I grew up thinking about vegetables as a side dish, never a main course.
'You have to finish what's on your plate' and: 'A meal with no meat dish is incomplete', are the two main imperatives of my culinary upbringing. I was brought up to believe only two things effect what it is you eat: Cultural heritage – Mediterranean of Romanian descent, and Doctor's orders - got me some Hypertension inducing, and Diabetes pre-disposing, genes in my makeup.
It all changed one day, with the beginning of my relationship with Kinneret. It's just been a bit less than 18 months since I came home one evening to find her in my living room, and if you stick around long enough you just might get the full story. Anyway, after a short time of courtship, studded with my first attempts at vegan cooking, she made me the happiest man by moving in with me. And our kitchen became (also) vegan.
The most tasty part of courtship
Food is an intricate part of any and all budding love stories. Knowing what kind of jewelry she likes to wear, her favorite music or books, is both important and useful; but knowing what she likes to eat, and even more important, what she won't eat, is crucial.
Kinneret perceives eating animal based products as taking part in the cruel meat-milk-eggs industry, and her heart just won't let her do that. "We know enough to choose the right side", she says of her choice to be vegan.
Although I don't necessarily share the same view about the efficacy of going vegan, as a solution to the mistreatment of living beings, there is very little I like more than cooking for this women I love.
The secret ingredient in sustaining an inter-dietary household (and life in general)
Mine is a strong line of foodies; my late maternal grandfather, to name but one, was known for the pickled eels he made in his small grocery store in Bucharest, Romania. I'm a decent home-cook with the great fortune to like working in the kitchen. Vegan cooking, and even more so: maintaining a vegan routine in my kitchen, present an ongoing challenge I find lots of fun and satisfaction in overcoming.
Living in an inter-dietary household inevitably exposes points of friction, from the philosophical to the mundane. From arguing about the nature of choice, to using plant based whipped cream in a favorite desert. Whether you cook vegan food for your partner, like I, or for an offspring under your roof, the only way it works is with mutual respect.
But don’t get me started on:
- Vegan Fast food – the kind you eat out and the kind you need to make – fast!
- Eating out – Vegan promises on the menu never fulfilled
- Vacation – where vegan isn’t always an easy, or even available, option
When you like to cook, making your kitchen vegan is a welcomed challenge
As home cook with a vegan live-in I had to find new go-to dishes, to add to the non-vegan ones i use as primary fallbacks. These new anchor recipes are available for me at any time, even without planning days ahead. I revised my shopping list to include a steady supply of vegan essentials. And am on a constant learning curve of new ways and means of home cooking a variety of simple, and tasty :-) vegan dishes.
At home or on travel. Daily or long term. An inter-dietary relationship adds its own brand of excitement to the already daunting challenge of maintaining a vegan routine. With willingness born of love - the labor can become a fun adventure.