One of your friends or family members just recently decided to go vegan and they’re coming over for the holiday feast. You’re gut drops as you realize you have NO idea what to do to accommodate them, but you would hate to miss their presence at dinner. You’ve heard how sensitive they can be, but inviting them would just be rude right?
So what do you do?
Hi there! Experienced vegan here with more tales of how to survive the holidays with people who’s eating habits differ from yours. This time, I’m talking to my fellow non-vegans on what to do when a vegan comes to dinner and how to accommodate without offending them or their lifestyle choices.
It can be daunting the idea of hosting someone who eats completely different than you, but trust me: this is not as hard as you think. There are probably a lot of things you’re eating that could be considered vegan, so we’re in the same boat here.
2. Ask them what recipes you can make
One of the most courteous things our weekly (non-vegan) small group has done to make us feel welcome is when they ask what kind of recipes they can make that we like. If you want to get ahead of the game, go ahead and get a Pinterest account and start saving some stuff. Google is also your best friend and is loaded with thousands of vegan recipes every day. Holiday favorites can easily be converted to vegan and tastes equally as delicious for anyone to enjoy!
3. Ask them if they can bring a dish to share
I don’t ever walk into a gathering expecting a whole lot of selection which is why I like to offer & bring something to share. Desserts are often easiest to create and become instant crowd pleasers. We want to share our food with you!
4. No “Vegan” Talk at the Dinner Table
This one is obvious, but can often be forgotten about once diets are on display for all to see at the dinner table. A vegan plate will look different than the traditional non-vegan holiday selection, so it’s easy to vomit out the words, “Whhhhyyyy are you Veeeegaaaannn?” But trust me, for everyone’s sake, diet-talk should be kept below minimum...which is none at all. Holidays are times to enjoy and celebrate what we have in common, not what divides us.
5. Make sure your vegan guests have a dessert (whether you made it or they bring it)
I’ve said this before, but it is always a sad day when the vegan in the room becomes excluded at dessert time. Everyone sitting around… enjoying their sweet treats, while their sitting with nothing to enjoy. It’s a big bummer, but converting non-vegan recipes is pretty easy these days with replacements for dairy & eggs readily available. Review #2, if you need more guidance.
Check out this dessert idea for Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes:
6. After Dinner, Get Curious
If you happen to be curious, after dinner is the time to ask questions. Most vegans are compassionate people & eager to talk to you about it, so after-dinner questions are more than appropriate. Start by asking why they’ve made that choice and conversation usually starts from there.
7. Stay Open Minded
There are many different kinds of vegans out there who chose plants, and all of their “whys” will be different. Whether or not you agree with what their reasoning is, please keep an open-mind and do the research for yourself if you want to know the truth. Everyone’s journey into plant-based living is different, but every experience has something we can learn from. Asking questions & staying open minded is the kindest thing you can do for people now days.
Did that help? Are you still stuck? Need some resources on where to go for vegan holiday recipes this season? I’ve got your back. Listed below are several amazing resources for you to read up on before your guests arrive.