Friday, September 12, 2008
Plan a Green Wedding Menu With an Array of Organic, Meatless Dishes
When planning your green wedding, you could plan a green wedding menu with an array of organic, meatless dishes instead of the usual beef & chicken. Now, before you start thinking about how Uncle Bill just loves his steak, read on. With wedding menu implementations like these, he may not even notice.
These days even the most confirmed carnivores should think twice about how much meat they’re eating, and not just because of health concerns either. Face it, folks, eating beef is bad for the planet. It takes around a thousand gallons of water to grow a pound of beef if you factor in all of the water a cow drinks, plus all the water needed to raise the grains and grass that cattle require to grow to a salable size. Plus, all of the grain that is fed to cattle is grain that isn’t going to directly feed the world’s growing human population. So if you want to add an extra layer of green to your wedding, find a caterer who specializes in vegan weddings or vegetarian food. Or, if you’re operating on a tight budget, and you’re a good vegetarian cook, why not try being your own caterer? Not only will you save money, you can create exactly the kind of delicious vegetarian dishes your wedding guests will be raving over for weeks afterward.
It used to be that vegetarian meat substitutes were pretty bland, tasteless stuff, definitely deserving of all the scorn heaped on them by carnivorous types. But that’s simply not the case. Vegan and vegetarian wedding food doesn’t just mean boring blocks of tofu garnished with a few bean sprouts. If you go to upscale grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, you can find a wide array of tasty meatless dishes that are ideal for serving to your wedding guests. For instance, Trader Joe’s sells meatless meatballs that are almost indistinguishable from real meatballs. Put those in a chafing dish with some pineapple chunks and sweet and sour sauce for a truly yummy appetizer. You can also find a mock beef product called seitan at Whole Foods that is superb when broiled, grilled, or stir fried. Tempeh strips marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled on skewers make a hearty meatless dish that even the most confirmed carnivore will probably love. Soy is so versatile that you can also find soy substitutes for chicken, ground beef and even cheese. Put out a tray of cubed soy cheese on toothpicks and most people probably won’t even notice.
Just remember, a vegetarian wedding menu doesn’t have to bland. You can add dishes from the Japanese, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisines for an international feast that will just be bursting with unusual flavors, textures and colors. And since you’re going totally meatless, you can serve up a lavish buffet that’s healthy, inexpensive, it and won’t bother your green conscience. Bon appetit!