It’s not easy to sell non-vegans on a vegan meal. “Many people are afraid of healthy options like vegan foods because they fear they won’t be tasty,” but that simply isn’t true, says Jenn Adams, owner and chef of Fresh Thymes Café in Wilmington’s Trolley Square.
“I focus on cooking with a lot of vegetables, beans and lentils seasoned with herbs,” Adams says. Another trick to an appealing meal is to present a colorful plate.
“Veganism forced me to become more creative in the kitchen,” says Nicole Karam of Elsmere, who writes the vegan blog yaynomz.com. “There’s a misconception out there that vegan diets are very restrictive, but with veganism, your diet actually becomes more varied. It opens you up to a whole new world of foods, including legumes and grains.”
You don’t have be a zealot to gain the health benefits of vegan meals, either. “If you want to eat one more meatless meal a week, that’s great,” says Gretchen Hanson, owner and chef at Hobos Restaurant + Bar in Rehoboth Beach. She also encourages people to try meat alternatives such as veggie burgers (realizing that it will taste like vegetables, not meat) and Beyond Meat chicken, which patrons at her restaurant really enjoy.
“Veganism is really going mainstream,” Hanson says. “It’s about making healthier choices for ourselves, our animals and our planet.”
Whether you’re a vegan making a meal for non-vegan guests or a non-vegan looking to expand your cooking repertoire beyond meat-centered fare, here are some recipes to try.