How to Welcome Dietary Restrictions at your Holiday Feast


Holidays as a lifelong vegetarian

I was eight when I became a vegetarian. I did it mostly because I was a picky little kid and I didn’t like meat. But I also loved animals, and as I got older I became more aware of the negative impacts the meat industry has on the environment. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost my entire life and holidays are consistently stressful. My dietary choices are a topic of conversation and scrutiny around the holiday table.

How to be courteous of a strict diet during holiday gatherings

“Well, hot dogs aren’t real meat so you can eat that right?” 

  • Wether you are cooking for a vegetarian or someone with a deadly nut allergy it is important that you fully understand what their dietary restrictions are, ask questions, do research and be courteous.
  • Don’t ask questions about why someone chose the diet they chose, unless you are legitimately curious. Often people ask me “why are you a vegetarian” just so they can segue-way into telling me they think I’m unhealthy.
  • Please don’t act like you are inconvenienced by someone’s diet. I guarantee that living with dietary restrictions is more inconvenient than having to accommodate them for one holiday season.
  • Seize the opportunity to cook outside your usual box. Side dishes are not a meal. Try cooking something new, maybe you’ll even love it enough to add it to your usual menu.

Vegetarian/Vegan Ideas

As always, Pinterest is an incredible resources for recipes. Here are a few that I’ve tried and loved.

Polenta with roasted veggies

This can easily be modified to be vegan, and I like to season the veggies with chipotle and and maple syrup.

Stuffed Butternut Squash 

I haven’t tied this one yet, but if it tastes half as good as it looks…

Grilled Veggie Fajitas

The holiday season in Flag isn’t exactly prime grill weather but these fajitas are so incredible I’m happy to brave the cold to make them.

What about dessert?

Cashews, soaked overnight and put in a food processor make a fantastic vegan substitute for cream cheese, and can even be used to make vegan cheesecakes.

What are some of your favorite holiday recipes?