Cooking for vegan guests can be intimidating, to say the least. Many vegan dishes are unfamiliar, but they are often quite simple to cook. Whether you are cooking for yourself or your friends, it is not difficult to cook vegan dishes once you get the hang of them, plus, they could become some of yours and your friends’ favorite foods to eat.
Here is what you can prepare for vegan guests:
- Coconut-Creamed Corn and Grains
When guests come to stay for a weekend, it can be easy to think that it is only your responsibility to make all the meals. Not true! Chances are, you are not a vegan, so you are not cooking vegan meals every day. You can still keep the meal choices simple, healthy, and accommodating for even the most particular of guests. One of the easiest ways you can do this is to prepare something Olive Garden style: make a pot of creamy sweet corn, and serve it with basic flavored grains. Any dish with the word “creamed” in the title is going to bring a lot of comfort to your guests, which is exactly what you want if you are hosting vegan festivities. This dish is quick and easy to make but does require planning ahead.
- Vegan Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e Pepe is a pasta dish made with cheese and pepper. It originated in Italy, and both versions are popular in America. The version with cheese, known as “cacio e Pepe al burro,” was invented in Florence. The dish’s popularity grew in 19th-century England, and people started calling their version of the dish “vegan.” It is so easy to prepare but requires some advance planning. Start by roasting the cauliflower, then make the pasta to the softness you want, get whichever vegan cheese you like the best and grate that over with the pepper, if you want to add in a little vegan butter too, then do so, but that is optional. After you have combined everything together, serve it up in a pasta bowl ready for your guests.
- Coconut-Ginger Chickpea Soup
Vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike can appreciate a homemade soup on a chilly winter day. This Coconut-Ginger Chickpea Soup is hearty and flavorful, and even my daughters, who are meat-eaters, loved it. Vegan and vegetarian guests will want to have something to munch on, and the following recipes are sure to hit the spot while providing health benefits. Coconut-Ginger Chickpea Soup is filling and rich in fiber and protein, and it is packed with vitamins A, C, D, and K. Coconuts are rich in healthy fats, and ginger provides plenty of antioxidants.
- Kisir (Spicy Bulgur Salad in Lettuce Cups)
Kisir is a traditional Turkish dish that is typically made with bulgur wheat, beans, and tomatoes. The bulgur wheat adds starch, which is a great source of fiber, beans add protein, and tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C. The addition of lemon to this salad brightens up the whole dish.
- Carrot and Habanero Tamales
For vegans being invited to holiday meals, it can be especially difficult to plan and prepare dishes that are not only healthy but tasty. Fortunately, many vegan recipes use simple ingredients and are easy to make. One of the best things that every vegan guest can bring to the table is an appetizer/dessert that can fill in for comforting traditional favorites. They taste great and can be made ahead. There are different recipes online for people to try out, so it is best to do a little look around first, as some ingredients may need to be substituted, just in case of limited access to some foods.
Vegans, or people who follow a plant-based diet, are a growing segment of the population, and they need food options just like the rest of us. So, when a vegan friend comes to dinner, remember that the diet revolves around avoiding animal-based foods, so the only meat-free thing you may be able to offer is bread or pasta. (Sorry, vegans!) Instead, focus on foods that vegans often enjoy, like grains, fruit and veggies, and beans. Keeping these to hand will make sure that you can be prepared for whoever walks through your door.
Whether it is for ethical reasons or because you simply want to consume healthier foods, vegan cooking can be surprisingly easy and can also be quite tasty. That said, having guests over for a dinner of purely vegan meals can be a challenge since you may not know what to prepare. Fortunately, there is a wealth of vegan recipes out there, many of which can be prepared ahead of time.