It doesn’t have to be a #MeatFreeMonday to celebrate the power of plants in delicious meals! More and more people (celebrities and sports stars included) are extolling the virtues of a plant based diet. If you have vegan guests coming over for dinner, rest assured that it’s possible to wow them with a plant based menu so mouth-watering that we think even the serious carnivores will be impressed! Not only will your meal taste delicious, it will also be a visual feast as fresh herbs and vegetables can look so colourful and appetising on a plate.
Instead of a plated starter, why not impress your guests with a beautifully laden Mediterranean-inspired platter of veggies, olives, nuts and dips to taste and enjoy with bread and crackers? Dress the platter with interesting and unusual choices such as purple baby carrots, dukkah-infused hummus, spicy chermoula and don’t forget crunchy radishes for a dose of ruby red colour. Micro greens and herbs add a tasty flourish.
Ideas to try: piles of sugar snap peas with tzatziki, paprika-dusted corn on the cob drizzled with olive oil, tofu tempura, dolmades, babaganoush and falafel.
If it’s a chilly evening, you can’t go wrong with a hearty soup. Make the soup the day before and freeze any leftovers for lunch at the office. This Green Vegetable Minestrone is groaning with goodness – simply substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock. Served with crusty bread, this soup is virtually a meal on its own.
If a plated meal is on your agenda, there is so much you can do with vegetables. Slow cooked casseroles are always a great bet in winter and can be left to cook for a few hours – this Brinjal, Chickpea and Tomato Slow Pot with Quinoa is a surefire crowd pleaser, and this wholesome Mushroom, Baby Marrow & Lentil Ragu Lasagne made with cashew nut cheese will go down a treat. For a lighter, more casual meal why not try this Zucchini Noodle Summer Pot (substitute the halloumi for tofu or vegan cheese).
Impress your guests by serving sophisticated Poached Pears with Saffron – infused with cinnamon, these are the perfect partner for a homemade sorbet – click here for a basic sorbet recipe that can be flavoured with any fruits or even coconut milk.
Tip: make the pears the day before and see how the flavours intensify!
Cook’s Notes: Substitutes
Veganism means not only cutting out meat, but fish, dairy and eggs too. Luckily there are so many substitutions available on supermarket and health shop shelves these days. Look below for some quick fix swop solutions.
Plant friendly meals make a difference to the planet and your health too. Visit our recipe website and browse our vegan and vegetarian recipes that can help make your next dinner party a #meatfree one.