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 Post subject: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:49 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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So I'm hosting a small get-together (maybe 10-15 people) later this month and I'm trying to think of some interesting ideas for food and drink that aren't total budget-busters and don't take a million years to prepare. It's not going to be a sit-down meal kind of thing, just finger foods and maybe salads. I do want to have several things to choose from for variety's sake, but I'm having trouble coming up with ideas... does anybody have any awesome suggestions? Most of my guests are lacto-ovo veg, so things with beans/tofu/seitan/tempeh would probably go over well but maybe not noochy "cheez" sauces and stuff like that. So far I've thought of...

Drinks:
Beer (people like it, go figure)
Some sort of alcoholic punch (but what?)
Some sort of non-alcoholic drink (again, what?)

Snacks:
Hummus or white bean dip with crackers/veggies
Veggie sushi rolls
Some sort of lentil salad
Other stuff?


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:54 pm 
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sangria! the wine can be cheap because you're doctoring it up with so much stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:56 pm 
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You should make the deviled potatoes on the ppk blog. Cute, inexpensive, and pretty easy to make!

What about stuffed dates? Or are dates too pricey?

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Dates are probably a bit pricey. Deviled potatoes are a good idea! Or some kind of potato. Hell, I could even serve them tater tots and they'd probably be happy. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:04 pm 
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my go-to for easy prep is a huge batch of homemade hummus, veg & crackers/chips
and/or a big pot of chili in the crock pot with corn chips and maybe some avocado/daiya to sprinkle on top
a box of clementines or whatever fruit looks good/is on sale
people love nime chow type wraps with a peanut sauce but that's kind of involved
tofu lettuce wraps from AFR are fairly easy and not too expensive


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:10 pm 
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My go to non-fancy party food is fresh salsa with chips and guac. If I want something more substantial I put out refried beans, tortillas, and assorted toppings so people can make their own burrito or just eat the beans as a dip.


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:04 pm 
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If they are into tater tots then maybe they would be really into totchos. I know I would! Those samosa stuffed twice baked potatoes from the veganomicon are pretty cheap and easy.

For non-alcoholic there is a great limeade recipe in Viva Vegan. Or maybe cucumber water? That'd be super easy and cheap.

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Heart of Vegan Marshmallow
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You could do a Middle Eastern theme and have a couple different kinds of hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, pita wedges and/or chips, etc. Or go Mexican and do a taco/nacho bar, like Butternut suggested.


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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i think spring rolls are kinda cheap to make. you can get a container of the tapioca rolls to roll 'em & stuff them with cabbage (red is super pretty!), shredded carrots, cucumber and fancy 'em up with a few pieces of fresh cilantro all up in 'em. easy dipping sauce: agave nectar + chili garlic sauce. done.

also pretty cheap:
- homemade rolls/pretzels/garlic knots
- cold orzo salad with cheap roasted veggies like: squash 'n zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and eggplant
- bean balls with marinara sauce for dipping
- polenta rounds with marinara and inexpensive roasted veggies between the layers
- pierogies made with potatoes 'n kale or potatoes 'n caramelized onions
- empanadas stuffed with black beans, kale 'n potatoes


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Samosas. Get a package of frozen phyllo and some frozen peas and potatoes and spices and BAM! Delicious. Fiddly to assemble but could pretty easily be done ahead of time.

Pretzel sticks.

Fruit skewers. Like fruit salad but on sticks and funner.

Cheap punch recipe:
White grape juice (medium jug)
Cranberry cocktail (big cheapo jug)
Orange slices
Ginger ale (2L)

I also like when people do different flavoured waters. Pitchers with cucumber, lemon or melon. Easy and refreshing and seems classy even though it is just water with shiitake floating in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Moon wrote:
I also like when people do different flavoured waters. Pitchers with cucumber, lemon or melon. Easy and refreshing and seems classy even though it is just water with shiitake floating in it.

Mmm, water with shiitake floating in it.

These are great suggestions so far! Thanks guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:49 pm 
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Punch: yep, sangria is great. Mojitos are another good idea, and you can also make a non-alcoholic batch of those. Or just make a big pitcher of home made lemon and/or limeade.
Popcorn is cheap and you can make a few bowls seasoned a variety of ways.
Oven roasted chick peas with whatever seasoning you like.
Home made humus with veggie sticks and pita wedges.
Corn chips, salsa, bean dip.
Grain and been salads.
Coleslaw.
Potato salad.
Dress salads with vinegar, citrus, oil based dressings rather than veganaise for extra savings.

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:05 pm 
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I make tator tots for small gatherings a lot - it's a 'thing' some friends I nearly always do, no matter who is hosting. They're super cheap, and I can have fun making a few, interesting dips, like peanut sauce, bbq sauce, nacho (although, I get that you want to skip that, the Ctate/FFL queso has always gone over well with omnis in my experience), hummus, spicy Vegenaise, etc. As long as people are reasonably okay with sharing dips, it's really fun! I mean (and yeah, this is something my friends and I sometimes do) you could also put out muffin tins of dips - raid your fridge, you'll probably have a lot to go on!

Really, just decide what booze you want as the focus of your punch - I recommend rum, personally, and build the drink from there. Ginger ale, sparkling soda, fresh fruit, mint, whatever...it'll be lovely! Just give it a name. Also remember that if you have cocktail makings out, folks can make their own whatever, OR, you can just make a mojito punch or whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Oh, and ditto to the stovetop popcorn. SO CHEAP. I like doing a smoked salt/cinnamon sugar and a spicy/noochy one for gatherings.

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Lemon bars. Cut them into cute little shapes to really impress people.

Tofu lettuce wraps from AFR.

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Isa's peanut butter blondies are easy and cheap to make and always a huge hit with omnis.


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:46 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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They're not a fussy crowd, so I think the tater tots with interesting sauces would go over well. I'm just trying to think of a way to set that out so it doesn't make a giant mess.

I'm thinking it will be good to make one type of boozy punch as opposed to setting out fixings for mix-your-own, because I don't really have much of a home bar and that would require to me to buy a bunch of stuff that I don't have (as opposed to just getting a handle or two of whatever liquor I decided to use in the punch). If people don't want liquor, there will be beer and some sort of non-alcoholic drink. That seems like enough, right? Sangria and mojitos are good ideas, though I'd love to hear more ideas for boozy punch... something based on vodka or rum would probably be good.


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:27 pm 
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I agree that Sangria is a great idea (and gluhwein in the winter)--don't even bother buying anything more expensive than the wines that are named after a southern hemisphere animal or a body part, because you won't taste the difference at all.

If you're doing maki rolls, you could also do some inari (wrappers are refrigerated at your local japanese store or canned in..other places).

Cookies. Who doesn't love cookies?

Or go with a tapas theme as long as you've got sangria. In the past I've made the following and they would all be fairly cheap. Spanish tortilla (use the VWAV recipe, because it's awesome, but do it in a square pan and cut into little squares), papas bravas, little toasts with a spoonful of chickpea-pimiento salad on them, and marinated grilled seitan on a stick (here's a recipe online: http://www.food.com/recipe/pinchos-span ... ken-252348 I've marinated store-bought seitan in the past, but you could also adapt a seitan sausage recipe to just *bake in the flavor*. You could also use tofu or tempeh). I do these on my panini press.

You could set out some olives and spiced nuts to round out the selection, as the budget allowed..Yummmmmm



But if you do want to do punch, I've done this scaled up to punchbowl size before and I think it's great: http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink626.html But there's a general formula for punches you can use.. 1 of sour, 2 of sweet, 3 of strong, 4 of weak? Calls for experimenting, I think.


ETA: just remembered that a few months ago I made tofu char siu and it's pretty easy and yummy. You could do seitan too. I just forking love fake meat on a stick.


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:40 pm 
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I just can't leave this thread alone.

For visual spectacle, I think this would be great: http://everycollegegirl.com/how-to-make ... owl-drink/ Pretty sure Swedish fish are vegan, though I don't think the nerds are, but you could skip those.


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 1:07 am 
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Dessert spaghetti?

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 4:49 am 
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ameyfm wrote:
Dessert spaghetti?


+1 yummy


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:10 am 
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I feel like I recommend this in every thread ever, but pesto pinwheels! Spread pesto (can be store-bought if you find a vegan version) on puff pastry, roll up, bake. Instant fancy even though they are totally secretly (shhhh) not fancy.


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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:11 am 
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Limone wrote:
They're not a fussy crowd, so I think the tater tots with interesting sauces would go over well. I'm just trying to think of a way to set that out so it doesn't make a giant mess.

Put them all on skewers! That would be so funny!

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:16 am 
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tot kebabs! best idea ever!

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 Post subject: Re: Your favorite inexpensive party foods and drinks
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:08 am 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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annak wrote:
I just can't leave this thread alone.

For visual spectacle, I think this would be great: http://everycollegegirl.com/how-to-make ... owl-drink/ Pretty sure Swedish fish are vegan, though I don't think the nerds are, but you could skip those.

That is so pretty!

I am totally tempted to do tot kebabs. Maybe I could alternate the kebabs with cherry tomatoes or something. You know, to keep it "healthy".


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