Dinner Party. But Make it Vegan.

By Carolyn Stine May 18, 2019 

We’re taking Meatless Monday to a whole ‘nother level with our guide to hosting a fully vegan dinner party.

Fake cheese. Tofu and tempeh. Lentils on lentils. Yeah, these not-so-savory stereotypes are what often comes to mind when people think about vegan cuisine. Dinner parties, on the other hand, evoke images of lavish cheese boards, large format meat entrees, and decadent baked goods for dessert (with whipped cream and a cherry on top, of course). Needless to say, these two concepts seem to feel completely at odds with each other, at the outset. But with all of the growing curiosity and demand for vegan cuisine out there in the ether, we decided that it was worth investigating how we could host a dinner party in a way that feels effortless, sophisticated, delicious… and vegan. And ladies, you heard it here first, it can be done and done with style. We’re taking the guesswork out all all things vegan, from the obvious areas (don’t serve a roast chicken) to the not-so-obvious areas (have you thought about those wool throw blankets on your sofa?). By the time we’re done here, you’ll be prepped and ready to host a vegan dinner party in your very own home (tofu sold separately).

Vegan Dinner Party | Bashed

Do's and Don'ts of Vegan Entertainment

Listen up, folks. There is a whole lot of confusion out there surrounding what it really means to be vegan, versus eating a plant-based diet or being a vegetarian. And while diets are always personal and differ from human to human, these are the generally agreed-upon guidelines for what is considered to be vegan versus vegetarian versus plant-based.

Vegetarian - A vegetarian does not consume animal meat, but may consume animal products, such as honey and dairy.

Plant-based - A plant-based person does not consume animal meat or products, but may use products derived from animals in their day to day lives.

Vegan - A vegan neither consumes animal products, nor uses any products containing or derived from animals.

Do’s of a Vegan Diet

Yes to fruits and vegetables

Yes to beans and legumes

Yes to nuts and seeds

Yes to grains

Yes to tofu, tempeh, seitan

Don’ts of a Vegan Diet

No to meat

No to poultry

No to fish

No to eggs (don’t forget about mayonnaise and baked goods here!)

No to dairy

No to honey

No to items that contain gelatin (such as marshmallows)

Alcohol

You’re in luck - the vast majority of hard alcohols are vegan-friendly! There are a small number of exceptions, so watch out for spirits that contain honey (hello, Jack Daniels Honey) and anything cream-based (we’re looking at you, Bailey’s). There are also a ton of vegan beer on the market, and even the classics such as Corona and Budweiser fit the bill. With wine, things can be a little bit more tricky. The vast majority of wineries process their wine using animal byproducts, but don’t always disclose this information on their websites, where you may be looking. Check the natural or biodynamic section of your local wine shop for wines that explicitly call out that they are vegan. We’ve found that talking to the wine shop staff about your vegan preferences is always a great starting point for finding a wine that you love that also fits your vegan-friendly specifications. We also rely on Barnivore, which is a comprehensive vegan alcohol listing that is updated frequently, and contains both beer and wine brands.

Vegan Dinner Party | Bashed
Homesick

Decor Dreams

Now that you’ve gotten the lay of the land with the vegan cuisine for your dinner party, let’s move onto the non-edible portion of the evening. Part of embracing the vegan lifestyle, even if it’s for one night only, is paying attention not only to what you’re putting into your body, but what you are surrounding yourself with. The term “vegan” refers to the menu, the decor… all of it.

These are a few ground rules that will help you to think about creating a vegan-friendly environment in your home. Vegans do not use anything made from the skin, hair, or feathers of animals. This rules out things like fur, wool, and silk in your furnishings. Stick to cotton, linen, and hemp, which are plant fibers, for your tablecloth, placemats, and napkins, and avoid leather accents, which can sneak up in places such as your napkin ring trim.

Candles are another area that hosts and hostesses don’t often think about initially. Beeswax candles are not vegan-friendly, so we like to opt for candles made from natural soy wax, which burn just as bright and smell just as fragrant.

Vegan Dinner Party | Bashed
Good Housekeeping

Now What Do I Serve?

When we first set out to craft menus for our ultimate vegan dinner party, we will admit, we were a bit nervous that our options would be, well, limited. However, as soon as we starting getting the lay of the land, we realized that the delicious, plant-based options are truly limitless, and we actually had trouble narrowing down all of the incredible recipes that we discovered and tried. Here are two example menus that can serve as a template for your next vegan dinner party, but remember that the possibilities are endless, and this is just a starting point.

 

Mediterranean Vegan Feast

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Spiced Up Hummus

Mixed Provencal Olives with Preserved Lemon

Falafel with Tahini

Spicy Cauliflower Sabzi with Cashews

Basil Berry Lemon Sorbet

 

Asian Fusion Vegan Feast

Edamame with Chile Salt

Spring Rolls with Carrot Ginger Dipping Sauce

Sugar Snap Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles

Broccoli and Tofu with Creamy Miso Dressing

Vegan chocolate pudding

Play On

No dinner party is complete without an epic playlist providing constant energy in the background, and we decided to have a little bit of fun with this one. Instead of opting for our usual Spotify selections, we put together an exclusive playlist for Bashed readers, consisting of all vegan artists.

 

Moby - We Are All Made of Stars

Joan Jett - I Love Rock ‘N Roll

Alanis Morissette - Head Over Feet

Thom Yorke - Reckoner

Jack Johnson - Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For?

Andre 3000 - Roses

Joss Stone - Super Duper Love

Anthony Kiedis - By the Way

George Harrison - My Sweet Lord

Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen

Jennifer Lopez - Waiting for Tonight

John Lennon - Woman

Adele - When We Were Young

Jason Mraz - The Remedy

Vegan? Vegan curious? Trying to incorporate more plant-based goodness into your entertaining? Share your tips and tricks with us below!

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Carolyn Stine

A party without cake is just a meeting.

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