People tend to associate a barbecue with cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and other meat-focused dishes. However, that’s not for everyone. Roughly one million of the United States population is vegan. Although that means only about half a percent holds this dietary preference, it’s important for a host to be able to cater to the needs of their guests. The vegan diet is even more strict than vegetarian. Vegans eat zero animal products, so they are dairy-free, egg-free and gelatin-free.
Knowing how to host a vegan at your barbecue will prevent your guests from worrying about what food items they can eat. We asked LaForce Baker, founder and executive chef of vegan-based Moon Meals Inc., to share some tips that will make for a better, healthier BBQ for vegans and meat-eaters alike.
Focus on appetizers.
Putting out pre-made vegan appetizers that everyone will love such as chips and guacamole, hummus with veggies or fruit is a simple but easy way to satisfy your guests. These options are healthy, meat-free and can be purchased from any grocery store. Incorporate the barbecue and make some grilled pineapple slices or fruit kabobs.
Follow proper grilling guidelines for vegan foods.
Veggie patties or tofu are common substitutes that taste delicious to vegans. However, grilling these items on the same spot you used for burgers and hot dogs will result in cross contamination. If there’s not enough room for everything, use disposable foil or trays to separate the vegan items from direct contact on the grill.
Tweak traditional BBQ favorites.
Instead of wondering what to make, veganize traditional barbecue favorites. Tweak dishes like baked beans (remove the bacon), macaroni salad (no ham or eggs and use a vegan mayo) and potato salad (use a vegan mayo). These are must-haves at every barbecue and can be made with vegan ingredients. Looking up recipes to cook these dishes on your own is a simple way to make sure that your guests have vegan options.
Make a super salad.
Super salads are healthy and simple options to serve up at a barbecue. Although people have a wide variety of food preferences, you can accommodate them all by leaving different types of cheeses and dressings on the side. This way vegans can leave out the cheese and enjoy non-dairy dressings.