Two years ago, my eldest had requested that I cater her senior recital at her college. Although the reception went nicely, I felt the table looked a little bare. When she contacted me to cater her graduate recital, not only did I want to fill the table more, but pleasing the masses became more complicated because my daughter had become vegan.
Typically, I don’t like to be the boring cheese and crackers type of server. In this case, even cheese wasn’t something that could be placed on a vegan menu – not to mention that some of the crackers weren’t vegan as well. However, I wasn’t planning on just a vegan menu, so here’s what I did to provide choices for different eating styles.
Creating a vegetable tray and a fruit tray were a must. Both vegan and non vegan crackers were provided for roasted red pepper hummus, a vegan cheese spread I created, and a vegan dip with vegan sour cream and Italian spices. I also made a vegan lavender cake and vegan key lime bites. A cake was also ordered for the non-vegan crowd.
We dressed up the table with a table cloth and a floral centerpiece that had two candles. On each side, there were chafing dishes with stuffed mushrooms. We also had a slow cooker filled with cranberry cocktail meatballs to the right. A ranch vegetable dip was provided for non vegans, and milk chocolate covered strawberries were also set out on the table. Butter mints were placed on each end of the table.
My mother made small cheese balls called Savory Cheese Truffles and Salsa Bites using recipes from the Pampered Chef. The recipes were never tried prior to making them, and they came out so well that I would venture to say that the Pampered Chef site would be a good source for finding appetizers for your next event:
The Salsa Bite recipe can be found here: http://www.pamperedchef.com/recipe_search/recipe.jsp?id=12521
The Savory Cheese Truffles can be found here: http://www.pamperedchef.com/recipe_search/recipe.jsp?id=40798
The vegan portion of the menu:
I served a vegan punch made with strawberries and pineapple juice. It was really good, and I would recommend it if you’re trying to avoid using sherbet. The recipe can be found here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/73113193922668644/
Sweetened frozen strawberries were NOT used for this recipe. Frozen strawberries without a sweetener were used. The punch had just the right amount of sweetness to it, but you could always add vegan sugar. Also, frozen punch was put into the punch bowl to keep it cold.
Vegan Lavender Almond Cake:
I created my own “butter cream” frosting using vegan butter, vegan powdered sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla. Substitute these items for your favorite frosting recipe to go vegan. http://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/vegan-lavender-almond-cake
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus – you can find recipes for this by doing a search or create your own with Tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice, roasted red bell peppers, and seasonings to taste.
Key Lime Pie Bites – I used a recipe for a vegan key lime pie, but converted it to mini muffin pans. They were brought in frozen to the event and kept on ice until ready to serve. Surprisingly, these went quickly with vegans and non-vegans alike. Thanks to the minimalist baker for this post: http://minimalistbaker.com/7-ingredient-vegan-key-lime-pies/
Vegan Sour Cream Dip – Using a container of vegan sour cream, two tablespoons of Italian Seasoning (for Italian Dressing) were used, mixed, and served in a nice glass bowl.
Vegan Cheese Spread – This was a complete accident. I ended up using two containers of vegan cream cheese, one container of vegan sour cream, two chives chopped up, two tablespoons of Italian Dressing seasoning, and one package of vegan cheddar. I put all of these into a food processor. It won’t get completely smooth, but it’s good enough for spreading onto a cracker. I liked it chunky (prior to putting into the food processor) as well. Sprinkle with some extra chopped chives. Serve cold in a glass bowl.