Last year at Vegan Mania I saw in the “Ask an Expert” booth for a bit and had a great time fielding questions about everything from replacing eggs in cake recipes to how to talk to your family about being vegan without starting a fight. One question I got more than once was, “How can I go to my family’s cookouts without 1) starving  2) looking like a jerk who’s too good for my family’s food and 3) being subject to ridicule?”

Everyone’s family is different, of course, and if yours is particularly feisty you might want to refer to my Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions about Veganism article. If your family is skeptical, but generally not a bunch of jerks, however, my recommendation is simple: feed them.

best vegan cookout and potluck dishesBring a dish or two to the next non-vegan cookout or potluck you’re invited to. If your family is cool, encourage them to try your vegan dish. If they are less cool, don’t tell them it’s vegan until they’ve all eaten and enjoyed it – then tell them it was vegan and shove it in their faces.

To get you started on the road to non-confrontational family cookouts and potlucks, here are a few of my favorite dishes to share, from my site and beyond. Leave yours in the comments!

  1. Spinach Dip
  2. Raw Vegan Taco Salad
  3. Devilish Potatoes
  4. Mac n’ Yeast
  5. Taco Lasagna
  6. Sweet Potato Burgers
  7. BBQ Jackfruit (Vegan Pulled Pork)
  8. Chick-o-Cheesecake 
  9. BurgerTime Whoopie Pies
  10. Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillow Cookies

Shameless plug: You can find more great comfort food recipes to share in my cookbook!

Vegan BurgerTime Whoopie Pies baked vegan mac and cheese

Vegan Taco Lasagna