I've been vegan for three years now. It's the best thing I've ever done for my self. I've learned so much about food. I've owned a BBQ restaurant and a Cafe. I've worked in every kind of restaurant, doing dishes and managing and everything in between. The biggest thing I've learned is that the SAD diet is the worst.
I'm starting to take on a new project. I live in a small town in New Mexico. It's a fairly conservative town. Typical fair is meat + potatoes and oh yeah a veggie. We're too small to make the menu vegan only. So i'm hoping to gradually introduce vegan meals.
What I'm looking for is what do you look for when you go out with their no-vegan friends -- What do you order at the non vegan restaurants? What should i put on the menu that might appeal to your non-vegan friends.
BTW, My attitude is that if your vegetarian then your only pretending to care,
definitely put some kind of seitan dish on the menu. you could do a "meat and potatoes" entree with a seitan steak and mashed potatoes, and some kind of green. also, everyone likes pasta. a pasta dish with a cashew cheese sauce would definitely be a crowd pleaser. and considering you live in the southwest, try a bean-based mexican dish. try black bean enchiladas or lentil tacos. sprinkle some vegan cheese in there, and people won't even know what they're missing!
Love Emily's suggestions! Wanted to add:that a yummy vegan Mac n' Cheese would be a hit. How about Veg Chili (or simple Veg Soup) or a Bean & Rice Bowl (w/grilled veggies, sour cream & guac on top)...could be served as a burrito/wrap, too. Grilled Veggies & Tofu would be good, too. One last suggestion: Veg Tamales (endless possibilities for the fillings) Good luck!
I know lots of omnivores who love lentils and black beans, so Emily's suggestions sound really wise. I also like Diana's suggestions! I'm not sure I'd include tofu, though, at least at first... meat-eaters have really nasty opinions about it and many in a conservative area probably wouldn't try it.
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