Halloween is my favourite time of year. I love the creativity and touch of the macabre that follows the fall season. If you, too, plan Halloween parties, you know how rife with ideas Pinterest becomes starting late August. The problem is that most of the cutest Halloween Party ideas are not vegan. (It seems the world can’t separate throwing parties from serving cheese… Cheese everywhere!) That said, it can take a bit longer to plan a vegan Halloween party, when all the menu items have to either be adapted/veganized, or created anew. This, however, is how I have my fun: creating vegan versions of rave-worthy dishes!
This year’s Halloween Party I went a bit nuts on the menu. I really wanted to have fun with experimentation and to give my guests something to entertain. It was important to me that it be a fully vegan menu: not because I won’t accommodate non-vegan food requests, but because I like to take these opportunities to show how exciting, easy, and delicious vegan food really is. Though I would rather the majority of the world ate vegan, I would rather convince omnivores through my contagious enthusiasm and sharing good, vegan food. To this end, I prepared a fairly impressive (if I say so, myself) Halloween menu.
For easy snacks, I had my usual Vegan Ranch Dip, sourced from Hot For Food (but loosely followed), Guacamole, two of Nuts For Cheese‘s incomparable cashew cheese wedges, and my own Pumpkin Cheese Ball creation. (All dips paired with a selection of, mostly gluten free, crackers and chips, and veggies.)
The Pumpkin Cheese Ball was made in the same way as my Vegan Ricotta, with the addition of macadamia nuts, and cashews. I baked it, then formed it into a pumpkin shape by wrapping in plastic wrap and strategically placed rubber bands. I let it sit like this in the fridge for a day, then removed wrapping, coated cheese ball in a mixture of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, then baked for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. The top is just a broccoli stem.
For the sweet offerings, I made “Mouldy” Brain Truffles, adapted from Minimalist Baker’s recipe, subbing in sweetened condensed coconut milk for the canned coconut milk, and dusted with matcha powder and icing sugar. I then pressed them into my brain candy mold (I’ve had this for years, and it shows up EVERY halloween). The truffles were maybe the biggest hit of the party, to my surprise. I also made two versions of my Halloween Dirt & Worm Pudding — one as listed, and the other a variation without coconut for my allergic friend.
As for the main attractions, we served Vampire Sliders, Bat Perogies, and Mini Gluten Free Pizzas.
The mini pizzas were easily my favourite. The recipe comes from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken for her Caramelized Onion Pizzas, which are in her cookbook, rather than blog. The recipe is pretty simple, though. You just need to use her recipe for mozzarella (and omit 1 tbs of tapioca starch, and use macadamia nuts instead of cashews), and follow any other pizza recipe. For these guys, I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Dough (with flax eggs), some canned tomato sauce (with extra seasoning), It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken’s mozzarella, and some caramelized shallots and black olive “spiders.” The dough was nice and chewy, fluffy, and the cheese is divine.
Though it was a lot to take on, and a lot of DIY, many of the recipes were made up ahead of time, and refrigerated/frozen. All the guests were very well-fed, with high praise for the food, and no complaints — my consistent party goal!