When a Vegan comes to dinner: Labor Day Edition
My omnivore friends and family have been asking for help with planning more vegan friendly menus, so I thought I would share my advice with all of you. Here's my biggest tip: don't just make your meals vegan friendly - make them as inclusive as possible. Vegan, whole food, plant-based, gluten free, soy free and nut free.
Because when you center your menu on inclusivity, everyone can eat. EVERYONE. And you send a message to all of your guests that they are welcome in your home and you're willing to go beyond your usual diet ideas to make sure they're included. Now, that is a recipe for a great gathering!
I know that creating a menu of vegan, whole food, plant-based, gluten free, soy free and nut free items can feel daunting, so I wanted to go ahead and do the work for you for our next upcoming holiday: Labor Day.
Here is a sample menu. If you're grilling, you might want to pick up a brand new grill rack to prepare vegan items - leftovers from previous animal meat can make a vegan sick because vegans loose the ability to process animal proteins after awhile. Pick up a BBQ sauce that is labeled vegan and gluten free.
Inclusive Labor Day Menu
Watermelon Salsa - Watermelon, red onion, mango, cilantro, lime, and jalapeno to taste.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes -Marinate in BBQ sauce and throw 'em on the grill.
Grilled Peaches - Put those late summer beauties right on the grill. Enjoy!
Grilled Corn - Grab some fresh corn from a local farm and put those right on the grill, husk or no husk. If you grill with the husk on, just de-silk first and cover them back up. Grill about 10 minutes.
Grilled Portobello Burgers - Grab some whole portobellos, rub a little olive oil on and pop 'em on the grill. We usually rub them with a little bit of soy sauce when preparing them just for ourselves, but for a more inclusive menu, you can omit. Don't forget gluten free bun options!
Build Your Own Burrito Bowl - Put out some cooked brown rice, cooked black beans, red onion, corn, tomatoes, and cooked qunioa. People can top their delicious bowl with guacamole, BBQ sauce, or the watermelon salsa
Guac - A classic that should never be overlooked. Pick some up or make your own: avocado, tomato, salt, lemon or lime juice, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno to taste.
Tortilla chips - Naturally gluten free and easy to pair with your salsa and guac.
Build Your Own Baked Potato - Wrap some baked potatoes in foil and put 'em right on the grill. Everyone can top them with all of the same great items in the build your own burrito bowl from black beans to corn, tomatoes, etc.
With all of this delicious plant-based goodness, you will have very satisfied guests for your end of summer cookout!