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You’re a vegan meal prep pro, but your dishes are turning off your non-vegan friends. What are you going to do about it?
If your non-vegan diners don’t know what goes into your vegan meals, they might find it unusual or unsettling. Your own healthy habits could be turning would-be guests away from your home.
Yet, with zero animal suffering or contributions to climate change, veganism is perhaps the least scary diet of all. So what are you saying (or prepping) that sends your cheese-loving friends running for the door?
Let’s explore ways to prep and please even the pickiest palate!
They Can Enjoy Vegan Food Without “Going Vegan”
According to Kristy Turner in her book, But I Could Never Go Vegan!, “When you realize your brunches are going to be just as delicious, your lunches just as filling, and your dinners just as easy as in the old days, veganism will become second nature.”
Something you can help your friends understand right away is that vegan food is … well, food. We’ve identified some of the top fears non-vegans face as captive diners in a vegan home, followed by five vegan meal prep recipes that are sure to have them coming back for more.
Omnivores’ Top 5 Fears of Vegan Dining
According to a recent poll, 2.5% of U.S. adults are vegan. The remaining 97.5% have certain expectations when it comes to what’s for dinner – expectations that you have to break.
The following are five of the most common concerns you’ll hear about vegan meal prep, and what you can do to address them.
“I love cheese, and it should be in everything”
Kristin Kirpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D. claims the number one reason why her patients don’t go vegan is that they don’t think they can give up cheese. By working to “train” our taste buds, we can break the cheese addiction and adopt something better and tastier.
What’s more, you can add to your vegan meal prep some rock star alternatives to smelly ol’ cheese. There are many kinds of vegan cheeses, and the alternatives are great for anyone with a fondness for it.
If your guests are willing to try some tasty alternatives, even without surrendering their cheese for good, you will have a better shot at keeping them at the table.
“Meat has nutrition that can’t be beat”
Meat products pack a lot of protein, so your would-be diners might believe there will be an element of nutrition missing in your meals. If your guests find your food doesn’t meet their needs, then you can try a different approach.
During your vegan meal prep, combine broccoli (3 grams of protein per cup) with quinoa (8 grams of protein per cup), for 11, delicious grams of protein. Four ounces of tofu will get you about 9 grams of protein and nut butters hold a powerful protein punch as well.
When it comes to vitamins, B12 is an elusive, meat-dwelling vitamin that can be found in B12-fortified vegan foods, such as nut milks and yeasts. Do the math and tell your guests how much protein and B12 they’re getting and open their minds to new possibilities.
“When I’m hungry, ‘rabbit food’ doesn’t cut it”
Dispel your guests’ preconception that they’re going to leave your home hungry. According to experts, even those with highly active lives can get their fill on vegan foods.
Sweet potatoes are nourishing, high in fiber and Vitamin A. Other familiar foods like hummus, nut butters, and apples provide that full feeling along with a little boost of energy.
If they’re still worried about going hungry, start them off with a vegan Philly cheesesteak. You’ll sell them on vegan seitan and vegan cheddar cheese, and they won’t stop coming back.
“I eat only ‘normal’ foods”
Your friends may eat more vegan foods than they realize, but could still have hang-ups about full-vegan meals. That’s why experts recommend not only introducing them to new foods but also surprising their taste buds in the process.
Frame your gathering as a fancy dinner party with gourmet vegan foods that are sure to delight. The atmosphere will overpower any anxieties about stepping into a vegan environment.
Start with delicious appetizers featuring roasted cauliflower and Hasselback potatoes, followed by butternut squash soup with roasted fennel.
An attractive theme highlighting gourmet vegan foods is sure to draw a crowd, with veganism being the underlying benefit.
“Where’s the flavor?”
Try leaving processed foods out of your vegan meal prep. Some guests might find that processed vegan alternatives to items like mayonnaise, American cheese, sausage, and pepperoni come off as bland or tasteless compared to their counterparts.
A raw or naturally sourced meal with a wide range of spices will show them what real vegan meal prep looks like. The best vegan recipes call for paprika, turmeric, tamari, and others to bring out the flavor in your favorite tofu or chickpea dish.
5 Vegan Recipes Inspired By Non-Vegan Favorites
Now that you’ve appeased them, it’s time to please them.
Consider this: What are your non-vegan friends’ favorite meals? We’ve found recipes for everything from calzones to Swedish meatballs that take the sting out of any omnivore’s first taste of vegan life. Here are five meal choices to add to your repertoire.
The Ultimate Vegan Burger
Now, most people can’t turn down an excellent burger, not even many vegans. Though your omnivore friends may cry sacrilege, once they get over their hangups about the absence of beef this can quickly become one of their favorites when they come to visit.
Try a bean and veggie slider that is not only full of flavor but is also easy to make and accessible for any type of diner. For the serious burger lover, try a black bean burger with wild mushrooms, black rice, and fresh coriander for a more sophisticated taste.
Crispy Baked Onion Rings
Among dozens of other friend-friendly vegan meals, crispy baked onion rings stand out from the crowd for their simplicity and their closeness to the original American favorite. Featuring a list of familiar ingredients with a healthy vegan twist, you can enjoy a guilty pleasure, with none of the guilt.
Sausage, Biscuits, and Gravy
While many vegan foods are Asian-inspired, we’ve found plenty of dishes with cultural roots in the United States.
A beloved comfort food of the South, “sausage, biscuits, and gravy” is usually the farthest you can get from a vegan recipe. But substitute dairy and meat with vegetables and alternatives and you’ve recreated a delicious favorite that anyone in your party can enjoy.
Take a geographical trip to Italy for more vegan cuisine. Though the Piccata typically includes steak or chicken, cauliflower prepared and cut as steaks makes a fantastic alternative. They absorb any sauces and provide the meaty texture that your guests will crave.
You’re making vegan tacos? How will you pull off the “meat?”
With the right seasonings, quinoa provides the flavor and texture of ground beef without the unwanted oils and fat. Add vegan shredded cheese, salsa, and your favorite veggies and you have an improved, universally loved food.
The meal is also simple, perfect for vegan meal prep when you don’t have much time.
Vegan Meal Prep At Short Notice
Your friends are on their way. Are you ready to serve?
If you need help keeping up with your vegan diet plan and you want to be prepared for entertaining friends on the fly, these simple vegan meal prep suggestions will keep you prepared to cook quickly and with quality.
Have Your Essential Ingredients on Hand
PETA identifies 15 essentials for any vegan chef who wants to make “delicious, healthy, cruelty-free meals at a moment’s notice.”
PETA’s vegan staples include basic cooking necessities like nuts, non-dairy milk, agave nectar, assorted vegetables, pasta, beans, herbs and spices, and more.
Subscribe To a Vegan Delivery Service
Vegan subscription services are growing in popularity, and they’re proving to be a great way to both keep up with your vegan diet and ensure you have the best meals planned and on hand.
Take the guesswork out of the grocery store with vegan shopping lists and high-quality recipes for you, your family, and your guests. You’ll be free of the most tedious part of vegan meal prep – shopping for the ingredients – so you can focus on the joys of cooking and dining with your guests.
You can’t force veganism upon your friends, but you can give them a window into a healthier, more compassionate life. Apply these tips to your vegan food prep and show them a lifestyle that is literally beyond delicious.
Ready for the next step in your vegan lifestyle? Contact us to learn more about vegan food prep options and healthy, environment-friendly, socially conscious living.