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For the long time readers of the blog, (thank you both, lol) you know I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 18 and vegan for 5 + years now, but I still get asked questions like, “What do you eat?!”
So now that vegans and vegetarians are much more mainstream, chances are good you may find yourself invited over for dinner. What can you expect?
Well, first off don’t panic! If a gourmet chef invited you for dinner you would expect to try some sublime foods that you had never tried before. If a specialty pizza chef invited you for dinner, you would expect to eat some incredible pizza that evening. You would probably even look forward to the bits of flair that would be added to the plates and table as you sampled this new cuisine, yeah?
So what happens when your vegetarian friend invites you to dinner? Will it be a GIANT bowl of raw salad, sans dressing and heavy on the kale? Hardly, if you are lucky enough to be invited to a vegetarian’s home for dinner you can expect a culinary adventure!
Now that being said, there are many different types of vegans and vegetarians and people are all different. I for one, am not a fan of curry. (Insert hate mail here, lol) Which is the one guaranteed vegetarian meal on all flights… #FML
Anyway, enough about airplane food…If you yourself are not a vegetarian, you should be open to trying a couple of new and interesting foods at your *BVFF’s house.
(*Best Veggie Friend Forever)
Don’t be afraid to try meat alternatives, if they serve you any, most meat eaters love them, once they get over the “TOFU FEAR” that most people seem to have. Just come hungry and enjoy yourself in a new environment of tastes and smells.
I have a few tips to get you ready for what you may encounter on a typical vegetarian table. Are you game?
Vegetarians frequently use strong seasoning in order to bring out flavors more effectively in foods that don’t necessarily add their own flavor to a dish. There is a high likelihood of finding characteristic flavorings from other cultures. So expect to try some new flavors.
Traditional vegetarian cultures have influenced American vegetarians quite a bit. Indian spices are very popular in combination with vegetarian entrees and sides. But as I said not everyone eats Curry.
Spices, herbs and seasoning from Mexico, Italy, and of course Asian cooking, are popular in vegetarian cooking. Ingredients such as peppers, soy sauces and sesame oil are also quite common in most vegetarian kitchens. Depending on the individual, of course, but its a safe bet that you can expect richly flavored dishes rather than simple salt and pepper.
Favorite Dishes for Non-Vegetarian Guests
So, what is it that you will be eating that will be seasoned so beautifully? There are a few options.
Protein source - could be beans, mushrooms, lentils, quinoa or Tofu. Tofu and tempeh are common soy products, that are now easily found in most US markets. They both receive flavor very efficiently and are easy to make fit any dinner mold. In addition to the protein portion of your meal, expect a colorful variety of vegetables. A spoonful of peas or corn would be insufficient for a nutritious vegetarian meal, so expect more varieties and larger servings.
Finally, the carbohydrates will finish off your plate. Potatoes are a possibility, but it is more likely that you will find pasta, rice or risotto. If you are not accustomed to eating vegetarian meals, you will be surprised at the filling and satisfying results that an experienced vegetarian cook can produce. #WIN
Now, that being said, of course there are many different types of vegetarian meals, way too many for me to list here.
The important thing to do is to be willing to sit down at the table with an open mind. Get ready to enjoy something new, fun and delicious. Vegetarian foods are definitely unique as compared to typical American fare, but they make for an incredible dining experience.
Catch you later-
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