Here's the One Important Thing to Know When Hosting Vegan Guests for Thanksgiving

Here's the One Important Thing to Know When Hosting Vegan Guests for Thanksgiving

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Hali Bey Ramdene
Nov 13, 2015
(Image credit: Liz Apple)

Let's start off with a definition, since clarity is the best place to begin when cooking for a guest with certain restrictions: Veganism is a plant-based dietary strategy that excludes any and all products that come from animals. The elimination of meat is explicit, but it's worth saying that things vegetarians might eat — like eggs and dairy products — are completely off the list for vegans.

Just like any other diet or lifestyle, the definition of the diet is tailored even further on the individual level. Regardless of the semantics surrounding the word vegan, and regardless of how it's interpreted on the micro level, when it comes to cooking for your vegan (and vegetarian) family and friends, chicken broth is completely off the the table. Even a little splash. Even a little whisper.

Yep. No chicken broth, which feels like a truly obvious thing to say after giving you the definition of veganism, but let's be fair here — sometimes the sheer absence of meat can make a dish feel vegan-friendly.

Beyond meat, eggs, and cheese, ingredients like gelatin (think Jell-O, marshmallows, etc.) and Worcestershire sauce are stealthy products that contain animal products that most vegans avoid. The stance on more contentious items, like honey and even oysters, take on an even deeper level of personal choice and show up as a specific interpretation of veganism.

But the broth is a biggie. If you're making a vegan dish, leave it out and look for a robust vegetable broth — homemade or purchased — instead.

(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)
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