5 Tips for Your Plant-Based Party Menu - dummies

5 Tips for Your Plant-Based Party Menu

By Marni Wasserman

Hosting a party in the comfort of your home ensures that you know exactly what’s on the menu and enables you to serve some plant-based dishes. This way, you can plan a diverse menu that is hearty, healthy, and delicious. You can tell people what to bring, prepare the meal together, or make it all yourself. Whatever works for you, make it happen and enjoy the perfect balance of a plant-based special meal.

Try these tips to achieve the perfect balance and keep your palate — as well as your guests’ palates — satisfied:

  • Variety: Make sure you have a little bit of everything so you’re not left craving anything or feeling like something is missing from your plate. A plate full of mashed potatoes, bread, and tofu isn’t very appetizing, colorful, or creative. Offer a menu that features diverse dishes, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

  • Texture: It’s always nice to experience a different sensation in your mouth with each bite. Serve dishes that are crunchy (such as steamed green veggies), chewy (such as cooked whole grains), soft (such as mashed sweet potatoes), and crispy (such as baked apple crisp).

  • Color: Choose lots of vibrant, fresh colors, such as squash, yams, parsnips, carrots, and beets. With those foods alone you can create an amazing roasted root-vegetable dish. But why stop there? Include on your menu some dark leafy greens, such as kale, broccoli, or spinach. Have fun with splashes of yellow from peppers or from whole grains like quinoa and millet. The more colorful your plate is, the more exciting it is to eat!

  • Shape: Every food has its own unique shape. Choose the natural shapes you like or get creative by cutting those sweet potatoes or carrots a particular way. Alternatively, choose Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or green beans for some shape variety. This makes each bite unique.

  • Flavor: It’s important to balance all six of the major flavors in each meal. This means choosing recipes that include salty flavors from sea salt, sea vegetables, and tamari; sweet flavors from fruits, root vegetables, and maple syrup; pungent flavors from cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, cumin, and garlic; sour flavors from lemons, limes, and oranges; astringent flavors from legumes, fruits, and vegetables; and bitter flavors from dark leafy greens, herbs, and spices.