It’s Hard Out Here for a Vegan

Ahhh the Holiday Season. There are few things I like better than getting together with friends and family over food. Add to that Christmas lights and gourds, maybe a lightly falling snow in the background, and I’m a happy camper. But it can be really hard to go to parties with my Vegan. If we’re going to a house not owned by a vegetarian, which we usually are, there likely won’t be anything for him. This will leave him hungry, which will mean a less than great evening for me, and the hosts will undoubtedly end up feeling guilty, but won’t really be able to do anything while catering to the rest of the guests. It’s a lose, lose, lose situation.

So I’ve found the best solution to be to bring something with us. The ideal dish is something that is fun to share, that will feel like a good compliment to the party, but also has some protein and bulk to it so that if there is nothing else, Jason’s stomach won’t be growling.

My favorite thing that I’ve come to rely on is my Curry Cream Cheese Spread. It fulfills all of these qualities by being festive looking, makes plenty to share, will fill you up, and won’t be spotted as a “weird vegan dish” by out meat eater hosts and fellow guests. It’s the perfect party dish and here I share it with you:

Curry Cream Cheese Spread

16 oz. Cream Cheese (softened) either dairy or non-dairy
3 tsp Curry Powder (more or less to taste)
9 oz Mango Chutney
1 Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts (chopped)
1 Cup Cilantro (chopped)
1 Cup Green Onions (chopped)
½ Cup Coconut
Crackers (Ritz work well)

  1. Choose a medium sized platter (dinner plate sized or slightly larger) to create the multi-layered spread on. A platter with a ½ inch or so lip is handy because you’ll be able to put saran wrap over the dip for storage of left overs.
  2. Chop the peanuts, cilantro, and green onions.
  3. On the platter, mix together the cream cheese and curry with a spoon until they are thoroughly blended.
  4. Smooth the cream cheese mixture over the surface of the platter in an even layer.
  5. Spread the mango chutney evenly on top of the cream cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the peanuts on top of the chutney in an even layer. Then repeat with the cilantro, then the green onions, then the coconut.
  7. It can be served immediately although can also benefit from having a few hours to a day for the flavors to blend. Serve the spread with a couple of butter or cheese knives and a bowl of crackers. Enjoy!
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