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When Veggies Come to Dinner, Part 3: Tips for Feeding and Understanding Your Veggie Friends and Family

The “When Veggies Come to Dinner” Series
Part 1: Vegetarians (lacto-ovo), Pescatarians and Flexitarians
Part 2: Vegans, Raw Vegans
Part 3: Tips for Feeding and Understanding Your Veggie Friends and Family

Welcome back to the “When Veggies Come to Dinner” series.  This series is written for those that are new to vegetarianism, for the vegetarian curious and for friends and family that have a vegetarian in their life.  Part 1 and 2 gave you definitions of the different veggie diets, the types of foods that they do and do not eat, lists of “sneaky” ingredients and meal and restaurant suggestions.  In Part 3, I’ll give you some additional tips for sharing a meal with the veggies in your life.  As always, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.

PART 3: TIPS FOR FEEDING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR VEGGIE FRIENDS AND FAMILY

  • Vegetarian does not always equal healthy.  Cheese fries and milkshakes are vegetarian and they can be a yummy treat every now and then but you’ll want to check with your veggie friend to see if they eat these items.
  • This has come up before, so I’ll say here, just in case…chicken is a meat, vegetarians don’t eat it.
  • If you cook a meal that has meat in it and ask us to just eat around it, we’ll probably get cranky.  But many of us are willing to work with you, if you’ve got an entire meal focused around meat, serve some bread and a hearty salad and we’ll make it work.
  • Please use separate pots and pans to cook meat in.  An easy solution is to cook veggies first then put them in the microwave or oven to stay warm while cooking meat in same pan.  A common example is spaghetti sauce.  If you like to cook the meatballs in the sauce, ladle out enough plain sauce for a serving or two, then put the meatballs in.  Everybody wins!
  • Please don’t sneak meat into a recipe. Just because we don’t notice at the time, it doesn’t mean we won’t later. Once you stop eating meat, your body eventually has trouble digesting meat protein and it will give us a very upset stomach. Continue Reading →
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When Veggies Come to Dinner, Part 2: Vegans, Raw Vegans

The “When Veggies Come to Dinner” Series
Part 1: Vegetarians (lacto-ovo), Pescatarians and Flexitarians
Part 2: Vegans, Raw Vegans
Part 3: Tips for Feeding and Understanding Your Veggie Friends and Family

I’ll give you some quick definitions to help you better understand your veggie friends and family.  These are guidelines, so when in doubt, just ask your veggie friend what he or she doesn’t eat.  There are also lists of sneaky ingredients that you may not realize are unfriendly and suggestions for meals, fast food choices and restaurant choices.

PART 2: VEGANS AND RAW VEGANS DEFINED

Vegan – If you can’t grow it…they don’t eat it

Vegans go one step beyond vegetarians and eliminate all animal products from their diet, even if the animal is not immediately harmed during production.  So foods like honey, eggs and dairy products are off the menu.

Sneaky Foods/Ingredients: in addition to the foods listed for vegetarians, most dessert baked goods (which usually contain both dairy and eggs), Worcester sauce, mayonnaise, omega-3 (derived from fish oil), some breads, some flavors of chips (it’s best to stick with plain or tortilla chips), french toast Continue Reading →

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When Veggies Come to Dinner, Part 1: Vegetarians, Pescatarians and Flexitarians

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the “When Veggies Come to Dinner” series. When I started this blog, I knew that I wanted to share different aspects of my life, like my love of gardening and crafting. I also knew that I wanted to share recipes and information about being a vegetarian. Writing about gardening and crafting is easy, everyone can understand and enjoy it.  Writing about vegetarianism is not as easy.

When you choose to become a vegetarian, you unexpectedly inherit new personality traits, many of which are not flattering.  Traits like being “judgmental”, an “angry activist” and even “crazy” are now yours to contend with. Just like all stereotypes, some people embody these traits and some do not. I do not.  It’s important to me that anyone who has a question about being a vegetarian, meat-eater or otherwise, doesn’t feel intimidated to ask. So when I’m asked time and time again “what do you eat?”, I’m always happy to answer. It’s in this spirit that I started the “When Veggies Come to Dinner Series”, to help everyone better understand their veggie family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

I know that feeding a vegetarian can seem like an intimidating and stressful event, afterall…what DO they eat?  So, not only for for those with a vegetarian in their life, but for those that are thinking about adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, I’ll give you definitions to help you better understand the different veggie diets. In each part of the series I’ve also included a list of sneaky ingredients that you may not realize are veggie unfriendly.  There’s also suggestions for easy meat-optional meals, fast food choices and restaurant choices that are great when eating out with your veggie friends. These are just guidelines, so when in doubt, just ask your veggie friend what he or she doesn’t eat.

PART 1: VEGETARIANS, PESCATARIANS AND FLEXITARIANS DEFINED

Vegetarian – “Nothing with a Face”

Sometimes “vegetarian” is used as a blanket term for a lot of different eating choices. Most people define vegetarian as someone who will eat eggs and dairy, but not any type of animal, including fish. This type of vegetarian is sometimes referred to as a lacto-ovo vegetarian.  There are vegetarians that will eat eggs, but not dairy (ovo-vegetarian) or dairy but not eggs (lacto-vegetarian).

Sneaky Foods/Ingredients: gelatin/Jello, gummy bears, Frosted Mini Wheats, marshmallows (but not marshmallow fluff), most gravy, Continue Reading →

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A New Series and What I Ate for Thanksgiving Dinner

As a vegetarian, I am often asked…what do you eat? This question is never asked more often, than during this glorious “Season of Food”. I have always enjoyed learning, sharing and teaching, and I find that this simple question provides an opportunity to help people understand a different way of looking at food. I also know that many people have a vegetarian in their lives and they can find it daunting to prepare a meal that accommodates the vegetarian and the meat-eating part of the group.  As the only vegetarian in my family and group of friends, I can tell you that it is easy to have a group meal, where everyone feels satisfied and full, without a lot of extra work, if any at all.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a series called: When Veggies Come to Dinner. It is a multipart series where I define different types of Veggie diets. I’ll provide tips for eating veggie in restaurants, at fast food locations and quick, easy meal suggestions.  I hope you’ll enjoy it!

The “When Veggies Come to Dinner” Series (coming soon)
Part 1: Vegetarians (lacto-ovo), Pescatarians and Flexitarians Defined
Part 2: Vegans and Raw Vegans Defined
Part 3: Tips for Feeding and Understanding Your Veggie Friends and Family
Part 4: Vegetarian Curiosities, FAQs and Nutrition

.  .  .

Now, onto the BIG question of the season: “What do you eat at Thanksgiving Dinner?” The answer is simply this: SO much!  Just like everyone else, I happily stuff myself to capacity, then top it off with a large plate of desserts.

Plate 1
(yeah, there was more than 1)

Plate 2
(I must apologize, plate 2 was eaten with such ferocity that I forgot to photograph it.  These are the items it included, with the exception of “Uncle Keith’s Famous Mashed Potatoes”.  They are SO very bad for you, yet SO very good.)

[slideshow]

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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