How to Build a Meal Plan That "Goes Both Ways"
The following post was originally published on Mindfully Edible.
Eating a plant-based diet while living with omnivores can be...challenging.
Putting the politics aside, one of the obvious difficulties is the need to make completely separate meals - often that means double prep and cook time, more time stressing in the grocery store, and way too many dishes to clean afterwards.
BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
Actually, veggie-friendly folks can happily live amongst omnivores - if you know how to build the right kind of meal plan. I'm about to show you how, and then give you a recipe collection + dinner meal plan to get you off to a successful start living with that disgusting meat-hungry murderer of a partner of yours! (Ha...sorry - couldn't resist, and I'm just kidding!) #EatWhatMakesYouThrive
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF "DIY" MEALS
I'm taking about tacos, collard wraps, cabbage leaf bowls, and other delicious creations you make on the spot at the table - immediately before indulgence. It's easy to separate the "protein" (meat vs. not) filling in this sort of set-up. For instance, I love these vegan eggplant tacos which make use of a deliciously unique walnut taco meat (but of course you can use "regular" ground beef as the taco meat instead).
'SALADS IN A JAR' ARE AN EASY BASE MEAL FOR ALL
I loveeee the convenience of having a few mason jar salads prepped in the fridge for a quick and easy 'just shake and go' meal - to take to the office or if you're in a hurry and on the go after work. Simply top with a protein of choice the morning of - this can be a boiled egg, some pulled chicken, marinated tofu cubes, or anything else your head and heart fancies!
SNEAKY SOUP STIR-IN'S...
Have you ever considered stirring a scoop of protein powder into a savoury soup to take it to the next "main course" level? Now you will. I like mixing in fermented vegan proteins+ (unflavoured) from Genuine Health - making sure the soup is only just slightly warm and not hot, as too much heat will kill all the probiotic benefits that this rad protein powder offers!
Of course, boring-poring meat-eaters could just top with like...chicken or something.
STIR-FRY'S ARE CUSTOMIZABLE (AT THE LAST SECOND)
This is an easy one. Make the full veggie-packed vegan recipe and then feel free to throw in some additional protein - vegetarian or not, in the final moments of cooking. This cabbage fried quinoa is a complete meal on it's own, or you can top it with bacon or some baked edamame for a bit of crunch.
WHO DOESN'T LOVE SOME GOOD OLD ZA?!
Pizza. No matter how you top it (literally) - it's the best ever, and makes everyone happy. #Truth
How about you encourage your meat-eating partner-in-crime to dabble in the art of going dairy-free by trying the following vegan pizza? If pepperoni is their vice, then it can quickly & easily be added on top of this already delicious creation.
Similar to the DIY taco idea, stuffing things like sweet peppers or potatoes are a great way to create a delicious meal (or two) that SEEMS that same for both eaters alike - all you have to mix twice are the fillings. Beans or TVP can be swapped out for pulled or minced meats, keeping the rest of the seasonings and ingredients identical. Of course, whatever you "stuff" remains the same as well (so you can feel like total #twinsies).
TRICK THOSE BUGGERS WITH A GOOD-DAMN PLANT BASED BURGER
Tasteless bean burgers need to step aside and not insult our meat-loving friends...but rather we need to welcome them into our heavenly plant based world with juicy tasty patties that don't suck. Here are my top 3 recommendations that won't induce a lecture on why "there's a reason we've eaten meat for 'X' number of years"...bla bla bla #shutup.
And with that, I invite you to leave your differences at the doorstep. While it was hard for me to suggest "top with bacon" (I LOVE PIGS!) on some of the meals I suggest in the following meal plan, let's face it: you can't change the world overnight. Sometimes circumstances call for eating with folks that are simply stuck-in-their-ways. My first choice and recommendation is to offer and encourage them to join you in a delicious plant powered dish, but if they are absolutely NOT having it, then let's still be friends and eat together!
I hope the following resources I share from Meal Garden help to make that your reality :)