Whether you love the game or loathe it, football gives people a chance to socialize and EAT. My goal here is not to discuss the politics of football, as I have plenty of opinions on the topic, but to provide some assistance for planning a vegan feast for those who are happily partying on game day or being forced to attend the festivities. You still gotta eat, so let’s dig in!
I was inspired to create this plan when I watched the Tailgate, Failgate episode (aired on June 29, 2018, Season 2) of the Netflix series Nailed It! The participants had to create a snack stadium and I thought it was a great idea to offer a veganized version.
While I used a large number of faux meat products, you are free to omit anything you don’t want. I used this opportunity to test some new products and discover how some were best prepared. I’m always working on ways to bring meat eaters into the vegan path, and faux meats have always been an on-ramp for people who are curious about what we eat and if the lifestyle can be convenient and tasty. If you don’t like them, you can still create a fun food offering that doesn’t include them. I’m linking to the items I used as they are available. Can these items be expensive? Yes! I advise that if you know you want to do something like this, plan ahead and look for the best deals. Stock up your freezer until you are ready to go.
Violife Just Like Feta – I never liked dairy feta cheese, but THIS non-dairy feta is insanely delicious. Like, “I could eat the whole block” good if you know what I mean. I cut it into blocks and put toothpicks into it for easy pick up. Your mouth and tummy will thank you for this one.
Field Roast Breakfast Links Apple Maple – I followed the instructions and pan fried them. This was my first time trying them, and I really enjoyed them. I wish I had made them wrapped in some crescent rolls, but that will have to be another day. For this time, I just plated them so guests could use toothpicks or tongs.
Gardein Chick’N Sliders – These are certain to be a hit at your party or tailgate. Gardein is always a winner, and their Chick’N Sliders are delightful and many guests will wonder if you grabbed the wrong box by mistake. I always enjoy these little tasty treats. I cooked them in the oven for that added crispness.
Tofurky Plant-Based Deli Slices – I like a variety of options, but you’ll notice I never add a faux bologna to the mix, as I grew up having to eat bologna and hated it. Faux or not, my memory remembers the flavor and I don’t wish to recreate it, but if you like it, they have that option available, too. The Tofurky deli slices I chose for the menu were Peppered, Hickory Smoked, and Smoked Ham Style. I rolled two slices together at a time and secured them with a toothpick. These are great to dip into sauces (see the Zhoug sauce below). I enjoy the deli slices and find they are very filling.
Pure Farmland Plant-Based Meatballs – Italian Style with Dairy Free Parmesan Alternative This new product on the market is very tasty. The package recommends to cook them in the oven, and they turned out perfectly. A toothpick and a little spaghetti sauce for dipping, and you’ve got a winning combination. They taste great, and when cooked in the oven, are soft and juicy.
365 Everyday Value Turkey-Style Deli Slices – Available at Whole Foods, these are yet another option for your deli meat needs. These are are also a great option for your sandwich and snacking needs. I usually place two slices on each sandwich, but feel free to stack away on your sandwich tower.
Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders – These faux tenders are delicious. I frequently will make a gravy to serve with these, but for this party meal, we just went with dips – especially the zhoug sauce!
Louisville Vegan Jerky – My favorite of the three is the Smokey Carolina BBQ. I enjoyed this first taste, but I have to say, it didn’t have the feel of jerky to me. It felt like a seitan product, which it is, but it didn’t have the “pull” or mouth texture of jerky. Enjoyable, but I prefer the Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky.
Gardein Barbecue Chick’N Wings – What is a party without a plate of vegan wings? These saucy delights have been served at our events for a few years now, and everyone always wants to know how to purchase them. They are sweet, tangy and messy! If you want, you can choose to omit the included sauce packet and add your own to the plain wings. Get creative!
Veggies and Fruits
You can add any and every veggie and fruit you like. I went with broccoli, cauliflower, red and green grapes, carrots, celery, green bell peppers, and black olives. Don’t forget the avocados in the guac! Go with baby carrots and smaller bags of florets if you want to shave off some prep time.
Chips, Crackers, and Mixes
Real Food From the Ground Up Cheddar Crackers – I really like these “cheddar” crackers. They are a great little snack that are not overwhelming with the taste of cauliflower. You can taste it, but it isn’t a bad thing, and it gets pretty close to the cheese crackers I once knew. They make a great change of pace between the other options on the table.
New York Style Bagel Crisps, Everything Bagel – If you have guests who like a little more bite than the chips and crackers, the bagel crisps are the route to take. They go really well with all the dips and especially nice with the Violife Feta Cheese.
Tortilla chips and Original Chex Party Mix – the crowd favorites must have a seat at the table.
Guacamole made by moi is the centerpiece of this vegan feast.
Zhoug Sauce – Trader Joe’s knocked it out of the park with this sauce! A bit spicy but refreshing, this sauce is a great spread on sandwiches and as a dip. I love to add it to a morning tofu scramble as well. It is a versatile sauce that will prompt you to cook just so you can add this sauce to it.
Vegan Ranch Dip – Trader Joe’s has scored a touchdown with this creamy ranch dip. Proving you don’t need buttermilk to make a delicious ranch, the dip is thick and ready for all of your chopped veggies and chips. Grab two, you’ll go through the first tub very quickly.
Sabra Taco Inspired Hummus with pico de gallo – A slightly spicy hummus that adds a little zing as a dip for your deli meats and veggie sticks is always a good thing. It makes a great chip dip, too!
Spaghetti Sauce – The sauce is for the meatballs. You can opt not to have it, but it really is a great choice for the meatballs.
Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream – While I didn’t use this as a dip, I did pipe it on top of the guacamole for the field lines.
Chex Muddy Buddies – While I’ve had this mix before, I hadn’t made it. I used the recipe on the Chex site and the mix turned out perfectly! A small cup of these delights and I had my chocolate and sugar fix in one swift hit. I used the Rice Chex.
I’m not against using disposable products. It isn’t my first go-to item, but I recognize that for most people, this is a staple in the house. There are some great companies that make items that you can toss in the compost pile, but if you are like me and reuse the cups for art projects where you have to mix resin or paint, this makes a great compromise. Additionally, you can clean them and recycle them. Reuse what you can! I’ve reused disposable cups in the garden to keep rabbits from eating my fragile seedlings. Cut out the bottom and insert over the little plant for protection at the base.
Additionally, there is a new product that is being tested in game stadiums across the country and is currently available for purchase in trial packs. Ball has created an aluminum cup that is infinitely recyclable, keeps your drinks colder, and is customizable. Additionally, they are made in the United States from aluminum that is sourced in the United States, too. They will be used at the big game this year, too.
My vintage little football team is one that I purchased long ago in a bakery supply shop. This is actually the first time I opened the package and used them. This set was made by Wilton but is no longer available. You can pick some up at Ebay or Etsy.
I used a shallow foil pan as the field and plastic kitchen baskets as the stadium seats. You could cut up cereal boxes, use magazine holders, toilet paper rolls, whatever you can imagine, to create the stadium snack arena of your dreams.
Have Fun and Share Those Vegan Eats
No matter what you are coming together to share or celebrate, if you have vegan food on the table, you are spreading the love of compassion and undoubtedly impacting the view others have of the goodness vegan food has to offer. Share and have fun!
This post contains affiliate links that provide us compensation if you click through or purchase the items, and this comes at no additional cost to you.