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 Post subject: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:25 pm 
Tofu Pup Forever
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Hi All,

I am in desperate need of some challenging snack advice.

A few friends and I host a monthly event that centres around craft beer culture. By "event" I pretty much mean party. We get 100+ guests and the cost is around $20, (depending on the month), to get a ticket.

This month I am in charge of the food.

I'm the only vegan member of the group and I want to do a full on vegan spread but I want the actual vegan aspect of it to fly under the radar. Basically, if people don't like the food I'll never get to do it again, and beer culture is generally partnered with carnivore "culture". I reeeeaaaaaalllllllllly want to change that perception and introduce the idea that it doesn't have to be that way.

I need suggestions for snacks that can be laid out at the beginning of the night, (events run about 5 hours), and noshed on casually throughout the eve. There are things like hummus and chips and salsa but I'm trying to come up with something less obvious. They already think we all live on hummus* anyway and this is about changing all those stereotypes.

Also my budget is $150/120 guests. That's just over a dollar a guest.

Any ideas would be un-freakin-believe-ably appreciated!!!

Thanks muchly!!!

*Full Disclosure: I do live mostly on hummus but that's because it's awesome. Stereotypes be damned! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:34 pm 
Semen Strong
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Dayna R made the most amazing soft prezels stuffed with veggie pepperoni, though that wouldn't fit your budget.

But maybe storebought pretzels and a variety of mustards to try? That is vegan and awesome and cheap!

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:35 pm 
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Make soft pretzels!


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:06 am 
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one of my standby dishes for things like this is dried tomato twists- make dough like for foccaccia/pizza (i use the VWAV recipe), but add sundried tomatoes (or rosemary and salt, or oregano, or olives, or whatever floats your boat), cut into thin strips with a pizza cutter and twist them up, bake them and cut them into appropriate sizes. people go nuts for them.
pretzels and mustard are my favorite beer snacks!
bruschetta toasts, also good, and whatever seasonal veggie you might get at a good price (cucumber chunks with a small plop of miso in summer, for example, and if you have small potatoes you could do salt-boiled with pepper sauce from Tropical Vegan, those are great for winter)

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:53 am 
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Yes on soft pretzels with an assortment of mustards!

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:12 am 
Semen Strong
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Everytime I read the thread title I imagine a snack saying "Well, beer event, you're looking very fine this evening!"

All the snacks suggested sound like a great complement to beer though!

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:19 am 
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If you want something to be eaten with a plate and fork, you could make the Potato Spinach squares from VB. If you make them thinner by using a larger dish than the recipe calls for and cut them into small squares they could even be eaten with hands, instead of plate and fork.

Chickpea cutlets made into walnut sized balls, flattened, and baked are delicious cold too, although I don't know if it would fit your budget.

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:29 am 
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you can do roasted crunchy chickpeas with sriracha (can of of beans are like $1.25 a can - organic). you can also buy bulk nuts from the bins at the store and come up with flavor combos with spices you already have on hand.

do you live near a trader joe's? they have premade vegan pizza dough at about $1.50 a bag. they also have cheap prices on tofurky italian links - under $4 a pack. you could buy a few bags of dough, a couple of things of links (i think each link would produce 3-4 big bite pieces, each pack has 4 links) and make mini links in a blanket roll up. skewer each with a tooth pick & serve with their vegan traditional marinara (a jar costs like $1.50). you can also do many calzones this way, crumble up a pack of the links (a pack could stretch further this way) and use their vegan cheeze.

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:34 am 
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I had a dream about flautas/taquitos last night (best dream) and though I was dreaming about Flaco's, taquitos are really easy to make and can be as inexpensive as you want them to be! If they are fried right, they should stay crunchy for at least a little while at room temperature. All the vegan recipes I found from google are baked, which is kind of lame, though maybe they're good.

Also, bar nuts! You can go as cheap as peanuts with the shell on if you like!

Once I had to make a snack for a grad school reception where all my classmates were super wary of vegan food. I had no time or tonnes of money (but I did have a small budget), so I just bought a bunch of wraps, avocado, spinach, tomato, and kalamata olives. I chopped everything for the filling, spread some vegenaise with a touch of sriracha on the wraps and a slightly thicker layer of the mixture, rolled it up (I used square thin flatbread from the Middle Eastern store but grocery store wraps would do), and cut them into giant sushi-like rounds held together with a toothpick. I know it sounds ridiculously simple, but people loved them and kept telling me that they had no idea vegans can eat mayo (vegenaise being the most expensive item of the whole recipe) so I was like an undercover brand ambassador for Follow Your Heart the whole night.


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:36 am 
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flacos taquitos are the best! i think anything fried though would loose so crunch/just get oily as hours passed. i could be wrong - since i only have fried food outside the home that is consumed right away.

here are a few more ideas i thought of:

tofu satay - lil cubes of thai spiced tofu with peanut sauce
home made potato chips - fancier than store bought, can get crazy with spices.
stuffed baguette slices
puff pastry samosas
if you live near a Target Gardein is on sale - you can buy bags of the premade meat balls for about $3.50 a bag and can make a sweet and spicy sauce or gravy, serve with toothpicks.

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:36 am 
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Yes to in shell peanuts! They are my favorite beer accompaniment.
Man, I'm that guy. I want the most boring stuff with beer.


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:27 pm 
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My first thought was potato skins. I was just flipping through Chloe's Kitchen today, so this recipe in particular popped into my head:http://veggiegoodness.blogspot.com/2012/06/mini-potato-skins-stuffed-with-avocado.html

My next thought was roasted chickpeas seasoned a few different ways. (My top pick would be "bacon-y" seasoning.)

I also agree with the people who suggested soft pretzels with different dips. Really any food that you can serve with a choice of dipping sauces should be a good bet.

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:04 pm 
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Yes yes yes to soft pretzels! They'd be super cheap to make, just flour and yeast basically. You could offer lots of dips too, mustard is good but maybe some sort of spicy aioli or homemade vegan ranch.

Pizza might be a good choice, personally I like it room temperature and it could be sliced up into bite-sized pieces. Maybe call them 'flatbreads' to avoid the question of cheese. My favorite is hummus (no sauce) plus roasted peppers and spinach. Other ideas: BBQ sauce/carmelized onions/mushroom, pesto/tomato, black bean hummus/pico de gallo.

Along w the nut idea, maybe homemade Cracker Jack? I saw a tequila spiked version once but it'd be even better to incorporate a beer somehow. Popcorn is super inexpensive! It could be served in cute little plastic martini glasses or other disposable cups.


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:16 pm 
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I second the flat bread idea! If you say pizza the cheese thing is going to be raised. But flat bread is totally legit without cheese! One time at a bake sale PPKer couroupita made a really awesome flat bread that omnivores devoured, I think it was this one, which is called pizza but I think she labelled it flat bread at the bake sale:

http://chefchloe.com/entrees/roasted-apple-butternut-squash-and-caramelized-onion-pizza.html

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:23 pm 
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The fancy smancy resteraunt that my partner used to work at would serve a different flavor popcorn at the bar every night. They'd have flavors like: Oaxacan mole; habanero and maple; and Madras curry and dill. You could probably make a good amount of several interesting flavors on the cheap.

Here's a link with some more ideas... http://www.modernalternativekitchen.com ... xj1WPldXFM


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:11 pm 
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unusual popcorn flavors is the best idea! popcorn is so cheap and delicious!


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Soft pretzels would be totally awesome. Wrapped around seitan sausages with mustards and pickles and krauts. TO DIE FOR. I like the idea of popcorn too! What about dark chocolate popcorn balls? Chocolate and beer is an excellent combo, IMO. Is there a company you could partner with to sponsor some of the food? That always helps keep the cost down for events, because it becomes advertising for them. Good luck! It sounds like fun!

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:42 am 
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Lots of great ideas. Huge yes to home made soft pretzels with a variety of mustards and maybe other dipping sauces! Pizza and beer are a classic combo and calling it flat bread or foccocia is a great idea.
Pizza flavored pinwheels could be another option: spread giant flour tortillas with roasted garlic, tomato paste, onion powder, maybe a little home made cashew cheese or vegan cream cheese or even just a light spread of veganaise for creaminess, sprinkle with lots of oregano and basil, fennel seeds for sausage flavor, thin strips of roasted veggies that are traditional on pizza (onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, olives; you could make a variety of combos), drizzle of olive oil, salt, then roll up into a tube and slice into rounds.
Potato salad, coleslaw, and bean salad come to mind because potatoes, cabbage, and beans are cheep.
Would a crock pot of chili be an option?

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:31 pm 
Calls "cavemen" on that
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Ok, so hearty, cheap, and goes well with beer. I am a big craft beer fan, this is what I would do.

I think that chilli cheese tots would be awesome. Maybe baked into a casserole. Cheap too!
Basically make some tots. Then make a big pot of chilli (chunky, not really saucy chilli. lots of beans). Pour the chilli on the tots, (maybe some dayia or other cheese if you want) and bake. Top with chopped onions.

I think spinach artichoke dip goes great with beer. There are tons of recipes out there. I like this one. http://www.food.com/recipe/yummy-vegan- ... dip-212129
If you use canned or frozen artichokes, (and less of them) and amp up the spices, it can be super cheap

What about a little taco bar? That could be cheap and fun. Tortillas, beans, Lentil Taco 'meat' (it's on the blog) lettuce, hot sauce, cilantro.

if you have access to a deep fryer, homemade potato chips would be awesome AND cheap. Make a couple of different homemade ketchups to go with it (like a curry one, a BBQ type one)

I love the idea of pretzels, but I don't think they are cost effective unless you make yourself, which can be labor intensive. That being said, I want to make soft pretzels right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Tortilla chips with different homemade salsas and guacamole, and pitas with hummus or bean dip are easy and inexpensive. They have the added bonus of being things that are familiar foods for the omnivorous guests. I LOVE the idea suggested above for different flavored popcorn. That's so much fun and would really make your party memorable.
Personally, I'd be cautious with using fake meats or cheeses if there are a lot of people at the party who eat real meat. To their palates, it might just taste like a "gross" sausage / chicken nugget / meatball.


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:12 pm 
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How about these:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... rty-snacks
You can make them with almost any vegetables you like. I've done mixed veg, sweetcorn, mushroom. With a jar of mango chutney, or some chilli sauce, they are lovely. And great heated up.

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:51 pm 
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Steamed edamame and salt on top is beer food in Japan, at leaest that's what the edamame seeds for your garden say!

(there is even a variety called "beer friend" or something)

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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Can I just say how BLOWN AWAY I am by the amazing response?!?!

I thought I'd get a couple of good replies, but whoa! So many fantastic and actually doable, (both for my skill level and our budget, neither of which are huge ;) ) muchables.

Seriously, thank you all so much for your ideas. I feel like with the time I have available there are around ten things from your suggestions that I'm going to try and put together and then pick four or five to have on offer the night of the party.

I wish I could give you all a nice, big beer to say thanks!!

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:02 am 
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home made, deep fried potato chips! Beer calls for potato chips. Olives can be really awesome with beer as well. Most high end breweries here sell a "snack plate" with some sort of sausage and olives and a little bread and sometimes some pickled chilies etc. (God, I wish we had a vegan version of this plate!).
Pretzels is definitely a good idea as well.
Maybe make some breadsticks dipped in black sesame seeds? And savory rosemary crackers?

Beer goes with anything crunchy and savory in my opinion!


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 Post subject: Re: Snacks that compliment beer events...HELP!!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:58 am 
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Not necessarily a classic suggestion, but I think pickles go really well with beer. Gerkins, pickled peppers, baby onions, kimchi, whatever. And it goes hand in hand with the fermentation theme! Them I'd pair it with focaccia / slices of pizza bread to soak up the booze a bit.

Sounds like a great event, will you report back?


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