Archived Story

Even non-vegans need to have options

Published 9:39am Monday, March 10, 2014

Recently, I’ve been getting asked by a lot of my non veg friends for veg-friendly party recipes. More and more people I know are incorporating a plant-centric focus to their diet.

When it comes time to entertain, hosts seem eager to pass these flavors on to their guests, but are really unsure what exactly to make.

I can say with 100 percent certainty that in the past six months I’ve eaten at more parties than I have in nearly 10 years due to the vegan friendly spreads. This is so exciting to me, because eating at organized social functions has always been next to impossible on the vegan diet.

This past weekend, one of my dearest friends decided to host a dinner party of a group of her favorite local ladies. Though she is far from a vegetarian, most of the attendees were, so she decided to make the spread totally vegan.

I was so proud and thankful for her efforts. It really touches and inspires me when I look to the people around me, and see them adopting more and more responsible food choices. I mean, this girl never even used to cook! She wanted to handle the majority of the menu herself, but asked me to bring a dip for crudite, since most non vegans have a hard time wrapping their head around veggies or crackers without ranch dip and cheese spreads.

I decided to make a variation of my cashew cheese spread, by adding fresh herbs, some almond meal for variation in texture, and a fresh serrano pepper for some kick. The dip was a hit, particularly since my friend had included jicama in her crudite platter, which paired with this one perfectly.

I know I just shared a dip recipe with you last week, but I figured I can’t be the only one who’s been asked to whip up a crowd pleasing ap in a flash. It never hurts to have a variety of entertaining recipes up your sleeve, especially ones like this which use ingredients found in most vegetarian kitchens.


Kat Barry, a St. Joseph, Michigan native, is owner of Kat’s Hot Cakes vegan catering, and co author of “The New Chicago Diner Cookbook: Meat Free Recipes from America’s Veggie Diner.” She also develops recipes for, where you can find over 30 of her vegan instructional cooking videos. She is also a certified yoga instructor. Kat currently resides in Chicago, and in her free time she enjoys practicing yoga, sampling local spirits, listening to live music, and getting outdoors. Follow @katshotcakes on twitter. Kat can be reached via email at:

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