The holidays are here, which means lots of dinner parties and gatherings to attend. What a nightmare for someone following a strict, plant-based diet! No one ever wants to be the one to complain or cause a hassle when friends and family are trying to plan a get-together. Although you have restrictions on your diet, this shouldn’t be a stressor when it comes to socializing with friends and family. Your lifestyle choices needn’t be compromised!
Do you like being a guest at someone else’s place, but worry about maintaining your plant-based diet while you are there? Talk to your host ahead of time! This will relieve the stress you may be experiencing and remind your host that you have some restrictions. If you’re still feeling uneasy about attending the party, bring a dish. Not only will you seem like a most generous guest, this ensures you’ll have something to eat. Some ideas include guacamole, bean dip, and quinoa or green salads. Another trick is to eat something prior to attending the party. This will help you avoid temptations as the night goes on.
Are you always the host or hostess and recently turned to plant-based foods? Don’t worry—there are many great tasting, plant-based food options that will ensure you still have guests arriving at your party! You can also start by hosting a potluck that will provide a variety of dishes and allow you to include a few plant-based ones. You win because you have something to eat and your meat-loving friends can enjoy the foods they brought. Who knows, maybe they’ll even venture into your plant-based dishes!
If potlucks aren’t your thing, you could always set up your meal in a cooking class style, educating your guests while they assist in the preparation of the meal. You can answer their questions, and they can see exactly what is going into their dinner. It usually isn’t as bad as they think! If that still won’t work for you and your guests, arrange to go out to a popular plant-based restaurant where the servers can help educate your friends on the benefits of plant-based foods.
No matter what time of year it is, dinner parties can always pose a challenge for those plant-based eaters. With these easy tips, you will be able to enjoy your guests more while being comfortable, eating plant-based, and, hopefully, feeling full!
I always find the perfect dish to bring to a holiday party is something easy, like a dip. This is sure to make everyone happy and provide you with some plant protein!
Black Bean Dip
- 1 cup cooked or canned organic black beans (bpa free, of course)
- ¼ cup tahini or ½ avocado
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
- 1 head of garlic, roasted (in oven at 400°F for an hour)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Optional: pinch cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup water
If the beans are canned, drain the beans, and rinse in a colander.
Combine beans, tahini or avocado, lime or lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and cayenne in a food processor.
With the machine running, gradually add the water and pulse until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Serve with gluten free or whole grain crackers or sliced raw veggies.