Meat-eaters and vegetarians can live in one household. In harmony. No kidding. Yes, there are distinct differences in how and what we eat, but that is not what brought us together and it will not be the things that tears us apart. The toilet seat and toilet paper roll placement may, though.
If you are not sure how to cook for everyone without cooking separate meals every time, let us tell you, it gets easier. There is always room on the grill for plant-based goodness and the omni’s choices from the meat department. Compromise and planning make all the difference.
Breakfast is the easiest meal of the day. Most weekdays we don’t get to eat together and do our own thing. V prefers oats and fruit or a smoothie while FM opts for egg sandwiches or savory egg muffins. Of course, we both go for coffee and water.
We don’t get to dine together for weekday lunch, either, but both tend to have sandwiches, fruit, some kind of veggie side. The sides are always vegan – pasta, potato, or veggie salad are in heavy rotation, but sometimes our inner elementary aged kids choose Ants on a Log. The sandwiches are filled with meat and cheese for FM and V chooses salad fixings, hummus, or nut butter with fruit or jelly.
Dinner may be the meal that trips you up, but it does not have to be. Longtime favorite meals can be tweaked to suit all preferences and it’s easier than you may think.
On Taco (or TexMex) Tuesday, we keep the rice and beans vegan and all the toppings (salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and avocado) are perfect for everyone. We use the same tortillas, taco shells, or bowls of salad mix and make our bowls, tacos, or burritos to our tastes. FM adds ground chicken or beef, cheese, and sour cream while V may add vegan cheese and cashew sour cream.
On Spaghetti Wednesday on Thursday (RIP Hershel), the pasta and sauce are vegan and FM will add the animal protein of his choice – or not if he’s feeling like a trip to the veg side that day. Most of the time, V will have a mix of sauteed vegetables ready to add to the pasta or enjoy on the side. A mix of eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and spinach with garlic makes for a filling, hearty side or veggie portion of a pasta bowl. We both like our garlic bread, so V makes garlic butter with Earth Balance to top slices Italian bread or Texas Toast.
Steakhouse night is another easy one. While FM enjoys his stead, V enjoys grilled portabella mushrooms. We both round out our meals with mashed or baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, and side salads.
Dessert and snacks are usually vegan. Did you know that most Marie Callender fruit pies are accidentally vegan? The blueberry is especially yummy with Nada Moo Vanilla…Ahhh. Sometimes FM gets to try his with Nada Moo, but V does not always share.
We hope that this helps give you ideas for making that mixed household work at mealtime. Those examples do not take more time to cook and no one feels left out in the cold. Except FM when V won’t share the Nada Moo. If you would like to see more meal ideas, just let us know.