The Daily Beet

13 Sep PAR-TAY! Char on Plant-Strong Partying.

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A party invite just came in from my closet friend, Ann.  She isn’t plant-strong, and she is having a gathering at her home next week.  My friends are always so re-assuring, “Don’t worry, I will have plenty here for you to eat.”  While I always applaud their diligence, no matter how hard they seem to  try,   if they are not truly plant-strong®, they generally miss the mark  and add oil or salt to foods that are generically plant-perfect.   I have learned over the years that it is best to BYOW (bring your own whatever) to remain plant strong at any social gathering.  In the beginning, it was difficult, but with time, I think I have streamlined my way to feel relaxed and plant-confident at any social get-together.

I have the secret weapon.  Simple.  Easy. Quick. Delicious. And plant-strong®.  Did I mention versatile?

Yup, it is garbanzo bean flour.  A few years ago, I started using stone ground garbanzo bean flour.  I was using it to thicken soups, but one day realized that this stuff was like magic in a bag!  Makes the perfect garnish.  You can make veggie burgers with it.  You can make hummus. You can make chocolate pudding. The only thing I haven’t done with it is use it as a facial (although, I have entertained such a thought).

But for the “WOW” factor at parties( and so that I do not pass out)…I make “mini” veggie burgers.  You can use Rip’s recipe from page 186 (Engine 2 Diet).  Instead of a can of black beans, use a cup of garbanzo bean flour, re-constitute with water or salt-free vegetable broth.  Add the liquid until you end up with a “paste.”  I cook with my eyes, so you will have to judge for yourself.  Follow the other directions in the E2 recipe.   Once you reach the consistency as described by Chef Rip, use a melon baller, and make small burgers/patties.  You should get about 32-40 mini-burgers.  Bake them 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Once done, allow them to cool, then  arrange them attractively on a platter. Garnish with chopped scallions and grated carrots.  I usually make a “bean dip” with the garbanzo flour, so that people can then dip the mini-burgers.  Everyone goes WILD for this.

But, in the meantime, I have to think about the never ending question…What will I wear to Ann’s party?  I often dress up my with my “Kale” t-shirt…looks snazzy with pearls.  People will ask you questions about the shirt, then, you can tell them how Engine 2 has changed your diet.  This happens to me all the time.

In the meantime, never allow yourself to feel intimidated when heading to a party.  You have a full arsenal of recipes, support and ideas right here at Engine 2.  For added support, you can check us out at Engine 2 Extra.

When I am at a party, I go prepared.  What others choose to  eat is their choice.  My  motto at parties is always this…

Be plant-strong to thine ownself.  And, have fun!

Char’s Quick Tips for Party Success

  1.  Ask the hosts what they’ll be serving, and better yet, ask them what you can bring.
  2. Sometimes, I eat a hearty salad before heading out to a social gathering.
  3. When you get to the party, identify those foods that are plant-strong® and enjoy yourself.
  4. Take you favorite dish…you will not go hungry.

Next time, have the party at your house!


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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • Sarah S
    Posted at 10:14h, 13 September

    Sounds awesome! I’m going to make these mini-veggie burgers. Can you give the recipe (or ingredients) for the dipping sauce? You mention garbanzo bean flour above. What else goes into it? Thanks for the fun suggestion! =)

  • JenO
    Posted at 10:24h, 13 September

    Great ideas!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Dee Dale Ẅright
    Posted at 12:25h, 13 September

    Char Nolan is a green goddess..<3

  • Shannon Woods
    Posted at 12:25h, 13 September

    Love it! I have been struggling at parties and functions where I have been invited not to offend people with my special diet. These tips are very helpful!

  • jocelyn
    Posted at 12:41h, 13 September

    oh, i have closet friends too but they usually don’t invite me to parties, they just steal my socks LOL – jk – I’m going to buy garbanzo bean flour today and try it out. thanks for the tip!

  • Millicent A.
    Posted at 13:26h, 13 September

    Thank You so much for your wonderful article Char! If You have any ideas for veggie burgers that do NOT include any grains or beans, I would certainly like to know about it. With the warmest of regard, Mil

  • Kate Murray
    Posted at 18:12h, 13 September

    The best part about bringing your own plant-strong® or plant-perfect® recipe to the party is the number of people who want that recipe once they taste it!

  • Alison
    Posted at 19:05h, 13 September

    Great tips! I love you Char!!

  • Kirsten
    Posted at 19:47h, 13 September

    Great idea with the garbanzo bean flour…I am going to get some this weekend. Thanks!

  • Sherisse Hartley
    Posted at 13:32h, 20 September

    I will have to try the mini veggie burgers, wonderful idea 🙂

  • Rick
    Posted at 12:21h, 27 September

    This is off the subject, but I did not know where to comment about Rip’s Big Bowl. I have been having it for breakfast, not as consistent as I would like. I love it. My question is: We hear all of this talk about gluten and I was wondering if the dry cereals used in Rip’s Big Bowl contain gluten in them and what are the effects? I hear all this talk about gluten not being good for you.

    Thank you,

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