The other day someone told me about a friend who’s wife is going vegan (yay!), but her husband is an omnivore. That basically describes me and Dave, and since we’ve been doing this for quite some time, my friend thought I might have some ideas about how to manage two different diets in one household.
Since I bet we’re not the only couples balancing two very different diets, I thought I’d talk a little bit about how Dave and I make this work.
My husband is a complete omnivore. He does avoid dairy for health reasons, but he’s not strict about it if we’re out and there is nothing but real cream for his coffee. That makes things much easier when it comes to choosing milk alternatives. We usually keep almond or soymilk around and some sort of soy creamer. It wouldn’t really be that costly to keep some organic dairy cream on hand for coffee and a small jug of organic milk, if he did the dairy thing.
I tend to do most of the shopping and cooking, so we both eat vegan the vast majority of the time. If Dave wants a steak or something like this, he either orders in or makes one for himself, and I make a separate meal for myself. When we’re doing separate dinners, we try to coordinate so our food finishes at the same time and we can still eat together.
Honestly, it hasn’t been a big problem for us. Dave likes my cooking, and on evenings when he wants meat in his meal we just do a little coordinating.
One of the keys I’ve discovered when cooking for him is that fake meat and fake cheese do NOT go over well. Instead, it’s probably better to focus on more veggie-based meals: beans and rice, pasta, stir fries, dumplings. Sometimes, I’ll whip up something from the Magical Loaf Studio. While that’s sort of a meat substitute, the results are never faux-meatlike. It tastes like grains and beans and veggies, just like lots of vegetarian cooks think a good veggie burger ought to.
So, I’d love to hear from other folks out there! Do any of you have a situation like mine? How do you strike a balance?
Hi there! My name is Becky Striepe (pronounced “stree-pee,” like “sleepy”), and I am a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. My life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Check out my new book: 40 Days of Green Smoothies!