Dining Table Woes: Don’t be the Odd Vegan Out

If you’re a vegan you’d know that it’s not as challenging to enjoy food as it was before.

Different dining spots that could cater to sensitive and selective diets have opened up around the metro; and no, we’re not talking about your boring old veggie burger or steamed vegetables on the side option. We’re here for original, delicious, and thought out dishes from restaurants like Green Bar, Corner Tree Café, or Hummus Elijah.

Aside from dining out, one could opt to cook their own vegan friendly meals that deserve those double taps and shares on social media. Fire up your search bar and you’d see that there are far too many vegan-friendly recipes to try at home.

Though different dining hubs and Pinterests boards on plant-based recipes has changed the way of vegans, the real challenge lies in dining with company that don’t share your dietary restrictions.

Choosing a restaurant for a group of ten is a conundrum if everyone else wants steak. Family gatherings are hard enough with cousins asking why you chose to swore off meat, let alone having to settle for the only dish you brought to the potluck. But freight not, scroll on through and see our tips on how to make dinner parties better for you and your diet.


TIP#1 Veganize Classics!

Just because you’re vegan, does not mean you’re going to miss out on family favorites like lasagna or even adobo, in fact you can replace various ingredients and veganize them! If you’re up for it, why don’t you decide to host the dinner yourself? It may break tradition but it could be the perfect opportunity for you to show the bunch how vegan food could be both deliciously satisfying and healthy. If you’re worried about what to make, Pinterest, is your Narnia to limitless vegan recipes!

Instead of having your typical Paella, why don’t you surprise their pallet and prepare a Quinoa Risotto with Mushroom and Thyme! Or it could just be something simpler like replacing your gravy made of meat drippings with Mushroom gravy!

TIP#2 Lend a Helping Hand

Just because you’re on a plant based dietary regimen does not mean you should put down the apron and wait until everyone is done in the kitchen. Be involved in the preparation. Volunteer to concoct a dish that’s not only vegan but also a crowd pleaser, one that the rest of the family can enjoy, like Pesto Pasta, Eggplant Skewers or even a Vegetable Curry! The possibilities are endless, and it wouldn’t hurt that you’d get to share the joys of veganism with a great holiday dish.


TIP#3 Think Potluck!

Needless to say, options are limited for vegans especially if you’re not the one hosting the feast. First off the bat, make sure to inform the host that you’re vegan, and be clear about what you can and cannot eat. Informing them ahead of time helps avoid the awkward experience of refusing to eat the food they painstakingly prepared without seeming rude. However, hosting is stressful as it is and you wouldn’t want to impose on the already frazzled cook. So why don’t you do yourself a favor and offer to bring your own dish to share. It’s always a delight to have additional food.

In fact, in every Filipino gathering, nothing would be complete without some sweets! If you’re frustrated with the lack more plant-based options there’s actually quite a number out there that will definitely help satisfy those cravings without feeling post-consumption remorse. You never know it just might make everyone go vegan (even just for an hour or two). Some notable ones would be Cacao that Cares by Susi, Vegan Cake by Kitchen Revolution and Earth Desserts Vega Fudgy Brownies!

TIP#4 Grab a bite to eat

If you’re attending a social event, best to eat a little bit of something before going out. I know it practically makes no sense to pre-eat before attending a dinner party, but better safe than hungry. Right? And in case you do hear a little grumble in your stomach, try to look for appetizers you can munch on with—no brainers like Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dips, Hummus and other plant-based starters would most likely be on the menu!

Art by Kiel Vasquez

Find more Health & Wellness tips here.