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How to make your event plant-based diet friendly!

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Whether for personal, health or environmental reasons, it’s clear that plant-based diets are gaining prevalence throughout the world. Our hometown of San Diego is a melting pot of diverse individuals from around the world, who bring together an assortment of preferences and diets.

Catering to those who follow specific diets or are simply curious about incorporating more plant-based foods for any of a variety of reasons is more important than ever. As a local industry leader, we’re opening our eyes and arms to welcome the diverse dietary needs of the market.

Why having plant-based menu options is important?

If you surveyed any group of people, chances are that there is at least one person with a protein-restricted diet. Some may not eat certain proteins for religious reasons; others may refrain from all animal products for environmental or animal rights reasons; while some may incorporate more plant-based proteins for personal health reasons. Planning menus for anything from simple backyard cookouts to weddings or huge company picnics should take plant-based requirements into account.

Luckily, with vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian and even Ornish diets now in the mainstream, there are more meat-free alternatives available to meet those needs, and with that, a very welcome farewell to the cardboard-tasting “veggie burgers” of yesteryear. This breadth of options makes integrating, as opposed to just adding, plant-based foods into your menu easier than ever.

Having a more inclusive menu will make those individuals who have dietary restrictions feel like they are a part of the group, instead of just outliers. Consider including portobello mushroom cap steaks with your grilled steak or tri tip menu. If smoked BBQ is on the menu, you can incorporate bbq pulled jackfruit with your pulled pork or brisket bits. For a classic burger cookout, epically trending Beyond Burgers® or spicy southwest black bean burgers are sure to be a hit! An easy way to make sure your dietary-restricted guests have a full menu available to them is to have vegan dishes for some or all of your sides. There are plenty of full-flavor options available that don’t compromise on taste for your guests with traditional diets. One of our favorites is marinated vegetables, freshly cut and grilled to perfection – a delicious addition to any menu. Don’t forget the molasses baked beans, simmered in a hearty BBQ sauce – also completely vegan-friendly!

What you can do to accommodate all tastes!

Our Picnic People family is comprised of enthusiastic foodies with a variety of different diets, from BBQ pit carnivores to lifetime vegans. This plus our 4 decades of working alongside San Diego’s corporations and public gives us insight into the needs of companies and the concerns that those with dietary restrictions often have when eating outside of their own homes. Reaching health and wellness initiatives is a great way for companies to show their employees that they care about individuals’ wellbeing, not just production. Including plant-based foods in employer-provided meals is an easy way to reach those goals! For those with plant-based diets – or any dietary restrictions for that matter – eating out can be very concerning, requiring a level of trust in those providing your food to ensure absolutely no cross-contamination. You will always find us with designated grill tops and utensils, specifically for plant-based items!

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure where to begin planning your menu – we know the ins and outs of accommodating a variety of taste buds. Just tell your Picnic People Event Coordinator about your group and we’ll suggest some mouthwatering favorites!

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