Vegan potluck dish for non-vegans
January 17, 2014 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I only cook vegan and need to bring a potluck dish for a primarily meat-eating party. No soups or stews (that just seems a weird potluck choice), and it should otherwise be a main dish and taste awesome! thanks
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Food & Drink (34 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I'd go for a warm quinoa with a lot of savory tastes - I make one with mushrooms and green onions, but there are lots of variants.
posted by mercredi at 12:58 PM on January 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

Do you have the Veganomicon? I have served the Chickpeas Romesco (over pasta) as well as the spicy broccoli rabe pasta to a wide range of eaters with great success. They'd be portable in a big tupperware.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 12:58 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

what about a green salad or pasta salad?
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:58 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Double baked potatoes? roasted veggies? chickpea salad? lentil salad? Vegetable dumplings? Amazing pasta dish?

All of those I (a meat eater) make at home regularly...
posted by larthegreat at 12:59 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

....If you can get your hands on a copy of the Moosewood Celebrates, check out their "vegetarian" and "vegan" Thanksgiving menus. They go out of their way to try to find show-stopping food that suit either diet, but still appeal to other diners.

I think the vegan menu had mushroom-spinach turnovers that used filo dough; the vegetarian one had a butternut squash polenta that they suggested you mold into a big dome so it looked more awesome too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:01 PM on January 17, 2014

This sauce is the main event in Khao Man Gai, and it's totally vegan.

My friend Neven did a vegan version of the entire dish by replacing the chicken with tofu and the fried chicken skin with fried shallots. Since most of the flavor is in the sauce, you don't really miss the meat.

See also Neven's list of Dishes I Can't Believe Aren't On Every Vegan Restaurant's Menu.
posted by sportbucket at 1:04 PM on January 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

As an unabashed meat lover, what I would like best is to be able to try your favorite dish. I just don't get being vegan (like, intellectually I do, obviously, but in practice it just seems so tremendously unfulfilling to me personally), so if there's going to be a vegan option, I want it to be something that YOU, as a vegan, absolutely love. I know how to salad. I don't know what a delicious vegan entree would look like. Show me.
posted by phunniemee at 1:07 PM on January 17, 2014 [13 favorites]

Homemade hummus with appropriate veggies, pita and/or crackers would be a nice filling, protein-packed dish without compromising your Vegan ideals.
posted by stubbehtail at 1:08 PM on January 17, 2014

Seconding some kind of quinoa salad type arrangement. I do a cold/room temp quinoa salad with black beans, avocado, diced tomato, and other vegetables that happen to be in season/good right now where you are. It is delicious.
posted by Sara C. at 1:08 PM on January 17, 2014

How about bean and rice enchilada cassarole?

Layer corn tortillas, a melange of black and pinto beans, rice, chopped tomatoes, mild chiles and enchilada sauce. Just keep layering.

I'd leave off the faux cheese. But that's me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:08 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I often bring peanut noodles to potlucks, it's vegan and easy and delicious.
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:08 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Meant to say too, that you can make a nice salad to go with the enchilada cassarole, with lettuce, tomato, black olives and avocados.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:13 PM on January 17, 2014

As a meat eater who doesn't cut vegan cuisine any slack, go with the peanut noodles.
posted by Oktober at 1:16 PM on January 17, 2014

I just made a bitch ton of these for New Years- and they are fucking fabulous.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Wontons

1 small can of pumpkin puree
1 container of better than cream cheese
1 container of refrigerated wonton wrappers
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon powdered ginger (or more if you like it)

preheat oven to 350

Mix soy sauce, ginger and pumpkin together
take your wonton wrapper and spoon equal amounts of a little bit of both pumpkin mixture and cream cheese into the wrapper, seal it up according to directions on the wonton package. be careful not to overstuff of the wrappers will pop.

bake for about 8 to 10 min.

i recommend a baking 10 at a time and tasting them to see if what your preferences for the pumpkin/cream cheese ratio is.

Everyone loved these and while they are a little bit labor intensive, they were such a hit i'd do them again and again. They are also really filling, so they can easily serve as a main dish or side. I recommend making a vegan ranch dressing to pair with it.
posted by Blisterlips at 1:17 PM on January 17, 2014 [5 favorites]

I make a delicious black bean and corn salad. It's super easy and quick.

black beans
sweet corn (fresh or frozen, definitely not canned)
diced cooked red onion, and cooked minced garlic
good quality cherry tomatoes halved
chopped cilantro

toss all together and dress with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar

cumin and cayenne might go nicely in it too.
posted by Blitz at 1:24 PM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Do as Blitz does and then add as many avocados as you can find / afford. Mix with a sprinkle of chili powder and you're set.
posted by AmandaA at 1:27 PM on January 17, 2014

Do you have Ancient Grains for Modern Meals? If not, go buy it, asap. So many vegan (or easily vegan-able) recipes that are great for potlucks, like this quinoa salad or this kamut salad or this tabouli farro salad.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:28 PM on January 17, 2014

I'd go for a warm quinoa with a lot of savory tastes

Please don't use quinoa. North America's sudden huge demand for it is causing serious problems in South America.

I do a dish of chickpeas, slowly cooked in chicken stock--sub veg stock obviously!--seasoned with a LOT of garlic, cumin, and ras el hanout. I'll usually throw diced seeded tomatoes in as well. Perfect cold weather dish.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:31 PM on January 17, 2014

Oh, and I'm not sure if frozen sweet corn is hard to find, but Trader Joe's has frozen organic "super sweet corn". It's very sweet and delicious. I usually sauté it lightly rather than boiling it.
posted by Blitz at 1:43 PM on January 17, 2014

I often find people (phunnimee aside) tend to be intolerant of vegetarian and vegan dishes when they are *obviously* or "aggressively" vegetarian or vegan--like if you use vegan cheese on a pizza or TVP crumbles in sloppy joes. But when your dish is incidentally or "supposed to be" vegetarian or vegan, no-one remarks on the lack of meat in it or makes rude comments about the dish. YMMV, but this has been my experience bringing vegetarian stuff to mostly meat-eating potlucks.

I really like these samosa stuffed sweet potatoes (which I believe are vegan, if you leave off serving them with yogurt). This beet risotto is amazing (although I like to add pine nuts to it and obviously, you would skip the butter). I also like this Soba with Eggplant and Mango and it's good for potluck, since you want it to sit before you serve it.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:49 PM on January 17, 2014 [6 favorites]

This Braised Eggplant with Garlic and Basil is crazy delicious and (in my experience) very appealing to meat lovers. For best results, follow the recipe exactly, but when I haven't had time to go to an Asian market, I've used sriracha instead of hot bean sauce and regular eggplant instead of the Chinese variety - still tastes great!
posted by UncleBoomee at 1:58 PM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

I made Black Bean Advocado Enchiladas for my last potluck function and people flipped for them. Not too "out there" for my midwestern, casserole-loving, carnivorous friends and family, either.
posted by Syllables at 2:04 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

This depends a lot on the context, but for our community potlucks, I'd often do either portion pizzas or a dish of Taboulleh with a morrocan style vegetable stew on the side. I've only ever experienced totally raided dishes and lots of compliments.
Another possibility is grilled, and then marinated vegetables: aubergines, squash, onion, bell pepper, all grilled either whole or sliced, then marinated in Oil, lemon, balsamico, salt, pepper

And like crush-onastick says, just don't even mentions that these dishes are vegan. You are just bringing goodness to the table.
posted by mumimor at 2:06 PM on January 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am not an omnivore but vegan meatloaf is delicious!
posted by aniola at 2:18 PM on January 17, 2014

This mushroom risotto is secret vegan and so good that meat eaters will never know you didn't put meat in it.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 2:20 PM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Mac 'n cheeze.
posted by aniola at 2:21 PM on January 17, 2014

Cold spicy sesame noodles
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:50 PM on January 17, 2014

I've had great success taking a large platter of olive oil (salt, a touch of garlic powder) roasted vegetables in rows: peppers, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms. Drizzle with oil, balsamic vinegar perhaps, and salt.

Most of the potlucks I see are full of cheesy, potato-y, bready, cheap, meaty stuff and the few vegetable dishes are very welcome. A large green salad. Otherwise a big flatbread if you make your own pizza dough with simple slices of onions and olives or maybe olive oil and garlic powder. I would be excited to see any of these.

Also something that you would like if it is leftover is good.

One potluck I attend annually is full of the standards - mac salad, cheesy potatoes - I take a lovely bean, corn, chopped veggie salad and everyone comments that I've made one of my "unusual" dishes every year and I'm pretty much the only one who eats it along with my husband but I have set a tradition here and I am not going to stop.
posted by RoadScholar at 2:59 PM on January 17, 2014

I love this black eyed peas and mushroom curry. It's like a chili, is that too stew-like?
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:02 PM on January 17, 2014

Try Pav Bhaji.

Its always a hit at potlucks I carry it to, and its incredibly delicious!
posted by greta_01 at 4:18 PM on January 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ooh! Ooh! One of those corn spoonbread thingies that's really a warm, slightly gooey custardy pudding. The second one!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:29 PM on January 17, 2014

I want to double second the suggestions above of Peanut and Sesame noodles.

Rich and yummy!
posted by bertran at 9:06 PM on January 17, 2014

I asked this question about decadent veggies a while back. A lot of the very delicious answers are vegan, or could easily be modified.
posted by rpfields at 7:31 AM on January 18, 2014

I'm an omnivore who cooked for a vegetarian and IMHO the one thing to avoid is the fake, trying-to-be-not-vegan stuff: fake cheese, fake "meat", fake "chick'n", etc. And avoid all the tofu, seitan, and tempeh stuff. Just serve things that are naturally vegan.

In my city, there are 2 famous vegetarian restaurants, and my daughter loves them both. I am happy to go with her to the one that serves roasted vegetables in a pita sandwich with hummus as the condiment, or spaghetti with a delicious veg sauce. I can't stand going to the restaurant that says on their menu: this tastes just like a Philly cheese steak!! this tastes just like a corned beef Reuben sandwich!! No, it doesn't, it tastes nasty (to me). But I love me some vegetables.
posted by CathyG at 8:30 AM on January 19, 2014

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