Author Topic: Must I Accommadate? How Much?  (Read 4809 times)

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Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2007, 12:07:29 PM »
I second (and third) the individuals who suggested a separate entree for the vegan.  While I would be a bit disappointed to get Amy's macaroni and soy or Boca chili at a dinner party with such an incredible menu, you were only given two days notice of an extra guest with extreme dietary issues.  If it's Boca or bust, Boca is a thoughtful choice.
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veryfluffy

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2007, 12:19:27 PM »
It's probably too late now, but I think the best thing would have been to tell your friend that maybe this isn't the best time to invite his new girlfriend along. I think it is above-and-beyond to be accommodate a vegan at the last minute. It would have been one thing if you had known all along, but while one can perfectly respect the choice to be vegan, it is a bit much to cater to that at short notice.

I would suggest getting some kind of pre-made tofu entree (keep the packaging so she can read the ingredients!) that you can bung in the microwave, and leaving some of the salad that she can dress with plain olive oil and vinegar. She can make do with fruit for dessert.
   

tabigarasu

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2007, 01:02:42 PM »
I agree with the others who say that you should talk to her or to the friend who invited her. I also agree that you don't have to make her a special meal, but it would be sweet of you if you did.

I don't know where you live, but if you are not near a big city, it might be hard to find vegan sides/entrees at the deli counter.  There are lots of what I call "hidden meat" ingredients that not all deli counter workers are aware of.  If you are buying an asian dish ready made, make sure to ask about fish sauce, oyster sauce, bonito flakes, and any other seafood products. If you are buying something typically western, check for margarine, whey, cream, butter, milk, mayonaise.  With lots of deli workers you have to specify each and every one of those, because if you just say "dairy products" they might forget that whey comes from milk.  There is also an enormous list of food dyes and preservatives that come from animal products as well.

If you do decide to make her a special meal, here are some ideas for quick and easy things you can buy, that are not likely to have any hidden "gotchas", to whip up a vegan meal with very little prep time.

Appetizer: 

Jullienned veggies with hummous or tahini
Spiced olives from the deli counter served with tortillas or syrian bread (Check the ingredients. Most flatbreads only contain flour and water and preservatives, but some contain whey, margarine, or butter)
Corn tortilla chips (again check the ingredients for whey, margarine, or butter, but these are typically okay) with salsa.

Starch:
Storebought french bread/bread rolls are often vegan. Ingredients to look out for are, again, whey, margarine, butter.
White rice. If you are really ambitious you can saute some onions and frozen peas in olive oil then toss them in.
Most storebought flatbreads

Main dish:
Stir fry veggies
Spinach and pinenuts sauteed in olive oil
Spaghetti (check the ingredients on the box for eggs and whey, but many brands are vegan) with tomato sauce.
Portobello mushroom sauteed in olive oil, served on a  multigrain roll with burger fixin's (lettuce, tomato, red onion, mustard, but check the ingredients first).


Salad:
Keep some of the greens reserved before you add th ceaser dressing to the rest. If you don't already have a vegan dressing in your fridge, you can whip together equal parts balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, with a splash of lemon and some dried rosemary. 

Dessert:
Fresh fruit
Most citrus sorbets are vegan, but you might want to check with her to see if she has an aversion to refined sugar. Since refined sugar is filtered through charcoal made from bone, many vegans won't eat it.  If you have a health foods store or Trader Joes or something in your town, you can find sorbet/ice "cream" labled as vegan friendly.

Nonsequitur

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2007, 01:17:42 PM »
Twik, I said "Caesar-type."  Soy cheese, skip the anchovies, etc.  Of course you can't have a true Caesar salad that's vegan.  It's a compromise for a situation where compromise might be a good option.

I don't think the host needs to make an additional entree.  Soon hosts will have to cook separate entrees for all their guests' dietary needs and wishes, turning a dinner party into a restaurant.  When I invited my neighbor and his vegan brother for dinner, I cooked something they both would enjoy.  If I had invited only my neighbor and he asked if his brother could come along, I'd have said "No, I only have enough for the two of us" or "I hope he likes chicken."

The goof is the friend's, for not checking into things ahead of time and either advising his date about the meal so she'd have the chance to decline, or asking the host if she would be able to accomodate this person's diet.  Unfortunately he did not, which creates awkwardness for both his date and the host.

twinkletoes

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2007, 01:19:33 PM »
Just want to chime in again and say that I hope it all goes well!  Is she coming, after all?

Twik

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2007, 04:01:45 PM »
Twik, I said "Caesar-type."  Soy cheese, skip the anchovies, etc.  Of course you can't have a true Caesar salad that's vegan.  It's a compromise for a situation where compromise might be a good option.

NOOOO! Caesar salad is my "signature dish"! I do not compromise! (Waves cheese-grater around wildly.)

I would, however, be willing to go with an entirely different type of salad dressing. Oil, balsamic, some garlic and a few herbs should be acceptable to vegans, should it not?
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Lady Vavasour

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2007, 10:19:15 PM »


Appetizer: 

Jullienned veggies with hummous or tahini
Spiced olives from the deli counter served with tortillas or syrian bread (Check the ingredients. Most flatbreads only contain flour and water and preservatives, but some contain whey, margarine, or butter)
Corn tortilla chips (again check the ingredients for whey, margarine, or butter, but these are typically okay) with salsa.

Starch:
Storebought french bread/bread rolls are often vegan. Ingredients to look out for are, again, whey, margarine, butter.
White rice. If you are really ambitious you can saute some onions and frozen peas in olive oil then toss them in.
Most storebought flatbreads

Main dish:
Stir fry veggies
Spinach and pinenuts sauteed in olive oil
Spaghetti (check the ingredients on the box for eggs and whey, but many brands are vegan) with tomato sauce.
Portobello mushroom sauteed in olive oil, served on a  multigrain roll with burger fixin's (lettuce, tomato, red onion, mustard, but check the ingredients first).


Salad:
Keep some of the greens reserved before you add th ceaser dressing to the rest. If you don't already have a vegan dressing in your fridge, you can whip together equal parts balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, with a splash of lemon and some dried rosemary. 

Dessert:
Fresh fruit
Most citrus sorbets are vegan, but you might want to check with her to see if she has an aversion to refined sugar. Since refined sugar is filtered through charcoal made from bone, many vegans won't eat it.  If you have a health foods store or Trader Joes or something in your town, you can find sorbet/ice "cream" labled as vegan friendly.

These are really great, simple suggestions. I'd suggest providing some wholemeal/muiltigrain bread, because it has some protein in it (one mistake that non-vegetarians/vegans often make when cooking for veggies is to give them no protein at all). If by chance you have a breadmaker you can make really easy vegan wholemeal bread. Likewise, if you cook pasta/spaghetti, try to choose wholemeal pasta.

But, to the original poster: honestly, I think it is a little rude for this woman to accept this invitation. She must be aware--or have a good idea--that her dietary restrictions are forcing you to accommodate her at the last moment.

lovinAZ

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2007, 10:28:56 PM »
http://www.peta.org/accidentallyVegan/

This is a link to a ton of food at the regular ol' grocery store that is vegan.  If you're looking at other items, most things with dairy in them have a warning on the label somewhere that they contain milk products (for allergy purposes).  Including non-dairy creamer.  Anyway, that should help.  Be careful on breads and the like -- they're pretty 50-50 vegan or not.

Also, if you're wanting/willing, there is vegan margarine available (to make biscuits with -- I'm not sure what else is in your recipe).

An easy, vegan, amazingly yummy salad dressing: equal parts olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinaigrette.  On greens with craisins and oranges is very very very good :)

Ondine

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2007, 12:16:51 AM »
My friend Jess's mom is a vegan, and Jess's favourite thing to make is 'veggie fries'. You cut up carrots and sweet potatoes, brush them with olive oil, and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, just like you would regular french fries.

leaf_eater

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2007, 03:12:32 AM »
Speaking as a long time vegan (almost 20 years) if he didn't mention any other restrictions, you should avoid animal flesh of any species, milk and milk products, eggs and honey. if she doesn't eat sugar or soy or whatever that should have been mentioned to you along with the veganism. Something to consider is that providing only one or two things for your vegan guest in a multi course meal might lead to awkward gaps where she has nothing in front of her.

As put upon as you might feel, it would be gracious of you to not show it to your vegan guest. Personally I'd rather not attend than feel like I've caused a problem for my hosts. That said, I've had some lovely vegan meals while friends and family enjoyed their decidedly nonvegan repast, it was a matter of the hosts' attitude - putting forth a little effort, not making a big deal of the accomodation, no teasing, etc.

As an aside, don't think we vegans don't deal with these issues also. I have various friends, vegan and otherwise, who don't eat soy, wheat, processed foods, mushrooms, eggplant, walnuts, onions, "gooshy" foods, etc. It can be disappointing to have an ideal menu in your head and then realize so-and-so can't eat it. I tend to over do it when I host, so having two or three entrees and a variety of side dishes is normal. But if I'm only bringing one dish to a potluck I'll shoot for the lowest common denominator. Lately, this has been a delicious pepita pate (think pumpkin seed hummus with Mexican flavors) that is not only vegan but raw. My nonvegan coworkers absolutely loved it at the St Patty's potluck we had last week.

aloe

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2007, 04:08:58 AM »
I'm a vegetarian and many times I find the simplest, easiest foods very satisfying.
A baked potato can be thrown in the oven. I like it with olive oil and salt.  A simple green salad, and iced tea :-)  That's what I order when I eat in 'steak house type' restaurants with friends who eat meat.

sparksals

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2007, 01:16:47 PM »
Speaking as a long time vegan (almost 20 years) if he didn't mention any other restrictions, you should avoid animal flesh of any species, milk and milk products, eggs and honey. if she doesn't eat sugar or soy or whatever that should have been mentioned to you along with the veganism. Something to consider is that providing only one or two things for your vegan guest in a multi course meal might lead to awkward gaps where she has nothing in front of her.

As put upon as you might feel, it would be gracious of you to not show it to your vegan guest. Personally I'd rather not attend than feel like I've caused a problem for my hosts. That said, I've had some lovely vegan meals while friends and family enjoyed their decidedly nonvegan repast, it was a matter of the hosts' attitude - putting forth a little effort, not making a big deal of the accomodation, no teasing, etc.

As an aside, don't think we vegans don't deal with these issues also. I have various friends, vegan and otherwise, who don't eat soy, wheat, processed foods, mushrooms, eggplant, walnuts, onions, "gooshy" foods, etc. It can be disappointing to have an ideal menu in your head and then realize so-and-so can't eat it. I tend to over do it when I host, so having two or three entrees and a variety of side dishes is normal. But if I'm only bringing one dish to a potluck I'll shoot for the lowest common denominator. Lately, this has been a delicious pepita pate (think pumpkin seed hummus with Mexican flavors) that is not only vegan but raw. My nonvegan coworkers absolutely loved it at the St Patty's potluck we had last week.

I think there's a difference between being a gracious hostess and having this situation dumped on her at the last minute.  If I had ample time ahead, I would certainly do my best to accommodate, but in this situation, it was so last minute that the vegan guest should have told the guy the situation he was putting the hostess.

Essentially, if the vegan attended, the hostess would be obligated to make an entire 2nd meal to accommodate her, which I think is unreasonable - especially at the last minute.  I agree that putting forth a little effort is fine, but in this situation, it requires alot of effort on the part of the hostess - all at the last minute. 

leaf_eater

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2007, 07:55:44 PM »

I think there's a difference between being a gracious hostess and having this situation dumped on her at the last minute.  If I had ample time ahead, I would certainly do my best to accommodate, but in this situation, it was so last minute that the vegan guest should have told the guy the situation he was putting the hostess.

Essentially, if the vegan attended, the hostess would be obligated to make an entire 2nd meal to accommodate her, which I think is unreasonable - especially at the last minute.  I agree that putting forth a little effort is fine, but in this situation, it requires alot of effort on the part of the hostess - all at the last minute. 

I agree and I wouldn't attend if I thought it was causing problems for the hostess. I politely decline invitations when I think my diet might cause someone else a headache.

I also wouldn't - and I didn't say that the OP was suggesting that she would, either  - treat the guest poorly because of her clueless bf. I've been in a somewhat similar situation (hosts were not informed I was vegan by clueless person who had invited me along) and it's no fun feeling like an inconvenience instead of a guest.