Summer is here finally(at least on some days!), and the barbecue season is on! Barbecues make it so much easier to entertain a crowd…except when Vegetarians show up without a warning!
Watch your hosts go pale when you announce you are vegetarian; then they bounce back with a meek suggestion: “oh no problem, we have a salad you may like”! Let me tell you, vegetarians may love salads; but in order to make up a balanced meal, one needs something more substantial in the way of protein.
Well, it is only fair that any sensible vegetarian should ask their host ahead of time, or at least offer to bring a dish they would like to eat. Here are a few examples of what your vegetarian friends would like: These foods all contain a good amount of protein.
Now to complicate matters further, there are some vegetarians who eat only fruit, vegetable and grain- based foods.
They are called Vegans. Vegans are very particular about any sauces or additives in the food that may contain even minute amounts of animal or fish based products.
Some vegetarians eat egg and dairy although they like to stay away from all meat and fish. They are called Ovo-lacto vegetarians.
Foods for Vegans:
This becomes a little complex, as the rule is no animal products of any kind. That includes dairy and eggs as well.
Typically, rice, pasta, quinoa, couscous with nuts, seeds, tofu, grilled veggies like mushrooms, eggplant, squash , yam or anything on those lines with no cheese should be fine. No Caesar salad which contains egg or anchovies in the dressing. No desserts with gelatin or cream.
Foods for ovo-lacto vegetarians
They are much more flexible in their food choices which may include egg salad, quiche , flans, cottage cheese, tofu(marinated or grilled with spices), nuts, nut pate’s.
Then there are people who may eat fish and seafood, but no meat. They will be very happy with grilled fish or prawns, or salmon burgers, or a tuna salad or sandwiches.
These are people who really desire to stay away from meat or fish, but may on occasion eat animal products, depending on the situation or their mood!
While meat-lovers dig their teeth into juicy steaks, ribs and chicken, don’t leave the vegetarians feeling deprived of some soul satisfying food! Long gone are the days of soggy coleslaw and fatty potato salads! It is really not that difficult to come up with some health-conscious dishes even the meat lovers would enjoy. Being a vegetarian myself, I have some quick and easy ideas to make this a snap for you!
Try my spicy tofu & veggie skewers and a zesty Mediterranean chick-pea salad and Bibi’s spinach and corn bake. You can also make a rich and satisfying salad with protein-rich grains like Quinoa and couscous for added satisfaction.