It is always lovely having friends and family members over to visit and perhaps even stop the night and often one of the great pleasures about having guests is being able to try out a new recipe, cook a special dish or even use some really special ingredients. But what do you do if one of your guests has a different diet to you and they have specific dietary needs? A lot of requests are easily catered for by avoiding shellfish, nuts, wheat, gluten or meat. But what do you do if you find yourself needing to cater for a Vegan? Read on for some top tips!
At first to those who do not have a vegan lifestyle, it can seem like Vegans must live on air as everything that you consider is quickly dismissed as containing some type of animal product. Before you go into a total panic, consider what the definition of a vegan is and perhaps try and find out a bit more about it. Simply put, a vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. Yes this does cut out a lot of foods that are a main part of regular diets; However, there are still lots of ingredients you can use and it is possible to still make tasty and satisfying dishes.
Searching for Inspiration
Think about cooking for the whole family rather than just your vegan guest as this will take the stress out of preparing multiple dishes in the kitchen and will make your guest feel comfortable and at home. Have a look at some online blogs and forums to get ideas for exciting and unusual dishes and to find recipes that have been tried and tested. Food websites such as BBC Good Food have lots of recipes labelled up as vegan and vegetarian but do double check that there is no cheese or eggs in your dish as these are the ingredients that often slip in by mistake.
Getting the Shopping
Consider visiting specialist stores such as Goodness Direct and others either on the high street or online. Many of these specialist stores clearly mark up products that fit with a vegan lifestyle making it much easier for a novice to buy the correct ingredients and not make any embarrassing slip ups. Consider buying some ready prepared fresh fruit, crudités and houmous to use as snacks and to serve as a plan b if everything goes horribly wrong!