Delicious food and beautiful decor sets the stage for any party, and it also gives a great indication to your guests as to how much effort you’ve put into hosting them! I went all out hosting a Friendsgiving party. It is exactly like a Thanksgiving celebration with friends, instead of family.
Had so much fun planning and hosting the Vegan Friendsgiving Lunch. Watch the hilites video below and scroll through to see all the details of the food, dessert and decor.
I love entertaining, so this was the perfect excuse to invite my friends over for a Friendsgiving celebration. In celebration of friends old and new!
While Thanksgiving is typically family time, this year I wanted to invite my friends over and celebrate Friendsgiving. I absolutely love to cook for people and just want my friends to sit back, relax and enjoy the food.
I invited some old friends, neighbors and new friends from JAX, and my friends from the vegan blogger world. It was a great mix of people because they all come from different parts of life and they got along so well. So many of them already knew each other which is always fun!
I like to keep things elegant and very chic, I set up lots of colorful table runners, gold napkins, ethnic dishes and cups. I set-up different food stations with an array of delicious treats, food and desserts for an afternoon to catch up and hang out.
This is a special time around Thanksgiving when you gather with friends (like you would with family) to spread a little holiday cheer, and of course, to consume large amounts of desserts and your favorite comfort foods.
It’s a chance to relax, escape the usual holiday chaos and just enjoy being with each other.
You don’t have to worry about eating unhealthy, because everything is fresh with plant-based ingredients that you can prepare at home. I had so much fun and selecting the menu for my friends. Hope you try these dishes and enjoy them as much as we did!
DELICIOUS FOOD & RECIPES
I carefully selected these menu items for all tastebuds and everyone to enjoy. Click on link which will take you to the recipe page.
Creamy Cashew Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
Mint Chickpea Chaat Gol Gappe Station
Whole Roasted Cumin Cauliflower
Caramelized Sweet Potato Fries
Coconut Cauliflower Greenpeas Stuffing
Tangy Apples Dates Cilantro Cranberry Sauce
Tamarind Tahini Sesame Seed Salan
Palak Paneer Spinach Tofu
Saffron Fragrant Basmati Rice Pilaf
Mint Chickpeas Chana Chaat Gol Gappa Station
Chana Chaat is a savory snack that originated in India, typically served in food carts. The original chaat consists of pieces of potatoes chickpeas, chili mixture, fresh coriander and sauce made out of ginger and tamarind sauce. Sounds so spicy and delicious, right? If you love spicy tangy Asian classics, then you should definitely try this dish.
As guests arrives, I had them make their own appetizer. The gol gappa station was quite the hit. I showed one of my friends how to make it, and let them serve it to other guests—it was a great ice breaker and let the guests mingle before the big meal.
You first placed the gol gappa in a cup, add the chickpeas, potatoes, chutneys on top and sprinkle some cilantro and green chile blended together as a sauce. We even used the cranberry date chutney as a topping as well. Yum, Yum, Yummy this was the best idea ever! Everyone LOVED these sweet & tangy delectable snack!
Creamy Cashew Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
While there are many mashed potatoes recipes online, this is one of my favorites. Super simple and easy to make. I’m including my recipe below for the creamiest, dreamiest mashed potatoes ever!
- 4 pounds russet potatoes
- 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon blackpepper
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 cups of cashew milk
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes in the boiling water, and boil for about 20 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. OR you can place the potatoes in the microwave to boil, either method works well.
- Remove potatoes and cool, then remove the skins.
- Add potatoes in a large wide bowl and use a potato masher.
- Add the cashew milk, garlic, pepper, rosemary and the salt. Mix everything together for about 5 minutes for smooth creamy potatoes.
Tangy Apples Dates Cilantro Cranberry Sauce
- 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large red or green apple peeled and diced
- 1/2 onion diced finely
- 8 medjool dates, pit removed chopped
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
- Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart heavy saucepan.
- Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and cool, uncovered add more cilantro for garnish.
Cauliflower Carving Station
Loved serving my signature dish roasted whole cauliflower with caramel sweet potato fries in a large round wooden tray. It looks gorgeous on the table and it’s so Instagram-worthy!
Now, on to the sweet, sweet and healthy desserts!
- 3 slices whole grain Dave’s or Ezekiel bread
- 1 cup non-dairy almond milk
- 1 cup fresh or canned cranberries puree
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
- 3 apples, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fig jam or chopped fresh fig
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
- Place in loaf pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden on top.
- Serve drizzled with more figs, chopped apples, cranberries mixed together.
This Sweet Potato Pecan Pie and the Pumpkin Banana Bake was the centerpiece of my dessert table, as they are a perfect flavor combination for the season.
Use natural fall accents and accessories you have at home as an affordable way to decorate your Friendsgiving table.
I made the table decor very festive for the Friendsgiving tablescapes. I used everything I had at home in the fall colors of burgundy and rust and gold and pops of accent colors.
First, I set each table with a pretty festive table runner then placed some gourds, pumpkins along with fall floral vine leaf arrangements accented by candles and fresh succulent plants.
I took out big, medium and small clear vases and filled them with leftover cranberries and added herbs from my garden such as mint, basil, curry leafs, rosemary and thyme. The guests got to take the herbs home. The kitchen smelled so nice with all the fresh herbs.
Masala Chai, Water with Cranberries and Mint and after dinner mints sweet candied fennels with cardamom and cloves.
Add some height to all your dishes by placing them on pedestals or wooden trays or cutting boards so that it gives the buffet a little dimension.
Candle light, even during the day, adds ambiance like no other, so let this be an opportunity for you to illuminate your tablescape.
I went to each table and chatted with the friends and used this opportunity to share with each of my friends what I admire about them and why I am thankful to have them in my life. This was such a beautiful way to celebrate friendship.
We even had cute lil’ baby Faris attend with his mommy!
It is so much fun to send guests home with a baggie full of leftover mashed potatoes, roasted cauliflower, chutneys and desserts. They can enjoy it the next day and share it with their kids.
As you can see, having a Vegan Friendsgiving celebration is a great way to enjoy the company of others and snack on yummy holiday treats without the pressure of cooking a turkey and all the fixings.
So call your friends, make some healthy food, sweets and snacks and have a fabulous and memorable Friendsgiving!
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
The most important part of Friendsgiving is to enjoy yourself—the gathering shouldn’t be stressful! My equation for Friendsgiving is to remove the things that stress you out and add things that bring you joy.
It’s a perfect time to have a meal filled with gratitude and abundance with good friends, don’t you think?
Thanks for letting me share a peek into our Friendsgiving party, food, recipes and decor. Feel free to use our recipes and tips at your Thanksgiving Events. Please share any hosting tips and plans you have for your event.