It’s tiki time! Today I’m sharing tiki party ideas + a recipe for seitan bacon wrapped pineapple. It’s an easy vegan appetizer for your next party.
You know what they say about necessity… It was the mother of tiki parties.
My landlocked state is severely lacking in tiki bars. Grass skirts, torches, coconut cocktails, and leis are MIA in IA.
It’s too bad, because tiki bars are loads of fun – so kitschy and festive.
However, for tiki fun closer to home, ingenuity is required.
Tiki parties owe their lineage to tiki-themed restaurants of the 1930’s like Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber.
I’ve written about Trader Vic’s before, when sharing my recipe for vegan crab rangoon. (The non-vegan version was first created at that Bay area restaurant.)
But tiki really hit its heyday when mid-century modern became a thing in the mid-twentieth century. It’s what happens when Hollywood kitsch meets a Polynesian island paradise.
My friend, Ashley, is a fan of tiki bars as well. So she decided to take matters into her own hands and throw a tiki party at her house.
We put our heads together on tiki party ideas for the menu.
She invited 20 to 30 friends, bought a lei for every guest, which was given to them at the door, and some kitschy cocktail mugs to keep things festive.
She also cored whole pineapples, and then put the shells into the refrigerator or freezer to use as additional glasses.
(She says that the hard bit down the center is a great place for sticking cocktail parasols. Plus, it takes up some space inside of the pineapple itself. Otherwise, that could be one very large beverage!)
Ashley made Blue Hawaiian & Mai Tai cocktails. She also gave her usual Moscow mule mugs an Island vibe with two fruity spins on that ginger beer classic – pineapple cilantro Moscow mule & mango Moscow mule.
Because tiki parties first became a thing in the 50’s and 60’s, the menu should feel inspired by that period with plenty of items on a stick or stabbed with a toothpick.
Ashley made a couple of fruity salsas & skewers.
I made a big batch of potato salad. (Link to recipe in menu below).
I put dollops into individual cups for easy serving. Then I finished each potato salad cup with a pinch of paprika, salt, and chives for garnish.
I also made a batch of seitan bacon wrapped pineapple. More on that in a second!
Tiki party menu:
- Strawberry avocado salsa
- Pineapple salsa
- Fruit skewers with pineapple, mango & strawberries
- Vegan potato salad
- Seitan bacon wrapped pineapple
Other tiki party menu ideas:
- Vegan crab rangoon
- Peach & black bean salsa
- Fried squash blossoms
- Vegan ceviche
- Vegan fish tacos with chipotle crema
- Grilled banana splits
Seitan bacon wrapped pineapple
If you’re a fan of smoky & sweet things like pizza with vegan pepperoni and pineapple, you’ll love seitan bacon wrapped pineapple. The bacon gets a bit of crunch and chew from a long baking time.
For the party itself, I actually fried the appetizers. But as I discovered later, baking them in the oven is so much easier.
I’ve made other seitan bacon wrapped appetizers in the past – cashew cheese stuffed dates & almond butter stuffed dates. In those instances, I’ve always just wrapped the dates well ahead of time and fried them just before serving.
What I didn’t consider this time around is that pineapples are juicy. And they release liquid when left to sit.
Unfortunately, I wrapped the pineapple spears with seitan bacon a couple of hours before the party. Then they were juicy by the time I needed to fry them.
Things are easier to fry when they’re dry (better browning and less splattering). So that was less than ideal.
Plus, pineapple is more slippery than dates. It can be hard to keep the seitan bacon from sliding off in the hot skillet.
So after the party, I perfected the recipe by doing an oven method instead.
I recommend wrapping the pineapple just before baking. Blot the seitan with a dry towel before wrapping, so that the vegan bacon is able to crisp and brown.
Wrap the seitan bacon around the pineapple chunks. Then lay them flap side down on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Pop it in the oven when guests start arriving. They’ll be ready to serve once everyone has their parasol-laden cocktails in hand.
Before serving, I like to carefully remove the toothpick and flip the appetizers over, so that the brown flap is showing. Then I spear them with something a little more festive.
Serve them on a platter covered with a bamboo sushi mat.
Vegan bacon wrapped pineapple
- 1 fresh pineapple cored & thick outer peel removed
- 8 ounces seitan bacon I used Upton's Naturals*
- Organic canola oil spray
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dry slices of seitan bacon on clean towel.
- Cut the fresh pineapple into long spears, about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap slices of seitan bacon around the spears, and then cut the pineapple spears to the correct size. You want a little bit of pineapple poking out beyond the seitan bacon. Poke each bacon slice with a toothpick to secure it into the pineapple.
- Line the seitan bacon wrapped pineapple on the baking sheet with the flap of the bacon facing down. (That way when it bakes, it will seal shut.) Spray the bacon with organic canola oil spray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bacon has some crispness and is brown on the bottom.
- Remove from oven. If desired, remove toothpicks, and carefully flip each seitan bacon wrapped pineapple over to reveal the browned flap underneath. Secure with a more festive toothpick and move to a serving platter. The pineapple will be very hot. So wait a few minutes before serving.