Cooking for Meat-Eaters

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Being a vegetarian is nowhere near as hard as most meat eaters seem to imagine it is. Once you make a switch before long you hardly miss meat at all. However, there is one time when only cooking with veg becomes a problem: When it’s time to entertain meat-eating guests.

It’s natural that, having given up meat yourself, you don’t want to have to prepare it for other people. But at the same time you don’t particularly want to watch your friends trying to be polite as they realise there’s no steak on the menu.

Ideally you want to find a way to cook that’s going to satisfy their carnivorous urges without actually having to cook any dead animal. Fortunately there are a few ways round this if you follow these three simple tips:

Don’t Try to Replicate Meat

A large number of vegetarian food products try to create the effect of meat without actually using any, often by falling back on soy or tofu based analogues. Whether it’s veggie bacon, mince or sausages, the truth is these never really hit the mark. The fact is these are no good for meat eaters or veggies. Vegetarians who’ve been at it for a while don’t really miss meat all that much anyway, while for meat eaters the meat substitute can never match up to the real thing.

Don’t try to beat meat at its own game. Instead, dive into the best of vegetarian cuisine. Instead of serving burgers made up with some kind of vague mince substitute, try a spicy lentil burger that is delicious while remaining defiantly unlike any meat dish you could think of. Instead of filling a curry with chunks of tofu on the off chance that they taste like chicken, make up a curry with butternut squash for a completely different, but delicious taste.

Don’t Hold Back on the Oil and Salt

One of the biggest differences between your diet and that of your meat eating friends isn’t actually the meat. It’s that the meat also brings a whole lot of extra oil and fat into their diets. If you’ve been living a largely carnivorous diet it can seem that you’re conditioned to think you’ve not had a decent meal unless there was a good dollop of oil involved. Up the quantities of oil and salt you’d usually use and watch the meat eaters wolf it down.

Remember the Veggie Meals They Probably Eat Already

The fact is even the most dedicated meat eaters will still have their own vegetarian favourites that they probably haven’t even noticed are vegetarian. Pizzas always taste nicer with vegetarian toppings, five bean chilli is a popular dish, and all sorts of Indian dishes use no meat at all. There are loads of delicious, low fat recipes that your guests will enjoy without even noticing the lack of bacon.