Weekly Roundup: A Plant-Based Wedding

We’re talking weddings in this Weekly Roundup, because it’s spring, because love is in the air, and because I’m getting married next week! It’s just around the corner and my fiancé and I are feeling anxious to finally be declared husband and wife.

As we’ve spent the last six months planning the big day, the topic of “what food we’re having” has kept coming up. We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time look looking for the perfect caterer to feed and satisfy 400 (yes, we have 400 guests). And surprisingly, many very honest people keep telling us that our food is the #1 most important part; in fact, it’s the only part most of our guests would remember and talk about after the wedding!

It’s true though, isn’t? Weddings, especially the slew of weddings that happen during spring and summer, can start to blur together in a sea of white fluffy dresses and slightly uncomfortable toasts. When it comes down to it, everyone is going to be wondering, what’s on the menu?

Plant-based weddings can get tricky, however. Even though 2018 marks a time that 60% of Americans have a positive consideration of vegan diets, it doesn’t necessarily mean they all want to partake in a vegan buffet. For a lot of people, vegan food doesn’t associate with “satisfying” and “delicious”.

So here’s the challenge: a spectacular, plant-based wedding menu. Doable? Let’s see what we can do.

Hors d’oeuvres

Tomato-Basil Focaccia from Life & Health: Sliced into finger-food size and served warm, this would be a great bite to open the wedding reception with!

Vegan Ceviche from Simple Vegan Blog: “Ceviche is a seafood dish, quite popular in some countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It’s usually made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, but we use hearts of palm and nori flakes to make a vegan version. I’ve never tried the traditional ceviche (the one which is made with fish), but the seaweed has a fishy taste and the heart of palms have a texture similar to seafood.”

How To Create An Epic Vegan Cheese Platter (With 3 Spread Recipes) by The Healthy Hour: “This dream platter would be amazing for any social gathering, whether it’s a rooftop picnic or a girl’s night in. You can switch up the ingredients to whatever’s in season and adjust the size of the platter, as long as the board feels vibrant, colorful, and abundant. Think of this post as a helpful guide, and put your own twist on it!”

First courses

Sun-Dried Tomato Almond, & Rice Salad from Life & Health: For those who might roll their eyes at the salad section on a vegan wedding menu. This one is as hearty yet delicate as salads go, with a slight tang from the sun-dried tomatoes, creamy avocado, and chewy wild rice.

Heirloom Tomato & Endive Salad + Olive Bagna Cauda from Simple Veganista: “Bagna Cauda, meaning ‘hot bath’ and pronounced bayn-ya code-a, originated in the Peidmont region of Italy and dates back to the 16th century. It is traditionally used as a dip and served somewhat like a fondue for raw, broiled or roasted vegetables. It can also be used to dip or top your freshly sliced bread.”

Asparagus Ribbon Salad from My New Roots: “A great way to enjoy raw asparagus is in this Asparagus Ribbon Salad. First, the asparagus stalks are shaved into very thin strips that become almost pastalike in their texture. And the marinade I created helps break down some of the starches in the stalks, making the asparagus soft and almost creamy.”

Entrees

Masala-Spiced Chickpeas & Cauliflower from Life & Health: Opt out of the standard spaghetti route and decide on a fun theme, like Thai-inspired dishes, or Indian-inspired dishes. This recipe would be a great part of a complete Indian-themed meal, coupled with warm garlic naan bread and basmati rice.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta (Vegan Bechamel Sauce) from Bianca Zapatka: “This time, I made a vegan creamy ‘mushroom sauce’ or ‘béchamel sauce’ from white beans. White beans can be processed in just a few steps and with only a few ingredients, you‘ll get an incredible creamy sauce.

Do a fun, crowd-pleasing burger bar with the crowd-pleasing Impossible Burger. Lay out an impressive spread of options that people can pick and choose from, such as homemade sauces, nut or seed cheeses, and various types of cooked and raw vegetables to layer on top.

Desserts

Coconut Layer Cake from Life & Health: This will look like your typical classic, tall, white wedding cake but with all the right coconut and plant-based tweaks. Zest a lemon into the frosting to add a whole new flavor profile!

Vegan Caramel Cheesecake from Downshiftology: “The cheesecake recipe is really three components, the crust, the middle layer and the sauce. With your sauce done and out of the way, all that’s left is the crust and creamy center.”

Vegan Mixed Berry Crisp from A Beautiful Mess: “If you’ve never heard of a “crisp” before, it’s super easy to make and it’s similar to a cobbler except that a cobbler has that biscuit-like topping while a crisp is topped with a mixture that usually contains butter, sugar, flour, and oatmeal. Since I like to eat more plant-based, I thought I’d make a few tweaks and create a vegan mixed berry version of the dessert I loved so much as a kid.”

(By the way, we’re having a massive Korean buffet at our wedding. Tons of spicy pickled vegetable dishes, a fun play on a tofu sandwich, and lots of beautiful sweet-and-sticky rice cakes with red bean centers for dessert!)


All recipes from Life & Health are in our cookbooks From Plant to Plate, available for purchase on our online store.

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Sarah Jung
Sarah Jung

Sarah Jung is the associate director of Life and Health Network, but wears a plethora of hats as editor, communications director, and sometimes photographer. Unrelated to Life and Health, Sarah is the country director and founding member of Oon Jai Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower people living in developing countries through friendship and working, learning, and mentoring side-by-side with the locals. In her spare time, Sarah likes to read, write, and find mountains to climb.

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