This past week, we had the immense pleasure of hosting my mother and my niece for several days. We had a blast going to Sea World for two days, celebrating my grandson's birthday party, and more. Of course, all of our fun also involved plenty of food, but the twist is that my niece is a vegan. She doesn't eat any animal products, such as meat, milk, eggs, honey or any of their byproducts. So I took a visit to Aldi to see what I could find, and we also bought a lot of food at Walmart and Publix after she arrived.
The first night, I planned a chili buffet and invited the whole family, including my adult daughters and their families. We kept almost all of the ingredients a la carte so people could choose what they were able to eat. This doubled for good kosher options, too, since my oldest daughter's family eats a minimal-meat semi-kosher Mediterranean diet. Our chili fixings were seasoned chili beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, garlic spaghetti sauce, sauteed peppers and onions -- as well as non-vegan ground beef, baked beans with bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese. We set out salad ingredients like spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, croutons, and sliced cucumber. The girls also made a fresh fruit salad with green apples, peaches, pineapple, etc. We let each guest butter their own french bread as desired, since butter is non-vegan. For drinks, we made lemonade and added in some Tazo peach tea.
|My grandson loves his meatless chili, fresh fruit, and French bread.|
|We had lots of leftovers to put away in the fridge.|
It's a good thing we have stackable Rubbermaid!
We dipped into these for snacks a few times while she was here,
then mixed all of the chili stuff together for dinner tonight.
|Another night my niece fixed herself a Boca burger|
and made one for me too. It was good,
and so much less fat than a beef hamburger!
|Not all veggie burgers are vegan. Some have egg in them.|
You have to look at the ingredient list.
When we were at Sea World eating in a restaurant,
we had to ask for the ingredient list when ordering.
Yes, the Garden Burger is vegan.
|Fresh produce can be expensive,|
but it is pretty affordable at Aldi.
|Soy milk, almond milk and cereal for breakfast.|
She also ate a lot of peanut butter on flat bread,
as well as vegan protein bars like the Lemon Zest Luna Bar.
|When we went to my grandson's birthday party, |
my daughter offered ice cream made from coconut milk
for the vegan option.
For sweets, Oreos are now vegan. Yum!
|The girls made a salad and veggie dinner one night.|
The chips are Pringles multi-grain,
served with red pepper hummus.
Not all of the salad dressings are vegan -
certainly not the creamy ranch!
For healthier eating (at least some of the time!)