Archive for feeding veg

How to feed a Veg.

Posted in Noteworthy Info, vegan substitutes with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2009 by Mrs.Griffin

Many people think of vegan like they are space cadets and often wonder how they survive on a daily basis on kale and carrots.  It’s hard to believe that there are options at nearly every restaurant, you just need to get creative, and remember that not everyone eats like you.

Lets start with some definitions:

  • Pescetarian: Someone who doesn’t eat meat but eats fish or seafood.

    Lettuce

    We eat more than lettuce!

  • Flexitarian: A hip and trendy word for what some people call a semi-vegetarian. Someone who isn’t a vegetarian but eats several vegetarian meals a week and might be selective about what types of meat she does eat (such as organic chicken only) and how often.
  • Vegetarian: Someone who doesn’t eat any meat, including poultry, game, fish, and seafood, or any meat by-products, such as broth, gravy, or fat, or foods cooked with meat. A vegetarian may or may not eat other animals products like eggs or dairy (ovo-vegetarians do eat eggs, lacto-vegetarians still eat dairy products, and ovo-lacto vegetarians eats both eggs and dairy).
  • Vegan: A strict vegetarian (see above) who doesn’t eat anything that comes from an animal—no meat, dairy products, eggs, honey or other animal by-products.

See  there are a range of options that are based on individuals comfort-ability with the situation.  Knowing the basics will help you to understand, here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts:

The Do’s and Don’ts

  • DO be honest. Please don’t try to sneak meat, broth, or seafood into a vegetarian‘s food – that’s just rude and a bit selfish. If you put bacon in the broccoli salad, chicken broth in the risotto, or lard in the pie crust, tell your guests.
  • DO invite them. I would have invited you, but I didn’t think you’d…feel comfortable, eat anything I served, enjoy yourself, etc. Even a serious lack of veggie-friendly food isn’t going to stop the fun if the people and atmosphere are warm and inviting.
  • DON’T apologize. You eat meat. Some people don’t. You don’t have to apologize for eating meat in front of a vegetarian.
  • DON’T make a big deal about it. Vegetarians have various reasons for not eating meat, but some of those reasons might not be ideal dinner table or cocktail party discussions. Perhaps save the discussion for another time.
  • DON’T be afraid to ask questions. Ask what foods your guest eats and likes. Perhaps you’ll find a new family favorite or elevate a vegetable from side dish to entrée status.
  • DO ask your guest to bring a dish. Most vegetarians have experience cooking for themselves. Let them bring food to share, if they wish. Many will do it without being asked.
  • DON’T be offended if he brings food. Many vegetarians don’t want to complicate your duties as host. They will often bring something they know they can eat and share with others, so don’t take it personally.
  • DO cook enough food. Make sure there is enough of the vegetarian dish for everyone to try (because they will) and for the vegetarians to take seconds.

The last is soooo important.  I only cook vegan dishes when I am bringing something with me and everyone ends up loving it!  I wait till after they’ve all scarfed it down to reveal my big secret.  I think it helps remove the stigma that it’s all tasteless food.

One great idea idea if you are having a party is to set the food out on a bar – let people create the meal they want with the ingredients they enjoy!  Just because you’re having a burritos, doesn’t mean you have to leave out your vegetable loving friends!  Tortillas, beans, sauteed veggies can be used just the same – and keep in mind that there are PLENTY of vegan substitutes – for even ground beef, chicken, and don’t forget the sour cream and veggie cheese!

Or how ’bout a pizza party, or yummy [wheat] pasta…  Just always keep in mind that you should have enough utensils on hand to accommodate all dishes.

More Ideas for Those who Have a Vegetarian at Home

  • Learn where meat hides. Sometimes meat sneaks in to foods that you wouldn’t suspect. Some common foods that contain meat or seafood: Caesar dressing (anchovies), Thai curry and many Asian dishes (fish sauce), and canned “vegetable” soups (beef or chicken broth).
  • Salads are great. Serve a large green salad before or with the meal, which ensures a healthful option for all. With a couple of hard-boiled eggs or a handful of nuts, that salad can be elevated to a vegetarian entrée.
  • Where’s the beef? Try to offer a balanced meal. Vegetarians sometimes have to be creative to get adequate protein, calcium, and nutrients. Help them out by serving a balanced meal where plant-based proteins (chickpeas, black beans, or lentils) fill in the place where meat might have been. This boosts the protein content, filling power, and helps round out a meal. Beans and legumes are a cheap and easy way to add vegetarian-friendly foods to a meal. Open, rinse, heat, and eat.

The lesson – don’t be intimidated when it comes to feeding us, we generally eat the sames things you do, just with a little more creativity.