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Cooking Vegetarian At Your Dinner Party

So, you're having a dinner party and cooking will soon be underway. You've invited friends and family, set the date and planned an unofficial bill of fare; yet, there's a bump or two in your dinner party path. A few of your friends have selective eating habits, as they live vegetarian lifestyles.

At this point, you've been ready to prepare a standard meal, but now you've been positioned to prepare food in an unfamiliar cooking scenario and you're probably a bit intimidated, at least slightly unsure of what to do. Endless culinary complications and dead ends are running through your noggin. You're thinking, "What can I make that will satisfy my vegetarian guests and not scare my meat-eating guests away...what can I do to solve this problem?" This 'problem' is really more so a challenge. Cooking a la vegetarian isn't a nuisance either, nor is it difficult to resolve.

There are simple ways to assure your dinner party is a success and goes over well with all your guests. Consider some of the following basic suggestions:

Consult A Vegetarian Recipe:

There is an abundant amount of recipe resources available in printed book and Internet format you can consult before starting to cook for your party. Recipes will range from levels easy to involved. It would be best to try out a beginner's or intermediate's recipe, as it would assure you less hassle and basic vegetarian preparation.
Be sure to use a strictly vegetarian specific recipe instead of altering a normal recipe to make it vegetarian. Do this simply to avoid cooking with ingredients that are otherwise vegetarian unfriendly. Many ingredients included in non-vegetarian recipes can include animal additives and to vegetarians, these are what they try to avoid.
Even while reading a vegetarian recipe, be cognizant of all ingredients that will be used. Research each one, making certain none include animal byproducts or add-ons.

Don't Stress About Shopping For Provisions:

Vegetarian friendly grocers are almost everywhere. As it stands, every grocer has a produce section, some more varied than others, but still, vegetables and fruits are plenty and not difficult to attain. And if the usual grocer does not have what you're looking for specialty stores can be visited. Farmer's markets and organic grocers can provide you with a great produce selection of the freshest quality.

If you're interested in meat substitutions, a vegetarian section in any grocer is your best bet. Any type of meat has some sort of vegetarian alternative. Vegetarian forms of lunch meats, chicken, pork and so on are all available in frozen packages which can be prepared to your liking or culinary specifications.

Separate Meat Dishes From Vegetarian Dishes:

When all your party food is cooked and ready for serving, make sure the meat dishes and vegetarian dishes are served on separate platters. Even consider visibly marking which dishes include meat and those that do not by tagging them with folded note cards.

This might be a bit silly, but also be aware to keep serving utensils separate. Assign each dish it's own serving fork and/or spoon. Do this to avoid meat dishes mingling with vegetarian dishes by utensil sharing. Even if a utensil used for serving a meat dish touches the wrong platter, especially the vegetarian one, the vegetarian guests could easily be swayed to not eat that dish.

So, that dinner party is finally here and guests are about to arrive. You went ahead to mull through some vegetarian recipes, shop for the best vegetarian food and produce, and you even meat-proofed your plating and serving methods. When it comes time to let your guests into your party, be confident. Do so because you've taken considerable steps to be a polite and accommodating host. This will show, as your guests will be comfortable, whether vegetarian or not. Enjoy your party and company knowing all is well.

Cooking vegetarian at your dinner party? You'll need a way to store your freshly purchased produce before then. To keep your produce as fresh as the day you bought them consider green bags, specifically their reusable produce bags.

About the Author

by E.S. Cromwell