I like to host semi-regular parties at my house. It allows me to share love with my friends via exciting food and, let’s be honest, it prompts me to keep my apartment clean.
Last month I hosted a birthday/housewarming, well, for myself. (My parents always think it’s funny when I throw parties around personal milestones. That’s just what my friends do. “Hey, it’s my birthday, let’s go out and do karaoke!” It’s not so much self-glorification as it is an excuse to hang out with your besties.)
This would be my first fully vegan party. When I last hosted a party (almost a year ago now, because I went for a long time without a place of my own), I tried to meld my personal burgeoning veganism with more mainstream tastes, making beef tacos and chickpea tacos.
When I dumped the beef into the pan of hot oil, the oil splattered all over my body (I was wearing a strapless dress), face and eyes.
Hot pink burns and blisters visibly formed throughout the night and I crankily, only half-jokingly told my guests to eat up the beef tacos because I sacrificed my body for them.
I visited the urgent care doctor two days later for treatment. I pledged never to make meat just to appease a bunch of people again.
Anyway. This party. I wanted to stick to a vegan menu, but not make it over-the-top obvious that it was vegan.
My best friend, Sara, helped me out. First, she surprised me by bringing a huge tub of hamantaschen.
Um. Divine. They tasted like homemade Fig Newtons. But without figs. And better.
Also on the menu:
-Happy Herbivore Abroad taquitos, but with chopped up chipotle peppers in adobo sauce mixed into the beans for some heat (easiest snack ever, just roll refried beans up into tortillas and bake).
-Deviled potatoes – I melded the Happy Herbivore Light and Lean filling mixture with Post Punk Kitchen’s method of roasting the potatoes, which I think is more flavorful than boiled potatoes. But the HHLL filling is easier to put together because you don’t have to soak and puree cashews.
-Hummus and veggies. A classic. No stress.
-Buffalo cauliflower with dill dip. Quite a big hit.
-I made this chocolate pie, but forgot to serve it. Oops. But I took it home to my parents the next day and they freaking loved it. I didn’t tell my mom until after she was sold on it that it contained silken tofu. It’s flavorless, purely a texture builder. Also it takes five minutes if you use a store-bought crust.
-I was going to make jalapeno poppers, but got too preoccupied fixing everything else and decided the guests had enough to eat. So if you have recommendations for what I should do with 12 jalapeno peppers, that would be great, thanks.
Not everyone who came over knew I was vegan.
But when it was brought up, a guest or two was like, “Oh yeah, I guess this is all vegan! I just thought it was creative food.”
I don’t like to hit people over the head with vegan-ness. Just let the food speak for itself. Then people will love it for being delicious and not have the mental note of, “This is good for vegan food.”
Friends know that when I have them over, I’ll feed them well. I’m glad that continues into my plant-based life.