Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Vegan Tea Party Foods

A couple of my tea party guests follow a vegan diet . Vegan is not a scary word. Actually, it was easier than I expected to incorporate yummy vegan options into the menu. The entire menu is shown above (V = vegan; R = raw). I'll focus here on the vegan options. Unfortunately, I don't have photos of the food. I was too busy serving and having fun!

Mushrooms on Toast
I served this to was deliciously vegan and very, very, very yummy! I made the filling a few days ahead and froze it. The night before, I pulled it out of the freezer to thaw. When I was ready to make the sandwiches, I just topped the bread slices with the filling and let bake in the oven until the filling was warm and the bread was toasty. So good!
Filling: Chop up a bunch of mushrooms and onion. Saute with garlic and olive oil. The mushrooms will release their juices. Once the mushrooms are soft and the onions translucent, turn the heat off but keep in the pan to let them reabsorb the juices. I added salt and pepper. Then refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Note: Chop up more than you think you'll need. The mushrooms shrink a lot.
Bread: Look for a sturdy bread with no milk, eggs, whey, honey or other animal product in the ingredients list. Many breads are vegan, so this won't be hard to find.
Cucumber-Rosemary SandwichesAlso an easy adjustment from my traditional sandwich.
  • Make the rosemary "butter" the day before. Blend together vegan margarine (softened) and chopped rosemary (fresh or dried). I find the easiest way to handle the rosemary is to chop it in my hand nut chopper. Let the blend sit in the fridge for a day, so the flavors meld. Soften before preparing sandwiches.
  • Slice cucumbers very thinly (I use a mandolin) and pat dry.
  • Slather the insides of two pieces of vegan bread with margarine/rosemary filling. Top one slice with cucumber and put the lid on. Cut of crusts and cut into desired shapes. Repeat until you've made enough sandwiches. Cover with a lightly-moistened towel in an air-tight container until serving. (Refrigerate if it's a long time, and let stand at room temp ~30 minutes - but still well covered - before serving.)
Maple-Blueberry SconesI made two versions of these scones. I used maple syrup as the sweetener in both. In the vegan version, I used Earth Balance margarine and flax seed meal-water as an egg replacement. I tasted the two versions side-by-side and was hard pressed to notice a difference.
Note: The recipe I used below was very yummy, but I think it was too wet. The scones spread out a lot during cooking. I think you'll need to adjust with more flour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dry ingredients:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (and I added a pinch of ground ginger and allspice, for fun)
Mix dry ingredients and blend in, with knives or a pastry blender, 6 tablespoons vegan margarine (like Earth Balance).
Wet ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 equivalent egg replacement OR 1 Tbsp Flax seed meal with 3 Tbsp water, whisked until it gets well combined (I used flax seed meal)
  • 1/2 cup water
Add wet ingredients to dry/margarine blend. Judge the texture for yourself. You may need to add extra flour if it's too wet. I'm going to work on perfecting these, and I'll update the instructions when I do. Gently fold in approximately 3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen. Turn out onto a floured surface and shape into a circle, approximately 1 inch thick. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter (or wedges) and bake for ~16- 18 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden. When they come out of the oven, rub margarine over the tops to make them even more golden. Try not to eat them all in one siting.
Vegan "Clotted Cream"Oh, this was definitely a highlight. I thought it tasted really good! I made this recipe up. It's quick and easy to make! Definitely a keeper in the recipe files.
Equal parts Earth Balance margarine (softened) with vegan cream cheese. (I used 2 Tbsp of both.) Smoosh both together until well blended. Drizzle with agave nectar until it reaches the desired sweetness. Enjoy!!!
Choc-Dipped ApricotsThis was another item I served to everyone. You can buy vegan chocolate chips. I found mine at the local coop, but Whole Foods or any place like that would carry these. I could not tell a difference - at all - from regular choc chips. So I dipped apricots and nuts into the melted chocolate, and served to everyone.


parTea lady said...

All your recipes sound good. I'd like to try some healthier teatime treats. Think I'll start with the mushrooms on toast and the blueberry scones. Yum.

La Tea Dah said...

Lovely post! I would love to go to a vegan tea party!!! Well, I have --- but they've been ones I've prepared. :D

Your menu looks delightful!

For a few years I've been gathering and collecting vegan tea party recipes and have had quite a fun time discovering and collecting vegan scones, cookies, cakes, sandwiches recipes --- etc.

Thanks for sharing! Great post!!

PS: There were quite a few men at the quilt show here too --- but they were outnumbered. For the sake of my post, I pretended they weren't there! LOL!

Melanie said...

I'm not a vegan, but I do have some experience eating and preparing vegan, having gone to college in Eugene, Oregon. Sometimes, it was amazing how good the vegan stuff could be! If you ever visit, go to Sweet Life and try their egg-free, dairy-free cheesecake. You will be AMAZED that it is not made with cheese and eggs.

Angela McRae said...

Everything sounds soooo yummy! I also think it would be a smart idea for a tea room to at least occasionally over such options for its guests. (Can you have mushroom toast for breakfast? That greatly appeals to me!)

Steph said...

Angela, I do believe it is a smart thing for tea rooms to consider. For example, the St. James Tea Room in Albuquerque offers a gluten-free option. I have a friend who has Celiac and could go to tea with me there. Believe me, we made frequent ($$) use of this when I was living there! Good for us, good for the tea room.

Lalynn said...

I linked to this post on my blog, Beyond Chicken Salad. It was just what I have been looking for! We should all try eating more vegan-like. Thank you so much.

Bonnie_in_Brussels said...

Thanks so much for your ideas and recipes. I'm hosting an English tea party in a couple weeks and I'm the only vegan, but since I'm the one making the food . . . Vegan it is. =)