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What types of food are included in vegan catering options?

From richly flavored, plant-based meat alternatives with "just like the real thing" tastes and textures to new takes on classics such as mac and cheese and meatloaf, vegan cuisine has something to offer every appetite. All-inclusive to suit a variety of dietary needs and preferences, vegan foods are crafted with health-conscious ingredients such as fresh veggies, legumes, nuts, and natural seasonings.

Whether you're planning a company picnic with plant-based burgers or a staff appreciation vegan pizza party, the options for vegan catering are pretty close to endless — and perfect for any event. 

Can vegan friendly food cater to other dietary restrictions as well?

True vegan cuisine is entirely plant based, meaning it's both dairy free and contains no animal products. Many vegan-friendly options such as fruits, legumes, tofu, and vegetables are also naturally gluten free, which makes vegan catering a great option for guests with special dietary needs and sensitivities. 

However, some vegan items like standard soy sauce, meat alternatives, dressings, and sauces may contain gluten, tree nuts, and various spices. When planning your event menu with your caterer or restaurant, make sure to let them know if anyone in your party has dietary restrictions or allergies to certain ingredients. 

What are some classic vegan dishes?

As more people in today's world gravitate toward vegan lifestyles, many restaurants and catering companies are offering plant-based takes on traditional sides and entrees. Here are a few classic favorites.

- Vegan mac and cheese: The vegan-friendly version of this classic comfort food typically substitutes traditional wheat pasta with rice or lentil pasta, but different caterers may have their own variations. Dairy alternatives for creamy cheese sauce include coconut milk and coconut cream, soy milk, soy cheese, and cashew cheese, and some chefs add pureed vegetables like carrots or cauliflower for improved texture. 

- Vegan chili: While specific recipes for vegan chili may vary, this thick and hearty take on a classic staple is definitely a crowd pleaser. In lieu of beef, turkey, or chicken, chefs often use vegetable stock and plant-based meat alternatives, along with beans and fresh vegetables.

- Roasted vegetables: Roasted veggies are a classic side dish for both vegan and non-vegan meals, with versatile options to suit every palate. Some catering chefs serve a mix of root vegetables glazed in honey and balsamic vinegar alongside rice pilaf, pasta, marinated tofu, and plant-based meat alternatives.

- Plant-based burgers: Vegan catering menu options often include plant-based burgers. Made with ingredients such as soy, pea protein, legumes, and fresh veggies, plant-based patties are a tasty alternative to beef and chicken. Topping options may include classic burger staples like pickles, onions, and lettuce, along with plant-based bacon and dairy-free cheeses. 

- Salads:  Salads are another popular vegan option. Versatile ingredients and toppings such as fresh vegetables, crisp salad greens, fruit, and nuts suit a wide range of dietary restrictions and flavor preferences. You can also request vegan salad dressings made without milk or egg yolks.

- Soups: Crafted with ingredients such as vegetable stock, coconut milk, fresh vegetables, lentils, and spices, vegan soup is often served with vegan entrees and vegan sandwiches. Similar to traditional soups made with beef or chicken stock, vegan soup types include chowders, bisques, stews, and broths. 

Vegan-friendly beverages include teas, sodas, flavored water, lemonade, and coffee. However, some beverages may be processed in ways that utilize animal products, so it's important to verify this when placing your order with your catering manager. 

Can I order vegan and non vegan foods?

Unless the catering company you choose is strictly plant based, you should be able to order both vegan and non vegan foods. Make sure to request that your caterer or restaurant prepares all vegan dishes separately from non vegan foods to prevent cross-contamination of both options. If you're ordering from ezCater, you can also filter your restaurants and caterers to select ones that offer vegan options. You can also request that your caterer or restaurant label the vegan-friendly food.

Are there any celebrities who follow a vegan diet?

Many celebrities in sports, entertainment, and politics follow vegan diets. Music icon Madonna and beloved actor Benedict Cumberbatch are both vegans, and they often speak on the benefits of plant-based lifestyles. Tennis pros Venus and Serena Williams are also vegans. 

Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate for the humane treatment of all animals. Following Dr. King's passing, both his son and wife became vegans. Dexter Scott King has been a vegan since the 1980s, and Coretta Scott King became a vegan as a way to show compassion towards animals and promote a non-violent lifestyle.