Cookbook giveaway - Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore

Vegan Vegetarian OmnivorePlanning a dinner party - or even a family meal - can become quite complicated when your guests and relative have different dietary requirements. Screenwriter, producer, and cookbook author Anna Thomas offers solutions for reuniting our divided tables in her latest cookbook, Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore. "My idea is simple," says Anna. "Start with the food everyone eats, design a meal or a dish around that, then expand and elaborate with just the right amounts of the right cheeses, meats, or fish for your omnivores. Everyone feels welcome, and we eat the same meal - but in variations." You can learn more about the Anna's inspirations for the cookbook in our author interview, and view the World Calendar of Cookbook Events for book tour details.

We're delighted to offer three copies of Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore to EYB Members in the US only. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:

What is your solution to the dilemma of feeding people with various dietary concerns?

Please note that you must be signed into the Rafflecopter contest before posting the comment or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends May 16, 2016.



  • Siegal  on  4/18/2016 at 2:43 PM

    I try to cook a bunch of different dishes for everyone

  • eliza  on  4/18/2016 at 4:47 PM

    I have a lot of vegetarian friends (no vegans) so I make just vegetarian dishes when I have a large group. That way everyone can eat everything. (Anna Thomas' book The New Vegetarian Epicure comes in handy for that!)

  • sgump  on  4/18/2016 at 6:33 PM

    I try to plan vegan dishes--soups, stews, casseroles, salads--that can be "built up" through garnishes or add-ins (e.g., cheese, sour cream, chopped hard-boiled eggs, sliced or crumbled meats), letting the diners decide their preferences for the evening. I'll also try to make potentially troublesome ingredients (e.g., nuts or other things to which folks are likely to have allergies) part of the garnishes or add-ins instead of integral components to the essential dish.

  • pandapotamus  on  4/18/2016 at 10:10 PM

    Soup, usually pasta fagioli.

  • vickster  on  4/19/2016 at 7:00 AM

    Plan a main dish that will satisfy most, and then side dishes for specific dietary needs.

  • kazoozle  on  4/19/2016 at 10:47 AM

    My biggest issue is either finding something they will all love or minimizing time in the kitchen and making sure dinner is not cold and funky by the time I finish all the dishes. XD haha

  • ReenaCooks  on  4/19/2016 at 12:57 PM

    I try to make many side dishes as the food restrictions and that way everyone gets to taste a little of everything. And the people with food restrictions feel included. I label the food restriction with a positive thought from the food restriction.for example ,vegan dishes will be labeled " full appreciation to our furry friends ". I make a lot of appetizers but no main course. Still learning.....

  • joneshayley  on  4/19/2016 at 1:26 PM

    Tapas! Make sure there are options for all. It means people can pick and choose - discretely without having to explain their choices /dietary requirements to other guests!

  • msimfam  on  4/19/2016 at 7:23 PM

    I own a tattered copy of Anna's first book and would be honored to own her newest. My husband and I are Vegans for heart health. I serve meals centered around that lifestyle, with an added piece, ie fish for people to respect their lifestyle choice. But people have tried tofu in peanut sauce and are pleasantly surprised how good it actually is.

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  4/19/2016 at 10:54 PM

    If everyone is at the same party, I cook for the person with the most specific diet.

  •  on  4/20/2016 at 2:24 AM

    I recently had this experience... Everyone wasn't eating something. So I made a variety of dishes that most could eat in overlapping ways so that everyone would have enough food. It was a major challenge! I like the challenge of figuring out a solution that is also delicious so that everyone can eat and no one feels cheated because the food is so good.

  • sabrina7  on  4/20/2016 at 2:48 PM

    instead of doing a main dish with sides i will make two main dishes (e.g., one meat and one vegan) taste along with a side dish for everyone. or i will make the whole meal around the dietary restrictions(e.g., a gluten free dinner from main to dessert).

  • jthelwell  on  4/21/2016 at 10:06 AM

    I try to find a dish that will appeal to most/everyone. I take advantage of ingredients that will bring umami to vegetarian dishes that will make them appealing to meat fans. Dishes like felafel and pasta are great for that.

  • sir_ken_g  on  4/21/2016 at 8:17 PM

    I do what is done on international tours. Make a variety of dishes so that everyone can eat the ones they like'

  • cocecitycook  on  4/22/2016 at 10:39 PM

    My garden is usually my inspiration when feeding guests with dietary restrictions.

  • Mariarosa  on  4/23/2016 at 8:28 AM

    I choose dishes that everyone can eat and that I think will be the most satisfying for all (i.e. if I make a vegetarian dish, I choose a hearty one so the meat eaters will be satisfied.)

  • t.t  on  4/23/2016 at 7:20 PM

    If there are that many different dietary restrictions, I like the "build your own ______" idea. That way, everyone can customize it to their own tastes.

  • elysek  on  4/23/2016 at 7:21 PM

    I will generally make something vegetarian. Sometimes I'll make a seafood dish and a vegetarian entree. Salads, breads, and soups are also good ideas.

  • Julia  on  4/23/2016 at 11:34 PM

    I try to make a wide variety of foods that compliment.

  • pgarcia  on  4/24/2016 at 8:44 AM

    Thankfully, my small family (husband and occasionally my grown son) don't have any allergies nor are they too picky. The most my group of friends have are shellfish allergies and a couple who don't care for beef. But if faced with the situation, I would use EYB to find conforming recipes!

  • imaluckyducky  on  4/24/2016 at 12:37 PM

    I live and die by entertaining via buffet or potlock-style.

  • ballen  on  4/24/2016 at 2:47 PM

    When the guests with the most unique dietary restrictions ask what they can bring make sure to agree on something that fits with their dietary requirements.

  • juazella  on  4/24/2016 at 7:37 PM

    I start with the "worst" dietary needs and build a meal everyone can eat from there. Having Celiac and needing to be gluten free means that I have learned how to accommodate a wide range of food needs.

  • sarahawker  on  4/26/2016 at 8:39 AM

    I start with the recipe that meets the dietary restriction and THEN add for other diners in side dishes.

  • nikignu  on  4/26/2016 at 3:37 PM

    In these situations I make great use of my EYB account to find just the right recipe. Or I create a build-your-own bar.

  • infotrop  on  4/28/2016 at 4:39 PM

    If I don't know already, I ask dinner party guests if they have any food allergies or strong dislikes. Then I build a menu that will make everyone happy (I hope!)

  • HelenB  on  4/28/2016 at 9:43 PM

    Vegetarian. No dairy nor eggs. But also do not use fake meats.

  • JanScholl  on  4/29/2016 at 12:38 AM

    I won't cook animal flesh in any way. My kitchen is animal free. If someone brought a dish with meat, they are free to do so. I usually cook way too much and would present enough to eat.

  • ravensfan  on  4/29/2016 at 8:13 AM

    I serve small dishes (tapas).

  • Nancith  on  4/29/2016 at 8:46 AM

    I make plenty of meat-free sides plus a meat-centered dish. In my circle of family & friends, I am the only vegetarian, but I give lots of veggie/ grain dishes alongside the meat, not only for myself, but as healthy options for everyone else.

  • jlh39  on  4/29/2016 at 11:16 AM

    I like a buffet style with a variety of dishes that are best at room temperature, and including protein choices to round things out (beans, cheese, chicken).

  • cpasek  on  4/29/2016 at 2:45 PM

    I try to serve things like tacos or salads, with lots of options, so everyone can add the things they like to the dish.

  • Waderu  on  4/30/2016 at 9:51 AM

    focus on making non-meat dishes...grilling is great because I can put meat, vegetables, hauloumi cheese, etc on the grill

  • Larkspur  on  5/1/2016 at 11:35 AM

    I have to make meals daily for both vegetarians and omnivores so this book sounds perfect for my family. I like sheet-pan suppers: a bigger sheet pan for the omnivores with both meat and veggies and a smaller veggie only sheet pan.

  • kbennall  on  5/5/2016 at 10:40 AM

    I try to make a variety of things that mostly everyone can eat, and then maybe just one dish that excludes people (e.g. meat dishes.)

  • MollyB  on  5/6/2016 at 4:21 PM

    I'll usually cook something vegetarian that is interesting enough to appeal to everyone, usually something Middle Eastern or Indian.

  • LilyB612  on  5/6/2016 at 6:34 PM

    I tend to make everything accessible to everyone, unless it's a special occasion, and the I'll make sure that there is something substantial for every dietary restriction at the table.

  • lsgourmet  on  5/7/2016 at 8:39 AM

    Our middle son has been veggie since high school so my solution was to cook a regular meal for the rest of us and to add a main, cooked veggie style, for him. I always cooked the sides veggie style so he could have those as well. A typical dinner plan: Salad, Veal Schnitzels for the meat eaters, Mushroom Cutlets for the veggie, Potatoes Rosti, Sautéed Baby Artichokes. Yes it is more work, but I wanted him at the table eating with family.

  • Wlow  on  5/7/2016 at 9:04 PM

    Husband and one son are fairly picky eaters and the only plan that makes everybody happy at home is usually vegetarian, though in restaurants some family members will get their meat of choice. Meals like tacos are really helpful because people can choose what to include.

  • Lizwizz  on  5/8/2016 at 3:32 PM

    I ask guests about any allergies then plan lots of different platters that do not include the offending ingredient(s). This usually means vegetarian choices with perhaps one roasted meat option.

  • Sfgordon  on  5/8/2016 at 5:18 PM

    If I'm having people over f or a meal, I tend to do buffet-style where people can select from enough options to suit many different diets. If I know that someone with a specific diet is attending, I find a 'main' that they can enjoy along with everyone else. My biggest problem is when I invite people to parties/dinner and they don't make any mention of dietary preference although they are vegan/gluten-free/etc. I've been vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, grain free, omnivore, etc. at different points and I can happily cook (great) food for any of those diets, but if you don't tell me, I won't just know! Duh.

  • Mayandbill  on  5/10/2016 at 10:33 AM

    I offer a choice of meat and vegetarian dishes, and always check beforehand with guests if they have other needs/restrictions.

  • ladibyrd  on  5/15/2016 at 8:45 AM

    I haven't had to manage dinner for restrictive diets yet, but my usual approach is overwhelming people with variety. As the primary dessert provider for family dinners I've got a few vegetarian options, but no vegan or gluten-free.

  • sbh2006  on  5/16/2016 at 4:12 PM

    Since I normally cook only vegetarian dishes (many times vegan, often gluten-free), I would offer add-ins for those who wish to "spice up" the main dishes on offer. Also, assuming there are no food allergies, I would offer cheese, nuts, etc. to sprinkle on separately; that way, everyone can customize their dish.

  • love2chow  on  5/16/2016 at 9:58 PM

    Kebabs worked well for a mix of vegetarians, obligate meateaters, and people that disliked vegetables. Make your own pizza/flatbread or make your own tacos (with a variety of fillings), or a pho bar using a vegetable stock.

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