Inviting vegan friends over for a meal does not have to be the precursor for a panic attack. While the list of foods vegans eat may seem limiting, it can also be an adventure into flavors and food combinations not previously considered. Here are some keys to keep your stress levels down:
Communicate honestly with vegan friends about what they will accept on the table. Unless it causes offense, it may be possible to combine vegan and non-vegan dishes for the satisfaction of all. This is especially important if there will be both vegan and non-vegan guests. Considerate hosts will always want to know of any food sensitivities and preferences.
An essential rule of thumb is to keep it simple. It’s not necessary to include specialized food proteins such as tofu or tempeh. There is a great variety of pasta and veggie combinations that can be enjoyed by all. Whole-grain bread is often packed with a nutty flavor, and don’t forget all those sweet, delicious fruit choices. If a single entree seems complicated, a variety of simple small dishes may be the answer to the dilemma.
Suggestions For First-Timers
Salad or hummus with veggies for dipping is a great intro dish. Simple spaghetti or other whole-grain pasta with a meatless sauce is a universally loved entree. With a bit of creativity, it’s possible no one will notice the meal is vegan.
Stir fry is another meal that easily lends itself to vegan tastes without a loss of flavor. Use herbs and spices to enhance dishes such as curry or soup. There are natural vegan substitutes for not only meat, but also butter, eggs, and milk. However, it may not be necessary to research these substitutes if you keep your meal planning simple enough.
There are several vegan desserts that may be found ready-made at local grocery marts, or use appropriate substitutes to create almost any everyday sweet treat. Recipes are available online for anyone looking for a wow factor. When all else fails, present a simple fruit salad as a healthy alternative, few will turn away.
Enjoy your vegan friends and build a lifelong connection through the sharing of food and time together. When it comes to indulging foods together, everyone comes out a winner.