How to Cater for 
Vegans & Vegetarians

Going meat-free is one of the fastest growing lifestyles in the UK, with over 165,000 people giving up the consumption of animal products for this years annual January Veganuary. The Vegan Society have stated that they believe this alternative lifestyle will only grow with the next generation, as almost half of the 3 million vegans in the UK are aged 15-34.

So how do we adopt this new mainstream lifestyle into our own menus? When planning to host people in our homes it’s now commonplace to have at least one meat-free guest coming to dine, so this guide will help you get to grips on how to cater for your meat-free friends and family- what to buy, what to cook, and how to cook it.

Ideas for meat-free options on your menus.

The days of serving a stuffed pepper or peas and chips are long gone in the meat-free world, there are so many fantastic alternatives and new recipes for our vegetarian and vegan friends- you can truly make anything meat-free now with a whole range of tastes and flavours. (Did you know there’s now vegan Tuna? It’s made from cassava root and bell pepper)


Grains such as quinoa and oats are packed with protein and can be the base for a whole range of sweet and savoury meat-free dishes. They can be used in bowls of salad or combined with ingredients such as black beans to make tasty veggie burgers.


Chickpeas and lentils are used in many veggie dishes to give more depth of flavour and texture. They have an earthy flavour and chewy texture, and are used as substitutes in dishes such as cottage pie, chilli, stew and curry. (Remember- you need a milk alternative for dairy based dishes if you want to be vegan friendly)  


If you want something a little closer to the texture of meat, foods containing cooked soy-beans such as tempah and tofu are great for their nutty taste and texture. When using soy-based foods it’s important to use the right marinades, as they base food is usually bland and flavourless. Using marinades such as smoky BBQ sauce or sweet and sour sauce allow for you to create meals such as BBQ tofu ribs, tacos and stir fry. 


Oh course it seems simple, feeding the vegetarian vegetables- but they’re probably vegetarian for a reason! Vegetables can be delicious when cooked properly and with the right seasoning. Dishes like cauliflower cheese, vegetable fajitas or burritos, or a mushroom lasagne can really be a 5-star dish with good quality products and the correct seasoning. You can find thousands of original tasty ideas for veggie dishes online, so you don’t have to worry about serving bland food to your meat-free guests anymore! 

Make sure to avoid cross-contamination

It’s important to make sure that you’re not mixing any animal products into the meat-free food options, and this includes not using the same knives, chopping boards, spatulas, and spoons for different dishes. It’s important to our vegetarian and vegan friends that they can trust you to cook their food for them ethically, so be a good host and make sure to keep their food separate.