By: Lily Fontaine, SFU Student
I’ve been a pescatarian since grade 10, but hosting or trying to feed vegan friends satisfyingly was a whole different ball game — until I stumbled upon some reliable recipes. Without knowing the intricacies of cooking tempeh, drying tofu, or replacing eggs, it can be daunting to approach vegan recipes. Another struggle is where to start without vegan staples like nutritional yeast in your cupboard. You might also be trying to host a crowd that includes some devoted meat-eaters who can’t know they’re eating something vegan. The trick is to find recipes that are naturally vegan or deliciously simple, like the following:
Breakfasts for all your sleepover needs
I live for breakfast foods, and more specifically I live for eggs — or things that need eggs in them like pancakes, waffles, or baked treats like muffins and croissants . . . however, aside from your basics like avocado toast, you can make a kickass vegan brunch.
Vegan hash: This is a good potluck dish since it cooks up quickly and feeds a crowd too. What we’ve got here is a filling mix of potatoes, mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini, and onion seasoned with smoked paprika and cumin. Realistically though, you can throw any hearty vegetable and even greens like spinach in here.
Croissants for days: Brace yourself gang: there are vegan Pillsbury crescent rolls out there. Granted, they’re not the healthiest substance in the world, but that wasn’t the question. You can stuff these doughy triangles of love with anything from apples tossed in cinnamon and sugar to a piece of dark chocolate, or make them savoury with asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, or all of the above. Of course, you can always serve them up with jam and peanut butter.
Banana-based pancakes: I’m sure digital blood has been spilled in Pinterest-based wars over the best vegan pancake recipe, but I like these because the banana adds built-in sweetness to the pancake while also naturally replacing your eggs! You will need a dairy-free milk, but I’m going to level with you: almond milk in a cardboard container is cheaper than cow milk anyways. You can always replace the milk with water, but since milk adds flavour to your batter, taste-test and adjust accordingly with cinnamon, vanilla, or any small fruit like berries — you’ll also want to keep an eye on texture, just in case.
Main meals for summer parties
One-pot hummus pasta: Yes, the name is weird, but this is one of the recipes that my roommates and I return to frequently and lovingly. Hummus is an incredibly simple and logical vegan base for a creamy sauce; and you can even save on store-bought hummus by making your own with tahini, a can of chickpeas, and courage. When we make this, we usually replace sun dried tomatoes with cherry tomatoes as a household preference, but follow your heart in customizing the veggies you use here!
Pumpkin, chickpea, and broccoli curry: Investing in red curry paste changed my life, so I’d highly recommend you do as a first step towards this recipe — which also produces leftovers for days. Serve up with some rice or some naan if you want to make bread and look impressive.
Stuffed peppers: This here will make you look fancier than you ever dreamed that you could be — but it’s really straightforward. All you have to do is mix together the yummy filling of salsa, black beans, corn and quinoa (a cheaper alternative being rice), seasoned to your heart’s content, and then scoop it into halved peppers to bake. If cheese is a must, you can always make some of these non-vegan.
Sweet treats to watch the sunset with
Baked apples: This is a good one, because you can throw the dish together really quickly after cutting a bunch of apples and throwing them in a pan with some spices — then you bake it and forget it for 45 minutes.
Edible cookie dough: I acknowledge that with the right attitude, all cookie dough is edible. Believe me, this is my attitude. However, this recipe was designed by people with a healthy fear of salmonella that I personally can’t relate to. The happy consequence is that they naturally don’t include eggs in them! All you need is a batch and a bunch of spoons to enjoy. P.S. — Here’s a recipe for one too that everyone deserves to have handy.
Mochi: My roommate made mochi the other day and was raving about how relaxing and fun making the dough was, and how easy it was to make this rice flour-based treat. Do take the time to browse recipes to find a flavour profile you and your pals enjoy, and watch videos to have a look at the proper folding techniques!