I am hosting a tea party and one of the guests is vegan. Can you recommend some vegan recipes (I will be serving mint tea and English breakfast tea)? My vegan cookbook only has recipes for fruit crisps and nut balls. Not very inspiring!!!
It can be very intimidating to host vegan guests when you are not vegan yourself. The good news is that it really is very easy to “veganize” recipes.
I have a few ideas…
When I think of “tea” I always think of delicate crust-less sandwiches. If you go this route just look at the ingredients and make sure there is no dairy or eggs in the bread. Many sliced breads do not have milk or egg in them, so this should be relatively easy to find.
I don’t know how sophisticated the children’s palate’s are, but most children like peanut butter and jelly, jelly and cream cheese (vegan), or just plain jelly sandwiches. Cucumber sandwiches are another classic tea sandwich that would be great to serve for the adults.
Another idea along the same sandwich lines would be to make some wonderful pinwheel sandwiches by taking tortillas, spreading them with hummus, filling them with colorful veggies (peppers, cucumber, avocado, spinach, onion), rolling them like a jelly roll, and slicing them for a gorgeous colorful presentation.
Salads are also a great addition to any tea menu. My friend made an amazing Israeli couscous salad and brought it to our most recent BBQ. Her salad was so fresh and consisted of cooked Israeli couscous, fresh basil in a chiffonade, cherry or grape tomatoes, balsamic or red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sometimes the simplest salads are the most impressive since they allow the quality ingredients to speak for themselves. Another salad that would flow beautifully with your menu is tabouli. The mint and other fresh herbs in the salad would go well with the mint tea you plan to serve.
If you want to make a vegan sweet or coffeecake, it is really easy to veganize conventional recipes. Simply replace the butter with a vegan alternative and use a non-dairy milk. As for the egg substitutions, I posted about that recently on Veggie Grettie.
I hope this helps. You have inspired me…now I want to host a vegan tea party!
UPDATE - I answered Kristie directly since her tea was approaching quickly. She sent me a picture of the wonderful food she prepared for the tea along with the following message:
Gretchen, thanks so much for your help!
I ended up serving the vegan classic cucumber tea sandwiches (thanks to Tofutti!) and the special pb&j. I also served up vegan cupcakes with vegan chocolate frosting which was a big hit with the kids, including Kaya (the eldest, in the picture above). Thanks again for your inspiration!
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Teacup photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/artistmam/