Many people are afraid to invite vegans over for a meal because, simply put they have no idea what to feed them. As a vegan you often get told “I’d love to have you have over, but I don’t know what to make for you”. These days cooking for vegans really isn’t as difficult as you might think, it just takes a little creativity.
The first thing you need to do is come up with a menu. Go online and find some vegan recipe sites to get ideas, or if you’re a good cook you could probably take a recipe you usually make and simply “veganize” it. For example, you could make a lasagna and instead of using ground beef, you could use ground soy beef (there are many products available usually found at your local grocery store). Then just substitute the cheese for vegan cheese or make a vegan white sauce. Soups are also a good choice because in a lot of cases you simply need to use vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth. If a recipe uses milk, simply substitute with a non dairy milk like soy or rice milk. If it calls for butter, you can use a vegan margarine instead.
Once you have your menu done, you’ll need to buy ingredients. When you go to the store, the most important thing is to make sure you read the labels. Although you may think something is vegan, it may not be. There are many different ingredients that are in fact animal by-products and are therefore not vegan. Some of the most common things to look out for are: lactose, whey, modified milk ingredients, egg, casein, gelatin, cheese, lard, and butter. For a complete list of animal ingredients please visit Happy Cow.
Having vegan guests over can be a bit nerve racking at first, but once you see that all it takes is some preparation and a little creativity, you’ll be inviting your vegan friends over all the time.