Monday, June 16, 2014

Cabin Eatin': Veggie Burgers, BBQ Corn Succotash, & Grilled Veggies


One of the hardest things to adjust to when you change your diet, whether it be gluten free, vegan, or just trying to watch your weight, is being around friends and family. I'm very lucky to have a family that's understanding and accommodating to my diet. Between the snarky comments and jokes, they always make a point of having vegan sides and main course alternatives for us. Coming from a meat and potatoes background, it's pretty surprising and wonderful. Even my mom, who detests soy, tofu, and carbs (which tends to be the crux of my diet), will stalk the grocery clerks at Trader Joe's and make them find all the best vegan products for when Andrew and I are in town. Our friends will take it as an opportunity to have an interesting vegan dinner party or experiment in their own kitchens.

But it does take time for people to adjust. I remember once when I first tried to go vegan in high school, my family was frustrated at the thought and refused to help. After a week of living off of canned green beans, my first foray into veganism was an abysmal failure.

However, fear not if you are in that same boat now. After a recent trip to my in-laws' lake cabin for the weekend, I bring you 2 sure-fire, meat-and-potato-approved side dishes that my in-laws love to make and eat. They're incredibly easy and use products your family is likely to have on-hand.

dinner spread

The first thing I would highly recommend for your first family get-together as a vegan is to make burgers. They're easy, you can bring your own, and most of the condiments are vegan. Here, we had a spread of avocado, tomato,  pickles, lettuce, and onion. If you want to bring other sides, to the left of the Hellman's is our vegenaise. To the right of the cheddar slices, is our daiya cheese. Don't be afraid to bring your own stuff to increase your own enjoyment. It's not insulting. And it takes some of the pressure off your family to accommodate you.

If they forget to get you vegan buns, make it a lettuce wrapped burger. Or, bring your own next time. Bread can be tricky. Especially if you don't eat honey.


These are two tried-and-true sides that my in-laws love. To the left, you have a delicious BBQ Corn Succotash. The recipe is a highly modified version of Rachel Ray's (my mother-in-law's favorite).  Sub veggie stock for the meat stock, remove the bacon, and double check that your Worcestershire sauce doesn't have anchovies in it, and you have vegan BBQ Corn Succotash!

To the right, we cut up fresh squash, green beans, and onions, seasoned with salt and pepper, and baked at 400 degree with canola oil for 20 minutes. Super delicious, easy, and healthy.

What do you guys bring to your family gatherings? Do you find it difficult to eat with those who don't accept you diet?

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