Once upon a time, vegans were offered a steaming plate of vegetables and were expected to swoon, but vegan lifestyle and cuisine has evolved to something truly amazing and delicious! If you and your partner live an animal-friendly lifestyle or have friends or family that do, read on to discover all the unexpected options for vegan dining.
Secure a caterer or chef experienced in attending to vegan dining and willing to tailor menus to your particular needs. Make sure they clearly understand your definition of vegan and your feelings about any “borderline” foods like white sugar, honey or wines processed using animal products.
DOING VEGAN RIGHT
You don’t need to compromise your morals or beliefs and serve meat for the sake of your guests. “If you do it right,” advises Jenifour Jones, owner of Go Get It Events, “guests won’t even know they are eating vegan food and will be impressed and surprised if they ever realize that their meal was [made] without animal products.” Simple swaps such as switching plant for animal proteins, like soy or seitan for chicken or fish, can render familiar dishes vegan-friendly.
KEEPING IT HEARTY
Swapping instead of nixing will also satisfy robust appetites. “I always like to make vegan entrees very hearty,” explains Adam Hiner, founder and CEO of L.A.’s Eco-Caters, “as many meat-eaters will associate vegan food as not ‘filling’ enough.” Look for inspiration in ethnic cuisines- many Thai and Indian dishes, Hiner advises, are naturally vegan. James Beard-nominated chef Steven Petusevsky of Native Foods similarly recommends adding some Asian vegan influence via action wok stations, serving seared tofu with long beans in a ma po sauce.
The vegan couple willing to offer some meat or non-vegan options will also find it’s easy to create a balanced menu. For the main course, says Meg Hall, executive chef and owner of the boutique L.A. caterer Made By Meg, you can simply make one dish and add protein to the non-vegan portions. One of Hall’s vegan specialties, grilled Asian pears with avocados, baby arugula, candied walnuts and pomegranate “jewels,” is a fabulous dish that can be made even more appealing to meat-eaters with the addition of grilled skirt steak.
Above all, remember that family and friends are there to support you—that means who you love, how you live and how you eat.