The vegan diet excludes all animal products. Vegan meals cannot include meats or fish, and even eggs or dairy products are not acceptable among recipe ingredients.
Creating meals for vegan diners may seem challenging, but it’s easier than you think to come up with delicious foods that will satisfy diners without including these restricted ingredients.
The following are five helpful tips for creating meals that will satisfy vegan and non-vegan diners alike:
1. Aim for simplicity
The fewer ingredients your recipes include, the less likely they are to violate vegan dietary rules.
When selecting recipes for vegans, look for for short lists of healthy, simple ingredients. Vegan diners typically prefer whole foods that are minimally processed and pack in a lot of nutrients and flavor at the same time.
2. Try ethnic cuisines
Looking to ethnic cuisines is often a helpful source of ideas when it comes to preparing vegetarian or vegan meals. In particular, indian cuisine offers many standard dishes that don’t include any meats or eggs to accommodate the dietary restrictions of the Indian religion Jainism. These restrictions prohibit eating many animal products.
3. Be open-minded
If you’re dining with vegans, you’re probably going to have to be open to trying some new things. Traditional diners are accustomed to eating meat and dairy products at every meal, and taking these components out of your meals leaves something of an ingredient vacuum.
Be prepared to fill the void with new and exotic foods. There are always many interesting and creative ideas out there for imitating traditional meats with alternatives like nuts and legumes. For example, taco meat can be imitated with this interesting recipe that uses lentils and walnuts as an alternative.
4. Brainstorm alternative protein sources
Of course, the real challenge in creating a satisfying meal for vegetarian or vegan diners is making up for the missing protein sources.
This isn’t as big a challenge as you think, because there are many other protein sources out there. There are many different types of beans to choose from, and you can also try other legumes like lentils or a protein-rich grain like quinoa.
If you’re looking for a recipe substitute for cheese, you can try cheese made from soy milk or some more creative options like zucchini cheese.
5. Focus on veggies
Vegans typically prefer recipes that are rich in greens and vegetables. They also tend to enjoy trying rare and exotic vegetables. If you’ll be dining with vegans, take a stroll through your grocery store’s produce section for some ideas.
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