When non-veg*ns come for dinner - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-20-2009, 01:37 AM
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What do you tend to cook?



Two nights in a row now we've had non-ve*gns for dinner and on both occasions I've made food that was made with meat-substitute.

1st night I made a veggie sort of Shepard's Pie (with veggie mince) and the second night we had Quorn Roast with potato and veg...



Do you tend to cook meat replacements when non-veg*n friends come over? I've never really thought about it before, but am now trying to think back and I think I do tend to do the meat substitute more often when non-Veg*n friends are over.



(I'm not trying to start a pitchfork ralley about using meat replacement foods, I'm just generally wondering what you serve up?)



Oh, and if this is in the wrong forum please feel free to move it - I wasn't sure!
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#2 Old 09-20-2009, 04:04 AM
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When I have to cook for my family (who are all omni), I always choose "universal" meals, meaning something both omnis and veg*ans can eat: pasta, salads, various veggie recipes (potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, etc.). I find it too risky to force them into eating veg*an alternatives. Even though they haven't even tried the food I eat, they completely reject it. They feel offended by my lentil burgers! Most omnis usually are pretty sensitive with their diet and feel "attacked" if you give them something labeled "veg*an". I want to avoid conflict, so I'd opt for something veg*an that's already in their every-day diet.
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#3 Old 09-20-2009, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeggieSchnuddel View Post

What do you tend to cook?

I tend to cook something that is veg*n without having to veg*anize it first.
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#4 Old 09-20-2009, 04:55 AM
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When I cook for my omni family and friends I tend to make something extremely filling and comfort-y. For example, i'll make a vegetable soup with the stock full of grated vegetables, big chunks of root vegetable and pasta added as well. They can't really complain it lacks anything then.
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#5 Old 09-20-2009, 05:39 AM
 
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I've done spaghetti several times (sauce with the usual peppers, onions, garlic, etc. but with lentils "instead of the meat").



Vegetable chili is another that is pretty "normal" looking and doesn't need to include any mock meats. Beans, tomatoes, a bit of veg (zucchini and corn are my favorites).

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#6 Old 09-20-2009, 06:14 AM
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I don't cook 'em anything. When non-veg*ns come to dinner, I invite them further in my house, in a room in the back. And when they step in the middle of the room, I pull a lever near the wall and a trapdoor opens, making the non-veg*ns fall to the dungeon. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" they scream while I go have a nice vegan dinner.

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#7 Old 09-20-2009, 07:17 AM
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I think it depends who the people are and how used to veg*n food they are. Some omnis are open to eating all kinds of new veg*n foods, including mock meats etc., whereas some are really against trying veg*n food.



I think as long as the people you have over are ok with eating meat replacements then there's nothing wrong with serving them quorn or veggie mince.



If you ever feel like you don't want to serve mock meats then things such as chickpea curry, bean chilli, pasta with lentil and tomato sauce and things like soup/stew with good bread or baked potato are generally quite easy to serve to omnis as they're not too unusual. (I also think that things with lots of carbs in tend to go down well so serve lots of pasts, potatoes etc.)
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#8 Old 09-20-2009, 07:36 AM
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I don't serve fake meat to omnis. I don't want them comparing something to "the real thing." I want the meal to just be delicious and veg.

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#9 Old 09-20-2009, 08:14 AM
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My wife makes a great veggie chili and they have no idea that it doesn't contain meat. She also does a nice vegan spinach lasagne that people seem to like.



So, as long as its tasty, people will usually forget to look for the meat. The die hard omnis are another story.
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#10 Old 09-20-2009, 08:48 AM
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I have made veggie spaghetti bolognaise with quorn mince before for my folks, but everything else I make for them is just some scrummy meal that we would have had. I try to make what I consider 'comfort' food - filling and tasty. Risotto, salad, bread, tart, pies, pizza, pasta etc BUT I always ensure I've made a great pudding or cake.
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#11 Old 09-20-2009, 09:25 AM
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I don't often have people round, but when i do i cook veggie food. My boyfriend isn't veggie and eats what i do, so we don't have much (if any) meat in the house. My veggie lasagne went down a treat last time i had friends round!



I've just turned vegan though. So in the future i think i would make a predominantly vegan meal, but give them the option of adding cheese, as we still buy those and have them in the house (for my boyfriend). My vegan meals are good, but there's still room for improvement!
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#12 Old 09-20-2009, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiran View Post

My wife makes a great veggie chili and they have no idea that it doesn't contain meat. She also does a nice vegan spinach lasagne that people seem to like.



Any chance of posting the recipes?
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#13 Old 09-20-2009, 09:38 AM
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I usually make something Asian - red curry or noodles with peanut sauce. I also make stuffed shells with marinara. The stuffing is a tofu, nooch and spinach mixture, and is hardly any different from ricotta.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#14 Old 09-20-2009, 10:04 AM
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Oh - there are some tasty suggestions in this - I'd like to second veggielady with asking for recipe. That lasagne sounds fab!



Luckily, all of our friends take my being a veggie very well - they never complained about anything I made and were happy with any kind of food I made. My husband isn't what I'd call a veggie (he is only 98/99% of the time) but he's quite a problem at times (eats no tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, peas, mushrooms... the list goes on!) but that's for another thread!



Haven't done a veggie chili in a while. I used to make one with green lentils and beans.



Turned out to be a great thread for ideas to cook for friends - just what I was looking for. Thanks a million! (and keep the ideas coming if you don't mind!)
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#15 Old 09-20-2009, 10:28 AM
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Fajitas are easy to veg*nise and quick to make. I made them for a friend once, using Quorn at the time..... Quorn, peppers and onions fried in spices, with wraps, salsa, salad, and lemons (love lemon juice on things!). It's also good because everyone can make their own at the table... gives you something to do other than just eat!
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#16 Old 09-20-2009, 10:39 AM
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I havent had anyone over for dinner lately, but when I do, it will be a delicious vegetarian lasagna (no mock anything), garlic bread, salad, and italian spinach..............no one will miss any meat, trust me!
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#17 Old 09-20-2009, 10:50 AM
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This is a useful thread for me, got the mother-in-law coming over next weekend...



I usually tend towards pizza or pasta, if it's people I haven't cooked for a lot before. If it's someone I've already cooked for a couple of times I'll try them out with weird vegan stuff like tofu. Recently I've done, pizza (with lots of nice veggies so it doesn't look like the cheese is 'missing'), fusilli with spinach and walnut sauce and sliced vegan sausage (which went down well with my omni friend, she expected vegan sausages to not taste nice so was surprised that they did), burritos with aduki beans, sweet potatoes and tomato salsa, tofu 'ricotta' and spinach pasta shells with tomato sauce, tagliatelle with tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar sauce with courgettes, pine nuts and tofu pieces (for my parents who are now used to the idea of tofu). I try to make things that are filling and not too vegetably/watery or stereotypical (stuffed peppers/nut roast/lentil shepherd's pie etc).



So now I need something impressive to cook for a mother in law with fairly traditional tastes and a brother in law who doesn't eat vegetables (or thinks he doesn't) without being too 'weird' or on the other hand too 70s vegetarian...
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#18 Old 09-20-2009, 12:14 PM
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When I cook for something special I make something that I think will be delicious and they will enjoy. I have made vegetable biryani for guests, mexican food (easily veggie with beans), salads, pasta, all sorts of dishes.



My mother in law stays with us 2 months out of the year and she lovis a traditional meat/ poatoes person but I just make the meals I would normally make and she has not complained and asks for recipes often. Her favorite dishes are mexican casseroles and mexican type things since she doesn't eat that at home normally.
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#19 Old 09-20-2009, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
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I also make stuffed shells with marinara. The stuffing is a tofu, nooch and spinach mixture, and is hardly any different from ricotta.



That sounds yummy!
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#20 Old 09-20-2009, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey Ravn View Post

When I have to cook for my family (who are all omni), I always choose "universal" meals, meaning something both omnis and veg*ans can eat: pasta, salads, various veggie recipes (potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, etc.). I find it too risky to force them into eating veg*an alternatives. Even though they haven't even tried the food I eat, they completely reject it. They feel offended by my lentil burgers! Most omnis usually are pretty sensitive with their diet and feel "attacked" if you give them something labeled "veg*an". I want to avoid conflict, so I'd opt for something veg*an that's already in their every-day diet.



I do this too....mostly because I dont care for meat substitues and dont cook them often.....My family/friends will try my veggie foods ect....but i find its easier to do it with universal meals.



Hippie Sunday
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#21 Old 09-21-2009, 04:18 PM
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i tend to stay away from mock meat and "ethnic" meals when cooking for others. i don't really have many omni friends who like "ethnic" (indian, thai, etc.) and wouldn't want to try to "fake" anyone out with mock items. my mom's alright with them, though, but i don't tend to buy them anyway. :P



generally i agree with other posters - veg. chili, tofu spinach lasagne (blended soft tofu in place of the cheese), and pasta w/sauce (throw in some white beans or lentils if people are alright with beans). add some fresh bread and a salad to any of those and you're set. oh yeah... sometimes black bean burritos with all kinds of other sauteed veggies and then a spanish/mexican rice... grapes or pineapple on the side.
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#22 Old 09-22-2009, 06:48 AM
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I haven't ever served mock meats to my dinner guests. I tend to lean toward pasta dishes, soups and chilis when I cook for non-veggie people, though I have made black bean burgers, bean burritos and falafel for some of my more adventurous friends. My mom is pretty good about trying just about anything I make. I've never had any complaints about my cooking
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#23 Old 09-22-2009, 10:11 AM
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I have the same problem with omni friends/family not liking ethnic food. The only thing "ethnic" that they will eat is Mexican or Italian.



I never serve mock meat because I get so sick of them trying to compare it to the real thing. We rarely use them anyway because we prefer to sub veggies.



I made the mistake once of suggesting that my so-called "vegetarian" friend ("I'm vegetarian... but I eat fish") to eat tofu at a Thai restaurant and then she just complained about it the whole time. I never had the heart to tell her that she wasn't veg... A few weeks later she was talking about eating tofu again... It was then I realized that she only does things because I do them. Grr.



Needless to say she's not "vegetarian" anymore. It was too "hard."



So I play it safe anymore when it comes to omnis.
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#24 Old 09-22-2009, 10:20 AM
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I ususally cook speghatti, or something,
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#25 Old 09-22-2009, 03:18 PM
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Mexican! Nachos with refried beans and guacamole and salsa and spicy jalapeno peppers are usually a big hit. Add alcohol and stir.

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#26 Old 09-22-2009, 04:20 PM
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My fiance is an omni, so he always makes things like hamburgers or chicken for guests. Other than the one meaty item everything else is always veg, though. I like to make different kinds of pasta dishes like lasagna or stuffed shells/manicotti, or pot pies. Really hearty filling food. My mom and brother don't mind the absence of meat at a meal, but his find it to be a necessity, sadly, no matter how many options and how tasty they may be.
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#27 Old 09-22-2009, 06:06 PM
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Depends on how "formal" the meal is. For my daughters and their teen-age friends, we do a HUGE taco bar that has so much fun stuff, no one EVER asks where the meat is. Other faves include enchiladas or spaghetti.



For fancier dinners, I usually do portabello lasagna with a white sauce, or eggplant "Parmesan" or spinach or asparagus quiche. As has been mentioned above, good wine and amazing desserts go a L-O-N-G ways towards making even the most skeptical company your new best friends!
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#28 Old 09-22-2009, 09:00 PM
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Fortunately most of my friends and family are fairly adventurous, so they're good with Ethnic foods which I normally make, something like Indian Dahl, Alu Gobi, Channa Masala, or a Thai peanut noodle dish with tofu and brocoli. Mexican always goes down well, Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, big Taco Salads... Stirfries are easy and I add some chickpeas or nuts instead of mock meat. I've even got all my friends loving mock tuna (chickpea salad with vegenaise). I just tell them it's a chunkier, creamier hummus!

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#29 Old 09-22-2009, 09:34 PM
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I have recently ran into this problem. We don't normally have people over to our house because it makes me really nervous to cook for them. But recently a high school friend has moved back after being gone for 8 years and so he has been over a lot. I keep fixing him spaghetti... I don't know what else to do. Luckily he likes frozen fruit as a snack or I would have had to fix spaghetti every other day for the last month and a half.



I have ran into the problem that he is a very picky eater and he doesn't like ethnic food or almost any regular food.. . Alot of omnis just are not adventurous eaters. Before I met my husband and he became a veg I wasn't an adventurous eater either. But now I feel like the world has been opened up to me and I love to make new things. I wish the people I would cook for would open their eyes, minds, and pallets to new tastes with out saying "eeeww...no its vegan! " I mean come on.... grow up a little ... right?



For holidays I do take food with us alot. Especially on the 4th of July and some of my parents guests have tried our veg hot dogs. But haven't really said much about it. But I would probably never try to serve veg meat substitutes knowing that they are just going to compare. Who knows maybe one day I will. I do get my mom to try meat subs sometimes. She even likes them sometimes. She had tacos with us one night and we had made boca crumbles w/ taco seasoning. So you never know I guess someone may surprise you... But I haven't been surprised about something to do with omnis and veg food in a long time.
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#30 Old 09-22-2009, 09:44 PM
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We have non veg*n relatives staying with us tomorrow night and they are getting my wife's fantastic ratatouile!
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