Vegan entree for a friends "celebration of life".

This will be my second “celebration of life”, which has some things in common with a funeral, but is way better.

I’ve tried vegan dishes for groups before, and learned enough to want to learn more.

I especially loved the chickpea ideas, especially from dried.

It’s summertime in Nor Cal, so vegetables are abundant, but need to be good in a start ahead, buffet situation.

I think lentils are promising, but still have a lot to learn.

What I learned in previous experiences is that what seems innocuous, like the recipe in the bread for your breadcrumbs, or for your salad dressing, needs to be scrutinized.

I’m going to park what I find here, but would also love suggestions.


Note that “entree”, in the US, is the main course. :innocent:

I’m having something very vegan tonight: tempeh shawarmar.


Thanks for the reminder. I was about to suggest starters.

Whenever I think of celebratory vegetarian food, I’m drawn to the Mediterranean. That might mean a vegetable tagine sort of thing with couscous. Or a moussaka, omitting the lamb mince and substituting lentils. Lebanese “tabakh rawhou” would work, simply omitting the lamb. Or, from Mallorca, tumbet - it works as an accompaniment or a veggie main course. The success is going to be using absolutely seasonal veg.




But the ring mold situation is not going to work.

Ratatouille is a good idea. So is mousakka, but with edits.

BTW, the other dish I’m bringing is fried chicken!

I think this sort of thing is fancy enough for a celebration.

This one’s less involved - you could use vegan mayonnaise.

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It is!

I made this tian/ratatouille and posted the pic on old CH:

Maybe you’ve seen these others, but this link goes to two-dozen casseroles:

Not an entree but a surprisingly fine lentil soup, given how easy it is, and filling with some bread:

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Those are some great ideas!

I’ve committed to making ratatouille…now I’m wondering…is that an entree?

Definitely an entree when served with some rice or, better–as Harters noted–cous-cous. Goes great with any season green side. This is one of few dishes that gets me to pull out my mandolin (V-slicer, actually), not just because it makes quicker work of a lot of slicing but because it gives a uniformity to the thicknesses that is visually appealing and probably helps with cooking. Another pic or two, my son here slicing:




I usually use a recipe that roasts each veg separately, then combines.

I think it’s this one from New York Times

Not NEARLY as beautiful as that! Have you served it at a large gathering? Is it worth the attention to detail?

I uploaded a pic above to my post to add the plating I used then. Not sure how big your group is. But I think the detail is more about looks than taste.

The first time I made this kind of thing was with knife-slicing and more rustic. Also not vegan, because I used cheese. I actually eschewed cheese the next time, because I felt it interfered with the veggie flavors. You could make a casserole. I think I describe my sauce recipe in the CH thread above (someone asked):

tian%204 tian%205

I think you could also consider panzanella. Many recipes, but here’s Ina Garten’s:

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I definitely checked out the sauce in the CH thread.

I seem to recall there will be 150 people, but I’m not trying to cook for 150.

Here I go, down the rabbit hole…

" It was Keller that the Pixar animation team enlisted to help create a realistic restaurant kitchen, and it’s his version of the titular recipe which allows the rat to win over France’s toughest restaurant critic.

Piperade sauce

Preparing a piperade sauce. Photograph: Felicity Cloake

Keller’s ratatouille is a reinterpretation of Michel Guerard’s deliberately light confit byaldi, which omits the initial frying stage in obedience to the principles of cuisine minceur. Although it takes an entire afternoon to cook, it’s actually surprisingly simple, being composed of a piperade-style sauce, slow-cooked in the oven with thinly sliced vegetables"

Ratatouille served with some fresh bread would be awesome.
Note that vegans can be skeptical, a lot of people just don’t get it, so adding a label to your dish with what it is/labeled as vegan as well as the ingredients will be helpful. (I once ordered the “vegan” dish on a restaurant menu and it clearly had chicken stock)

Considering it’s summer something like this thai quinoa peanut salad would be hearty and easy to make ahead too. I would probably add in some edamame too

Stuffed peppers are another good make ahead option, here she has them topped with avocado which probably won’t work if this needs to sit on a buffet for a while- i would swap in some chopped cilantro and scallions instead just add at the last minute

Or sandwiches like some tofu bahn mi would be awesome


Those look good!

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I love panzanella!

An idea for next time, perhaps. Sharwarma or kebab spice mixes can be used.


Make it as tumbet and you’re in the clear.

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I make this for lots of events, and people request it…vegans and omnis love it, the folks watching their weight live it, and its particularly good with the fresh veggies of summer are plentiful, tasty, and cheap:

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold