How to Vegan, Lifestyle Guides

Tips for Cottaging with Non-Vegans

The sun is shining, you have your entire weekend free, and you’re ready for some relaxation. You know what that means? It’s time to hop in the car and head up to the cottage!┬áHere in Canada, cottaging is a big thing – especially in the summer. Most families have their own cottage, but if they didn’t they would rent or use a friend’s. We have been going to Devin’s cottage for the last seven-ish years. It’s become THE spot for relaxation. However as a vegan, it can be a little more difficult.

Most of the time the cottage is somewhere you go with a large group, and more than likely those people aren’t vegan. We’ve done this a lot and know that it can be challenging. We’ve detailed our five tips for making the weekend stress free.

Plan ahead

Whenever you’re going somewhere with a big group of people it’s best to plan ahead. Set a budget and ensure everyone is contributing to it. When we used to go to the cottage with 10 of our friends we’d make a menu that worked for every dietary restriction. A couple of us would do the grocery shopping, then we’d split the cost between everyone – because of this we made sure that everyone could eat everything.

vegans at the cottage
S’mores Cookies are always a hit at the cottage.

Make simple meals

When planning meals for a large number of people it’s important that they’re simple. Simple meals can be done in minimal time (who wants to spend all day cooking when you’re at the cottage?!) and with very few appliances and ingredients. Most cottages only have the basics; a stove, oven, toaster, and a microwave – so avoid recipes that involve anything beyond that. We love pizza, because all you need is an oven!

Show off how good vegan food can be

The cottage is the perfect opportunity to show off just how good vegan food can be. Offer to make a meal for the group and pick something super delicious. As we’ve mentioned before, when trying to introduce non-vegans to vegan food avoid healthy stuff. Try making cauliflower wings or tofu souvlaki – these dishes are always a big hit with our non-vegan friends. Serving a vegan meal opens up conversation and may even spark some inspiration!

Save the lecture for another time

Depending on your group of friends, there may be some meat involved in your cottage weekend. Of course you’re not going to eat it and it will probably bother you a bit – but in the interest of a fun weekend keep the vegan lecture for another time. No one wants to be chastised during their fun weekend getaway. Push the fact that people are eating meat to the back of your mind and just focus on having fun with your friends.

Relax and have fun

This goes hand-in-hand with the above. Relax, forget about work and stress, and have fun! You’re at the cottage for a reason! We love using the cottage as a social media detox/reset. We leave our phones on silent and most of the time in the house, while we’re outside enjoying the sun and water. Also while you’re at the cottage don’t stress to much about diet – it’s vacation after all.

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