Are you worried about cooking for a vegetarian in your
family this upcoming holiday season? Well, worry no more.
This article will tell you exactly what you need to do
and know before you start cooking this holiday season.
You can start off by finding out what type of vegetarian
your guest is. For instance, if she is a strict
vegan, then there’s a chance she will not eat food
that contains honey or yeast; however, if on the other
hand, she is a "semi" or "pseudo" vegetarian, there is a
chance she will actually eat the meal as it is prepared,
including the meat. And if she’s a lacto-ovo-vegetarian,
she might eat anything with eggs and milk, but will
probably avoid meat dishes.
If you talk to the vegetarian in your family before you
prepare your holiday meal, you should consider asking the
following five questions:
1. Do you eat certain types of meat or none at all?
If the vegetarian in your family will eat certain meats
(generally fish, chicken, and turkey), then you should
consider preparing that as a side dish or asking them if
they would like to bring a small dish of it for their
2. Will you use serving utensils that have been placed in dishes
Some vegetarians experience severe gastrointestinal stress when they
consume meat and grease from meat, so it is a good idea to find
out whether or not they can do so ahead of time. If they can’t,
you can simply put out one utensil for all non-meat dishes and
ask that guests do not cross-contaminate.
3. Do you eat foods that contain milk and eggs?
As I mentioned above, lacto-ovo vegetarians will eat milk
and eggs, but other sub-categories of vegetarian will not.
Some wont do it for health reasons; others wont for
ethical reasons. Whatever the case, you can get around this
problem by either creating more dishes that do not contain
milk and eggs or by using egg replacer, which you can find
at most supermarkets, and milk replacements, such as soy
4. Do you eat honey and yeast?
Some vegetarians do not eat honey and yeast for ethical
reasons. If you find out that the vegetarian in your family
does not eat honey and yeast ahead of time, you can either
prepare alternate dishes or ask if they are willing to
bring an alternate dish.
5. Would you like to bring your own main dish (to replace
the turkey, ham, etc.)?
Many vegetarians eat popular meat-replacement dishes,
such as "tofurkey" and "veggie burgers." Your guest will
probably be more than willing to bring her own meat-
replacement dish if you ask.
To reiterate, there are a number of things you should take
into consideration when you cook for a vegetarian
this holiday season; however, the single most important
thing you can do is actually approach the vegetarian
and ask how you can accommodate her and if she would
like to cook with you or bring her own dish.
If you keep this in mind, your holiday meal will be a
success with everyone - even the vegetarian in your family!