One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is dining with new friends and beloved family around a table laden with a delicious holiday feast. But what do you do when your daughter brings home her vegetarian boyfriend? What do you serve?
Thankfully, you don’t need to revamp your menu—there are easy ways to keep everyone satisfied at your holiday table.
1) Research your guests’ dietary needs
Your college-age daughter mentions she’s bringing her “ovo-lacto-pescatarian” boyfriend home for the holidays. What does that even mean? What if they’re vegan?
While your daughter and her boyfriend may know that ovo-lacto-pescatarian means a diet abstaining from animal meat products, while still consuming eggs, dairy, and shellfish products, you may not know—or what other dietary concerns they may have.
Solution: Background research is key before the big meal. Just ask. They’ll be happy to let you know about their dietary habits. It’ll also offer a unique way to get to know your guest better.
2) Vegetarian sides
You don’t need to throw out the turkey, but have a few dishes on hand that will allow your vegetarian guests to steer clear of any meat-laden dishes. Vegetarian sides often incorporate ingredients that add a flavorful, nutritional punch.
Solution: A hearty stuffing is invaluable for any diet. Make your stuffing vegetarian-friendly by using a vegetable based broth. Serve a tangy vegetarian stuffing with cranberries and beans that will have your guests asking for the recipe.
3) Offer guests bring a dish
Offering that the guest brings a dish is a great way to ensure they have something to eat, while easing the burden of your cooking schedule.
Solution: Decide what you’re least likely to have on the menu that’s veg-friendly, and have your guest whip up that dish. Vegetarians and vegan are often fabulous cooks, having to create unique, delicious, meatless recipes themselves.
4) Find recipes online.
A good dish starts with a good recipe. These websites offer great, flavorful dishes that will make you forget about the meat.
VegWeb.com boasts it’s the largest online collection of vegan recipes. This community has great user tips, so you don’t feel left alone in the kitchen.
Epicurious.com is a fabulous online community, hosting recipes from Bon Appétit and Gourmet magazines. Although not veg-specific, search this site for scrumptious meals.
PETA.org includes a great vegetarian/vegan living section, including tips on egg replacer.
Find this article in the 11/25 print edition of GoCrawfordCounty.com.