The trouble with creating a Mediterranean mezze meal at home is that I end up with WAY to much food. The solution? Host a dinner party!
Below you'll find several original recipes as well as my tips and tricks for an easy and affordable vegan dinner party!
Chickpea and Kale Stuffed Eggplant
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
*Simple Dinner Party Trick* - We all want to do everything from scratch, but you'll save yourself a lot of time and money by purchasing some of your side dishes. For this dinner party, I suggest buying pre-made/frozen falafel. Additionally, grab some store bought hummus. Top with a little EVOO and paprika for a homemade look. (You can even get several different kinds.) Your guests will never know the difference and it's one less thing for you to worry about!
Yields 4-6 servings
2 medium eggplants
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Turmeric, Sriracha, basil, nutritional yeast, chili powder, salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut your eggplants in half. Carefully hollow the eggplant leaving about half an inch of eggplant "meat" and skin. Set the eggplant insides to the side.
2. Brush eggplant halves with olive oil and spices. Roast eggplant for 20 minutes or until brown.
3. While the eggplant shells are roasting, chop the eggplant insides into cubes. Chop your onion and kale.
4. In a large pan, heat olive oil. Cook onion, garlic, and eggplant for several minutes.
5. When the garlic, onion, and eggplant are tender, add in kale, chickpeas, and spices. Continue sautéing until kale is cooked. Set stuffing mixture to the side while eggplant shells roast.
6. After roasting, allow shells to cool for 5-10 minutes.
7. Fill eggplant shells with the stuffing mixture and set aside. *Dinner Party Tip - You can make these hours ahead of time and complete step 8 right before serving!*
8. Decrease oven to 350 F (or preheat to 350 F if doing this step separately) and cook stuffed eggplants for 20-25 minutes.
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1/2 large red onion, chopped
2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook your quinoa. (Best to do the night before.)
2. Once quinoa is cooked, allow quinoa to cool for at least half an hour.
3. Chop red onion, tomatoes, and cucumber.
4. Combine veggies, quinoa, and the juice of one fresh lemon in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Dinner Party Tip* - Make this salad the night or hours before. Allow it to chill in the fridge until the party.
1 large head of cauliflower
1 cup green onion, chopped
2-3 bunches of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1. Finley chop parsley and green onion.
2. Chop cauliflower head into smaller florets.
3. In a food processor, pulse cauliflower until it is in rice-sized pieces.
4. Combine parsley, cauliflower, the juice of one lemon, and olive oil in a large bowl.
Ask your friends to bring the wine and dessert. Simple, easy, delicious, affordable vegan dinner party!