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 Post subject: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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I'm a relatively new vegan, and because of exams, busy autumn and a long summer break I haven't been out and socialising much recently, so I've avoided the awkward meals out/at friends.

However, I've got a Christmas Party coming up, and I'm the only non-omni going. It's a lunchtime to evening thing, and luckily we've eat been asked to bring a dish! Clearly though, I'm not planning on making my dish just for me, so I wouldn't overly mind impressing some omni friends with vegan food.

Any ideas on what I could bring?

As it's lunchtime and reasonably far away, something that could be made the night before would be perfect, also as I plan on making some cakes in the morning to bring along too. It would have to be, "Party food," so salads of an interesting sort, I was thinking a pasta dish? Some little wraps or something...?

I'm a bit stuck for ideas. Can you help? Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:38 pm 
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Venomous Head of Veganism
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Wraps sounds good, stuffed with amazing stuff, like breaded eggplant and pesto? And olives. And arugula.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:42 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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IsaChandra wrote:
Wraps sounds good, stuffed with amazing stuff, like breaded eggplant and pesto? And olives. And arugula.

Breaded eggplant, what a brilliant idea. I'd never think of putting them in a wrap. Mmm! Thank you! (And pesto and arugula or rocket is just amazing!)

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Mini quiches, spinach & artichoke dip, cucumber&cream cheese with basil sandwiches

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:37 pm 
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Going with the idea of wraps... spread a tortilla generously with hummus, top evenly with shredded carrot, cucumber, olives, etc. Roll the tortilla, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. They will travel easily this way, then just slice them into 1" pieces and and serve! Depending on the flavor of hummus, you could also provide a dip on the side.


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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:48 pm 
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A cous cous or quinoa salad and/or Samosas.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:53 pm 
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We just had a potluck at work. It's a pretty big group and 2 vegetarians, 1 vegan, and 1 pescatarian. Vegan cookies did well (2 were from VCIYJ), vegan mini cupcakes did well (and I loved the idea of mini though I didn't bring them), salsa, kimbop (some without meat brought in by a coworker), and I brought in some Mujadara. I didn't think anyone would eat it cause it looks not so great but it was gone within a few hours. Presentation goes far. And the mini cupcakes were presented beautifully so I think mini quiches would be great too. I like eating with a fork myself at these things except for cookies, of course.

Will you label your stuff as vegan or just vegetarian? I didn't label my cookies though someone came in behind me and did that. They disappeared so it's all good.


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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:48 pm 
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Any kind of baked good is impressive, because usually people are surprised when they find out the cookies they just went back for seconds on are vegan. Unless you make bad cookies, then don't do it, you'll make vegans look bad. :-) But really, you should be fine with some sort of pasta or rice salad too, as long as it has a good sauce and interesting ingredients. You could make a spinach/artichoke dip, people like those. Or some homemade pirogies or empanadas if you are overly ambitious.


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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:04 pm 
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No rice or pasta salad. Who wants that stuff when it's sitting around all day and cold and made the day before with people putting their grubby paws all over it? Gross. Do handheld food, for sure. As long as they have great flavors, wraps are so convenient and appealing.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:19 pm 
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you said you want to make the food the night before and the cakes the morning of? i would suggest making cakes the night before and the food the morning of. if you're going to make wraps you could make all the fillings the night before (pesto, eggplant etc..) and then assemble the next morning. I think the wraps would be better made that day and cakes are fine if they are made the night before.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:30 pm 
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Ok, maybe I just speak of rice salad or pasta dishes because thats what I would want...


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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:32 am 
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Or scale down a Muffeletta recipe into individual rolls.

Mat.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:48 am 
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My potluck rules are something that can be good at room temperature (recent FAIL: stuffed mushrooms. Delicious when they came out of the oven, much less so by the time they got to the potluck 45 minutes away)... something substantial enough that I can survive on it if there's nothing else vegan...I tend to avoid mock meats or tofu etc.

Usually I do some kind of mixed grain salad. There was a great pilaf like 8 or 10 years ago in a Vegetarian Times thanksgiving issue that had celery and dried cranberries with a cumin and honey (use maple or brown rice syrup) vinaigrette. Super tasty, I've brought that to things. More recently I did a broth-cooked couscous and grilled veg mixture w/ some fresh basil and lemon juice.. Served it hot but it's the kind of thing that can cool well.

These aren't fancy-pants but they don't weird anybody out and they travel well. V-con basil tapenade and toasts also got rave reviews at a potluck.


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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:56 am 
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Mini quiches!! (I'm obsessed with these)

The wraps sound really good too.


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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:59 am 
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When in doubt, go the chili route. You can even cook it ahead of time and store a bunch in tupperware in the fridge. Then, set your crock pot on "warm" at the potluck and throw the chili in. People won't even notice it's meatless.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:59 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Wow, thank you all for the good ideas.

Firstly... Well, I won't be labelling the food I guess. It's not a huge group at this party, just friends, maybe 10/15 of us? I'm assuming it'll be pretty obvious what food's mine as the rest seem to want to go for chicken or something. So. Sadly my food will be classed as the, "vegan stuff," which I know can put people off!

I am planning on making cookies. I make good cookies luckily, because as vegetable_assassin said the whole point is not to put people off vegan food. And yes, baked stuff is impressive. (Hopefully!)

I love the wraps idea, and yes I could get them ready and just assemble them in the morning. But with a forecast of snow and the of the omnis apparently brining something hot or to be heated, I'm veering towards something hot too...

Hm. Warm party food. Tricky. Maybe quiches I can heat up there, (love that idea too!) or even... Pasta... Bake? Hard to decide. I'm wondering if everyone's eating hot food if it'll turn into more a sit down dinner than I was expecting.

Still, thank you everyone! I'll keep thinking, I'll tell you what I choose in the end. More idea appreciated too! (Hm, chili...)

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:28 am 
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This black bean sweet potato salad is crazy good and it tastes even better if you make it the day before and serve it room temp. Everyone at my (mostly omni) work potluck this fall said it was the best dish anyone brought:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/dinin ... ref=dining


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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:40 am 
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People are usually impressed when I make vegan dipsand appetizers. Spinach-artichoke dip always goes over really well. Some kind of vegan 7-layer Mexican dip might be good too.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:46 am 
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Pasta bakes always go down well and can be easily prepared the night before - My favourite is the caramelised onion and pumpkin ziti from V'con - No omni realises that it contains tofu!

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:22 am 
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If you want a hot dish to impress, make v'con moussaka! If there is oven space for heating it up, it will be great made the night before.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressing Omnis - how to go about it?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:23 pm 
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VeganGeorgie wrote:
Pasta bakes always go down well and can be easily prepared the night before - My favourite is the caramelised onion and pumpkin ziti from V'con - No omni realises that it contains tofu!

I looked up this recipe and it looks delicious! Not so hard to prepare either! (Lazy me.) There is an oven there to heat it up, so now it's this or mousaca!

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