The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Vegetarians: Tell us how you cope at cookouts

Summer has unofficially begun, and chances are you’ve already been to a cookout, barbecue or picnic to celebrate. But if you’re a vegetarian like me or my co-worker Stepfanie, you know all too well the trials and tribulations of taking part in one of these time-honored summer traditions. So, how do you deal with it? Do you resign yourself to piling your plate high with potato chips and pasta salad? Do you let the host know about your dietary restrictions ahead of time? Do you bring your own veggie burgers, dogs or other dishes? If so, what are they? We’re putting together a summer cookout survival guide of sorts for vegetarians (and for party hosts, be they carnivores or herbivores), and we’re looking for your etiquette tips, favorite products and recipes. Post them here in the comments, or e-mail them to lbishop@enquirer.com or sromine@enquirer.com. Thanks!


at 12:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think summer bbq's are the one event (aside from potluck) where it's not considered poor form to b.y.o.p or "bring your own protein".
lord knows i've eaten more veggie burgers in my years than the most avid carnivore has eaten hamburgers. this is mostly due to terrified family members who have no idea what to feed a vegetarian.

i typically bring my own veggie dogs or burgers. veggie patch and boca have a surprisingly wide array of grill worthy sausages now.

if it's a family affair i ususally volunteer to handle the baked beans and a few other side dishes to ensure their veg-ability. i've not gotten a single complaint yet as to why no one can see the mysterious white chunk of fat, that is the "pork" in pork and beans.

at 3:45 PM Blogger Erin said...

I agree with the previous poster: it's completely acceptable to BYOP! Amy's Organic veggie burgers are actually very appealing to carnivores, so they are always a big crowd pleaser when I bring them to cookouts. I like to mix up the toppings, like cucumbers, cranberry chutney and whole grain mustard...I get some weird looks sometimes, but they come around eventually.

As for side dishes, there are a million alternatives to potato salad: black bean salad, corn salad, roasted vegetable salad, etc. etc.

I like to take these opportunities to show non-veggies that the veg life is actually more delicious than they ever imagined.

at 4:12 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

I'm not vegetarian but I am a HGUE fan of grilled portabella mushrooms. I marinate them in balsamic vinegar and olive oil before grilling, and I've yet to meet meat-eaters who turn their nose up at them!

at 9:49 AM Blogger Sylvia Norris said...

I have two sons who are vegans (no animal products).
We use the Gardenburger Flame Grilled Burgers, with vegan cheese, onions, ketchup and vegan buns (BreadSmith will make them with Canola oil).
I make a vegan potato salad from the James Beard Cookbook that everyone loves:

Herb Potato Salad
6-9 medium-size potatoes or 12 small new potatoes
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 or 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
2/3rds cup finely cut green onions including green tops
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
I leave the skins on - cut the potatoes in quarters. Add (after mixing) the olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, green onions and parsley. The potatoes, of course will absorb the liquids so do not add extra potatoes unless you are going to increase the recipe for the other ingredients. Do not refrigerate before serving. Best to make it and just leave it set until served.

Chinese Cole Slaw
1 pkg Ramen Noodles (crunch the noodles)
1 pkg Cole Slaw
1/2 cup green onions sliced
2 ozs. toasted pecans
1 cup sunflower seeds
Toss the flavoring packet in the Ramen Noodles because it is not vegan.
Mix 1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Add a packet of Lipton dried soup mix to the olive oil, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Shake until the sugar is dissolved. Mix all the ingredients together.

Wacky Cake (make cupcakes or cake)

3 cups flour
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda

2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons vinegar
10 tablespoons melted shortening

Pour 2 cups of warm water over ingredients and beat until smooth.
Add chopped nuts if desired. Place in a 9x13x2 pan or cupcake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
I either make the icing on the Cocoa container and add water instead of milk or make a white icing with confectioners sugar, vanilla, vegan margarine and water.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some of our family recipes for our vegan sons and friends.

Sylvia Norris


at 3:20 PM Blogger Lauren Bishop said...

Hi Erin, if you see this, could you drop me a line at lbishop@enquirer.com? I'd love to talk to you more. Thanks!

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