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5 Vegan foods for easy entertaining

Ack! The in-laws just called and are 10 minutes away. You don't have dinner planned and they aren't even vegan! What to do? Stock your kitchen with the following five vegan foods before this harrowing scenario occurs. Vegan entertaining is easy when you'r

Ack! The in-laws just called and are 10 minutes away. You don't have dinner planned ... and they aren't even vegan! What to do, what to do? Stock your kitchen with the following five vegan foods before this harrowing scenario occurs. Vegan entertaining is easy -- for vegans and non-vegans -- when you're prepared.
Ack! The in-laws just called and are 10 minutes away. You don't have dinner planned ... and they aren't even vegan! What to do, what to do? Stock your kitchen with the following five vegan foods before this harrowing scenario occurs. Vegan entertaining is easy -- for vegans and non-vegans -- when you're prepared.

5 Foods for easy vegan entertaining

1. Mezzetta Calamata Olives

I love Mezzetta products because they not only boast quality flavor, they conveniently come in jars that I can keep in the pantry for times I need to pull together an impromptu meal. Olives should be on hand in every vegan kitchen to serve as fun finger food for special occasions or for feature in more elaborate recipes. If you're really pressed for time, simply pour olives in a bowl and serve alongside toasted slices of bread. You can also combine olives, garlic, and fresh herbs in a food processor and pulse, adding olive oil as needed, to form a delicious tapenade to spread on mini-toasts.

2. Huerto Azul Fig Chutney with Merken

Keep a few jars of chutney in your pantry to add a gourmet touch to a last-minute vegan meal. The Huerto Azul Fig Chutney with Merken is a nice change from the usual mango chutney; it is sweet, spicy, and even smoky. Serve it with crackers or party toasts and any vegan cheese you may have on hand. You can also whisk chutney with a little vinegar and olive oil to make a tasty vinaigrette to pour over fresh fruit and vegetables.

3. Eden Organic Aduki Beans

Even if you relish cooking beans, a can or two of canned beans will give you the basis for party dips and spreads. Aduki beans are a dark red bean that can be pureed into a dip along with fresh herbs, citrus zest, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. Scoop up the dip with vegan chips and crackers or wrap up aduki spread and spinach in tortillas and cut crosswise into spirals. Of note, Eden Foods uses BPA-free cans -- a bonus for an already healthy product.

4. Late July Organic Classic Rich Crackers

These "rich" crackers taste like Ritz crackers, making them the perfect nibble when non-vegans come to visit. Partner crackers with olives, marinated vegetables, vegan cheese, chutney, and bean dips on a serving platter and you've got yourself party food in mere minutes.

5. Benefit Wines from Humane Cellars

Though wines are made from grapes, not all wines are vegan-friendly. Humane Cellars, a proud supporter of PETA, offers organic and vegan-friendly wines that not only make entertaining a breeze, the wines also support your favorite animal rights organizations. You can choose from chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and sparkling white wine. Browse wines and charities at BenefitWines.com and keep a few bottles ready to uncork for unexpected guests.

More vegan entertaining tips and recipes!
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