The Vegetarian at the Dinner Party

How do you handle the vegetarian dinner guest is the question for today.  Hopefully you have been informed ahead of time that one of your guests is a vegetarian.  The next thought is how to accommodate your guest without having to take on a lot of extra work.

Obviously you want all of your guests to feel welcome and accepted. To that end I have tried various options and I’m still not sure which is the best.  Here’s what I’ve done in the past.

Option 1:  Make a special dish for the vegetarian only.  Once I made a bolognese sauce for my non-vegetarian guests and a zucchini pasta for the vegetarians.  The problem was that the vegetarian pasta ended up getting passed around and the meat-lovers tried it as well.  Oops.  I had not made enough for everyone to have the vegetarian option.   But, it would be relatively easy to make pasta with two different toppings, one meat and one vegetarian which is what I would do next time.  My vegetarian topping was super easy:  Roast sliced zucchini drizzled in olive oil and sea salt for 20 minutes in the oven.  Place the roasted zucchini in a bowl and combine with your favorite jarred tomato sauce.  Everyone loved it!

Option 2:  Everyone could be vegetarian for a night.  I have some good vegetarian recipes and we do eat vegetarian a couple of nights a week around here.  Mr. DB isn’t crazy about this idea though, feeling that when you have guests you should roll out your best and fanciest meal.  For him that usually means a meal that includes meat.


Option 3:  The focal point of your meal could be meat, such as Prime Rib or Roasted Chicken and you can have a lot of vegetable sides.  Also, it’s always good to have bread.

My vegetarian friends are not fussy and usually say that they will make a meal out of the side dishes or whatever.  But, we have occasionally had a work colleague or someone we don’t know as well who is vegetarian and we want them to feel welcome.  I mean we want everyone to feel welcome and be fed.

What do you do when you have a mixed crowd at dinner?  I’m sure there are some options I haven’t thought of.

Here are a few vegetarian recipes I plan to try:

Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice

Roasted Eggplant Pasta

Zucchini Quiche

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