It’s funny… I don’t get asked for dinner very often. I have heard murmurs that it is because people don’t know what to cook for me. The truth is… give me a glass of wine, a slice of sourdough bread and slap on some hummus and I will be happy to join in on the dinner conversation for the evening! Us vegetarians and vegans aren’t fussed about turning up for a four course Michelin Star quality dinner. We just want to feel relaxed, included, welcome and that we don’t feel obligated to eat anything that we don’t want to.
My Advice, to the host, it to ask exactly what it is that your guest doesn’t eat. Please phrase this in a kind way and take note of the answers carefully.
There are many variations of people’s food preferences and there are many food intolerances and allergies we must take into account. Intolerance and allergies must be taken very seriously and people’s choices, around what they eat, are ‘their choices’ and they should not be judged or pressured to eat anything they are not comfortable with.
Different types of vegetarian explained:
Lacto-vegetarian (diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee, cream, and kefir, but excludes eggs.
Ovo-vegetarian (diet that includes the consumption of eggs but not dairy products)
Lacto-ovo-vegetarian (diet that includes the consumption of eggs and dairy products)
Pescatarian (diet that excludes meat but includes fish and other seafood and also one of the above)
Flexible vegetarian (occasionally eats meat but may only eat organic or wild meat)
Vegan (NO animal products. NO dairy, NO cheese, NO eggs, NO honey)
Saying all that… cooking for vegetarians does not have to be limiting, bland or difficult. It is more than possible to make a vegetarian meal that even meat eaters will enjoy or create a menu with components suitable for all your guest’s requirements. Here I have put together a list of 10 delicious dinner party meal ideas which cater for different types of diners: vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, diary free, egg free, nut free…
HEALTHY MUSHROOM AND LEEK ARANCINI – vegan – gluten free – nut free
KALE PESTO SPAGHETTI – vegan
VEGETARIAN SHEPHERD’S PIE – vegan – gluten free – nut free
BAKED LEMON FENNEL WITH POLENTA – vegan – gluten free – nut free
QUINOA AND PEAR SALAD – vegan – gluten free
HERBY PRESERVED LEMON OVEN BAKED FALAFEL – vegan – nut free
GREEN CURRY – vegan – gluten free – nut free
POLENTA AND VEGGIE TART – vegan – gluten free
VEGGIE BURRITOS – vegan – nut free
ROAST CAULIFLOWER SALAD – vegan – gluten free – nut free