Easy 3-Course Vegan + Gluten-free Dinner Party Menu- Perfect for the Holidays

Healthy Recipes

29 October 2015

Last Saturday, some serious ish went down in the kitch.

Lauren's friends sitting at a dinner table

I put on my first cooking class/dinner party for ten and let’s just say I might have underestimated a teensy bit how much work it was going to be. And by teensy bit I might mean a lot.

But, despite the odds everything turned out pretty dang fab and all the guests seemed to love the food (or else they were just really good actors).

Two wooden bowls of green salad topped with pecans and pears

I have to partially credit this success to the menu concept I came up with, which is fairly simple to prepare but the flavors are anything but (i.e. it’s delicious AF). I’ve made most of these dishes several times for people (just not for ten at a dinner party by myself :)) and they’ve all raved- so I not only knew the recipes well but knew people already actually enjoyed them. This is crucial when you’re hosting a dinner party or making a potluck dish as a way to ensure minimal stress and a winning meal.

Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash on a baking tray

However I’ve eliminated this step for you as this menu has already been tested and approved many times by both meat-eaters and non (including the meat-lovin’ hubby- who gave it two very enthusiastic thumbs up). If you want to test it out first for yourself I highly encourage it- you don’t have to reserve it for dinner parties only and you probably won’t want to after you taste it!

Many bowls of Baked Apple Crumble with Salted Maple Coconut Cream

Oh and let’s not forget besides it’s crowd-pleasing factor that this meal is also very friendly to a host of dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar free, etc. ) which is great because most everyone can enjoy (you can easily tweak to make paleo). It’s also insanely healthy and filled with tons of seasonal superfoods like leafy greens, kale, quinoa, delicata squash, pecans, pears, figs, apples, and oats #WINNING

Delicata squash and apples on cutting boards

Lauren smiling in her kitchen

    (Oh just chopping some veggies before things got crazy).

A stuffed delicata squash and a green salad on a plate

5 from 1 vote

First Course- Roasted Fig Fall Salad

A stuffed delicata squash and a green salad on a plate

serves 4-6- I doubled for 10

Author: Lauren Chambers
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 large container organic spinach or leafy greens
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2-3 cups figs (or 2 pears if figs are no longer available)
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • coconut sugar
  • olive oil

Apple Cider Dijon Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pure grade b maple syrup
  • 4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp gf soy sauce 

Preparation

  1. Turn oven to broil. Coat fennel and figs in olive oil, sea salt and pepper and broil for 8 minutes until cooked.
  2. Coat a stovetop pan with olive oil and toss in pecans. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and coconut sugar and cook slowly on medium heat until toasted, about 20 minutes or so. Be careful not to burn.
  3. Add all dressing ingredients to a blender and mix until well combined.
  4. Toss leafy greens, figs, fennel, candied pecans and dressing together when ready to eat dinner.
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Stuffed delicata squash boats with quinoa, kale and cranberry pilaf

Second Course- Stuffed Delicata Squash Boats with Quinoa, Kale and Cranberry Pilaf 

Recipe Here

Second Course Stuffed Squash Instructions:

Click here

Baked Apple Crumble in a pan

5 from 1 vote

Third Course- Baked Apple Crumble with Salted Maple Coconut Cream

Baked Apple Crumble
Author: Lauren Chambers

Ingredients

Filling

  • 6 pink lady apples, deseeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup pure grade b maple syrup
  • ½ orange, juice squeezed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Crumble

  • 2 cups GF rolled oats
  • 2 cups walnuts, coarsely ground in food processor
  • ½ cup pure grade b maple syrup
  • 10 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Salted Maple Coconut Cream

Recipe Here

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 °. In a large skillet pan over medium heat toss in chopped apples and ¼ cup maple syrup. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples begin to brown. Add orange juice, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Stir until well combined and set aside.
  2. While apples are cooking, grind your walnuts into a coarse flour using a food processor or high speed blender. Combine walnuts with coconut oil, sea salt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and rolled oats. Use your hands to squeeze ingredients together well- this will create a legit crumble.
  3. If the skillet that apples are cooking in is not oven safe, transfer to a baking pan. Then spread the crumble topping evenly over the apple filling.
  4. Bake at 375 °  for 30 minutes or until the top is toasted golden brown and filling is tender.
  5. While crumble is baking, make your salted maple coconut cream.
  6. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes which allows for the crumble topping to get crispy and extra delicious.
  7. Serve in bowls and top with a generous dollop (or three) of coconut cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and pat yourself on the back (or drink a glass of wine) because you just served a successful dinner party. Compliments await!
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Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Coconut Cream

Lauren and her friends sitting at a dinner table

PS- Living in the Seattle area and interested in having me host a cooking class/ dinner party? Hit a sister up for more details.