I decided to throw a dinner party for my parents, brother and Jake. After being super unwell for a few months, including hospital trips, endless scans and doctors appointments, they have all taken such good care of me. As my big surgery date looms, I felt like I owed them something grand. How better to show someone you love them, than with food! Thus, the ‘thank you’ banquet was born.
With all this in mind, I would like this dinner party to be a zero waste friendly event. This means finding recipes that don’t require anything I can’t buy in bulk or fresh from the markets. The other important factor being that I eat vegan, and my mum is a celiac. The challenge – finding gluten-free, vegan, zero waste recipes that everyone will like.
If you’re a vegan and have never stumbled across So Vegan before, then I’ve just changed your life. I have cooked so many of their recipes and decided this ‘thank you’ dinner would also blow a kiss to my favourite english cooks. They create meals, snacks and other delicious vegan creations that would impress even the most suspicious non-vegan. So my aim was to make my zero waste party an exclusive So Vegan menu.
Seeing as it’s a Thursday night, Lachie has school tomorrow and dad has to drive, I decided to try my hand at some homemade, alcohol-free drinks. I had a crack at making a cucumber-mint lemonade, and a raspberry lemonade. Luckily for me, my mum has an abundance of lemons on her tree!
I picked up the cucumbers and mint from Eumarrah, which sources local grown fruit + veg. The raspberries were unfortunately taken from our stash of frozen packet berries which we hoarded in our non zero waste lives. The lemons (all 10 that I needed) were all taken from my mums beautiful lemon tree!
A pre-vegan version of me absolutely loves a cheese platter. I wanted to prove to my suspicious parents that a zero waste, vegan platter can be just as good! I picked up some Tasmanian grown veggies from Eumarrah for dipping, as well as some bulk bought ingredients to make a simple hummus and a tomato salsa. Photo of the full platter not available due to deliciousness and impatience of hungry family.
It’s coming towards the end of winter here, but the forecast says it will be 10 degrees on the night of my dinner. I decided to go for a soup, because it’s easy, can be prepared in advance and is easily vegan/gluten free. I have recently been making this delicious spicy broccoli & potato soup, which only needs 5 ingredients! It’s packed full of ginger and chilli, so it seemed like a winner.
The potatoes, broccoli and ginger were all picked up from the farmers market, so all Tasmanian grown! We have a decent stash of bulk bought chilli flakes, which cost next to nothing to buy.
I love soup but it’s not always the most filling meal, and I want my family to leave here with satisfied tummies. I had a bunch of potatoes that were begging to be used, so I decided on the So Vegan cheezy hash browns. This also gave me the opportunity to try some vegan cheese I’ve had stored for a rainy day.
I also picked up some sourdough bread and gluten free bread for dipping in the soup, bought using my homemade bread bags! If you want to make your own bread bags, click here for my instructions.
As an alternative to butter for the bread, I quickly whipped up a vegan cream cheese for spreading. Made mostly from cashews, the ingredients for this are easily bought in bulk. I picked out this recipe from the So Vegan salmon bagels, and honestly it only takes about 5 minutes to make!
This was my trickiest challenge, as I’m really poor at cooking sweet food. I settled on a recipe I’ve been wanting to try for ages, which is the So Vegan strawberry cheesecake brownies. We had a stash of mixed berries in the freezer, so I converted it to a mixed berry version. The rest of the ingredients were easily bought in bulk.
I’d made up the cheesecake, but it took me a little longer than expected and unfortunately, she did not set in time. Luckily, I’m a genius and had anticipated this might happen. So I quickly whipped up a tray of the So Vegan quinoa & chocolate chip cookies which I knew would be a crowd pleaser. All ingredients for these tasty treats were bought in bulk, even the chocolate!
What wasn’t zero waste
The only thing I could not successfully buy zero waste is the coconut cream required for the cheesecake. The silver lining is that tin cans are not made from plastic, and I’ll keep these two for propagating my succulent collection on my balcony.
All in all the ‘thank you’ dinner was a success! My little brother, a notorious carnivore, actually said he would consider switching to a vegan diet because he couldn’t taste the difference! My mum was also able to eat everything on the menu, and this was a first for her. Most importantly, this was a fantastic opportunity for me to share some love to my family and Jake for looking after me whilst I’ve been unwell. I would’ve taken a photo of the full table, but we were too happy enjoying each others company, and tucking in a vegan, gluten free, zero waste friendly meal.
For So Vegan website, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/
For homemade lemonade 3 ways, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/easy-lemonade-3-ways/
For hummus & tomato salsa recipes, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/easy-dips-3-ways/
For spicy broccoli and potato soup, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/5-ingredient-spicy-broccoli-soup/
For cheezy hash browns, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/cheesy-hash-browns/
For bread bag tutorial, head to https://tassiegirlzerowaste.home.blog/2019/06/09/bread-bread-bags/
For cream cheese recipe, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/carrot-salmon-cream-cheese-bagel/
For original cheesecake recipe, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/no-bake-strawberry-cheesecake-brownies/
For quinoa cookie recipe, head to https://www.wearesovegan.com/quinoa-choc-chip-cookies/
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