If you’re vegan, your partner is vegan, or your best friend is vegan, it can seem that hosting a dinner party with non-vegans present is simply not an option. Obviously you could cook two meals, a vegan one and a non-vegan one, but that literally doubles the workload, and makes for an incredibly stressful evening. The only realistically doable option is to persuade your carnivorous friends to eat vegan for an evening, which seems like a huge challenge: How are they going to get through a meal without the presence of any red meat, fish, cream, butter, eggs, or cheese?
Creating a vegan dinner party menu even carnivores will love may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but with this menu, it’ll be easy. The meat-eaters won’t even notice the lack of meat, while the vegans will be amazed by the dishes, and they’ll be so impressed by how caringly you’ve catered for them. The evening will be just as delicious, beautiful, and satisfying as it would be were you cooking a meal for a group of people who eat everything.
The best way to start is with some communal appetizers that can be shared and enjoyed while you sip on your (vegan) wine. A selection of dips served with crudités, crackers, chips, and breadsticks, is a delicious way to start any meal. Offering a range of items will stop anyone from thinking that his or her meal is being limited in some way — just one way of dispelling the meat-eaters belief that vegans can only eat lentils and celery. This fresh lemon-mint hummus recipe, this stunning beet hummus, a rich roasted garlic kale hummus, this creamy fava bean dip, and a zingy guacamole, are all tasty and popular options.
You make think that an impressive entrée is going to be the biggest challenge, but this baked eggplant, chickpea, and green chili recipe, is the answer to all your problems. Sprinkled with bright pink pomegranate seeds and vibrant fresh herbs, it’s a stunning dish to present to the table. Rich with chickpeas; a deep, spicy tomato sauce; and perfectly grilled eggplant, no one will notice that there’s no ground beef hidden in those layers. This dish is a substitute-free flavor sensation that will bring everyone around to a vegan way of eating. Serve it with warmed crunchy bread, herbed flatbreads, or steamed rice, and with a big, green, crunchy side salad. This will ensure all of your guests feel like they’ve got a balanced meal with plenty on their plates: A meal without meat doesn’t have to be a meal without substance.
We’re not going to ask you to serve chia pudding for dessert, or to swap the molten chocolate cake for a bowl of pineapple. Instead, make sure your guests leave with no intention of eating again for a couple of days by serving up this decadent banana, peanut butter, and chocolate sauce sundae. Not only is it secretly fairly healthy, but serving ice cream and chocolate sauce will really mean that those carnivores will have no idea that this whole meal was vegan. When you reveal the big secret to them at the end of the meal, the expression on their faces will be priceless — veganism will hopefully not seem so alien to them anymore.