Vegetarian Entrees That Make Everyone Happy (Even Meat Eaters!)

On Tuesday I had a super fun lunch date! As (pretty much) a workaholic, lunch out with friends is often a rarity. I usually end up working through lunch, silently munching my eats whilst enjoying a phone conference or working with spreadsheets. I was really looking forward to getting out for fresh air to have some QT with a friend.

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I met up with Kelly of Foodie Fresh for a quick bite to eat at the Roots Farm Food truck.

(next four photos were shared by Kelly – thanks girl!)

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Kelly (looking fab in her pretty yellow sun dress may I add)

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Moi

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We both got the roasted chicken pita with sauteed squash and creamy sauce – plus side salads.

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Everything was wonderful as always!

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Hubby brought me an anniversary cupcake. Yup, our 3 year anniversary was Tuesday. You can read more about our wedding in the Bahamas by clicking here.

Anywho, I got stuck on a late phone conference until 7:15pm, so we didn’t celebrate Tuesday night. I was feeling pretty drained at getting home so late (I’d been there around 8:45am).

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Instead, we went out for a casual lunch al fresco at Mac’s Speed Shop.

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After my long day, I just wanted to decompress outside with fresh air and good local eats.

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I ordered the Big Boss Brewing Co. Angry Angel…

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…but ended up switching with hubb’s The Duck-Rabbit Amber Ale.

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Hubby and I ordered a combo plate to share. It was more than enough.

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Ribs, pulled pork, pulled turkey, beef brisket, texas toast, mac and cheese, and collard greens.

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Dinner was indeed relaxing and very enjoyable.

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After jumping late on the fitblog chat, I decided to bake.

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I worked on a play of those carrot cookies I’m obsessed with ordering at lunch, but a healthy version. I made it a little too healthy, though – it tasted kind of like a flour-y muffin-cookie. A mookie? Anywho, it needs tweaking before I share the recipe. Trust me…you wouldn’t want to bake it as is.

Vegetarian Entertaining – Vegetarian Entrees

So on Monday, I introduced four tips on Vegetarian Entertaining (for the Omnivore Host). At this point, you may be wondering, “Why are you talking about vegetarian entertaining when I clearly see meat dishes pictured above?” I am not a vegetarian or vegan. However, I appreciate both eating styles, and I have many friends who are vegetarian or vegan. I think especially being involved with the healthy living blog community, I’ve learned how to entertain for both my omnivore and meat-free friends at the same dinner party, so I’m sharing my tips with my other meat-eating friends for future entertaining events.

Yesterday, I talked about Side Dishes to entertain Vegetarians and Vegans.

If you want to sick with making your main course a meat-dish, and you don’t want (or can’t) make an additional vegetarian entree, then see yesterday’s post. Otherwise, read on for tips on making Vegetarian Entrees solo and ones that everyone (even meat-eaters) will like:

Make a Second Entree Vegetarian

If you’re an omnivore hosting a dinner party, chances are good the majority of your guests are meat eaters, too. You may want to make a meat dish as an entree for the majority, but you can also make an additional entree for your veg friends. I think if you did this, it would not be expected. I think your veg friends would be both surprised and thrilled to see that you took the time to make an extra entree just for them. So while this may not be the easiest solution, it is possibly one of the most impressive. If you have the time and the money, then go for it. You can make a smaller entree if the minority (or just one or two) guests are vegetarian. However, don’t be surprised if the other guests want to try out the veg-based entree.

Say you’re having a Mexican themed evening. You could make chicken enchiladas in the main baking dish, and a smaller version with just beans and cheese inside (probably best to put it in a separate baking dish) for your veg friends.

Whenever we’re grilling out, if my veg-friends are coming over, I love to make these easy Quinoa Veggie Burgers. And while hubby downs his beef burger, I usually prefer the quinoa one!

Let Your Veg Friend Bring an Additional Entree

See letting your veg friends bring a side dish from yesterday’s post.

Make the Main Entree Vegetarian

Some people may see making the main entree vegetarian as putting out your meat eating friends. However, just think of all the yummy things you (and probably they) eat all the time that are meat-free that you love. Cheese pizza anyone? And this veggie lasagna recipe by Kath rocks (I’ve made it a couple times now!). And for something a little more “crazy”, a noodle bowl is one of my fave vegetarian meals (I eat them all the time!)

If you’re really worried about the meat-eaters, you can always make one or two meat-based appetizers so they can get their fix, but really…a vegetarian or vegan meal can be enjoyed without even missing the meat! I do it all the time! Maybe they’ll discover a new dish to fall in love with. Maybe they’ll have an eating epiphany like I did so long ago.

Don’t Make an Entree at All

Let your guests make the entree. Let me explain…you could provide all the key ingredients that your guests could use to create their own perfect entree. A great example of this is a pizza party. I once went to an awesome pizza party at Kath’s house. Matt had made everyone their own pizza dough, and we all got to pick our toppings from a huge assortment of various veggies, cheeses, and other ingredients. You can do the same. It’s easy and entertaining. Omnivore friends can pile on the pepperoni. Vegetarians and Vegans can tailor their pie to their liking.

Go Exotic

Many eats in other cultures are commonly vegetarian. Host a themed party and roll with that idea. Try an Indian theme. Make your own naan (see previous topic about getting guests involved and let them choose their naan toppings – salt and pepper, cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes, and other basic ingredients could help them customize). Whip up some rice. Make Chana Masala. Yum!

Make Something Meat-Ish

Make something similar to something your omnivore friends are familiar with to ease them into eating sans meat. Some meat eaters are die-hard and will need coaxing. Everyone has at least one of these friends. You know who I’m talking about. Grilled tofu isn’t going to be as appetizing to them as Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie. The latter even looks like something they’re familiar with! Heck, just say it’s “Shepherd’s Pie” and see if they notice (ok only do that if you know them well enough to know that’s ok). That’s right meat-friend…come to the greeeeeen siiiiiide. ;)

Vegetarian Entree Recipes from around the blogosphere

Here are some wonderful vegetarian AND vegan entrees from my blog friends:

Know of any other good vegetarian/vegan entree recipes? Share the recipe link in a comment. :)

Entertaining for your vegetarian and vegan friends may seem scary at first, but it’s not only easy, it’s fun to think creatively on ways to keep everyone happy and full.

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Want to help get better vegetarian options at more social eat-togethers? Share these tips by clicking the Facebook-Like button, tweeting this post, or using one of the other “share” buttons at the end of this post.

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Vegetarian & vegan friends – What entrees do like to share with your omnivore friends and family?

Omnivores – What vegetarian/vegan entrees do you enjoy without missing the meat?

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Comments

  1. says

    Last year I went to a friend’s potluck bbq. I was the only vegetarian, so feasted on meat-free side dishes and salads, and brought some zucchini halloumi skewers for myself. I almost had none of them left, because some of the omnivores wanted to eat them, too!
    Lesson learned: Always bring a big batch of vegetarian dishes, some omnis might want to eat veggies, too!
    There are actually quite a few vegetarian dishes that my meat-eating friends love, like my Korean glass noodle salad (japchae) or savory veggie pancakes (with spicy soy sauce dip). Those are requested quite often at potlucks.

  2. says

    I’ve never known anyone who turned down a falafel! I think I would throw a Mediterranean-themed party, since that food culture loves its meat (lamb, beef) and also appreciates the veg (hummus, falafel, etc)!

    Thanks for bringing up this topic that affects my life pretty much every time my friends get together for meals :)

    • says

      A Mediterranean party would be so fun…and tasty! A Mediterranean meal was the first way I learned I could go meat-free without missing the meat.

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