Charity's tips for care chefs ahead of vegetarian week

Charity Vegetarian for Life has suggested tips for care caterers ahead of National Vegetarian Week.

From virtual demonstrations to tasting menus, a care charity has suggested ideas for homes to mark a week celebrating vegetarian and vegan diets.

Vegetarian for Life, which supports vegans and vegetarians in care, says National Vegetarian Week can make those residents feel included, and suggests asking them for their thoughts on how to mark the week or about some of their favourite dishes. For all homes, it says, it can be an opportunity to introduce residents to new foods and flavours.

Here are their tips for how to make the most of the week, which this year runs from 16 to 22 May.

  • Host a vegan or vegetarian supper club

The charity suggests making a meat-free meal more of an event, perhaps by planning a three-course supper club. It gives a sample menu of carrot, ginger and orange soup as a starter, mushroom, nut and cranberry wellington for main and a sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

  • Run a tasting session

Caterers could also run a tasting session focusing on alternative products, such as vegan ice cream, vegan cheese, plant milks, substitute meat products or tofu. Residents could even make score cards and pick a winner at the end.

  • Experiment with new menu items

Trying new items such as banana blossom ‘fish’, jackfruit curry or tofu is a good way to refresh menus. Play ‘guess the ingredient’ first, the charity says, and let residents suggest what you might make with it – a great way to start discussions and give residents a chance to share their experiences.

  • Go al fresco

If the weather is nice, hosting a vegetarian or vegan barbecue or picnic can be a fun activity for residents. Try recipes such as black bean burgers, or coronation 'chicken' pastries - recipes are available on the charity's website.

  • Take a trip down memory lane

Whether they are vegetarian or not, many people have a favourite recipe or dish that happens to be meat-free. Those that do consider themselves vegetarian or vegan will likely enjoy being able to reminisce and share with others why they follow this lifestyle. You could even print photos of common vegetarian products from years gone by, or find old vegetarian cookbooks to help get people talking.


  • Invite a chef in - or join a lunch club

Vegetarian for Life's chefs deliver virtual and in-person cookery demonstrations for residents. Equally, it runs a Virtual Vegan Lunch Club on the fourth Tuesday of every month for vegetarains, vegans and those cutting back on meat aged 65 and over. Upcoming events include an Easter extravaganza on 26 April, a jubilee garden party on 24 May and a taste of Italy on 28 June.

For more information and to find out about accredited training, visit the website.

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