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Vegan People
Respecting All Animals
Wedding Menu 
25th-Jan-2013 06:18 pm
I have had a vegan wedding in the works for a year now. In the last two months, I have got a lot of things settled. I'm doing a lot of renting rather than buying in the vein of "reuse."

Max of 64 guests, so small.

Very few of them are vegan, a couple vegetarian, and the rest omnivore. Most of these people do not explore with their food options and I don't want partially eaten plates put down the waste basket and half my guests picking up McDonalds on the way home. There are also about 10-15 close family members that are very very much standard vegetable people from his side of the family. Potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, corn, carrots.

I do not want to pay prime dollar to a caterer so they can send out green beans in a little salt. Ya know?

So. I don't know what I want but I do know what I don't want.

--Fried Foods (Summer Wedding and oily makes me sick.)
--Fake Meats (only if I absolutely have to)

I feel like all that leaves is, to me, uninspiring standard italian fare (meh)

I really want to avoid fake meats because... I want people to eat a plant based whole foods dish. Processed crap may be ok for holidays and cookouts but this is a WEDDING. And then I don't know what replicates well.

Anyone got some ideas? It's in July 2013 but I'm wanting to get an idea of pricing because I am paying for everything with my own dime.

Edit Add: We are set on having an official dinner of two to three options. They get no choice about appetizers or dessert. So, no brunches or light lunches or "horderves only." I'm not just wanting to feed my guests; I'm also wanting to use food as a form of activism and show them in grand delicious style that "vegan" can fill you up and be amazing.
25th-Jan-2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
What time of day is the event? We had a vegan wedding in 2008 (I think there may be a post on it in this community actually) and we're paying or everything ourselves too... We struggled with the food as well because (aside from living in south Texas--not super vegan friendly) no one n my family is veggie and some are very hostile towards the idea. We ended up having an afternoon wedding to save money by not having to offer a full meal. We served vegan appetizers via catering by Whole Foods. We had couscous, field roast fingers with a special sauce, fried avocados with dipping sauce, spiced apples wrapped in kale, and maybe a couple other things, I forget! Anyway, it ended up being more cost effective that way, and people were free to do their own dinner... And we didn't mind having any leftovers! Best of luck :)
26th-Jan-2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Ceremony is at 2:30 with a sit down dinner at 5p. We're very attached to having a sit down meal.

My local whole foods has a catering menu on their website and it's pathetic so I hadn't bothered with them.

Thanks for the suggestion though. ^^
25th-Jan-2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
Middle eastern? Vegan southern?
26th-Jan-2013 11:52 pm (UTC)
I am trying to do a Vegan Southern of a sort. Just didn't know of anything specific other than corn bread and green beans and fried "chicken"
27th-Jan-2013 12:33 am (UTC)
Southern is easy-peasy!

Appetizers: Cucumber & tomato salad http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/salad1/r/tomcucsalad.htm), or a fresh corn salad (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/fresh-corn-salad-recipe/index.html). I know you said no fried foods, but if you make any exceptions, fried green tomatoes!

Main dishes: Barbecue seitan (or barbecue tofu or barbecue jackfruit) or Portabella 'steaks' (http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/balsamic-portobellos/)

Side dishes: mac & cheese (every omnivore who has ever tried the VegNews version LOVES it: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=40&catId=10), black-eyed peas (or Mississippi caviar, which is a black-eyed pea salad that's out of this world), fresh collard greens, or glazed carrots. Oh, roasted peaches are nice too.

Breads: Cornbread, baking powder biscuits

28th-Jan-2013 02:36 am (UTC)
I added fried green tomatoes to the list of possible sides ^_^
26th-Jan-2013 01:25 am (UTC)
To me, a summer wedding would be great for light dishes, lots of fruit and grilled veggies - maybe some cold salad dishes? Could buffet style be an option?
I had a very simple home wedding, but it was also summer and that's more or less what we did.

Edited at 2013-01-26 01:25 am (UTC)
27th-Jan-2013 12:00 am (UTC)
There is a chunk of time for 90 minutes to 2 hours for pictures where I intend to buy a crap ton of hummus, vegan ranch, and vegetables to dip into both for the guests to freestyle during that time. Oh yeah, and some fruit.

Buffet style = food wasted and I prefer the feeling plated service would give.

I'm not just wanting to feed my guests; I'm also want to use food as a form of activism and show them in grand delicious style that "vegan" can fill you up and be amazing.
26th-Jan-2013 01:35 am (UTC)
We had an Italian-ish buffet... Ravioli and soe kind of sauce, linguini with pesto, and a primavera something or other. Or maybe there was lasagna? I don't remember! :X Plus bread and salad. Apps were things like bruschetta, tapenade, etc.
26th-Jan-2013 03:55 am (UTC)
For a summer wedding, what about a tea menu? Elegant little sandwiches, cucumber and watercress, all very pretty, with hummus and bits of dill and maybe edible flowers on things. I had edible flowers in the salad at my wedding and I'm not sure if anyone noticed anything else about the food...
(Deleted comment)
27th-Jan-2013 12:09 am (UTC)
oh, no. haha. I am making the brides maids dresses and I'd be the only one doing any of the cooking.
26th-Jan-2013 01:45 pm (UTC)
My wedding menu copy/pasted from a couple years ago:

Appetizer plate: raw veggies, tzatziki (made with tofutti sour cream), hummus, salsa, pita, foccacia.

Salad course: roasted/marinated veggies, olives, green salad, chickpea & macadamia nut salad, farro salad w/olives, tabbouleh.

Mains: spinach & lemon risotto, ratatouille stuffed mini eggplants, veg skewers (asparagus, whole garlic cloves, tomato) w/ chili basil dip, and spanakopita style mini phyllo pies filled with butternut squash and caramelized onions.

Dessert: banana cake w/walnut glaze, chocolate cake, "cheese"cake (with tofutti again), baklava (maple instead of honey), fruit plate, and our favourite: lemon lavender cake w/black sesame.

My family is filled with hunters and fishers, and my cousin who is a chef was all "I don't do squash" yet I caught him going back for seconds on the butternut squash pie. This was buffet style as I'm sure you can tell but I feel like a lot of it would be easily translatable to plated mains. Risotto in particular would be a good side dish. Our caterers had proposed a tofu dish and I was like "ehhhhh but meat eaters are afraid of tofu" which isn't of course always true, but I wanted to keep it all very approachable. I feel like the tofutti items are the only ones that don't meet your requirements and that's only because I'm categorizing them as "fake meats" due to how processed tofutti is.
27th-Jan-2013 12:09 am (UTC)
Thanks ^^

I think I'd be ok with using tofutti, I just didn't want to be buying pre package grain/mushroom/soy meat.
27th-Jan-2013 12:42 am (UTC)
Going with Italian food might not be bad, because the foods are familiar to most people, so it's surprising to them to realize they may already eat some vegan dishes without thinking of it. Here's a possible menu:

Appetizers: Green salad with balsamic dressing or vegan Caprese using a cashew 'mozzarella'.

Main dishes: Pesto pasta with wilted kale, or vegan lasagna (My almond ricotta recipe is a huge hit with omnivores: http://veggiemightee.blogspot.com/2012/05/lasagna-with-almond-ricotta.html. I've been told they can't tell the difference.)

Side dishes: Roasted squash, zucchini and eggplant, or artichoke-and-herb-stuffed mushrooms

Bread: Herbed foccacia or garlic rolls
27th-Jan-2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
For the appetizer, I'd go with fresh tomato bruschetta in July. Maybe a raw gazpacho topped with croutons and a drizzle of olive oil (fancy - serve it in shot glasses).

If you went the Italian route, a favorite meal in my house is polenta and white beans. Polenta is nice because it can be fancied up - chilled, cut into triangles and grilled, for example. We eat it with white beans seasoned with oregano, roasted garlic, salt, lemon, and pepper, you could serve it with a little pesto to add some color, maybe one basil, one sun-dried tomato

That, a basic pasta marinara or pomodoro garnished with pine nuts for richness, and some sort of stuffed or baked pasta - pumpkin baked ziti with sage breadcrumb topping and carmelized onions, or lasagna, or stuffed shells.
27th-Jan-2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
You used the words "uninspiring" and "italian" in the same sentence. That makes me sad.

My very omnivorous, very Italian family would be very happy with stuffed peppers, which since we were taught the peasant style of cooking are made with no meat to begin with, as an entree. While it may come to blows as to who gets the last stuffed pepper at Grandma's house, most of my extended family won't even order them at restaurants because they're full of meat and frequently topped with cheese, and since when is peasant food full of meat and covered in cheese? They just aren't right that way. Grandma's peppers were always be very best because she saved bits of bread, crusts and staling pieces, in a bag in the freezer, and would make her crumbs with it. Bits of whole wheat, bits of rye, bits of sourdough, bits of just about any yeast based bread all went in the crumb bag. Her peppers were amazing. Veganizing her recipe (and I use that word very loosely because all recipes are to taste, measuring is for baking cakes) would just require sourcing vegan breads for the crumbs and hydrating the stuffing with water or veggie stock. Season the stuffing as you like, in a pinch I've just chucked in Italian Seasoning to taste and it's fantastic. If you want to get a meat-like taste without including any meat substitutes, toss in some fennel seed, it'll give it an Italian sausage flavor. The most awesome thing about making stuffed peppers for an event is that they are BETTER the second day when reheated, so they could be made ahead, and warmed in the oven in advance of service. There are only 2 real tricks to getting them right, first liberally salt the interior of the peppers before stuffing them and second pan fry them in olive oil until they soften and start to brown. Undersalt and they'll need a ton of salt to be palatable. And, while baking may sound more healthy, and I'm sure it is, they just aren't as good. Besides, after you've fried off a few dozen peppers the oil left in the pan is culinary gold IMO.
27th-Jan-2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: leftovers, I would just collect all the leftovers from people's plates into foodboxes and eat them later. But then, I am a barbarian :P
28th-Jan-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
The caterer I'm looking at says they'll box up all leftovers.

I don't think it makes you a barbarian. I had planned all along to have a little extra food to fill my fridge and take a break from cooking a few days.

puppy dogs will like it too ^^
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