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Top 10 Tips for Hosting Vegetarian Visitors

Chances are, if you’re hosting the Thanksgiving feast this year, you’ll have at least one friend or family member at your gathering who is vegan or vegetarian. No need to stress over what you could possibly feed these people, because I have put together a little list of the top 10 tips for hosting veg visitors. The easy tips will help you create vegan offerings that go beyond just canned veggies—and will certainly give your vegetarian visitors something to be thankful for.

  1. 1. Offer a Veggie Turkey. Faux turkeys, such as Tofurky, Celebration Roast, and Garden Protein’s Veggie Turkey, can now be easily found in grocery stores all over the country.
  2. 2. Stuff This. Vegans, too, love to stuff themselves with stuffing. Load the stuffing with your favorite bread, veggies, and nuts, and use canned vegetable broth to moisten.
  3. 3. Veganize the Gravy. Fill the boat with brown gravy, red wine and shallot gravy, or roasted garlic gravy. You can also opt for canned Franco-American mushroom gravy or Hain instant vegan gravy, available in traditional brown or “chicken” flavors. Just add water and simmer.
  4. 4. Get the Party Started—with vegan hors d’oeuvres. Find easy recipes for Hot Artichoke Dip, Mushroom Pâté, and Potato-Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms.
  5. 5. Bread It and Bake It. Your breads and other baked goodies will be just as yummy when you use egg replacer and soy milk in your favorite recipes.
  6. 6. Mash It Up! Nonvegetarian visitors won’t even notice if you whip up a batch of potatoes using soy milk and vegan margarine. They’ll just be thankful they taste so good.
  7. 7. “But…but…What About Butter?” Use soy-based margarine instead. Try Earth Balance Buttery Spread—it’s better for you, and it tastes better too.
  8. 8. Check the Dressing. Swap Caesar salad for a salad with lemon-tahini, Italian, or balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The dressings can also double as dips for fresh veggies. If you don’t have time to start from scratch, pick up bottled Annie’s Goddess Dressing or a variety of Newman’s Own dressings, including Red Wine Vinegar and Olive Oil.
  9. 9. Let Others Do the Dirty Work. Give yourself a break and get your guests involved in your vegan smorgasbord. Ask a few of your guests to prepare a vegan side dish—you could even include simple recipes with invitations you send out.
  10. 10. Don’t Forget About Dessert! Use soy-based margarine or shortening to create flaky crusts for your holiday fruit pies. Get crazy and go à la mode by topping each slice with vanilla Tofutti or So Delicious nondairy frozen desserts.

If you still need more help, check out vegetarian holiday recipes, vegetarian cooking tips, and Vegetarian 101 for a little extra guidance.

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