Tami said...

That first table shot is so colorful. It all looks wonderful. Lucky students!

Veggie Tales said...

Holy moly, you had some luck guests! That looks like some incredible and well though out party food.

kashy said...

I wish my dept. hosted such a vegan friendly back-to-school feast! Looks beautiful. :)

Jeni Treehugger said...

Everything looks AWESOME!! Well done you on spreading the vegan food love
:)

whatifandwhynot said...

vegan dad, you are my hero not only for your veganness, not only for your incredible, mouth-watering recipes, not just for your beautifully displayed delicacies and the photos that do them justice, but also for your incredible skill at coordinating massive spreads for (what is for me) large crowds. brilliantly done, once again.

Adam and Theresa said...

What a party! I hope they appreciated it. All my academic functions were usually more based around tea and biscuits or sherry (with the professors) or pints of real-ale at the student union (with fellow students). will keep a look out for a palmier recipe. Please post one soon! I've always wanted to do this but been put off by the amount of butter necessary in the traditional version.

Vegangele said...

What a fantastic way to introduce the another year for Nipissing's Graduate program! By the way, your blog is quite a hit here in Ottawa!

Craig Duncan said...

Curious what department you’re involved in as I’m a new graduate student in philosophy, (specializing in animal ethics) and, well, my reception had nothing vegan-friendly, except water. You’d think that of all the departments, the chances would have been in my favour. Oh well.

With that said, this food looks absolutely amazing. Bravo!

Mel Portela said...

Wow! Delightful and mouthwatering.

Lacie said...

nicely done. My husband and I host meat-eaters from time to time, it is hard to be certain a veggie meal will be a hit, but I agree, if it's good, it's good. we often go with Italian. the mock meats seem like a natural way to go, but usually I regret that later! I'm a follower of your page, love all of your mock meat recipes, do you have any that are gluten free? I've been gluten free (as my Breastfed daughter is allergic) for 7 months. really missing the chewy gravy, bbq sauce holding faux meats.

heatherly said...

It looks fabulous!

I really appreciate that you share your timing of the food preparation on your blog. It can look intimidating to pull off a party like that and it is easy to assume everyone with a blog is home all day with tons of leisure time.

Thanks for reinforcing that good, real food it possible with a little help and electricity.

atablespoonofliz said...

What a spread! Everything looks so amazing!

Sandra Kohlmann said...

Everything looks incredible. I can't to host a party to use some of these great ideas.

The letter J said...

I am thinking of holding a vegetarian party at the end of this year, thank you for your awesome idea. Awesome work!

Glo said...

That spread looks delicious, great job and thanks for sharing.

dropscone said...

Wow, it all looks great!

TL Frederick said...

looks great. I've been thinking about putting together a vegan spread for a large group of people, but feel a bit stressed about it, since there's so much planning involved. You seem to have done a lot of prep. NIce work! TL

Caitlin said...

this spread makes my mouth water!!

Jordan Trippeer said...

Geez. Are you available for weddings? :P It all looks delicious and beautiful.

greytveganlife said...

Wow, everything looks SO good. Almost makes me willing to go back to grad school. Almost. :)

Kim said...

I am considering becoming a grad student just so I can come to one of your parties! You are awesome!

Heather D-H said...

Oh wow wish my department welcomed new students with a vegan feast!

Josh said...

I sincerely hope you call him "bacon boy" during both his oral exams and his dissertation defense!

Kim said...

Oh my goodness that all looks amazing!
I've been wanting to try and make samosas but it seems difficult - seeing this post makes me want to give it a solid try =)

ashtot said...

Wow that looks so good. I need to up my cooking skills and recipe bank.

Millie said...

FANTASTIC!!!!

yellowduckie21 said...

Can I become a student in your grad department?! That looks amazing!!

vegansmarties said...

All of the food looks great and it is quite impressive that you put it all together yourself! Seems like such an effort :) I am sure all the food was very well received!

Catherine Lowe said...

Wowee, what an amazing job! Go you. I can only dream of one day having such an inspiring partner ;) haha

Vegan Tasmania said...

Yum it all looks great! Don't think I've ever eaten a long side meat eaters without bacon jokes.

Twinky said...

wow that amazing little things! and this is all vegan? congratulations!

Kate Allan said...

Wow! you were so super organised and everything looks delish! How could an omnivore possibly miss bacon with all of that!!

G.T said...

I just bought the Fish Taco from www.tagbuy.com, it's so yummy, check out their website.

Gabriela said...

Oh man, my partner is an academic, and this blows any back-to-school parties in his department out of the water! Those are some lucky grad students!

Unknown said...

I am speechless...I think you have now become my new party hero. Maybe if I learn the ins and outs of freezing, thawing and reheating, I can add years back onto my life!

Bunny said...

Wow. That looks incredible!

Mihika said...

DEFINITELY post the palmier recipe; I haven't eaten one since I went vegan! Everything looks super :)

calistacosmetics.com said...

Those cupcakes look incredible! I LOVE mocha and I have never thought to use that flavor as frosting. THANK YOU!

Chris the Juicer said...

Those cupcakes look amazing. Do you have the recipe for them?

talisma said...

Looks really good! I should hire you for my birthday party :)

riceevans said...

Amazing! Can't wait to cater my own department's back to school party eventually!