Post # 1
I know this isn’t wedding related, but everyone always has such great thoughts, and I hoped this would be another instance of that. 🙂
We’re having a movie night as a Halloween celebration. In the past, we’ve done more parties, but all of us (me, my fiance, and two friends who live together) are on a much tighter budget and want to slim down the food so it can actually be affordable this year.
I’m stuck on what to make as a good “main dish” for everyone. It is a potluck movie night, though it seems like as the hosts we should have a main meal. I was thinking something autumnal/Halloween like would be good. The only other thing I’m stuck on is appealing to everyone–it won’t be a large crowd, but 2 people attending are vegan, and one is a vegetarian. So, it feels like that’ll cut out a good option such as chili, because we’d have to make 2 possibly, which would end up being pricey.
Anywho…does anyone have ideas about good large crowd meals that can appeal to everyone that wouldn’t also be super expensive? Thank you!!!!
Post # 3
Pumpkin or Butternut squash ravioli or gnocci
Post # 4
My sister makes this burrito/pizza thing that’s pretty good.You buy a pre-made pizza crust and put a layer of (vegtarian!) refried beans on it, then a layer of sour cream mixed with about half a package of dry taco seasoning, then a layer of lettuce and onions, peppers, whatever you want on it, and then cheese.
I’m not entirely certain what vegans do and do not eat, but you can always leave the cheese and sour cream off of a portion (like doing a half and half pizza). We left the veggies off it for me when we made it, and it turned out well :). She didn’t add any, but I bet that tofu burger crumbles would be super good on it as well.
Oh, as far as preparation, cook the beans and add them while they’re hot. Try to prep it really close to the time you’re going to serve it so the beans don’t get cold.
Post # 5
What about pasta? It’s kind of boring, but you could dress it up with some fun toppings, and that way people can pick and choose what they like best.
Post # 6
Yea I’d do some kind of pasta or tortellini. You can usually find tortellini that is stuffed with mushrooms or pesto or something. I recommend that because everyone loves pasta so those who are meat-eaters won’t feel like they’re eating “weird vegan food” which can be a problem i think.
Post # 7
Couple of ideas:
1. Pasta and red sauce
Make your own spaghetti sauces – one made with beef stock and one made with veggie stock for the vegetarians. Its cheap to make your own sauce, especially if you have spices/fresh herbs on hand, and tastier than jarred sauce.
Serve with a choice of pastas – spaghetti/angel hair, some cheese ravoili, etc.
2. What about a “make your own” taco bar?
You could have for meat: ground beef or shredded chicken (if you buy a whole chicken and make stock, it would be super cheap to use the cooked chicken meat this way, and yum too!), or maybe some sort of steak that’s on sale.
Veggies: lettuce, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, avocados
Other: cheese, sour cream, salsa (there are some pretty decent ones in the “ethnic” isle, in cans about $1.69/each – salsa verde and tomatillo salsa, or you could make your own since you would be buying tomatoes and onions anyhow.
Beans are super cheap if you buy bulk bag of beans (just cook in water), and would be vegetarian friendly (just don’t fry up in any animal fat, use veggie oil or something similar).
3. Roasted winter veggies with salad and meat
Cube and roast up in a little olive oil (can be done before your guests get there): potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, winter squashes. Since these are in season, they are cheap at both grocery stores and farmers markets.
Serve with a big salad with whatever veggies are on special (peppers, cucumbers, etc.)
Buy a cheap cut of meat (perfect if ham or something like pot roast is on sale, which it is up here right now), and cook for several hours until tender. (Obviously only for the meat-eaters).
Post # 8
for the fall, a vegetarian chili would be great! you can make it very seasonal by adding butternut squash to it, too.
Super easy, super cheap, and super healthy!
Post # 9
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I got hungry reading them…:-)
I’ll discuss with everyone and see the consensus…luckily it sounds like there’s lots of good choices to choose from. 🙂
Post # 10
oh, I just went to a party and was served pumpkin soup – vegetarian and a hit with even the biggest meat eaters! The host told me it was pumpkin and sweet potato, roast in the oven, put it in a food processor, dump it in a pot, add some seasoning, etc. He has optional “toppings” of mango chutney, pumpkin seed oil and sour cream with ciabata bread on the side. I also love the bean chili idea incorporating seasonal vegetables. Hearty oups are perfect fall dishes that can feed many people cheaply.
Post # 11
- Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden
I was totally going to suggest build your own tacos too – that way everyone’s dietary needs can be satisfied and it’s delish!
Post # 12
@jo.lee: After reading your post… I’m going to try making this burrito pizza for my BF and I! Sounds sooo delicious and would be easy to make very healthy! Thanks for sharing.
Post # 13
I agree with vegetarian chili. But, if your meat people really like meat, making a meat chili and then a “side” vegan chili for three to five people would only cost you about $5 extra. Beans and tomatoes aren’t too expensive, and you’d already have the other ingredients.