View Full Version : Cooking for a mix of vegans, ovo-lacto and omnis

Annie M. Green
Jun 11th, 2012, 12:48 AM
*Sorry if this is in the wrong place*

So the situation is - I'm moving back home in a couple of weeks, which means the bf and I will be living at my mom's house permanently now. (all the complications of which are a topic for a completely different discussion:-)). My 25 y.o. cousin also lives there + 2 lovely kitties :)

As the bf and i now will be working from home, thus hanging around the house quite a lot, I will have to do most of the cooking for the 4 of us (plus I wanna learn how to cook properly and well). This is where I need some advice.
I'm vegan, my mom's ovo-lacto and the bf and cousin are omnis. I'm not willing to cook anything non-vegan for them, and they're fine with eating vegan about half of the time, but they do want their 'freedom' of eating animal products when they want to, and i'm pretty much fine with that. So what I'm looking for a some nice recipes that I can cook vegan, but they can then add their cheese/meat to. When I'm home for holidays and I cook for everyone, I usually make something like rice/pasta/couscous with veggies in curry or tomato or some other sauce (easy for them to add meat/cheese to if they want). I try to vary the components as much as possible, but still gets quite boring, I think. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I think we're all up to trying anything and everything new in terms of food, it would in addition be a good opportunity for them to see that vegan food is very varied and tasty :) I'd really like to try cooking things like pies, casseroles and desserts and international foods - never had any practice while living by myself. If all goes well with my work plans, I won't have much time to spend around the kitchen though! So I need recipes that don't take too much preparation time.

Another thing is that the bf is really tall and thin and REALLY needs to gain some weight - can't feed himself properly at all, esp. when I'm away. I'm probably the only one who can help him with it :/ But I, on the other hand, need to lose some weight (not much, maybe up to 6-8 kilos). Mom and cousin seem to be watching their weight as well. Obviously, bigger than average portions for him and smaller than average for me could be part of the answer, also maybe cake for him and apple for me for dessert. We're both hoping to make a lot more time for exercise also. So does anyone has any other suggestions on how to combine the two completely different diets without cooking 2 meals?

I know that a lot of people on here live with and cook for non-vegans, so how do you go about it?
Any advice, tips, recipes or any other help will be much appreciated :)

p.s.: wow, that's long! sorry :rolleyes:

Jun 12th, 2012, 01:53 AM
My boyfriend is omni, and I do most of the cooking when we are together.
He never seems to mind the vegan meals, but a really easy one to make 'omni-friendly' is pizza from scratch (http://thoughts-for-food.tumblr.com/post/17889337657/pizza-dough). That blog actually has a lot of good recipes that can be really easily modified and adapted.

Jun 12th, 2012, 10:19 AM
Hi Annie,
if you look at thea area below these posts, you'll see something called "Tags for this thread". If you click on "cooking for omnis", I'm sure you'll find some intersting info. Good luck. :-)

Jun 12th, 2012, 11:04 AM
Another one is baked potatoes. Bake some potatoes in the oven (more/larger ones for him, less/smaller for you if you want). You can add toppings to yours such as steamed broccoli, nutrional yeast sauce, some type of bean or tempeh crumbled on yours. He could add things like cheese, ham, veggies etc to his.

A similar concept is vegetarian chow mein with rice noodles, soy or tamari sauce, and steamed or stir fried vegetables. You could then dish it out and add chickpeas or a tofu to yours and he could add meat to his half. The additions would have to be prepared separately but its no big deal.

My husband needs to gain weight too (he also has a medical condition that makes this doubly hard) and has lost too much weight but also has very high cholesterol (he likes his dairy too much). He does eat a lot of my vegan meals but I have tried to make his vegan portions more hefty by adding things like nuts or nut butters/sauces or maple syrup with hot cereal etc and giving him bigger portions (which doesnt always work because he gets filled up too fast). I make him a coconut milk smoothie with banana and other fruits/veggies/vegan protein powder sometimes for breakfast to give him a boost without him getting stuffed. Sometimes he will eat banana, peanut butter sandwiches with a heavier bread. He buys his own omnivore food as I refuse but if I can bear it I have prepared some of it for him on occasion (such as eggs or cheese), but I cant handle the meat stuff. He has to cook that himself because I get too emotionally worked up. Even the sight of the cheese and eggs makes me ill and I have cut back on preparing this due to his high cholesterol. Problem is he wont cook for himself. But it isnt my responsibility, nor is his getting too thin. Nevertheless I understand your predicament. I hope this helps a litte.

Annie M. Green
Jun 14th, 2012, 03:21 AM
Thanks for your replies folks :)

Muvesz, looks delish, haven't had pizza in ages :) i'll just have to be very strict and not let myself eat the whole thing! :)

Robinwomb, I know how you feel about not cooking animal products - I often can't even stand the smell when my mum is making herself an omlette, let alone the smell of meat.. yuck..
As for weight gain - a lot of people have said to me that on a vegan diet my bf will NEVER gain weight so he has to eat animal products to gain weight, but I completely disagree. I actually think it could be either, but since a vegan diet is generally healthier (less cholesterol, more vitamins :) ), it would work towards a healthier weight gain and just a better health in general, really. It just has to be a smart vegan diet and not one based on chips and empty calories.
It's not my responsibility to help him either, it's just something I'm doing because I love him. He wants to do gain weight and knows that he needs to, he just doesn't know anything about nutrition or cooking, which is where I'm trying to help - by explaining and showing rather than 'you have to do this and that'. He's slowly coming around to understanding, and I'm getting a feeling that he's now almost completely convinced that he doesn't need to eat animal products to be healthy. I think he continues to eat them just because of the taste of his favourite meals, habit and the 'inconvenience' of providing a decent vegan alternative - there isn't much choice of vegan-friendly ready meals or foods at normal cafes/restaurants in Moscow. This is one of the reasons I want to try cooking all the new interesting dishes - to show him (and anyone else who will be eating it) that vegan food is varied, tasty and filling, and it's the same or even easier than cooking animal products.