Dilemma: Your awesome, meat and cheese-loving friends have invited you to a holiday bash. Your friends might be awesome but, you don’t want to let the possible food temptations side-track your clean-eating, vegan progress. Because really, if you have one piece of chocolate cake at this party, you know it will lead you down a dark path of poor food choices.
Seriously though, attending parties like this can be stressful if you’re not prepared. Your will power may be strong at the beginning of the party but, by the end, when you’re starving and spent, you might actually hear the creamy, dairy-laden spinach dip calling your name. Even if you don’t cheat at the party, you might find yourself gorging when you get home in a desperate attempt to replace lost calories.
In order to prevent temptations and overeating from side-tracking you, bring a healthy dish to the party. If it’s a potluck, it’s no problem – just tell the host what you’ll be bringing. If it’s not a potluck and it’s catered by the hosts, it’s best if you tell your host right away about your food requirements. Your host would rather know ahead of time what he’s dealing with. (No eggs, sugar or dairy, oh my!) That way he can plan a side-dish or entree that will suit your needs. Whether or not it’s a potluck dinner, you can always insist on bringing something with you to the meal. You will take a lot of burden off the host and cook, that they might not otherwise express. Once you’re living a vegan lifestyle, it can be easy to determine what you can and cannot eat but, to an “outsider” it can be pure torture. If you bring enough for everyone to enjoy, perhaps you might even change a few minds about vegan eating while you’re there!
For the sake of reality, let’s assume there is very little if nothing for you to eat at the party. Whether your communication with the host beforehand was limited or it was a last minute invite, you may not have time to bring something with you. In these cases, always eat before the party. In a pinch, you can stop at a grocery store to pick-up some nut or soy-based milk, fresh veggie sushi rolls and nuts to eat on the way to the party. That way, you can hang around the veggie tray at the party without having hunger pangs and desires for the pumpkin pie on the dessert cart.
Here are some great recipes that your meat-eating friends won’t hate you for bringing…
– Make a protein-packed dish everyone will love with Pineapple Fried Quinoa
– Keep the guests guessing with Vegetable Frittata
– Cook up a side-dish that eats like a meal with Quinoa with Roasted Root Veggies and Currants
– Spice things up with some Curried Lentil Soup
– Bring an antioxidant boosting dish like Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Shallots and Crispy Kale Ribbons
What?! You don’t have time to cook?
Image Source: saaleha/Flickr