I’ve come up with a list of things that made my life a little easier this week.
1. Have a vegan goodie basket/bag ready for them in their guest room
Fill it with vegan cookies, fruit leathers, granola bars, vegan candy and snacks (chips and such)
2. Have an array of fresh fruits and veggies in the kitchen.
Also have different kinds of vegan milk (rice, almond, soy, hazelnut, chocolate soy milk) on hand. I also stocked up on some good frozen Amy’s meals, chips and salsa, & crackers.
3. Bake! Make tasty vegan desserts!
(cupcakes win hearts people!)
4. Make vegan meals, but don’t serve kale smoothies on day one.
Go with comfort tasting foods. Pasta and tomato sauce with veggies and vegan garlic bread for instance is always a sure bet.
5. Don’t be offended if they don’t like something.
Really, get over yourself, its okay if they don’t like tofu scramble.
6. Make big breakfasts with pancakes and things they might not have on a daily basis.
Most people are lucky if they have a bowl of cereal in the morning, so I like serving a big breakfast with lots of tasty food
7. Don’t buy stuff that you do not eat.
There is no reason to. My brother and his girlfriend went out to lunch on their own yesterday, and we’ll probably go out for a few dinners, they can get whatever they like when we do that. But we just don’t have certain foods in the house, and they are cool with that. It’s kind of like if you don’t allow smoking in your home, it’s not because you hate smokers, it’s just because you’d prefer if it was not in your home. This is important if you are just going vegan. Do not put anything in the kitchen that tempts you, and explain to your guests (if necessary) that you are really trying to go on a plant based diet. And of course, before you have guests come be sure to tell them that you have a vegan kitchen, and tell them what that means. And tell them that there is plenty of food.
8. Try making foods that don’t have a lot of the fake stuff.
Check out any of Dreena Burton’s cookbooks (Eat Drink and Be Vegan) for good whole foods kinds of recipes.
9. Play it by ear when it comes to how you talk about going vegan.
I love cooking for people and letting them experience what it is like to eat vegan foods. It’s got such a bad stigma, people think we eat tofu plain and only eat beans. I know I once thought the same thing. There is so much re-educating to do about what it means to eat vegan foods. Answer questions when asked, and be open but nice about your vegan ways. You know your guests, you will know how much they want to hear about being vegan. I also keep out some vegan books and magazines.
10. Ask for help!
My brother loves to cook, so I’ve been asking for his input on recipes all week. Have your guests cook with you and be a part of it all. That way they can see how it’s done. On that note, have them look through recipe books (or search online) for things they might want to try.