Vegan Dinner Guest? No Problem!

Standard

All right dear, take a deeeep breath! In through your nose, then breathe out through your mouth. Repeat three times! No need to panic or whip out the Xanax just yet – save those for when your mother(-in-law) comes for a visit or you’re going on an airplane ride to Denver, Colorado! You could be in for a bumpy ride either way!

Shocked-woman

Let’s get back on track! You’ve got questions and I have the answers! So, you’re having a vegan guest over for dinner and you don’t know what to make? We are really not that complicated! The only thing to keep in mind is that we don’t eat anything that contains: meat, dairy, eggs, honey, roe (shellfish), fish, or gelatin. You’re probably thinking, “OMG, what do you eat then? How do you possibly survive? That sounds so restrictive!” Frankly, had you told me this years ago, I’d probably thought so too, but really it is not at all! Think of all your side dishes like salads, pastas, rice, and beans!

Mixed_Vegetables_side_dishMixed Vegetable Side Dish

We really appreciate it that you’re willing to make the effort and have us as a guest! Just don’t cook up whatever you decide on in butter or oil! Vegetables can easily be cooked, sauteed, and prepared in just water or vegetable broth. It’s much healthier that way too! Once you start looking into all the options, you might just discover how many wonderful things there truly are to prepare! The list is endless. Just promise me, because this happened to me recently, that you’re not going to tell your vegan guest that you’re preparing a dish – let’s say a salad – and that you’ll hold the cheese until he/she has had some and then forget about it!

Let’s Not Talk About That Over Dinner, Please!

Do you mind if I bring something else up before your dinner party? Well, I’m going to anyway! When you have a vegan guest for dinner this is really not the time to discuss why they have decided to go vegan nor is it time to shoot jokes at them! If you want to have that kind of conversation, then meet your guest/friend over a cup of coffee and have that conversation, but not while you’re at the dinner table! Also, this is not the time to discuss fur coat fashion or how much warmer a fur coat really is. We know! We just don’t want to take part in any of that! I’m going to leave it at that. If your vegan dinner guest is broadminded and respectful enough to come to dinner, or have you to their house for dinner, without this type of conversation at the dinner table, then be courteous and do the same! There’s a time and place for everything!

Two young women enjoying a coffee break

Do I need to go out and buy a new cookbook?

The answer is “No!” There are a ton of great free whole food plant-based vegan recipes On-line! I am going to post a list of sites for you to visit at the end, but by all means, if you do decide to buy a new cookbook because you know that next month you’re having a newly “gone vegan” guest for dinner I’d encourage you to do so! For Christmas this year, I gave all the couples, seven total, (except for a few people whom I know this would be lost on) the following book as a gift. This also happens to be one of my personal favorite cookbooks.

Cooking with Trader Joe's

All the recipes in “Cooking with Trader Joes – Skinny Dish” are delicious and easy to make! YUM! YUM! and YUM! What I also love about this book is that each recipe is right next to a colorful photo of the dish. As an artist and a highly visual learner this is a huge plus!

Happy Herbivore Abroadby Lindsay Nixon

By the way, Amazon is having a sale on their cookbooks and since no one gave me any for Christmas. Sniffles! They probably think that I have enough already and they are right, but I looked at Amazon’s sale announcement and saw Lindsay Nixon’s latest cookbook “Happy Herbivore Abroad”. If you scroll down there’s a little Vimeo video on Amazon’s site of her making a German lentil stew. Now that looks totally yummy and so easy peasy to make! Check it out! This would be a great dish to serve your plant-based vegan guest!

What does a Vegan Guest bring to a dinner party?

I’ll tell you what I brought for the Christmas Eve party that I went to the other night, but it’s not really a holiday meal per se, so you can make it at any time of the year. I brought “Santa Slaw”, which you can find on my blog site (it’s only a few blogs away from this one)! Also, I made a potato casserole that is so easy to make! Here’s the recipe:

Sweet Potato, Potato and Onion Casserole

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes

3 medium potatoes or one large baked potato

2 sweet onions

4 tbsp “butter” – Earth Balance Butter

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 cup vegetable broth

2 tbsp dry bread crumbs (I used Panko)

1/2 a bag of daiya mozzarella shreds or paremesan/mozzarella Veggie Shreds (can be found at Fred Meyer in the health refrigerated section) or at your local health food store

Himalayan Crystal salt or Sea Salt & ground pepper

1 tbsp fresh parsley (0ptional)

Directions:

Prepare oven to 350 degrees

Wash and peel potatoes. Have a baking dish ready because you’re going to layer this dish! I used one of these without the lid:

u-dish-baking-ceramic

Start by cutting the sweet potato in even thin slices and layer the dish at the bottom.

Then a layer of evenly thinly sliced sweet onion. Followed by a layer of thinly sliced potato. Then take some Earth Balance butter (about one Tbsp) and spread out over the potatoes. Just a thin layer. Add salt and pepper as well, but not too much! Then repeat! Layer all the way up! About three layers of this ending with onion at the top.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour and the vegetable broth. Pour over the top of the dish.

Now sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top together with the breadcrumbs.

Put in the oven for one hour (without the lid!) – take out and let it cool! Garnish with parsley!

Enjoy and Have FUN with it!

I hope I have given you enough suggestions. Here are the links that I promised earlier:

http://engine2diet.com/recipes/favorites/

http://happyherbivore.com/recipes/

http://healthygirlskitchen.blogspot.com/p/healthy-recipes.html

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/

http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com/

Finally, if you’re curious about “WHY” Vegan…

…and you can’t wait for your friend to explain it all then I highly recommend Kathy Freston’s book “Veganist”. It’s a fantastic book! Even in Audio format…and it may even be at your local library. Check it out!

veganist1

Bon Appetit!

Enjoy your vegan dinner guest! We are really not that scary…

…Just look at Kathy!  

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About urbanveganchic

I'm an urban chic woman, who is passionate about educating others about the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based vegan diet, cancer prevention & survival, as well as art & life. I love adventures and travel. As an artist and a teacher, I care deeply about healthy living, being a conscious steward of our planet, and being kind & respectful towards animals. Learning about a vegan plant-based diet has been like discovering a new country and falling in love with it, so if I sound like I'm enamored you now know why! As a world traveler, I truly wish I had discovered this beautiful new country twenty years ago! Better late than never, as they say, cause there's no going back now! Born and raised in Scandinavia. Proud owner of a tripod cat & a foxy little pup. Speak four languages...some better than others. Working on the fifth one. We are all either part of the problem or the solution! Health & Happiness to you! ~UrbanVeganChic

One response »

  1. Pingback: Vegan Sweet Potato Shepard's Pie - Busy Vegetarian Mom | Busy Vegetarian Mom

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