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Help - vegan friend coming to dinner!

(18 Posts)
LovingtheSilverFox Fri 15-May-09 11:52:13

Not sure if this is the right area for this question!

I have a vegan friend coming to dinner, her baby is just over a month old and its her birthday next week, so wanted to cook her something nice.

My self, DH and her husband are card carrying carnivores, so thought I could do an italian style meal, pasta, tomato sauce and then meatballs, meaty ones and vegan ones (cooked separately of course), salad, garlic bread and people can then help themselves to whatever they want.

I have these bright ideas, and now have no idea how to go about vegan garlic bread or vegan meatballs. Is there anywhere I can buy these things? (High street stores or home delivery please) Can I make the meatballs? If so are there any receipes that don't involve some odd ingredients? Sorry to sound pathetic, but I have 3 DCs under 3, and we are away this weekend, so I need to be able to get my hands on the ingredients easily!

Any ideas for pudding?!

Please help!

SoupDragon Fri 15-May-09 11:56:57

Make sure the pasta doesn't have egg/milk in it.

ilovemydogandMrObama Fri 15-May-09 11:57:39

Vegan garlic bread: make sure the bread is vegan, and use Pure (soya based margarine). Or you could do brushetta/olive oil, tomato and basil?

Not sure about vegan meatballs....

Pudding. Sorbet? Academicmum posted one with coconut milk and fruit!

LovingtheSilverFox Fri 15-May-09 12:05:30

Am already aware of the vegan pasta/bread issue, I make sure that everything I serve is vegan, as I know it can be difficult for her to eat out/at other people's houses, so accomodate as much as possible. I just don't want to end up getting takeaway again!

scarletlilybug Fri 15-May-09 12:08:00

Pudding - try Swedish glace. Tastes just as good as "normal" ice-cream. Serve with fruit salad, or a cruble made with soya margarine.

Not sure about vegan "meatballs" - what about a nice napolitana sauce, made with fresh tomatoes and basil leaves? Or some other vegetable-based pasta sauce.

Or a curry - there are so many lovely vegeatbe curries you could make that would be suitable for meat-eaters and vegans. And if you read the labels carefully, you should be able to find vegan samosas. Personally, I alsways think it's a bit of a shame to serve things that not everyone can eat (I mean, if you have invited guests around). JMO.

LovingtheSilverFox Fri 15-May-09 12:15:21

Will look at the swedish glace. I didn't know whether you could cook with things like soya margarine.

Could I use vegan mince then for the meat balls? Or does it not bind in the same way as meat? What could I use as a binding agent, I would normally use egg for meat meatballs.

SoupDragon Fri 15-May-09 12:18:52

Google vegan recipes - there are loads of sites.

TheProvincialLady Fri 15-May-09 12:19:48

I wouldn't bother with meatballs TBH. I am practically vegan (vegetarian and can't eat dairy because of BF DS2 who is allergic) and was vegan for many years. You tend to eat in a completely different way to a meat eater or even a vegetarian, and you don't expect these big lumps of meat substitute in the same way. I would imagine they would be happy with chickpeas in the sauce.

Re vegan garlic bread, I would use olive oil in place of the butter as vegan marg is fairly tasteless. Then you can all eat the same, which as scarletlilybug says is much nicer for everyone.

SoupDragon Fri 15-May-09 12:20:26

here's a meatball recipe.

Tidey Fri 15-May-09 12:21:24

Probably not very helpful as you've already decided on pasta, but.. veggie chilli or curry with baked potatoes always goes down well when my vegan friends visit.

pavlovthepregnantcat Fri 15-May-09 12:23:02

falafal, tahini sauce, mixed tabouleh/salad, pitta and olives? Mmmmm i would eat that right now if i could! Then you could also have for the meat eaters, lamb kebabs instead of falafel.

Stayingsunnygirl Fri 15-May-09 12:24:13

I was going to suggest chickpeas too, TPL, or perhaps falafel (if they can be made in a way that's suitable for a vegan).

LovingtheSilverFox Fri 15-May-09 12:29:38

Thank you all so much! Any ideas are welcome, as I can always bear them in mind for next time! We normally get takeaway as she knows what she can eat, but as money is getting more tight at the moment, I just think a homecooked meal might be nicer and cheaper!

SoupDragon thanks for the receipe, it looks easy enough! I don't mind the cooking, its getting hold of some of the ingredients that she has mentioned in the past, but I don't want to ask her as I want it to be a suprise!

ilovemydogandMrObama Fri 15-May-09 12:37:45

Agree with the sentiment of not cooking a meat substitute.

What about:

mushroom risotto (marigold do a vegan option)
good tomato sauce and pasta
dhal with cardamom rice

steamedtreaclesponge Fri 15-May-09 12:45:46

I agree with lots of the posters above - it can be a real pain trying to recreate a meaty meal for veggies/vegans. I'm a vegetarian and I hardly ever cook using meat substitutes - why bother when there are so many other lovely things you can do?

I think that eastern cuisines are easiest for veggies and vegans as they don't include many dairy products anyway - particularly middle eastern, thai, chinese, and indian recipes. There are lots of lovely things you can do with veggies, noodles, pulses or tofu where you wouldn't even notice that meat wasn't included.

Having said that I am always really grateful when people make the effort to accommodate for me when I go for dinner and I'm sure whatever you make will be lovely smile

A really good recipe book that you might find useful in the future is Eastern Vegetarian Cooking by Madur Jaffrey, which has loads of wonderful meat and dairy-free recipes.

meltedmarsbars Fri 15-May-09 12:49:04

Second the Madhur Jaffrey book - I have that and use it lots (and we are meat-eaters).

LovingtheSilverFox Fri 15-May-09 16:36:56

I grew up watching Madhur Jaffrey with my Nan! Didn't even think of that! I will order that book ASAP.

Many thanks ladies wink

SkaterGrrrrl Wed 16-Sep-09 13:35:30

I know this is an old thread but I always make this hearty barley and squah salad for vegans and it goes down a treat... even carnivores love it!

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