vegan party!

We recently hosted a party for friends who’d moved away. Tom and I were the only vegans, but our friends are so awesome that they all brought vegan treats. No, we didn’t even ask them to. They just did.

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Our spread of spreads, all homemade. Thai pesto, sun-dried tomato, basil pesto & white bean, and two types of hummus: sun-dried tomato and roasted garlic. Without a doubt, my food processor has paid for itself ten times over.

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We stole Janessa‘s recipe for white sangria. It’s moscato, chardonnay, a bit of triple sec, and fruit, fruit, fruit! Other DIY (yet effortless) bar highlights included homemade grenadine, jalapeño vodka, and kahlua. And since it’s Portland, of course one of our guests brought, like, five varieties of home-brewed beer.

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A favorite party food: sushi. Vegan sushi can handle sitting out for a couple of hours, and everyone loves it. We mixed up some wasabi and set it out with ginger and a couple of vegan caviars. A trip to the Asian market netted us some cheap sauce dishes and chopsticks, which we’ll use over and over and over.

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This is Carina’s mushroom-kale pâté, slathered on crostini and finished with a dollop of basamic vegan caviar and a marinated mushroom slice. Gorgeous and delicious. She made a huge tub of the pâté and I polished it off in two days, on bread and pita chips…slightly more low-rent but yummy nonetheless.

Wouldn’t you know, Carina and her husband just opened a food cart earlier this month, and this is one of the vegan options. (The cart is vegetarian—it’s called The Cheese Plate.) I’ll show you more stuff from the cart soon. They got me to eat—and love—pickled beets.

What this party demonstrated to me is that even though we’re surrounded by people whose gag reflex is triggered by the word “vegan,” it’s really pretty inclusive. Everybody eats some vegan food! Like corn on the cob? Guess what, quite often vegan. Fancy dips or mile-high-frosted chocolate cupcakes? Can totally be vegan. Jalapeño margarita? You guessed it—vegan.

Your task: Host a vegan party and make people realize eating your way through a cruelty-free day isn’t so tough after all.

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