So, you’re having a party. Maybe you’re even hosting Christmas dinner! This is an exciting time, until someone drops the dreaded V-word.
With veganism constantly growing in popularity, it’s likely that you know someone who is meat and dairy free. Thankfully, catering for vegans is much easier than you may think. Here are some things to keep in mind.
A 5 Step Guide to Hosting a Holiday Party With Vegan Guests
What Do They Eat?
Veganism means no food made of animals (meat and fish) or from animals (eggs, dairy, gelatine). It does however, mean fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pasta, bread, legumes, soy products, oils and spices.
Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and an evergrowing list of supermarkets now offer many vegan alternatives, such as ice cream, mayonnaise, eggs and countless faux meats. You can stock up on these, or check the ingredients of other foods; many products are ‘accidentally vegan’ such as sorbet and dark chocolate.
Snacks are Your Friend
Snacks are easy to provide. You can try fresh bread with olive oil, nachos, pretzels, nuts, breadsticks, popcorn or chips (just remember to check those labels!).
Another option is a fruit platter with vegan cheese and dips like salsa, hummus or guacamole (which are almost always vegan). If you’re feeling inspired, why not try making a vegan appetizer?
You Aren’t Limited to Making Salad
A key thing for hosts to realise, is you don’t need to create a brand new vegan meal, you can simply veganise meals you already know and love. Spaghetti bolognese or lasagne can be made with plant-based mince and loads of nutritious veggies. Curries, tacos, soups and stir-fries are easy to keep meat-free, or you could hold a make-your-own pizza night.
If you want to really impress, embrace it and go 100% vegan with all your food!
Websites such as the Minimalist Baker provide simple recipes with just a few ingredients. You could also purchase a vegan cookbook if you’re feeling motivated to try more plant-based meals.
A Sidenote on Sides
Just as with main meals, sides can easily be made vegan-friendly with a little creativity. You could try stuffing made with bread, vegetables, nuts and vegetable broth. And you can find a great gravy recipe right here.
Just as you would with any guest, check for preferences and allergies before you jump into a recipe revolving around it. For instance, lots of vegan alternatives are soy-based but some people are allergic to soy. Lastly, be mindful of covering things in butter, as naturally, this isn’t vegan-friendly.
Thankfully, plenty of alcohol is vegan. See a comprehensive list here.
Talking About Veganism
Keep in mind that most people who are vegan get challenged on their lifestyles pretty frequently. It’s okay if you want to ask questions, but try to do so in a respectful way. Ultimately, you want to have a good time. So focus on that and be grateful that you’re spending the evening with people you love.
Who knows, you might find eating vegan is better than you thought and give it a go yourself!