Happy almost Friday!
Couldn’t be gladder that the weekend looms. Has anyone tried my Asian dressing yet?
I’m here today with a reader question, which comes from my pal Emily. She wrote:
I wonder whether you might write a post on how to eat raw (or vegan) when your partner does not? For example, creating two meals (and ideas for not succumbing to a quick bite off of their plate!).
Great question, Em! It’s not easy to be a high-raw vegan in a world full of omnis. If I were to take a survey of three recent relationships, I’d have:
1) The private chef, who ordered in bulk from D’Artagnan and worshiped at the altar of French cheeses. Le sigh.
2) The takeout-aholic. Though a relatively healthy eater, Mr. Takoeout was a dial-and-dine kinda guy. I often conceded to this habit, but if I were to go back and do it again, I’d have tried to insist on more home cooking.
3) The foodie. Like many NYC fellows, he was a walking Zagats. This restaurant officianado loved nothing more than to scour the latest issue of New York for cool new restaurant tips; when he wasn’t doing that, he was phoning Magnolia to find out whether or not pumpkin cupcakes were available that day, or hunting down the Treat Truck. I suspect that, had we been together longer, the dining out vs. dining in discussion would have become a little tense. But I did get him to Pure Food and Wine a few times!
So you see, Em, I know from experience that it ain’t easy. Never fear, though: I have answered this very question for many a client. Usually, said client is asking me not only how to prepare simultaneous meals, but also how to prepare them both in a pinch. My tips for copacetic, quick, and tasty vegan/omni dinners include, but are not limited to, the following:
A lot of varying a simultaneous raw/cooked dinner will be about the sides. You can prepare a raw or cooked entree for you both, but then the two of you can, as noted above, choose to serve up your fundamentals a bit differently. Grain dishes at night are great, and it’s easy for you to make a quinoa pilaf or brown rice dish and serve yours with raw salad, his with additional cooked food.
Also keep in mind these very simple ideas:
As I did with my miso glaze on Saturday night, try making a marinade, sauce, or glaze that’s equally tasty over grains and veggies, or on chicken or fish. I love to mix nama shoyu, maple syrup, and white wine vinegar and marinate a bit of tempeh; you could easily use the same marinate on fish (salmon would be great with this). Other fave marinades of mine are honey mustard (agave, dijon, apple cider vinegar, spices of choice), and balsamic vinaigrette. Marinate your proteins separately and cook them simultaneously; prepare a giant salad (raw, if your partner is willing) and enjoy it together as a way of rounding out the meal.
Also: summertime is here! This means many of you will be pulling out your grills. Grills make veggie/omni dinners easy as pie! Just grill up veggies, tofu, or sunshine burgers (or homemade veggie burgers of choice) as your partner is grilling up meat or fish (I would personally wrap my veggies or burgers in foil to avoid them touching a grill that’s been used for lots of meat). You’ll both have fast, smokey, delicious meals at the ready in no time! Ditto for setting up sandwich “bars” at home: put out sprouted bread, veggies, hummus, nut pate, pickles, guac, and whatever other vegan fillings you love. He can pull out his cheese or meats, and you can assemble your sammies together. Easy, relaxed, fun.
Hope this helps, Em! I imagine that, when two people respect each other’s choices, it’s quite easy to create delicious dinners that are both vegan friendly and omni-pleasing.
And for dessert? Well, everyone likes banana soft serve.
Now I want to hear from all of you. I know that many of my blogging friends prepare family meals for themselves and for partners who aren’t quite vegan (but may flirt with it at home). What are some of your favorite ideas for inclusive dinners?