Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

Jo will make every attempt to answer each question personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also possible that your question will be answered directly in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual response.

If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner!

question.gif - 1.4 KWhat is a polite way to tell a host my dietary preferences upon accepting a dinner invitation?

answer.gif - 1.3 K It is always thoughtful and courteous to tell the host your dietary requirements as soon as possible after an invitation has been extended. Few things are as disconcerting or embarrassing at a dinner party (for both the guest and the host) than for a guest to find nothing suitable to eat.

There's no shortcut to disclosing the fact that you're vegan. Be honest but tactful in your approach. Explain briefly what being vegan means in terms of your diet. Let your host know what specific items are and are not acceptable. Remember, this may be the host's first encounter with such an "unconventional" way of eating, so she or he may be puzzled as to what to prepare for you.

Reach out to your host as much as possible. Mention some familiar vegan foods the host might want to prepare (such as hummus with pita bread; pasta salad with vinaigrette dressing; breadcrumb-stuffed mushrooms, etc.). Offer to supply some simple vegan recipes for the event (as an adjunct to the nonvegan foods that will be served, not as a replacement), or suggest preparing a dish to bring with you when you come. Ask what type of dish would be preferable (appetizer, entrée, dessert, etc.). Some hosts are offended by guests bringing a dish to their event, feeling that this could imply they are incompetent. Try to be sensitive to this issue, and do what you can to find a comfortable solution for both you and your host.

Most hosts are delighted to be as accommodating as possible once they clearly understand what to buy or cook for a vegan. If your host doesn't want to cook something special and seems uneasy with the idea of you making a supplemental dish, recommend a few brand-name vegan products or locally prepared vegan foods and let the host know which nearby stores carry them.

If, even after speaking with the host, you are concerned you'll leave the party hungry, eat a light meal before you go. Don't fill up too much, though. In case your host pleasantly surprises you with lots of vegan goodies, you'll want to be sure you still have plenty of appetite left to show your enthusiastic appreciation!




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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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