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So, you love a good party, great company and delicious food…. and you happen to be vegan! I’d love to share some really easy, dairy-free recipes with you that will get your party started with a bang!

We’re quite a bunch of party animals in this house and the New Year’s Eve party is a highlight in our family calendar. Sam (6) and Alex (4) have never missed  the chance to start the new year with us and our friends. In fact, it’s the only time they are allowed to stay up that late. We always pay for it the next day (cranky kids!) but it is soooo worth it!

Vegan Canapes

My work obviously involves a lot of cooking and food preparation for photography… so in theory I know what I’m doing 😉
I’d love to tell you that I’m one of those relaxed, effortless hosts that make entertaining look incredibly easy… but I’d be lying. I get a bit flustered and start fussing – for me, party recipes have to be simple and hassle-free.
I usually aim for impressive looking but actually very easy to make (shhh, don’t tell anyone).

Three Colour Canapés
Vegan Canapes 3

Super quick and easy, but looks fabulous – ideal party food!
I love the wonderful flavour of marinated semi-dried tomatoes. You can buy them from good delis and most supermarkets. They usually come in a herb and garlic oil which is great for drizzling around the serving plate but works very well on Bruschetta too.
The basil tofu is delicious as it is – no need to marinade.

One pack of basil tofu or smoked almond tofu (taifun brand)
Fresh basil leaves
Semi-dried (sunblush) tomatoes in oil

Cut the tofu into small cubes. Use a cocktail stick or mini skewer and pierce through a tomato. Wrap a tofu cube in a basil leaf and push it onto the cocktail stick.
Arrange on a plate and drizzle with the oil from the tomatoes.

Ruby’s Cookie Pie (vegan recipe)
Vegan Cookie Pie

I photographed this recipe for National Vegetarian Week earlier this year. This may not add to your 5-a-day but it’s the perfect dessert if you have a sweet tooth!
Recipe created by Ruby Clemans from Torquay for the Vegetarian Society’s ‘Surprisingly simple’ member recipe competition.

For the Pie base –
110g dairy free margarine
250g plain flour
80g sugar
1 quantity egg replacer

For the cookie filling –
2 quantities egg replacer
65g plain flour
115g sugar
100g brown sugar
170g dairy free margarine, softened
150g dairy free chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 160C.
2. For the base: crumb together the margarine and flour then add the sugar and mix in the egg replacer. Roll out the mixture and put into Pie dish.
3. For the filling: Beat the margarine and sugar together. Add flour and the egg replacer.
4. Stir in chocolate chips and spoon the mixture into the pie base.
5. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool slightly on wire rack. Serve warm.

I found a large pie dish with deeper sides worked better than smaller individual ones (they bubbled over a bit in the small dishes).

Vegan Vodka Jelly Shots

Vegan Vodka Jelly

Add a bit of sparkle with these cute Vodka Jellies this New Year’s Eve.
For these jellies, I used ‘just Wholefoods’ raspberry jelly

You will need:
1 packet of vegetarian jelly crystals (raspberry flavour),
100 ml vodka
fresh blueberries and raspberries
12 heat-proof shot glasses or mini jelly moulds

Prepare the jelly according to the instruction on the packet, but replace 100 ml of water with the vodka. Whisk continuously until the crystals are completely dissolved.

Before you fill the hot jelly into glasses, let it cool down a little to avoid your glasses breaking. Stir occasionally and you will notice when the jelly begins to thicken. Pour into the shot glasses, and then add the berries.
If you prefer you can adjust the water/vodka ratio to taste or add orange juice for an alcohol-free version.

Have a great start to 2014. I wonder what you’ll be cooking this New Year’s Eve. Have you got any fool-proof, easy recipes to share?

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