Stress-free Tips for Hosting Vegetarians at Thanksgiving

This year, you’ve decided to host Thanksgiving dinner at your house. You’ve got the meal all planned out, and have collected all your favorite recipes. But, you’ve just found out that you have a vegetarian guest coming for dinner. What now?

Well, no need to fret. Your guest is a non-meat eater, not an alien from another planet. Although, vegetarianism is pretty well accepted in many circles, it still is viewed as strange by many.

As a long-time vegetarian, I’ve received many apologies like this: Oh, I didn’t know you were coming to dinner; if I had known I would’ve cooked the vegetables without meat. This left me feeling awkward, not to mention hungry, because I was selective in what I ate.

If you’re hosting dinner and have a vegetarian guest coming, make them feel comfortable with a few of the following tips:

  • Ask your vegetarian guest for recipes, tips, and advice on cooking meatless meals
  • Prepare side dishes of vegetables without added meat; use vegetable broth or chicken (if your guest eats chicken)
  • Have your guest to bring one of their favorite vegetable dishes
  • Prepare fruit and vegetable trays
  • Salad is a favorite food for most vegetarians; have plenty on hand
  • Make side portions of gravy made with vegetable broth
  • Bake a separate portion of stuffing
  • Use vegetable oils for frying and pie crusts
  • Adapt recipes using substitute ingredients like soy milk, non-gelatin marshmallows, dairy-free butter or margarine, and egg replacers.

Thanksgiving is a day for enjoying family and friends; regardless of whether they eat meat or not. Embrace the moment! “Eat and Live Healthy.”

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