As the holidays approach dinner parties are a great for getting together with friends and family. But this can be a cause of anxiousness for hosts and guests, as different dietary needs have become more prevalent. Since this is a time for celebration and cheer we have come up with some tips + tricks to help you create a dinner that everyone can enjoy, worry free!
Although this article is focused on a vegan diet, these tips can come in handy for any dietary needs.
We've all heard the words vegetarian and vegan but what makes them different?
Vegetarian diets exclude meat and fish, but still consume dairy products such as cheese, milk and butter. Some will consume egg whereas some may not, this is an individual preference.
Vegans eat plant based diets which exclude ALL animal products, including but not limited to meat, fish, dairy, eggs, gelatine and often honey.
The following are 10 Tips we have come up with the help you host a dinner party with ease!
Tip 1) Never be afraid to ask! If you are unsure whether or not any of your guests have dietary restrictions it doesn't hurt to ask! Although, most will let you know ahead of time.
Tip 2) Sharing is caring! Ask your guest if they would like to bring a dish of their own to the party (sometimes they will even offer!) This allows some of the weight to be taken off of your shoulders & ensures that there will be something they can enjoy.
Tip 3) Vegan Blogs! Food blogs are a great resource when trying to find recipes to fit different dietary needs. Pinterest is also a great resource, but does take a bit more care in finding vegan recipes. Oh She Glows + The Minimalist Vegan are two great places to start! Jamie Oliver also has some great vegan recipes! (His vegan christmas feast is in the next blog post)
Tip 4) Vegan Cookbooks! Cookbooks are always packed with great recipes. If you don't want to purchase a brand new book ask to borrow from a friend or rent them from your local library!
Tip 5) Look for these symbols! There are a wide variety of ways that companies mark their products as vegan, so keep an eye out for some of these!
Tip 6) Appetizers are great! You don't always have to worry about a full meal. Try serving salsa, guacamole, hummus & chips and/or cut up veggie sticks! Salads are another great way to satisfy a vegan in a pinch. (Olive oil & balsamic vinegar are a fantastic + easy combo for a quick dressing!)
Tip 7) Host a Pot Luck! This takes some stress off of you and offers those with different dietary needs to option of bringing something that they can enjoy without feeling like they are imposing on you. This is also a great way for everyone to share their favourite dishes & try new ones!
Tip 8) Don't forget about dessert! Non-dairy ice cream or a nice fruit salad topped with coconut whip cream are a quick & easy vegan friendly dessert. Once again vegan blogs are your friend when it comes to finding recipes! Most non-vegan recipes can easily be altered to fit a vegan diet by subbing out certain ingredients, such as choosing a nut milk instead of dairy milk.
Tip 9) Not all alcohol is vegan. This is tough as most people don't realize that some alcoholic beverages contain animal ingredients. For example some wines contain dairy. A great way to find out if the wine or beer that you are serving is vegan is at www.barnivore.com. If you're really unsure then ask your guest to bring their favourite wine.
Tip 10) When in doubt, use whole foods! You can never go wrong in making up a fantastic meal using seasonal fresh produce!