How To Pair The Right Wine With Your Meal

Learn how to pair wine and food at home. This article will cover the basics of pairing, plus some tips for matching different varietals with your favorite meal!

How To Pair The Right Wine With Your Meal

Dedicated wine lovers with good taste have followed a certain protocol when picking the right wine with meals for over 5,000 years. These arrangements consisted of specific wines addressing individual food choices-red wine with meat or game, and white wine with seafood and poultry-while keeping in mind that wines were chosen to accent the five major food tastes: spiciness, saltiness, bitterness, sourness, and sweetness. Linking food with the right wine is a fine art which requires certain knowledge of different taste sensations.

The Etiquette Of Wines

The serving of wine at a meal has been one of the most enduring forms of etiquette throughout human civilization, enhanced with the chosen wines originating from the same area as the main dishes or local recipes. Wines such as Cabernet, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir are all quality wines which enhance specific dishes.

For example, there is nothing better than serving white Beaujolais or even Pinot Noir with a mouthwatering Salmon Tuna and Swordfish steak, while a lighter red wine can also be used to bring out its delicious flavor. For those who prefer a more robust flavor, a buttery Chardonnay wine enhances a Barnaise sauce on top of any red steak of their choice, cooked to perfection.

Poured in correct logical progression, if more than one wine is served at a meal, protocol requires that the wines are served from light to dark while sweet dessert or heavy wines follow last. When the meals are served, the appetizers or smaller light courses, such as soups, can be served at the beginning with a light white wine.

Following this, a red wine is served with a heavy red meat dish while a white wine or champagne is served with a main course of poultry, fish, or lamb. The after-dinner dessert wines of Eiswein, Beerenauslese, Moscato d’Asti, or Champagne Doux are used with sweet desserts that compliment their sweet tastes, while brandy and dry sherry are considered better with treacle or ice cream.

Vegetarian Diets And Wines

With so many individuals becoming health conscious in today’s world, a simple white wine can easily do a vegetarian diet justice. Most vegetarian meals are made from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes, requiring a white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc.

Meanwhile, heavy-tasting vegetable casserole recipes -Vegetarian Casserole or Spinach Lasagna – do best with a Merlot or Chardonnay. Strong tasting onions, leeks or green peppers dishes are brought to the surface in specific dishes with a Dry Rose or Sparkling Wine, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Muscadet.

The heavier Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz have a tendency to overpower vegetables, with protein-free vegetables tasting bitter and metallic with most red wines. However, light red wines such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, Tuscan Chianti can be served with vegetarian protein dishes like bean dishes, enchiladas or a meatless Italian pasta casserole served with lots of vegetables and spices.

The Rules Of Simplicity

To develop a satisfying relationship between wines and foods, a good rule of thumb is that a very strong tasting wine should never be served with a delicate entre, instead chosen to complement each other.

Think of the phrase, “Simple wines with complex foods…complex wines with simple foods” with personal likes and dislikes always taking precedence over protocol. As always, a good wine will always take care of itself in any meal.

How To Plan Meals For A Large Family On A Budget

Are you struggling to figure out how to plan meals for your large family without breaking the bank? Check out these tips!

For families everywhere, and in every size, planning meals on a budget is a challenge. For large families, this is compounded exponentially.

-Decide that you are absolutely not a short order cook. This will mean that you will face the fact that you will probably, at least eight times out of ten times, not please everybody. You will wind up driving yourself crazy, using up half a meal here, half there, and ruining the budget.

-Tell everybody that it is a new day and that what is for supper is what is for supper and if anyone doesn’t like it, there is plenty of peanut butter and jelly. If your family is like ours, you may have one or two picky eaters, one who will eat virtually anything, and the others who will whine and eat eventually. But, for the sake of sanity and money, stick to your guns.

-Make a menu for the week. Or two weeks if you can do it. We always try to get input from everybody and incorporate suggestions into the bi-weekly menu. Making a menu, then listing the ingredients needed as we go to the store for what we call “the big haul” helps keep the number of runs to the supermarket to a minimum.

-As you make your menu, check the specials. Go online, see what’s on sale and work it into your list of ideal, almost-everybody-will-eat-them meals. It will take a bit of research, but you’ll get better at it as you go along. Print out the coupons that the store offers.

-Armed with your menu, list, and coupons, go to the store with as little distraction as possible. If you can leave the kids at home, do it. If you have to take a child or two, let them pick one item each-say, cereal-and then stick to the master list. Don’t shop hungry. Don’t shop if the kids are hungry. Don’t let them hornswaggle you into all the swanky, sweet-tooth foods. Don’t try to second guess yourself in the store. You made this list for a reason.

-When all the ingredients are bought, post the menu on the fridge. If you don’t, you’ll forget why you bought those three cans of diced tomatoes and go off budget trying to piece something together off the cuff. The kids will appreciate knowing what’s for supper when they are heading out the house for school in the morning. Try to stick to the menu. Remember, you put a lot of thought into this.

-Make two good, solid meals with meat, veggie, and potatoes or pasta, then incorporate the leftovers elsewhere. If you make mushroom chicken, rice and broccoli on Monday, spaghetti on Tuesday, you can have chicken soup on Wednesday, and spaghetti casserole with cheese topping for Thursday.

-Avoid prepackage quick meals. This should be obvious, but boxed meals are usually for four small helpings at most. They’re just not economical. Get the ground beef, the macaroni noodles, the cheese and whip up a big casserole. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it almost as fast.

-Make a big stew or chili for at least two suppers a week. This will get rid of a lot of leftovers, and will get the veggies into the family at the same time. Homemade soup never gets old, because it never tastes quite the same each time. With biscuits or cornbread, it goes a long way and will stretch for those friends that the kids bring over at the last minute.

-Lastly, get the kids involved. When you are making good, plain meals, there is not much that they can do to mess them up and it’s good practice.

And, if you’re lucky, one day you might just be able to put your feet up and let them do the cooking!

Five Day Meal Plan For Optimal Nutrition

When shopping for your produce, look for high-performance foods. Blueberries contain mass levels of antioxidants, which assist in purifying the blood via healthy digestion. Blackberries, apples, peaches, plums are in their prime at harvest time, Summer’s end.

Though small, blackberries have the world’s highest concentration of vegetable iron; perfect for vegetarians. Spelt bread is made with one of the ancient grains and is easier to digest than whole wheat. Buffalo is iron-rich and low in fat. Brown rice is high in vitamin E and easy to assimilate in the morning.

Avocados are rich in oleic acid, which improves digestion and adds vitality to hair, skin and nails. Supporting organic dairy farmers and boycotting conventional dairy is a good idea for your body as well as for the planet.

Om Yoga Breakfast:

Blueberry-almond milk shake, made with sprouted raw almonds and almond milk.
Bowl of low-sugar granola w. organic milk, blackberries, apples, peaches, plums.

Whole Proteinator:

Buffalo sausages, free-range eggs and spelt bread toast with butter

Mexican Sunrise:

(pre-cooked) Brown rice, sliced avocado, grated organic cheddar, sliced tomato, eggs, black beans and drizzle of organic olive oil

Easy Energy:

Sliced local organic fruit, with organic plain yoghurt and low-sugar. Wheat-free granola on top

Sweet Sunrise Breakfast wrap: free-range chicken sausages, eggs, cheddar, sliced orange pepper, mixed nutrigreens and dash of cayenne pepper in a spinach tortilla.

Snack ideas:

 Fresh pear, corn thins crackers with cream cheese and cucumber
 Handful raw organic almonds, fresh local apple
 Strawberry-organic coconut milk shake with a dash of Greens +
 Organic banana and a handful raw organic walnuts
 Yogurt and peach-sliced (or plain yogurt with any other fruit)

Lunch suggestions:

Free-range Chicken and Mango Salad:

(*prep the night before to take along) nutrigreens, chicken, mango, green onion, cucumber, bean sprouts, raw pumpkin seeds

Green Bean and Pistachio Salad:

Fresh, local green beans, garbanzos or lima beans, mint, shelled pistachios with lemon-zesty dressing
Nicoise Salad: green beans, navy beans, tuna, green olives, hard-boiled, sliced egg, tomatoes on a bed of mixed nutrigreens
Greek Salad: tomatoes, peppers, olives, cucumbers, red onion, goat or sheep feta, drizzle olive oil/balsamic vinegar/lemon juice
West Coast Salad: mixed nutrigreens, Indian candy salmon, Chevre, sliced mixed peppers and dash green onion

DINNER ideas:

Organic Sesame Beef & green veggie stir-fry over short grain brown rice
Currant-shallot encrusted Salmon with steamed broccoli/carrots, slivered almonds and roast potatoes
Spinach/artichoke stuffed free-range chicken breasts with local potatoes and steamed kale or chard
Spice-rubbed Turkey breast with baked beets, Winter squash and Arugula-walnut-pear salad side
Coconut milk-veggie free range Thai chicken curry over a bed of rice noodles

How To Make Tasty Iced Beverages With Coffee

Learn how to make delicious iced coffee drinks with this simple guide. With easy recipes and step-by-step instructions, you can make tasty beverages in no time!

How To Make Tasty Iced Beverages With Coffee

Making iced coffee can be simple, easy, and a great way to enjoy coffee beverages in the hot summer time (or if you are one who enjoys cold drinks in the winter time!). For general iced coffee it is really really easy. You can make other iced coffee drinks for a wide variety of great taste and several options.

Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is much like iced tea. It is simple to make. First brew some strong coffee. If you use coffee ice cubes instead of regular ones, you can make it the strength you normally make coffee at. If you are going to be using regular ice cubes you will want to make your coffee stronger.

Once it has brewed and cooled a little, stick it in a pitcher and put it in the fridge. This will cool it down. Add ice to a glass and pour the cold coffee over the ice. You can also make iced cubes using leftover coffee by pouring your coffee into ice cube trays. These make the best iced coffee and makes it so you don’t waste coffee and you also don’t water down your iced coffee.

If you want iced coffee right away you can pour the hot coffee over the ice. However, it won’t be as cold as if the coffee was cold to start with. You might also need to add additional ice to make it cold and not warm.

Adding to Iced Coffee

Many people like coffee best when it has things added to it. You can do this with iced coffee just as you would with hot coffee. You can add sugar to the hot coffee so that it dissolves best, or you can add it when you make your coffee. You can also add cream or milk. If you want to get really creative you can add chocolate syrup or hot cocoa mix (best added with the hot coffee before it is chilled) for an iced mocha type of drink.

Throw it in the Blender

There can be a lot of great things done with coffee and ice. You can throw it in the blender for an icee type of experience. You can also blend it up with your favorite additives. A blended mocha is great treat. For a super great treat add a scoop of your favorite ice cream!

Getting Very Creative

You can make juice or fruit teas into ice cubes and add one or two to your iced coffee for something new. Start with only one or two in case you come up with a bad combination. Flavored syrups can also add a lot of yummy goodness to coffee including iced varieties.

You can buy these at many coffee shops. Sprinkles make for great additions as well. These include cinnamon, cocoa powder, and nutmeg or other spices. You also can experiment with hot cocoa mixes, flavored creamers, and “cappuccino” mixes. All are rather inexpensive and you could find a drink you never want to leave behind for the expensive coffee shop!

However you like your coffee or your iced coffee, you can have it quickly and simply. It can be a great at home treat with little work and awesome results. You don’t have to pay two dollars for an iced coffee!

How To Make Two Easy Mousse Recipes

This article will teach you how to make two easy mousse recipes that are sure to impress any guest!

How To Make Two Easy Mousse Recipes

The tastes of espresso coffee and spicy-sweet cinnamon join with bittersweet chocolate, whipped cream, and eggs to make an easy dessert with South-of-the-Border flair.

Nothing complements the flavor of chocolate more distinctively and classically than the taste of strong coffee. Indeed, the two flavors together are commonly known as “mocha,” after the name of the port in Yemen whose distinctive coffee variety has a rich, chocolate note.

And no seasoning complements both chocolate and coffee more enticingly than cinnamon. Together, the three distinctive ingredients capture a flavor combination often found in the desserts of Mexico. Chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon join forces in the easy chocolate mousse recipe that follows.

Mexican Chocolate Mousse

Serves 18

Ingredients:

 1 cup heavy cream
 3/4 pound semisweet chocolate, broken into 1-inch pieces
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/2 cup hot espresso-strength brewed black coffee
 6 egg yolks
 12 egg whites, at room temperature
 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1/2 teaspoon coffee extract
 18 cinnamon stick pieces, each 2 to 3 inches long, or chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until bubbles just begin to form around the edges.
  2. Put the chocolate and ground cinnamon in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Pulse until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, pour in the hot cream and the brewed coffee. Continue processing until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and thick, 30 to 45 seconds. Scrape down the work bowl with a rubber spatula and return the lid in place.
  3. With the machine running, add the egg yolks and continue processing until smooth, about 20 seconds more. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. In a clean mixing bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks that hold their shape when the beaters are lifted out. With a rubber spatula, gently fold about a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until only a few streaks remain; then, fold in the remaining egg whites until smoothly blended.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly among 18 attractive individual serving containers, such as wine glasses, wide champagne glasses, or glass dessert bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mousse is well chilled and set, at least 3 hours.
  6. Before serving, beat the whipping cream until it forms firm peaks, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla and coffee extracts. Pipe or spoon a dollop of the whipped cream in the center of each serving and garnish with a piece of cinnamon stick or chocolate shavings.

The resulting dessert is elegant and flavorful enough to serve for a holiday buffet. But it’s also so easy that, by cutting the ingredient quantities by two thirds or three quarters, it can also be enjoyed for a weekday or weekend family meal.

Advantages Of Eating Small Meals Through The Day

Do you like to eat little and often, or do you prefer to ‘pig out’ once or twice a day? If you tend to eat big meals, you may find several health benefits by switching to 5 or 6 small meals, spread evenly through the day.

Many weight loss experts counsel that you should eat small meals throughout the day, rather than a couple of large meals. Small and often boosts the metabolism, and keeps blood sugar levels balanced, so you shouldn’t get an attack of the ‘munchies,’ as you never go very long between meals. This method of eating is often termed ‘grazing.’

Eating little and often helps the digestive system to work at its best, as it can be more efficient if it hasn’t got a mountain of food to process. The body is an efficient and prudent machine, and always keeps in mind that starvation could be just around the corner.

Therefore, if you eat more calories than your body needs at that time, it will store the extra energy in fat cells for later. By grazing, you’re not adding to the fat bank, so instead of adding to the balance, your body will be forced to make a withdrawal and burn off existing fat stores, which will boost your weight loss.

Grazing means that your body is getting regular intakes of protein, which is needed to maintain muscles and vital organs. Muscles burn off more calories than fat, so by building up muscles, you’re using more of the calories you eat. And if you have smaller meals, you won’t be ‘full to bursting’ and therefore unable to get up and start burning off the energy you’ve just taken in.

According to a study published in the ‘British Medical Journal,’ it appears that eating small and often is also good for your heart. People who ate six small meals had average cholesterol readings of 5 per cent lower than those who ate two large meals. The grazers also had lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Researchers attributed this result to increased metabolism, although they are not absolutely sure why this should be.

The main advantage of eating small meals, whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, is that you’ll have more energy, because your body is getting a constant supply of fuel, albeit in small doses. Hunger pangs will be a thing of the past. You’ll feel better and look better, and that’s a bonus we can all appreciate!

Benefits Of Drinking Water With Meals

Did you know that drinking water with your meals can help improve digestion and absorption of food? Find out more benefits of drinking water with meals here!

Benefits Of Drinking Water With Meals

Everyone knows that drinking water with your meals is a good habit to get into. However a wide majority of these people do not know the facts that make this information true.

It is better to be informed with the reasoning as to why you are doing something before you blindly go do it. The benefits of drinking water with every meal range all the way from dietary benefits all the way to general health benefits.

The first benefit of drinking water with every meal is perhaps the simplest of them as well, and that is the fact that water keeps you hydrated. While there are other things you could drink with your meals that would keep you adequately hydrated, none of them are as effective as water.

This is because water is the basis of everything else that hydrates you, and it saves your body from having to break down all the other ingredients in juices and soda before it can begin doing its job. While this is not only a benefit of drinking water with meals, but rather a benefit of drinking water with meals, it is still a great reason to drink water with meals.

If you are trying to lose weight chances are you are looking to cut down on calories. This makes water an excellent choice to drink with your meals because it contains no calories. If you were to drink a soda or other drink with every meal you ate every day, you are in taking a much greater number of calories than if you were to just drink water with each meal. Combine this reduced number of calories with a steady diet and exercise plan and you will be on your way to losing weight in no time at all.

Drinking water with your meals will also help prevent overeating. When the body receives water the digestive system starts its process to digest food. Once these processes start, the body sends signals telling your body that it doesn’t need too much more food to complete what it needs to get done and as a result your body doesn’t give you the desire to eat as much as had your digestive system not been activated before eating.

While drinking a different type of liquid with your meals will not kill you, drinking water definitely has a few clear advantages over other types of drinks. These benefits range from diet help to simple quality hydration. If you don’t like water, try buying flavor packets that can be added to water from the store. They are usually low in calories and relatively healthy for you.

Best Meals For 5 Bucks Or Less

Want to save money on your food budget? Check out these cheap and easy recipes for meals that will cost you less than $5.

Money is a concern for most people now, and as a result food is often one of the first things that people sacrifice. But eating on a budget does not mean you have to give up good taste. Below are recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each of which can be made for five dollars or less.

Breakfast Burritos

Step 1: Scramble eggs. 
Step 2: Decide on other fillings. At this point you can add sliced ham, onions, tomatoes, peppers. Choose whatever is in season and what is on sale. 
Step 3: Add cheese
Step 4: Cook tortilla shell. This can be done quickly by the desired number of tortillas between two napkins and microwaving for approximately 30 seconds
Step 5: Fill tortilla shell with eggs, fillings and cheese.

Polish Sausage and Rice

Step 1: Simply slice polish sausage or kielbasa into rounds  a quarter of an inch to half a inch thick. 
Step 2: Place the sliced meat in a pot over medium heat.
Step 3: Add two tablespoons of butter and your favorite rice (Knorr brand is good).
Step 4: Add water according to rice package plus two tablespoons. 
Step 5: Cook until rice is soft. Meat should be cook through at this point. 

Hamburgers with Homemade Fries

Step 1: Season hamburger meat. Salt and pepper will do fine, but if you have Worcestershire sauce in your pantry this is a nice flavor addition. Also when fresh pepper and onions are in season these are very affordable and good to dice finely and add to ground beef. 
Step 2: Pat out hamburger. One pound of ground beef should make about four hamburgers. 
Step 3: Grill hamburgers outside if weather permits or inside using a griddle skillet. Cook over medium heat. Remember to cook the meat slow enough that it retains the flavor. 
Step 4: Wash potatoes.
Step 5: Peel potatoes and cut lengthwise into the desired shape. Wedges or slices slightly larger than fast food French fries work well. 
Step 6: Heat oil in skillet over medium/high heat. Oil should cover the entire bottom of the skillet. 
Step 7: Add potatoes to hot oil. Cook until light brown in color. 
Step 8: Remove hamburger from grill. Check to make sure that they are fully cooked (there should be no pink coloring). Place hamburger patty on buns and top with whatever is available - ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, cheese, onions, pickles.
Step 9: Remove potatoes from oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle salt over potatoes while still hot.

Other great meal ideas include:

Spaghetti
Meatloaf
Homemade Pizza
Omelets

One other thing to consider is going meatless one night a week. Add beans to your meal to get the needed protein.

Dieting Facts Dieting Meals Healthy Fat Loss

Discover the facts on dieting. Learn what types of foods are good or bad for you, how to lose weight fast, how your body reacts when it’s hungry and much more!

Dieting Facts Dieting Meals Healthy Fat Loss

Dieting, is it really that hard? Perhaps not, but to effectively lose weight must be because more than half of America are on a diet and not losing! Here are five tips that will help you to a slimmer body in no time.

Pay Attention to Your Metabolism!

Biologically speaking, your metabolism is defined as biological process that uses the heat (calories) that you store for energy. Most people focus on eating less, which isn’t particularly bad if you have a habit of binge eating.

However, focusing on increasing or speeding up your metabolism will result in long term success because you’ve trained your body to use up more calories. For example, let’s say you are trying to lose weight, and you consume a sleazy 1000 calories per day.

This little calories may not be enough for your body and you will feel tired and less active as a result; since you’re eating less and not focusing on your metabolism, you may lose a small weight just to gain it back because your body thinks that you are starving in the desert and start actively accumulating fat in your body to save for later.

Now, let’s say if you consume 2,500-3000 calories per day but you feel great and full of energy. This energy will get you moving, and your metabolism speeding up, which in effect burns your calories at a faster rate!

Change How You Relate to Food.

This may sound funny but studies shows that by eating more, your metabolism may actually get a boost and help you lose weight at a faster rate. Most of us undergo a vicious cycle when we diet; we tend to fall back into the old routine of motivation, diet, failure and depression.

We must change this habit before we are able realistically lose weight, keep it off, and not miss what we’ve lost. Stable weight loss can only be achieved by allowing ourselves to look at food in a different light. Food is there for us, it’s good for us. We need food to survive, food is not evil, too much may not be healthy, but it’s something that we need and is a part of our life processes.

You can starve yourself, or hate food for the rest of your life, just to find that you have to come running back to it, binge on it, and then be with filled with regret as floods of failure pours through you. We all know about the forbidden apple, the more our mind label it evil, the more tempting it appears and thus, the more we become obsessed with it.

Eat breakfast

This is very, very important! Eating breakfast not only starts your metabolism on the right track; it actually helps rid of bad breath as well. Eating breakfast can do tons of wonder in giving you a brain and productivity boost, starting your day off right, and controlling your appetite as well.

I normally don’t notice it, but when friends take notice that my appetite seems to wane after a humongous breakfast, or that during lunch, I don’t go seem to have weird ice cream and cake cravings, it usually correlates with the days I eat breakfast. Although this is just a personal experience, this is also biologically proven and you can ask the doctor the next time you visit him or her!

Eat in Smaller Portions but Multiple Times per day.

When you eat in smaller portions, your metabolism has to work harder because the initial energy is used many times and it’s the initial energy that burns the most calories.

Keep Track of Your Body’s Reaction to Drugs

Many times, we get so busy trying to lose weight that many of us fail to look at patterns in our weight fluctuations. Pay more attention to the food that tends to add a pound or two to your weight as well as medications like birth control pills, anti-depressant, herbal remedies, etc. These medications may also play a role in weight gain if not properly analyzed.

Consume more fruits and vegetables with high levels of antioxidant to help with your energy levels. Green tea, pomegranate Juice, and green leafy vegetables are health foods that will fight radicals and protect your body. This will keep it active and help you to deal with stress levels and lose weight at the same time.

Great Meals For Your Vegan Wedding Reception

Great Meals for Your Vegan Wedding Reception – Let’s face it. When your friends and family get the invitation to a vegan wedding in the mail, the omnivores among them are going to cringe. When it comes to their food, people often find it easy to get set into a routine and don’t always welcome new choices.

But, they are willing to suffer through what they probably think is going to be an evening full of dry salad and celery stalks just because they love you. And, if you follow the ideas in this menu, you’ll be able to return that love and surprise them with vegan fare so tasty, you might even convert a few of your guests!

Cocktail Hour

If you have the right drinks, you could serve practically anything as hors d’oeuvres. But, the first course will set the tone for the evening. And with the right hors d’oeuvres, you can pleasantly surprise you friends and family and get them excited about what’s coming next, and make them sorry that they went to McDonald’s before coming.

Fried Eggplant bites

It’s hard to hate anything that has been deep-fried in vegetable oil. And greasy foods go really well with drinks.

Florentine Stuffed Mushrooms

Really, any sort of stuffed mushroom is always a big hit. These are just my favorite kind. They’re filled with cous cous, garlic, spinach, onions and bell peppers. Plus a little thyme for measure. If you plan on hiring a caterer, they’ll know what’s in season, so I would let them have free reign over your mushroom stuffing.

Spring Rolls

These are always a popular choice, because omnivores are used to eating their meaty cousin – the egg roll. And, they’re fried, so they’re guaranteed to be a big hit.

Vegetable Sushi

These are great. You can put virtually any sort of vegetable in these guys. You could even opt for vegan imitation crab meat which is hard to distinguish from the real stuff. Avocado and cucumber make really popular ingredients as well!

Summer Rolls

These are a healthier version of egg rolls wrapped in rice flour wrappers instead of deep fried dough. They traditionally contain shredded Napa Cabbage, mushrooms, carrots and been sprouts but you can really stuff any number of seasonal vegetables in these guys to make an interesting addition to your hors d’oeuvres array.

By the time your guests sit down for dinner, they will have gotten over their fear of vegan cuisine. And, thanks to the healthy nature of vegan cuisine, even though they’ve gobbled up as many vegan appetizers as they can get their hands on, they’ve still got room for more. And lucky for them, you have some more yumminess waiting for them.

Leek and Corn Stuffed Peppers with Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

Just typing that made my stomach grumble a little. This combination of veggies and starches is filling and tasty. And you can mix up the recipe any way you like depending on what vegetables are in season.

Portabello Mushroom Bake

This dish looks and tastes great served over a bed of rice. Portabello’s have a meat like quality that omnivores love. In this recipe, the mushrooms are baked under a blend of powdered almonds, Braggs, garlic, rosemary and oregano and then topped with onions so that the flavor is locked in. Yummy.

Vegan Tourtiere

This is a vegan option for a traditional Quebecois dish. A combination of onion, mushrooms, breadcrumbs and spices are baked in a torte. Serve this hearty dish with a small seasonal vegetable salad.

And now for dessert. Thanks to all the egg and milk substitutes on the market today, there are a wide variety of desserts available to vegans that even carnivores will love. Simply replace the animal products with you’re favorite vegan substitute and you can once again enjoy your favorite goodies.