I live in a blended household. I'm a vegan (duh), and my partner Paul is an omnivore. He doesn't often buy raw meat or cook raw meat. Gross. But he does buy canned soups, TV dinners, and other convenience foods that have meat in them. We don't generally eat together unless we dine out. I eat dinner when I get home from work, and he usually just snacks all night when he gets home. It works out well. More leftovers for me from the meals I cook. Separate grocery bills. Basically, we eat like we're roommates.
But interdietary cohabitation can be tough for some people, especially if you're really particular about having any meat products in the house or if you feel ethically uncomfortable dating/partnering with someone who contributes to factory farm cruelty. I don't like it. But I know I can't change him, and if he decides to give up meat some day, it will be on his own terms.
But there's a new cookbook/relationship manifesto with recipes and tips for people in blended vegan-omni relationships and for the lucky bastards in vegan-on-vegan relationships. It's called The Lusty Vegan, and it's written by Ayinde Howell (of I Eat Grass fame) and Zoe Eisenberg.
This is part cookbook, part relationship guide. But before you go thinkin' it's filled with self-help fluff, think again. Ayinde and Zoe share tips on interdietary relationships, finding a vegan partner, and other love-related stuff through sharing their own personal stories of relationships gone right and wrong. Names are changed to protect their past partners, of course. But it's fun to read those stories, like the one about Ayinde's ex "Ginger," who ordered a burger on their first date. Ayinde is a gold-star vegan (meaning he's never eaten meat), but they managed to date for quite awhile.
The recipes are organized into categories like "Recipes to Impress Your Vegan" (dishes omnis can make for their vegan partners), "Recipes to Impress Your Omni" (the opposite), "A Very Special Dinner Menu" (for that first awkward family holiday celebration, when you realize your partner's mom puts meat in all the vegetables), "The Morning After" (breakfast recipes!), "Recipes for Cohabitation," and so on. There's even a "Food for Sex" section with aphrodiasic foods and a section on break-up foods (basically all desserts, of course).
I chose two recipes to try. I made the Tofu Sausage Pizza Sliders from the chapter of recipes omnis could make to impress vegan dates.
I believe these were included in that chapter because they're so easy. Even an omni can make this without running all over town looking for weird ingredients. They're little English muffin pizzas with Daiya cheese, red pepper, red onion, marinara, and a homemade tofu sausage. I'd never thought to make sausage using tofu, but it is soooooo goooood. Crumbled tofu is seasoned with sausage-y herbs, like sage, rosemary, oregano, basil, and garlic. Yum!
I also made the Truffle-Roasted Vegetable Medley from the special dinner menu chapter.
Very special indeed. It's finally cool enough around here to turn the oven on for extended periods, and all the lovely winter squashes are out, so it seemed like a good time to try this dish. Plus, truffle oil! This is a simple dish made with roasted squash (I used acorn), sweet potato, turnips, carrots, and red onion. The veggies are tossed with truffle oil, which steps them up about 10,000 notches.
Whether you're in a mixed relationship or a vegan dating a vegan, there's something in The Lusty Vegan for you. Who doesn't need a recipe for Habanero Jackfruit Tacos or Mexican Lasagna? Nacho Mac & Cheese? Seitan Parmesan Nuggets with Ranch Dressing?
Well, if you want those recipes in your life (as well as some handy relationship advice), enter my Lusty Vegan giveaway! The publisher has requested that the giveaway be limited to US residents only. So if you live in the U.S., leave a comment about how you deal with vegan dating/partnering and be sure to include an email address so I can contact you if you win. That last part is very important! Good luck! I'll select a winner on Sunday night.