What to Feed a Vegan (menu planning)


When hosting a meal for people who eat differently than you do, it is wise to consider what you have in common and focus on that. The chart in yesterday's post can help.

  • You're gluten-free and your friends are vegan. Excellent, you can all eat rice and vegetables. That sounds like a stir-fry to me.
  • You're vegan and your friends are low-fat eaters. How about pasta primavera or a grilled vegetable sandwich?
  • You're an omnivore and your guests don't eat carbs. Sounds like a great excuse for a roast chicken and vegetables (but skip the potatoes, please).
  • You're no-carb and your guests are both vegan and low-fat eaters. This might be a little tricky...what do you have in common? Looks like only vegetables. Better serve soup and salad.

So it's certainly possible to cook delicious meals for a mixed crowd. But I will offer a few words of caution:

In general, it's best not to replace an original or whole food with a formulated version unless you are absolutely sure your guests will accept it. For example, there are no vegan cheeses that are remotely like cheeses non-vegans eat. Vegans may love them, but they are not really very cheese-like to anyone who eats the real thing. Serving them will only make your guests wonder how you can stand being vegan.

It is also bad form to foist your preferred specialty foods on your guests. Omnivores know it's rude to slip bacon into a casserole being served to vegetarians. Vegans understand that serving flaxseed lasagna is probably not going to go over really well with the omnivores. If you want to introduce your friends to the more esoteric aspects of your dietary plan, warn them first.

Tomorrow: three menu ideas for casual meals.


See now I would like to try a flaxseed lasagne.

I am never going to give up my meat or cheese to become a vegan, but I am more than happy to try lots of new things that sound interesting.

Honey, you are such a good cook that you can make anything taste fantastic. I think most meat eaters worry that vegan/vegetarian food is limited to a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato and hence dull and cardboard-like. But nobody who dines at Chez McQuillin ever worries about being served a boring meal.

Flaxseed is good for your heart, but lasagne is bad for our luck! I agree on the not-cheese suggestions and on all others too - basically it's a lesson in respect. Looking forward to the menus!

Gotta disagree about soy cheese - I'm a cheese fanatic who never goes a day without that dairy goodness - but Hanada Rosso, in Tokyo's Yutenji neighbourhood, make a soy cheese for their gratin that I defy any mouse to identify as fake.

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Recent Comments

  • rick: Gotta disagree about soy cheese - I'm a cheese fanatic read more
  • Jennifer: Flaxseed is good for your heart, but lasagne is bad read more
  • T: See now I would like to try a flaxseed lasagne. read more