Can I have a holiday party and have vegan food for my guests without freaking them out?

The answer is yes!!! This past weekend we at our apartment had a holiday party, and I had the task of creating a party menu for approx 30-40 ppl of which maybe 2 of them are vegetarians (no vegans). Sounds like a doozy, right? Well, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I got compliments all night on the food! Also, our budget was extremely tight, so we had to be sure to watch our overall spending.

Now, if you knew our friends, you’d know that they are drinkers. And I mean big time drinkers. We’re all in our mid-late 20s and still think we can party like we did when we were 21! Myself included. So I spent most of the next day recovering (and that did involve some cheese, I might add). But Saturday was a success, so I am proud of that.

Here is the menu below (note that I had to stay carb heavy so as to counteract the amount of booze that was being consumed). I didn’t want to end up with a bunch of trashed people with nothing in their stomach! Not a good combination!

Pita and Hummus (store bought)
Chips and Salsa (store bought)
Artichoke Canapes (recipe below)
Macaroni salad (recipe below)
Bok choy salad (recipe was posted last week)
Cornbread and honey butter (recipe below)
Homemade Chex Mix (recipe below)

One other element I was dealing with was a lack of time (I’m sure everyone can relate). I did not have the time to make EVERYTHING from scratch…so I had to cheat and do store bought where I could. Also, since I wasn’t in vegan company, I thought it would be best to start with regular non-vegan recipes and just tweak them to suit my dietary needs. That way people were eating things that were familiar to them, and I was not eating inhumanely!

*Note I did not take pictures, because I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I wish I did though……it looked amazing!

Artichoke Canapes
(this recipe was pulled out of an InStyle mag about 5 years ago!)

Cut up marinated artichoke hearts (a 7 ½ oz jar)
Toasted white bread cut into squares (approx 16-20 squares)
6 tbsp mayo (I used Wildwood garlic aioli instead)
3 tsp parmesan (I used my alternative-recipe below)
2 tsp minced shallots

*1 part nutritional yeast flakes and 1 part unhulled sesame seeds-grind in a coffee grinder)

Put a piece of artichoke hearts on top of the toast pieces and spread the mixture over the top. Broil for 2-3 minutes and serve hot.

Macaroni Salad
(this is my grandfathers recipe, which I am proud to serve!)

1 package uncooked macaroni pasta
4 tbsp Veganaise (original recipe called for mayo)
1 can chopped olives (drained, but reserve the liquid)
2 stalks celery, diced
½ onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 shakes Worcestershire sauce*
Salt and pepper
Pinch dried oregano
Pinch dried parsley

Mix all ingredients into the bottom of a bowl, except for the pasta. Boil the pasta and drain. Mix the pasta with the sauce, chill, and serve. Add in olive juice as needed to maintain moistness.

*I just noticed that Worcestershire sauce has anchovies as an ingredient. I didn’t know or suspect that. I am sure there is an alternative though.

Cornbread and Honey* Butter (I am not sure where I got this recipe)

1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
1 ½ cups flour
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups soy milk or rice milk
2 large eggs (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer instead)
½ cup corn oil

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Oil a 9 inch square baking pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a second large bowl whisk together soy milk, eggs or egg replacer, and oil. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture and stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick.

For the honey butter I just mix Earth Balance and honey together and there you have it.

*I have not stopped eating honey myself. Other vegans I’m sure would disagree. But that’s what makes this blog so wonderful….that we all have different opinions and viewpoints. I personally have not seen or read of any reasons for not eating honey, so I have not made that change. For next week, I will research into it and report back for those that are interested. It will be a learning experience for me too!

Homemade Chex Mix
(from July/Aug issue of Weight Watchers magazine)

6 tbsp light butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
5 cups rice chex cereal
5 cups corn chex cereal
1cup tiny pretzel twists
1/3 cup lightly salted peanuts (watch out for nut allergies)

Place the butter in a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until melted, about 5 minutes on high. Add the curry powder, soy sauce, sugar, paprika, cumin, and salt; mix well. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well. Cook, uncovered, about 45 minutes, stirring well every 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is crisp and fragrant, 3-4 hours. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.


  1. Bummer! I am sorry I missed this party...the macaroni dish sounds amazing. I have to try it!!
    Thx sis!

  2. Oh sister! The artichoke canapes were delicious, I could not stop eating them!! Thx for the treats!