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How to Host a Raw, Vegan Thanksgiving for Friends

How to Host a Raw, Vegan Thanksgiving for Friends

It's a Thanksgiving dinner party for friends that won't leave you feeling stuffed - so pour the extra (organic) wine and enjoy a true culinary adventure this Thanksgiving with your friends!

This is the raw menu from the cookbook, "Living Raw Food," by Chef Sarma Melngailis.  This Thanksgiving menu was also served at Sarma's raw restaurant in New York City for Thanksgiving. 

Note that you need a dehydrator to make the recipes. 

 

The Menu

Serves 10 - 12 guests

Marinated mushrooms (can use dark and light for two-toned "meat")

Mashed root vegetables

Stuffing

Cranberry sauce

Brussels sprouts

Organic red and white wine

Vegan pumpkin pie with raw vegan whipped cream

 

 

The Scene

Think natural as a decor theme. Set your table with seasonal produce and simple candles in mismatched-sized jars. Decorate your house with a generous number of wildflower bouquets, and be sure to mix grasses, cat tails, and berry branches into the bouquets if you can. With all the time saved on cooking this meal, you will extra time to go for a nature walk and gather these supplies!  (Or your nearest farmer's market.)

 

The Recipes

From the cookbook, "Living Raw Food."

You can make all of these recipes one day ahead, and just warm everything up in your dehyrdrator 30-40 minutes before serving!

 

Marinated Mushrooms

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons minced rosemary

3 tablespoons each, minced sage and thyme

1 tablespoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

10-12 large portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and sliced thick on the diagonal

4-5 large king oyster mushroom stems, sliced thick on the diagonal (use extra portobellos if unavailable)

Combine all ingredients except mushrooms in a large bowl, whisk til well mixed.

Add mushrooms to the marinade and coat well. Set aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes. 

Place mushrooms on a teflex-lined sheet in your dehyrdator and allow to dehyrdate until the mushrooms become tender and look roasted, 1-2 hours. 

 

Mashed Root Vegetables

4 cups pine nuts, soaked 1 hour or more

2 cups water

4 cups celeriac, peeled and chopped

5 cups jicama, peeled and chopped

1.5 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 cups olive oil

4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons truffle oil

1 cup scallions, white and pale green parts, chopped

20 turns fresh ground pepper

2 teaspoons sea salt

 

In a blender, puree the pine nuts and water until smooth and creamy.

Place the puree in a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients, mix well.

Pour 1 cup pine nut cream and 3-4 cups of the vegetable mixture into a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside in a large bowl and continue with the remaining pine nut cream and vegetable mixture. 

Stir the mixture well and let sit for at least 2 hours to allow any liquid that forms to pool on top.

Pour off the liquid. If it's still a bit runny, place the mixture on a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze out any excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl and season with additional sea salt to taste.

 

Brussels Sprouts

1/4 cup pistachio oil

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pink pepper

5 cups Brussels sprouts

In a large bowl, whisk together the oils, maple syrup, salt and pepper.

Remove discolored outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts, and cut off the hard stems. 

Some leaves will separate from the core. Continue cutting away the hard interior until the sprout is entirely separated into individual leaves, placing the leaves into the oil mixture as you separate them. Repeat with the remaining Brussels sprouts

Toss the sprouts mixture and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, for more tender Brussels sprouts, place them on a Teflex-lined tray in the dehyrdator for up to 45 minutes. You can also do this just before serving so that they will be warm.

 

 Stuffing

4 cups chopped cauliflower florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt

8 cups ground pecans, ground to a crumbly texture in the food processor

2 cups carrots, peeled and diced small

2 cups celery, diced small

2 cup onion, peeled, diced small

1 teaspoon truffle oil

2 tablespoons rosemary, minced

3 tablespoons thyme, minced

freshly ground black pepper

Place cauliflower in food processor and process until it has a texture similar to sesame seeds, with no large pieces.

Add the olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and process just until mixed.

Spread the mixture on a Teflex sheet and dehyrdate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, mix the other ingredients in a large bowl.

Remove the cauliflower from the dehydrator, mix with the remaining ingredients, and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

 

Cranberry Sauce

8 ounces fresh cranberries

1/2 cup filtered water

1/4 agave nectar

2 strips orange zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

about 2 cups Irish Moss, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes or more, drained

In a high-speed blender, puree all the ingredients except for the Irish moss until very smooth. 

Add the Irish moss to the blender and mix at high speed until the mixture heats up to about 115 degrees Farenheit.

Pour the mixture into a bowl or shallow pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

 

 

 

Dessert:

Raw, Vegan Pumpkin Pie - Recipe available at the Real Foods Witch blog.

Top it with raw whipping cream: 

Refrigerate full-fat coconut milk until chilled, then whip until fluffy! Add a bit of your favourite sweetner and vanilla if you'd like. 

Mmmm!

 

 

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How to Host a Vegan Tapas Dinner Party

How to Host a Vegan Tapas Dinner Party

 

Host a Vegan Tapas Dinner

A Party Planning Guide

Having a vegan tapas party can be tasty, healthy, and even fun and exciting, even for your non-vegan friends.  

It's fun to try new things at a dinner party, and making it a tapas party will mean lots of fun little bites of vegan delights to try, it's a great way to try many types of different vegan flavours at once!

All my recipes are at the bottom of this post. I'd love to hear about your experience if you give this dinner party a try!

 

Setting the Scene

Tapas-style means sharing many small dishes, perfect for a dinner party because it encourages lots of sharing and interaction.

To set the table for this style of eating, put down side plates instead of full dinner plates at each place setting. You will need the extra room at the table for many platters!

Because you will want to bring many different dishes to the table at once, use the largest table you have, and keep the decorations simple - I used candles in jars and a tablecloth. 

 

The Menu

Easy Sangria 

Salted radishes, mixed olive platters

Rosemary and white bean dip with fresh bread

Cucumber hummus cups topped with olive tapenade

Rice paper wraps with dipping sauce

Polenta bruschetta bites

Mint chocolate "nice cream"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Recipes

Easy Sangria 

2 bottles vegan red wine + 2 Litres Ginger Ale + mixed frozen fruit + sliced lemon/limes

Mix early in the day to allow the flavours to develop - and so a drink is ready as soon as your guests walk in the door! 

Salted radishes, mixed olive platters

Coconut-crusted tofu bites + Mango Dipping Sauce

Drain 2 packages of firm tofu, press onto paper towels to release extra moisture. Cut into medium-large cubes. 

Set up 3 bowls:

Bowl 1: 1/4 cup flour + 1 tsp each salt, garlic powder
Bowl 2: 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 tbsp flour 
Bowl 3: 1 cup shredded coconut

Heat coconut oil in a medium/high frying pan. Dip each tofu cube in bowl 1, then bowl 2, then bowl 3, then put in heated oil on frying pan. Pat extra coconut flakes if needed. Pan fry on all sides until golden. Work in batches. 

Remove from frying pan and let cool on paper towel to soak extra oil. 

Mango dipping Sauce: In food processor/blender combine: 2 cups peeled cubed mango (cheat: use frozen!) + 2 tbsp agave syrup + 1 tsp lime juice + 2 tbsp coconut milk + 1/2 tsp salt + 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. 

Rosemary and white bean dip with fresh bread

1 - 14 oz can white beans + 1 clove of garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder + 1.5 tablespoons olive oil + fresh ground salt and pepper + squeeze of lemon juice

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Make this one the day before if you want! Serve with fresh bread, or whatever form of carbs you prefer.

Cucumber hummus cups topped with olive tapenade

To Make the hummus: Mix 1 - 14 oz can chickpeas (organic is best!) + 1 tbsp lemon juice +  salt + pepper + 1 tbsp tahini paste + 3 garlic cloves (or less, or more, depending how much you like garlic).  Blend it all together in a food processor. The hummus can be made the day before the party.

To assemble the hummus cups: Slice cucumbers into 1-2 inch rounds. Scoop out a bowl into the top of each round. Fill with hummus. Top with olive tapenade. (Olive tapenade = Get from the deli to save time!)

Rice paper wraps with dipping sauce

To make the rice wraps: Chop up any combination of veggies you'd like into thin strips. Fresh herbs are great too. Chop first then line them up for easy assembly. Some suggested fillings: bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, thin strips of carrots, strips of fresh basil or cilantro, thin strips of bell peppers, lettuce. Anything really!

The rice wraps (which you bought at the store), will have directions on them - follow those! Then fill and wrap them.

To make the dipping sauce: Pull out your blender/food processor again! Blend together the following ingredients: 1" piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin + 1 small clove garlic + 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter + 2 tbsp soy sauce + 1 packed tsp brown sugar + pinch crushed red pepper flakes.  

Thin it out as much as needed with water to make it blend - adding a little water at a time until you get the right consistency. Another thing you can make the day before! (Put in fridge and bring to room temperature to serve.)

Polenta bruschetta bites

Prepared polenta roll (in the refrigerator section of store) - slice into 12 even rounds, then fry in olive oil til crispy, flipping once or twice. 

Arrange on a cookie sheet. Top with diced tomatoes, torn fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Bake in 375 oven for about 10 minutes. 

Mint chocolate "nice cream"

This recipe is delicious, and it's from a blog called "Natural Noshing," visit this blog here 

Ingredients: 1 can full fat coconut milk + 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 2 tsp vanilla + few drops peppermint extract (about 1/4 tsp) + 3 tbsp agave + small handful of fresh spinach + pinch sea salt + handful vegan mini chocolate chips

Blend everything but the chocolate chips in the blender, then chill in the fridge until the party. When ready to make dessert, churn in the ice cream maker with the chocolate chips. This step takes about 15 - 20 minutes, depending on the ice cream maker. 

 

 

 

 

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