Potluck Vegan Recipes to Share With Your Friends

Parties are a wonderful way to connect with old acquaintances and perhaps make some new friends as well. Potluck get-togethers are even more special since they allow guests to each contribute their own favorite dishes. There’s something so comforting about loading your freshly made dishes into the car, then driving to a friend’s home to share your own goodies and sample everyone’s specialty dishes.

Unfortunately, meals brought by vegetarians and vegans are at times pegged as “rabbit food,” “weird,” or “boring.” Rather than playing into old culinary stereotypes, here are a few tried and true recipes for your next potluck that are attractive, easy to make, affordable and absolutely delicious!

Creamed Corn and Spinach Cakes

Who knew that creamed corn has absolutely no dairy? Vegan cookbook author Betsy DiJulio, points out that creamed corn’s “creaminess” is due to starch. This yummy “comfort food” appetizer is great for fall and winter events.

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons non-dairy margarine
½ cup self-rising flour
½ cup self-rising cornmeal
Pinch of garlic powder
2 cups of loosely packed fresh stemmed spinach, chopped finely
1 15 ounce can of creamed corn
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
Salt to taste

Preparation

Melt the margarine in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Whisk all other ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

Use a ¼ cup measure to dole out batter for each “cake,” then cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip cake on alternate side until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked through. If you are using a large skillet, you’ll be able to cook 2 cakes at a time.

Place the cooked cakes on a paper-lined plate to absorb the oil.

Continue with remaining batter, making sure your skillet remains lightly greased, if needed. Reheat at party by placing in a warm oven prior to serving.

Asparagus Tart with White Bean Pesto

You are certain to get lots of compliments after preparing this tasty tart created by Vegan Yum Yum blogger Lauren Ulm. This easy dish looks deceptively difficult but takes no more than 10-15 minutes to prepare. This appetizer is a fantastic addition to any fall or winter potluck event.

Ingredients

1 15-oz can of navy beans
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pepper to taste
½ cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vegan pesto. If you are unable to find a pre-made vegan pesto, simply add a pinch of basil, and minced pine nuts to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy or rice milk, or water
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 sheet of puff pastry
Olive oil for brushing

Preparation

Defrost 1 puff pastry sheet on parchment paper; this usually takes about 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain and rinse the navy beans. Place them in a blender or food processor along with the salt, cashews, Dijon mustard, pesto and lemon juice. Process until your ingredients have a smooth and creamy consistency. Add your soymilk or water as your machine is running to give your mixture an even smoother texture.

Unfold your puff pastry on your parchment paper.

Spread your white bean mixture onto the puff pastry, leaving a one inch border around all four sides.

Trim your asparagus to remove the tough base and arrange the spears to fit on top of the bean spread. Arrange the asparagus so that spears are laying next to one another but alternate in direction. Ulm says that this assures that all guests are “guaranteed every part of the asparagus” after the tart is cut and served.

Brush the asparagus spears with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Slide the tart (keeping it on the parchment paper) onto a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and has a light golden brown appearance. Gently warm before serving.

Tofu and Dill Salad

“Vegan with a Vengeance” cookbook author and Post Punk Kitchen blogger Isa Chandra Moskowitz came up with this perfect warm weather dish. No one will ever know that it’s vegan and made with tofu…unless you tell.

Ingredients

1 pound extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
3 tablespoons minced red onion
3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (more if you prefer a creamier texture)
1/3 cup of fresh dill, stems removed and chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Crumble the tofu with your hands. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine thoroughly. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15-30 minutes. Serve as a side dish or on bread prepared as dainty tea sandwiches.

Regardless of the dish you bring, any meal you prepare should have people asking for the recipe rather than whether or not its meat and dairy-free. By sticking to simple recipes, using ingredients that everyone enjoys and making your presentation spectacular you’ll be sure to wow vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

About the Author

A long time vegan, Gina Hamilton is an insurance consultant and contributes content for Kanetix, a full-service insurance company for the U.S. and Canada; including home, business, vehicle, travel and health. Visit their car insurance comparison site for everything from home insurance rates in San Diego to car insurance Ontario quotes.

Photos: Asparagus Tart with white bean pesto by teentinyturkey/flickr; Spinach Cakes from thebloomingplatter.blogspot.com by Betsy DiJulio.