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Easy, Quick, Relatively Cheap Vegan Dinner for 40? (And diabetic treats?)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Omg, sometimes I do not know what is wrong with me. My daughter's 4th Birthday party is this weekend, and I let her invite twenty kids! She was just telling and inviting everyone to her party, and after she would invite the kids straight up, I didn't have the heart to explain to them that they actually weren't invited. blush.gif Part of the problem here is that most of the kids are in larger families, groups of siblings in 5s and 4s. So she didn't actually invite many families, it just adds up to a lot of kids, and 6 of them are cousins.

Anyway, with all those kids, my own two, grandparents, (she has 3 sets + great grandma,) aunts, uncles, attending parents, my husband and myself we are close to having forty people at our house for her party! bawling.gif

And then, if that didn't make me insane enough, I totally decided (and put on the invitations,) that dinner would be provided. Now I just want to kick myself in the face. It was just that, in the past, trying to hold her party between lunch and dinner, we always have felt super rushed. Between waiting for everyone to arrive, presents, and cake, and even just one simple activity, (we did pin-the-horn-on-the-triceratops last year for her dinosaur party,) it didn't feel like there was even time for the kids to just play together before people were being picked up. Including dinner seemed like it would give us that time, instead of limiting us to a 2 hour block of madness.

We are vegan. Er... any ideas about what I can whip up for so many people? Oh, please?


I am doing rainbow fruit skewers, and a veggie tray, so I need some sort of main course, basically. I mean, no one is expecting a five course, candle lit dinner with a choice of wine. I think. If they are, they are going to be terribly disappointed. ROTFLMAO.gif


My only thought so far has been pasta, lots of it, with a sauce on the side for those that want it, and maybe the option of PB&Js for kids that don't want pasta. (Are there kids that don't eat pasta?) I don't even know how many pounds of pasta I should buy, though! To be honest, there will probably be a number of adults who may not eat, but who knows?


The only dietary restriction aside from veganism, and there are other vegans and vegetarians coming as well, is one girl who is diabetic. Her mum said to just not worry about it, and she is a bit older, 9 or 10, but I would like to have some sort of treat for her as well, if I can, as all the other kids will be having cake and candy and that is just sucky.


Thank you so much in advance to anyone who may have some thoughts for me. joy.gif

post #2 of 10

Rather than pasta, which can be difficult to time just right, I'd do something like sloppy lentils, which you can toss into a crockpot and eat when you want.  Maybe with a pot of rice to serve it over for the adults, buns for the kids (hot dog buns are less messy than hamburger buns).  With fruit and veggies on the side, that rounds out the meal very nicely.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yeah, that was my big worry with pasta, I don't think I can cook enough for everyone all in one pot, so how to get / keep it all warm at the right time?


I made "snobby joes" for, I think, her 1st birthday, and almost no one ate them. : \ I'm not entirely sure if that was because it was just there on the stove and I didn't call enough attention to it, and we didn't have a "dinner time", or what. Or maybe no one dared try them? lol.gif I don't know, I think they're really good!


post #4 of 10

I always do soup for big gatherings.  For dds fourth birthday I made a corn chowder (dairy free) and pasta fagioli in two crockpots and then fish chowder on the stove. Then I made a batch of bread from the artisan bread in five minutes a day book which ended up being five loaves, I think.  Worked out well and was low on the stress/fussy scale.  


As for the child with diabetes, she can eat anything that any other child can eat.  Whether she has an insulin pump or is using multiple daily injections (MDI) for her insulin needs, her diet is not restricted.  Let her be a kid!  If she has a piece of cake like all the other kids, I'm sure she or her parent knows how to estimate the carbs in it to ensure she gets enough insulin to cover it.  There is no need to make her something else or make her diabetes a big deal at a social function.  

post #5 of 10

I hate chili, but I DO love this red lentil chili and I often make it with veggie broth instead of the chicken broth in the recipe specifically so I can freeze some to use for events where there are a large number of vegans in attendance.  :)




For 40 people, I would probably triple the recipe if not 4x it (you can freeze leftovers).


You COULD throw it over some rice, but I usually don't bother.  This with a salad and you're golden.  It also freezes really well if you have leftovers.  AND, I have sometimes made it the night before, put it in the fridge overnight and reheated it.  The flavors meld together nicely when it sits a bit.

post #6 of 10

I like the pasta and crock pot ideas so far.  The pasta won't be hard to time if you make it a giant lasagna (or any baked pasta) with a side salad and garlic bread.  You can pre-make it, then bake it at just the right time.

My other thought is to have a selection of 2-3 different kinds of sandwiches.  Peanut butter and banana can have a "party" feel if it's made with French bread.  You could also make a crockpot full of fake meatballs and sauce, and serve those with hoagie rolls, or pre-make (just not too far in advance) tofu or tempeh salad sandwiches with lettuce and tomato.

I have made these before, for adults, with success:


They are easy and cute.  The Tofutti cream cheese isn't healthy, of course, but I have not found an equivalent healthier version.

For the diabetic child, it's hard to say because different people have different approaches.  I have served foods that I knew to be low-GI and had a diabetic friend seem to appreciate it, but when I tried something similar with a diabetic in-law, he looked at me blankly, not having heard of the glycemic index or net carb calculations, only going by total carb count.  Still another diabetic, a child, was allowed to eat absolutely anything, and his Mom just gave him the correct dose of insulin to compensate.  All she wanted to know was how many grams of carbs the food had;  it could be as high as you wanted as long as you had the number to tell her.

So Delicious has a low-sugar version of its coconut ice cream.  It is yummy, and really is lower in carbs than the regular version:


post #7 of 10

I like the meatball and sub idea. Nate's meatless meatball's is a good brand. 

post #8 of 10

How about a pasta salad? If you use rainbow rotini, it will seem a bit fancy. You can prep it the day before so you aren't stressed, and make it in batches if you don't have enough cookware. You can round it out with a green salad - something as simple as clementines and roasted walnuts on the salad will fancy it up without too much fuss on your part, and you can also prep this in advance.


Good luck!

post #9 of 10

Hi there, first of all I am sure you are going to have a great time with all the kids.. and I don't blame you for stressing a bit about the food..


We to our vegan and have been hosting quite a few events at our home.. One thing that works well is always soup... sweet pototae and lentil, or "cream" of potatoes, kale, onion, celery, and garlic soup..with a splash of tumeric and cayenne to heat it up a bit..


And one easy salad type dish is, to take either soaked cooked lentils, or organic canned lentils and spice them up with sauted garlic, onions and tex mex spice.... put in fridge, make gucamoule (sorry for sp mis) and when ready to serve put out baby spinach leaves, lentil taco mix, gucamoule, salsa, and black olives, and a nice large bowl of unsalted taco chips ( colourful ones look nice).. this is a great dish and infact I served in our Sunday for a dinner and will be serving it tomorrow night again...


Have fun,

Colleen @ www.chemical-free-living.com

Might find some fun recipes on my site as well... easy quick "raw" treats forsure!!!

post #10 of 10

This vegan family just had DS1's 4th birthday party with about 40 people!  I did a DIY taco bar with lentil taco filling, cashew queso (both from The Post Punk Kitchen), tomatoes, corn, plain black beans, and guacamole (avocados were on sale 2 for $1!).  I also had a pineapple and blueberry fruit salad (DS1's request) and my MIL made a veggie tray.  That and cupcakes.  I really couldn't tell you what we spent on everything, when all was said and done, but everyone (mostly omnivores) LOVED everything.


For DS2's first birthday, we did chips and guac, hummus, olive tapenade, mini-pitas, a quinoa salad, and a fruit salad.


I hope you find something that works for you!

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