Vegetarian Christmas Buying Guide
The holidays can be a difficult time for vegetarians .Glazed ham ,turkey ,chicken and other meats take center stage at most festive gatherings. So where does that leave us veggie lovers? With these helpful tips you too can be pleasantly stuffed with your carnivore friends.
Tips for making a complete vegetarian holiday dinner
Are you cooking for yourself or other vegetarians? If so, then you'll have to prepare a completely veggie meal.
Ideas for Vegetarian Appetizers
Nothing warms the heart like a hot bowl of soup . Here are some veggie friendly soups.
Salads don't have to just be lettuce and some carrots . Here are some ideas for interesting veggie salads .
Breads , luckily, are usually vegetarian friendly. Here are some yummy breads to serve as appetizers or right along with the main course.
Ideas for Vegetarian Main Course Dishes
Vegetarian Holiday Desserts
Most desserts are vegetarian-friendly. Here are a few uncommon ideas that will satisfy your sweet tooth!
Tips for Mixed Groups
Do you have to cook for vegetarians and carnivores? Although cooking for mixed groups is a bit more work for the cook, everyone can be happy if you follow these simple tips.
- Ask the vegetarians what they eat and don't eat. There are many different types of vegetarians. Some vegetarians eat fish and eggs , others don't. Don't make assumptions. Ask your veggie pal what they would like to eat at the dinner.
- Ask the vegetarian if he or she has any allergies or meatless foods that he or she doesn't like. Vegetarians don't eat everything that doesn't contain meat. Everyone has preferences, and your veggie friend might not like something like cheese enchiladas.
- Read labels. Some products contain meat stock and other sneaky meat products. Use veggie-friendly substitutes like olive oil ,vegetable stock , and soy milk .
- Know the difference between vegetarian and vegan. Vegans eat nothing that comes from animals of any sort. That means no fish, cheese ,milk ,dairy products or eggs. Most vegans don't wear or like anything with material made from animals, so if you got your vegan friend a leather-bound notebook for Christmas, you may want to consider returning it.
- Don't just feed them salad and bread. Yes, most holiday dinners have a few veggie friendly staples like biscuits or a green salad. That's great, but salad and biscuits aren't much of a feast. Try to make at least one or two main dishes that are vegetarian. Most meat dishes have vegetarian or vegan alternatives .
- Use separate cooking utensils for vegetarian dishes.
- Label which dishes are vegetarian. Your carnivore friends will appreciate that too, as I'm sure most of them would rather have turkey than tofurkey .
- Don't hassle vegetarians. There is nothing more annoying than someone drilling you about why you don't eat meat or whatnot. It's a personal decision, and so long as the vegetarian isn't drilling you on why you choose to eat meat, don't go there.
- Know that your extra efforts are appreciated. Vegetarians are used to having nothing more to eat at feasts than a biscuit or a carrot. Your feast will show consideration and good planning, and it won't go unnoticed.
- Don't think that you can't have meat if a vegetarian is in the room. Sure, there are some people that are offended by others eating meat in their presence, but most vegetarians believe that everyone is entitled to their own personal choice. Even if they don't fully believe that, the majority of vegetarians are used to people eating meat in front of them.
- If anyone is bringing a guest that you are not familiar with (or at least haven't eaten with before), ask about his or her food preferences. Vegetarians, especially ones that don't know the host well, don't have "I don't eat meat" written on their forehead. They are not going to come out and say "I'm vegetarian", mainly because they don't want to make you cook a separate meal for them. It's always a good idea to ask about food preferences when unfamiliar guests are coming to a party or feast. Always ask about allergies, likes, dislikes and any dietary needs due to illness, religion, or personal beliefs.
- Don't forget drinks ! If you are serving coffee or tea , be sure to have soy milk available if any guests don't drink regular milk or have an allergy to dairy products. Egg nog isn't consumed by most vegetarians that don't agree with eating eggs or dairy.