Entertaining Guests with a Vegan Cobb Salad

Vegan Cobb Salad

Our dinner party took a little turn when the guests who were invited for dinner let us know they are following a vegan diet, which is also called a “plant-based diet.”

I really appreciated them letting us know, because honestly, I don’t mind changing things up a bit with my menu planning! Usually I make worry-free stand-by recipes. But this time I went to the Kathy from LunchboxBunch.com website and made her amazing Cobb Salad.

I figured salad was safe, right? Salad and pasta.

Vegan Cobb Salad

Vegan Cobb Salad

Vegan Cobb Salad

Vegan Cobb Salad

One thing I’ve learned about vegans is they don’t expect you to come up with a brand new meal for them. They are usually good with salad, maybe a hummus appetizer, and even chips and guacamole. My experience is that, just like anyone else, vegans are just grateful to be invited over.

Other ideas for last-minute guests who are eating a plant-based diet would be quick vegan standbys, like quesadillas with hummus, instead of cheese, to hold the ingredients together. There’s chickpea, beet veggie salads. I like the idea of hosting a salad bar in general – where guests with varying diets can make their own salad!

Cooking a different diet for guests might give you an initial “panic” but with the amazing Internet now, it’s so easy to find recipes! I asked on Facebook and received lots of replies and recommendations for sites/recipes from readers.

So don’t let fear stop you. Try a new recipe, and it’s okay to let your guests know that it’s a “new one.” That maybe you’re out of your “cooking zone” but you were willing to give it a shot!

I’m glad our guests said yes to our invite.

And I’m glad they let us know about their diet.

And I LOVE the new recipe I found and served, and we will make it again!

How do you handle different diets when entertaining?

Vegan Cobb Salad

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21 Responses to “Entertaining Guests with a Vegan Cobb Salad”

  1. #
    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — March 14, 2013 @ 5:56 am

    I love this post!!!! We love meat but we have also been eating more vegan, plant-based meals and it is astonishing how any delicious and easy ideas there are when you just get away from the “meat, starch, veg” concept of what a meal should be. Great post!

    • Sandy replied: — March 14th, 2013 @ 8:57 am

      We love meat, too, but we’re eating less of it (and less red, for sure). Thanks Liz!

  2. #
    Kristina — March 14, 2013 @ 6:05 am

    now THIS is my kind of salad, Sandy! having followed this style for years, I LOVE to entertain and show people how flavorful plant based can be! my “change” is often when I am cooking for meat eaters, either assigning Jason to cook/grill the meat, and or come up with creative dishes they will enjoy!

    this salad looks fantastic.

    • Sandy replied: — March 14th, 2013 @ 8:56 am

      thanks, girl!

  3. #
    marly — March 14, 2013 @ 7:04 am

    Oh, you KNOW I have to love this recipe! Having been a vegan for several years now I always am so impressed by people who have us over as guests and prepare something for us well. Of course, I always offer to bring our own food – I think that should be expected of anyone with a special diet. But that said, when someone offers to fix something, it’s so nice. And if they served this salad? I would be in hog heaven! Can I say that as a vegan? You know what I mean!

    • Sandy replied: — March 14th, 2013 @ 8:56 am

      So, Marly, … can you come for dinner? hee hee :)

  4. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — March 14, 2013 @ 7:10 am

    What a delicious salad and it is always a great idea to be so considerate of your guests.

  5. #
    Kirstin — March 14, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    This is a great post Sandy. I did one awhile back (probably needs to be updated), but we have so many friends with dietary preferences or needs now that one can easily get intimidated. I just opted to jump in with both feet and learn new recipes. I’ve posted several on my blog. I’m so glad I did. This recipe sounds yummy. I’ve never had hearts of palm.


    • Sandy replied: — March 14th, 2013 @ 8:55 am

      The hearts of palm actually reminded me of eggs, in a way. Yes, once you do it – it’s less intimidating. Love that you reached out to your friends and did that for them! Good hostess! :)

  6. #
    Shannon — March 14, 2013 @ 7:26 am

    I had this very issue come up when we invited a new couple to our church staff over for dinner! Everything I could think of had cheese or eggs or meat in it! I eventually settled on a burrito bowl type of approach and made meat as one of the toppings. I’ll add this idea to my repertoire! This post is so helpful, Sandy! Thanks for another great post and a very practical suggestion to accommodate all kinds of eaters!!

    • Sandy replied: — March 14th, 2013 @ 8:53 am

      I don’t mind accommodating at all, as long as I have ideas and enough time to plan! :)

  7. #
    Lisa | With Style and Grace — March 14, 2013 @ 7:26 am

    this is a great idea! who wouldn’t want this, vegan or not!?

    • Sandy replied: — March 14th, 2013 @ 8:52 am

      Agree, Lisa. It was fantastic.

  8. #
    Ginny McMeans — March 14, 2013 @ 9:57 am

    What a beautiful salad. I can’t wait to make it and serve it.

  9. #
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — March 14, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    beautiful salad. I’d go vegan for this. :)

  10. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — March 14, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    We are not vegan but eat a handful of vegetarian & vegan meals ever week. I love exploring things in the kitchen these ways!

  11. #

    I’ll be making that. Click. Print.

  12. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — March 15, 2013 @ 6:46 am

    It’s always great to have a few vegetarian, vegan and gluten free recipes at the ready for entertaining. Great salad : )

  13. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — March 15, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    Mmmmm…I could eat this salad most any day of the week!

  14. #
    Ali | Gimme Some Oven — March 17, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

    Love all of these colors! So many of my friends are vegan, so I’m always looking for recipes that work for everyone! :)

  15. #
    Shaina — March 22, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

    The hearts of palm are perfect in this. Love.

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