Invitations to dinner shouldn't be met with fear and angst. A vegetarian meal at your house with a vegetarian menu may be easier.
Old friends are probably very understanding and may even enjoy eating more plant based foods. Hopefully your host doesn't just have an iceberg salad for you.
New friends may not understand or even know that you eat vegetarian. Their questions and comments may be more than just curiosity. Some meat eaters may try and force meat on you "one meatball won't hurt." Others may be truely interested in the whys and hows. Being the center of attention because of your food choice may be difficult.
Suggest that you bring a dish to share or even have the entire dinner moved to your house. Here are 8 ideas on how to cook for a meat-eating group:
1) Vegetarian menus sometimes lack a little something that is hard to specify. When planning your vegetarian menu, add at least one dish that is: crispy, crunchy, chewy, oily, spicy, salty, sweet, rich or buttery.
2) Avoid ingrediants that may seem strange to others- don't use tofu.
4) Don't name the ingrediants until the end of the meal- hearing the word "quinoa" may turn off your guests.
5) Use familiar foods in new ways.
6) Soups, stews, and pastas fulfills #1
7) Use sauces to give food a rich or fullbody feel.
8) Know when to be exotic and inventive and when to plan basic earthy menus.
You will be happily surprized when several guests ask for your recipes or, state "I've never liked _____ before, but loved it your way!".
Your non-vegetarian friends may be S.A.D. eating the Standard American Diet, but there are many ways to dine together.
Share your best vegetarian recipes. Recipes can be a simple side dish or a more complex main course. Include a picture!
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