For those people whose cooking repertoire is usually meat based, having a vegan guest for dinner can seem like a daunting task – but actually it can be fun, easy and interesting .. and with tasty results of course!
As a vegan, I have often been overwhelmed by the support and effort my friends will put into preparing food for me – I wish I could say the same for many of the non-vegan restaurants but thats another story! And they often say they found it interesting and surprising to see how many great recipes are out there.
However, if you are one of those people who do not relish trawling through endless recipes to find the ‘right one’ – here are some quick ideas to help you feed your vegan dinner companion…..
- What would you normally make for dinner? A good start is what kind of food would you choose to make if you didn’t have to think about the vegan aspect
- Can you veganise it? Almost all dishes can be veganised… no they wont taste the same, but they can be just as tasty! There are some examples below
- Be open to eating it yourself. The number of times I have been given a meal and the cook wont eat it themselves is worrying – if you make great food, then enjoy it with all your guests! Trust me, as a vegan this will also make you feel very included
- If you are feeding vegans and non-vegans at the same meal, you may find you can make the vegetables, pasta/rice or sauce separately so you can then use those parts to make the vegan meal option and another option separately
- Be careful to not cross contaminate the vegan dish by using any spoons, knives, pans etc that have non-vegan products on them e.g. were used to stir a sauce, cut cheese, heat non-vegan etc
- Remember the things around the main meal, choose a vegan bread (just ask in the shop if not making it yourself); check the wine/drinks; have a vegan spread available to replace butter if thats part of your menu; have a plant milk for tea/coffee afterwards if thats your thing, etc
- Most importantly, get curious and have fun – when you are open to learning new recipes, it can be rewarding and interesting. And with so many great choices, I’m sure you will find some to add to your expansing repertoire!
Example Vegan Replacement Ideas
Spaghetti Bolognese or tomato meaty pasta
If you use dry pasta, the chances are it is egg free anyway – but check to be sure or buy a brand that is
Use cooked lentils in the recipe instead of the meat
Check the recipe ingredients for any meat, dairy or animal products and just leave them out
If you avoid using a butter or milk in your veggies, animal fat on your potatoes or dairy in your mash etc – your vegetables can all easily be vegan
Many stuffing packet mixes are vegan, just check the ingredients and don’t add anything non-vegan when cooking it, like using animal fat for roasting
You could really impress your vegan friend and test your cooking skills by whipping up vegan yorkshire puddings – very easy and tasty
The ‘meat’, well this can be replaced with a whole host of fabulous alternatives, and depending on how much time you have, you could try:
- vegan ‘toad in the hole’ using that yorkshire batter!
- making a mushroom and lentil puff pasty tart
- nut roast
- checking out the vegan frozen foods for something easy like a pie or vegan sausages
With a little bit of preparation and thought, it is really easy to offer your vegan guest great meals that everyone can enjoy. For more inspiration and recipe ideas, check out these pages: