Author Topic: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?  (Read 3889 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Mammavan3

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 378
Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« on: March 09, 2013, 11:02:16 AM »
A family member is celebrating a birthday, so I've invited her and her DH for dinner on Sunday along with DD and her family. The menu will be a leak tart, corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, with a local dairy's Irish cream and Guinness ice creams for dessert.

I've just learned that, because of a death in the family, her relatives' family, not mine, several people from that branch of the family who live across the country will be here. I've extended the invitation to her sister and BIL, who have accepted. I've also invited them to bring any of their adult children who will be here; when I spoke with them yesterday, their children's plans were not finalized, partly because of the weather conditions yesterday and partly because the haste of making the plans and resulting lack of communication that ensued.

My problem is that several of these adult children (six who will be here) were vegetarian when last we were together. I know that at least a few if them no longer are. So I have eight confirmed meat-eating guests who will be here plus a possible additional one to six, some of whom may be vegetarian. The funeral will be this afternoon so I won't have a firm head count until this evening at the earliest, and at that time I still won't know definitely if anyone will be a vegetarian.

I am very conscious of my guests' dietary constraints and always prepare my meals accordingly, but switching to a menu where meat is not the centerpiece (and flavors the side dishes) will mean a huge amount of work for me on short notice and possibly would be for naught.

What is the etiquette-approved course of action in this case?

Luci

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6038
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 11:20:35 AM »
You are being incredibly kind and thoughtful!

I would make a quiche or vegetarian noodle dish, and be sure the salad is vegetarian. That is really only one more dish, and it is a casserole, so I don't really think that would be any extra work beyond making more of everything. ( I am assuming the salad and dinner rolls, which I always serve.)

They can't eat the potatoes and cabbage if they are cooked with the corned beef.

I hope things go smoothly for you.

Calistoga

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 401
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 11:35:03 AM »
Make some vegetarian options, but don't go to the extremes of trying to make everything veggie friendly.

Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6716
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 12:10:44 PM »
Keep what you already have planned, add some vegetarian sides and possibly a main dish, like the quiche mentioned by a PP

Isisnin

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 617
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 12:13:05 PM »
A family member is celebrating a birthday, so I've invited her and her DH for dinner on Sunday along with DD and her family. The menu will be a leak tart, corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, with a local dairy's Irish cream and Guinness ice creams for dessert.

...(edited for brevity..)

Yum!!  And your address is ....?

Would doubling the leek tart be easy enough?  Or as another poster recommended, quiche?  Aren't the corned beef cabbage and potatoes cooked on the stove?  So you can pre-prepare vegetarian foods to put in with the tart.  My mother always premade her quiches and froze them.  Then popped them into the oven frozen to bake for the event.  A potato casserole or broccoli and ziti casserole would be good.  All easily made ahead of time.

(edited to use correct words.  See Calistoga's post below to see what my brain is like on only 2 cups of coffee!!)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 05:48:08 PM by Isisnin »

Calistoga

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 401
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 12:16:00 PM »
A family member is celebrating a birthday, so I've invited her and her DH for dinner on Sunday along with DD and her family. The menu will be a leak tart, corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, with a local dairy's Irish cream and Guinness ice creams for dessert.

...(edited for brevity..)

Yum!!  And your address is ....???

Would doubling the leak tart be easy enough?  Or as another poster recommended, quiche?  Aren't the corned beef cabbage and potatoes cooked on the stove?  So you can pre-prepare vegetarian foods to put in with the tart.  My mother always premade her quiches and froze them.  Then pooped them into the oven frozen to bake for the event.  A potatoe casserole or broccoli and ziti casserole would be good.  All easily made ahead of time.

Heh. Pooped.

My mom did the same- frozen quiche, in case we had extra people.

For clarification sake OP, how vegetarian are they? Someone said if the potatoes were cooked with the corn beef, they couldn't eat it, but if they are fairly lax vegetarians, they most likely won't care as long as they aren't actually eating meat.

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3530
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 12:25:16 PM »
Cook some of the cabbage and potatoes without the beef. Ta-da!

I don't know any vegetarians who would *want* to eat those things soaked with beef juice if they were given ANYTHING else as an alternative (and I, for one, would never eat them unless it was a near-starvation case), but cooking them separately, and possibly adding a second leek tart, would be plenty.

I'd be more concerned about whether to prepare for 6 or 14 guests! That is a challenge. Good luck!

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6859
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 04:11:18 PM »
May I suggest 'Plowman's Share'. It's something that would go well with corned beef and cabbage.    If the vegetarians can eat dairy, it can serve as a main dish for them.  If you have a microwave, it's fairly easy to make and it's inexpensive. 

Here's how it's done.

Select a casserole or baking dish of the appropriate size for your party.

Cook large baking potatoes in the microwave. 

Slice in half lengthwise, fit fairly tightly into the baking dish and coat the cut sides with margarine.

Cook packages of frozen broccoli and cauliflower in the microwave according to package directions.  If available, fresh vegetables can also be used. 

Drain and place on top of the potatoes, pushing down a bit to fill the interstices. 

Slice an onion and a bell pepper. 

Sauté in a little oil.

When almost done, add a can of mushrooms including the liquid. 

Add some soy sauce.  Depending on the vegetarian orientation of your guests you may be able to add some worchestershire sauce.  Some herbs can always be added to the mix. 

For a finishing touch, grate cheddar cheese and cover the top of the casserole with it.  Bake or microwave until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

It's a nice winter dish that we carnivores look forward to eating.  A vegan  relative has told us that, with minor tweaks, the recipe works just fine for her and her family. 

   

whiterose

  • From the good old US of A!
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4454
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 05:25:34 PM »
If you make a quiche, make sure the crust is vegetarian- ie, it is made with vegetable shortening and not lard.

One time, my cousin made me a spinach quiche, since she knew I was vegetarian. I read the ingredients ahead of time- crust had lard. So I did not eat it. I hope she was not offended- but my body's reaction to lard is not a pretty one!
I have pet mice!

sweetonsno

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1402
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 05:45:44 PM »
You don't need to make the entire meal vegetarian, but because you extended the invitation to the vegetarians, you should make sure that you have a vegetarian option.

I agree that it would probably be easiest to just get extra cabbage and potatoes and cook them on their own, without the corned beef. (Add some extra seasonings if you want to infuse in some of the flavor.) If you've got lots of crusty bread and other sides, it's probably going to be enough.

I'd also like to add that you should ask your friend for details about her family's vegetarianism. If it's for religious reasons, they may not use "vegetarian" in the traditional sense of the word.

SylviaBug

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 05:47:32 PM »
Speaking as a vegetarian, I agree with the PPs. Maybe just prepare a veggie friendly side dish and make sure the salad is safe. What about the leek tart? Is that okay for them to eat, or did you flavor it with meat products? Or the potatoes and cabbages? Could you possibly cook them and the beef separately?

bonyk

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 807
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 08:54:28 PM »
I made the same meal last week for some guests, about half of whom were vegetarian!

I just cooked some of the veggies separately, and cooked some veggie burgers to go with.

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 09:18:52 PM »
If you have given the other guests the menu and then switch it, it could come off badly, if this is a birthday celebration for a non vegetarian - then why would it have to only honor the choices of the vegetarian guests? Keep the original menu, as long as there are foods that the vegetarians can eat, you're safe.

Mammavan3

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 378
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 09:42:26 PM »
Thank you all for the suggestions - and the recipe; it sounds like something I'd like.

Right now I am beyond annoyed. It is almost 9:30 p.m., and I still have no idea how many people are coming and who they are. I've left a VM.  I can't even set the table because I don't know how many leaves to add, which will impact which table linens I can use, which will impact which china I choose.

And DD told me that none of them chose the vegetarian option at her wedding, which we had arranged specifically for them.  She said that, when filet is available at no charge, their aversion to meat is greatly diminished.  So, I'll take your suggestion to cook some of the potatoes and cabbage separately and, if they skip the corned beef, let them fill up on dessert.  It's just too late to do more than that.

Again, thanks for your help.

johelenc1

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1858
Re: Do I need to make my meal vegetarian?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 09:44:15 PM »
I had to look up what a "leak tart" was.  The recipe I saw had bacon in it.  It actually sounded pretty good.

I agree that you don't need to change everything.  Just add some kind of vegetarian casserole or spinach quiche and cook a pot of the potatoes and cabbage together meat-free.


edited:  just saw the update...I definitely wouldn't worry about it then.  But, do go easy on them.  They did just go to a funeral and there's just no telling how they may have been delayed, had their cell phones die or just be too busy to call back.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 09:46:42 PM by johelenc1 »