Getting your non-vegan friends to try and even enjoy vegan meals isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish. Sometimes, you just have to leave out that one detail about it being vegan before you all sit down to share a meal. You can reveal your secret after they have enjoyed the fare. You may be surprised by their reactions.
So, what are some vegan dishes that you can serve non-vegans that they will absolutely love? Here are a few that should do the trick:
Breakfast Smoothie Bowl
Smoothie bowls are trending right now. They are basically a smoothie served in a bowl, just like you would serve oatmeal with toppings. Here is a recipe that will fill you up and hit all the sweet notes.
Frozen Banana Smoothie Bowl
Adjust recipe to serve more than 1 person
- 1 cup (250 Ml) nut milk
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1/4 cup (40 g) avocado flesh
- 2 TBS (10 mL) almond butter
- 1 TBS (12 g) chia seeds
- 1 large pitted date
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 or 2 ice cubes
- 2 Fresh sliced strawberries or a handful of blueberries
- Granola of choice - Oh She Glows has a good recipe.
- Blend all ingredients until smooth. If too thick, add more milk.
- Pour into bowls, and add toppings. Serve immediately.
Lunch is the perfect time to enjoy individual flatbreads or mini pizzas. The great thing about this is that you can prepare the dough ahead of time and have a variety of toppings for your friends to create their own flavor profiles.
Jim Lahey's no-knead, fat free, pizza dough recipe is great if you are looking to serve lean meals. Have your friends help by giving them each a small ball of the dough and let them stretch it out for their personal flatbreads. Have bowls of toppings, such as marinara sauce, almond cheese, vegan arugula pesto, olives, and grilled asparagus. Bake in a preheated 450 ˚F (230˚ C) oven for up to 15 to 22 minutes, depending on your oven.
Crunchy Thai Salad
If you like filling salads, your guests will as well when they try this one dish meal. A salad with plenty of texture, color, and a little spice will please any palate and delight the eyes. In addition to the colorful vegetables, such as red cabbage, carrots, and red bell peppers, there are crunchy ramen noodles and caramelized cashews. The cashews add some healthy fat and protein to this meal. It is all dressed with a red curry sauce and a squeeze of lime juice. The recipe is courtesy of The recipe is courtesy of One Green Planet.
Shepherd’s Pie Dinner Entrée
A vegan shepherd’s pie has the heartiness and protein of the traditional pie without the fat from dairy and meat. Lentils replace the protein dense meat, while adding dietary fiber. Non-dairy milk works just fine in the mashed topping. Your friends will wolf this down with a mixed green salad and some crusty bread on the side. Serve this with a pint of stout or ale for an authentic experience. This recipe is from Food 52.
Mac and “Cheese”
Even vegans get a craving for something resembling a classic baked macaroni and cheese. Candice Kumai, a well respected chef and wellness promoter, has developed a vegan version of mac and cheese that will wow you and your friends.
This recipe is velvety and rich with pureed butternut squash and creamy coconut milk. The panko bread crumb topping adds a little crunch. This might be one of those late night comfort snacks after having been out. Make it ahead of time and re-heat it. You can find the recipe at her website.
As you browse through these recipes, you can get a sense of just how tasty and decadent vegan food can be, while still being lean and healthy. Your non-vegan friends will appreciate the effort you have put into convincing them that vegan meals can be delicious and satisfying.
Mia Morales is a freelance writer with a passion for organic food, exercise and healthy living!