When you first transition to a vegan whole food plant based lifestyle you can’t imagine what you are going to eat daily, much less what you might make when having family and friends over. I get so many questions about what to make which inspired this blog post and a video on holiday and entertaining menu ideas.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or take hours and hours to make a delicious, nutritious meal that would be enjoyed by everyone including those who follow the Standard American Diet.
I want to share with you a few simple and easy menu ideas that can be used for entertaining, pot lucks and holidays.
My recipe for Lentil Loaf with a Date Glaze which was published in the Health Science Magazine has quickly become a subscriber favorite. Pair it with the easy to make Garlic Mashed Potatoes. You can assemble the Lentil Loaf the day before. Bake it while you make the mashed potatoes. Add some corn on the cob and a green vegetable and you have a delicious meal. You can add a salad if you wish.
For dessert pop a pan of Apple Oat Crisp in the oven when you sit down to eat dinner. Serve it topped with banana mango nice cream. Just toss some frozen very ripe bananas and frozen mango in a high powered blender, food processor, Yonanas machine or Champion Juicer and make the most delicious soft serve with no added sugar. You can make both the crisp and the soft serve the day before. Freeze the soft serve in muffin tins using an ice cream scoop. When frozen remove the frozen scoops to a freezer container and it makes serving dessert so easy. You can even make individual apple crisp in ramekins. Then you don’t have to worry about serving up the crisp and trying to keep it looking nice.
Mushroom Spinach Lasagna is always a crowd pleaser and trust me when I say no one will realize that this one is plant based. It happens to be gluten free, oil free, dairy free and nut free but it’s big on flavor.
This is one of my grandchildren’s favorite meals. I serve it with a big beautiful green salad loaded with vegetables for the adults – the toddlers are not into green salads yet. Even though I don’t eat bread, when serving this meal to others I will also serve some crusty Artisan bread purchased at Whole Foods or Costco.
For dessert try this Chocolate Brownie Parfait or simply make the Chocolate Cherry Brownies and serve them as a perfect finish to the meal. If you are making the brownies for people who are used to regular sweets be sure to use enough dates to make it sweet and also use some sweetened chocolate chips instead of the no sugar added ones that I use.
If you feel like firing up the BBQ then you will want to see my Plant Based BBQ Post. So many delicious options for the BBQ – you won’t believe how good it all can taste without oil!
Make a beautiful Chopped Salad to serve. Chop the greens and add some berries, garbanzo beans or corn cut off the cob, or both. Add some fresh herbs like mint or cilantro. For gluten free croutons use a cold oven roasted Japanese Sweet Potato cut into slices and then half moons. Coat one side in Well Your World SOS free Everything Bagel seasoning using our affiliate link. Air fry them in a cold air fryer set to 385 degrees and cook for about 15 minutes. Watch them carefully as they will go from lightly golden to burnt in a hurry. The JSP croutons add so much to the salad. Here is a link to another delicious Chopped Salad with Crispy JSP Croutons.
For dressing, try a drizzle of your favorite sweet flavored Balsamic vinegar. I love the Simply Lemon made by California Balsamic. Put Nutmeg Notebook in the message box at check out and get 2 free samples with your order. Or you can order a delicious SOS free salad dressing from our affiliate link for Well Your World.
Smoked Hickory Balsamic Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Garlic Mashed Potatoes is meal that will please even a non plant eater! It’s very easy to make but it’s big on flavor and textures. Many of our subscribers have told us how much their husbands have loved this meal!
I think brunch is such an easy meal to make for company. Everyone seems to really enjoy it as well. A bowl of fresh berries or whatever seasonal fruit is available is a must.
Fresh asparagus just lightly cooked in the air fryer at 400 degrees for a few minutes is a favorite vegetable side dish of mine.
I buy frozen hash browns, season them with pepper, garlic and onion powder and put them in my Cuisinart Griddler without oil and cook them for about 30 minutes until nice and brown and crispy.
Tofu Scramble is easy to make with some water sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms, some garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric and a little ground cumin if you wish. I like to use organic firm tofu and just crumble it in with the cooked vegetables. Yum!
Breakfast Sausages are a must and this recipe is super easy and gluten free. They can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave.
I make pancakes and waffles just using my Quinoa Banana Oat Muffins and they turn out great – I will try to post a recipe one of these days. The muffins themselves are also perfect for brunch.
Chia Jam is perfect as a topping for pancakes, waffles and muffins.
I find ethnic food is well received from people who don’t eat like we do. There is less of an expectation that it should have animal products in it. It is very flavorful, colorful and delicious! Try my Oil Free Falafel Patties Meal. It is rounded out with a GF Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, Best Oil Free Hummus, Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables with Cumin Seeds.
For instance air fried corn on the cob, Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables, Gluten Free Tabbouleh Salad, Best No Oil Hummus and a no oil falafel patty. For a gluten free option I serve my Oil Free Falafel on corn tortillas spread with humus. I will serve whole wheat pita bread for everyone else.
Hearty Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is a big hit with everyone. It is comfort food for the soul and tummy!
Serve it with the Fruity Coleslaw for a delicious, hearty meal. Choose your favorite dessert and you have an amazing meal.
We made a companion video talking about entertaining and hosting holidays when you are whole food plant based.
There are so many incredible desserts you can make and serve that everyone will enjoy. Top center – Chocolate Brownie Parfaits, Cherry Peach Cobbler, Cathy Fisher’s Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Apple Oat Crisp, fresh fruit platter, Jammie Bars, Chocolate Cherry Brownies. Not shown in the photo is Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream and Perfectly Peachy Pie,
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We are also Holland Bowl Mill Affiliates. The 15 inch Holland Bowl Mill Cherry fruit bowl has a permanent home on our kitchen island. It’s beautiful and useful. The heart shaped bowl makes me happy – I love everything heart shaped! We use our 15 inch Beechwood & cherry bowl (his and her’s) to chop our salads everyday. Eating a salad for one meal every day helped me lose weight and become a size 4. I still eat a salad for one meal a day but now it’s a Big Beautiful Chopped salad and it helps me stay a size 4! See the Chopped Salad Blog Post to find out how you can incorporate a chopped salad into your daily food plan and how you can get a free mezzaluna knife with your Holland Bowl salad bowl order when you use our Holland Bowl affiliate link as well as free engraving and free shipping.