21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Created on: 01/27/13 11:25 PM Views: 2439 Replies: 8
Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 11:25 PM

I was about 6 years old when my family went to a farm to get half a black angus for our freezer. My older brother told me that hamburgers came from cows and since then I've made attempts at going vegan. For a time after that all I would eat was my normal oatmeal for breakfast, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for lunch and tomato soup for supper. Not exactly well balanced meals and it drove my mother crazy, so she took me to our family doctor to "fix" me. Finally, 48 years later I heard Dr. Barnard on an ETV special and found this website!

Still, I'm trying to eat vegan and my carnivorus family is trying to "fix" me. My ex-husband's family raised beef cattle. The only thing I miss about being married to him is the huge organic garden I had! I grew and preserved all our vegetables. Now my daughter and grandson live with me, but it's not a place where I can garden. My grandson is happy to eat vegan like me, but my daughter insists on meat. The only 2 vegan dishes my daughter has enjoyed and requested I fix again are black bean chili and spinach lasagna.

How is anyone else dealing with this? It makes no sense to fix two meals every night!


RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM

It has been a long time since that was an issue in my life, so I feel others may have a better suggestion than me.

That said, I made the planned meal vegan with a side of meat. That way they still had the meat they desired but the rest could be shared by all. I also used more alternative products than I do now.

Always offer kindness and a soft word to the beings around you; You do not know their journey. Your words can be the hug they need or the shove that breaks them.

RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 at 3:50 AM

I am the sole human in my house so I dont have experience with this - but this question has been answered well by others in other kickstarts so hang in there. I am sure some more good suggestions will come up as people check in. Its a bit slower between kickstarts.

In the mean time what Oceandog suggested makes sense to me because the opposite happens when I eat with my family. They cook their regular meals and I have whatever vegetables they cook on the side without the meat and dairy products. It is sometimes a little boring if all I am eating is a potato and 'whatever' veggie when others seem to have a spread of different foods but its only for one meal and as the only vegan in my family I dont want to put anyone out. Luckily if they come to my house they are happy to have a meatless meal. So its compromise.

So cooking vegan meals for the majority but putting some meat on the side should work for the non-vegan in your family. Its still cooking something extra (a portion of meat) but not two different full meals.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food - Hippocrates.

RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 at 5:31 AM

Is your daughter old enough to cook for herself? This may sound harsh, but if I'm doing the cooking then they are going to eat what I cook. If she wants something else, let her cook it. My husband eats what I cook, always thanks me and tells me it's good. He eats meat when we eat out and I do now and then bake him some chicken that lasts a couple days.

"My daughter insists on meat" - then she should cook it. Just my opinion.

Vikki ~

RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Most things can be made mix'n'match - Italian, tex-mex, Asian, etc. You can cook up a couple chicken breasts and a pound of ground meat once a week, then portion it out to be reheated with meals for the week. That way, it's not a lot of extra cooking every day. Then, reheat the meat to put on the side (as someone suggested) to be added to pasta/sauce, or mixed into a stir fry, or added to a burrito or fajita at the table.


RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I agree with Vikki. If your adult daughter wants to eat meat, let her purchase it and cook it.

RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 12:35 AM

My family is 50/50. Tonight I made two entirely different meals. I do feel like a short order cook at times. I feel like the music that the plate spinners had playing in the background on the old variety shows should be playing in my kitchen when I'm trying to cook two meals at once. Once in a while my husband cooks something for himself and my daughter. Some things almost work for all of us. I have convinced him to eat whole wheat pasta, so I just cook Italian sausages in some sauce for them and make some vegan sauages in sauce for my son and me. Hamburgers on the grill for them and Bean burgers of some kind for us work. My daughter would probably eat the meatless meals if my husband wasn't eating meat. For now, that's how it is.

RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your suggestions! I already do things like make spagetti sauce and serve the meatballs seprately. What I'm doing today is grilling several chicken breasts. I'll then put them in individual sandwich bags to keep in my freezer until needed. I love stirfried vegetables, so when I make them I can just pull a grilled chicken breast from the freezer for my daughter to add to hers. Or when I make big salads, she can have a chicken breast and some cheese on hers.

Yes, my daughter is old enough to cook for herself --she's 28. Unfortunaly she grew up with my exhusband and his new wife who can't boil water, so my daughter didn't learn to cook. I've tried to teach her how, but she stubbornly refuses to learn and would rather go to McD's or some other greasy fast food joint. That's the kind of food she ate growing up with her father & stepmother. My daughter's getting married in April this year and her fiance expects her to be able to cook, but other than Hamburger Helper, he's out of luck!


RE: Eating vegan with a carnivorus family
Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:19 AM

I had this problem in the beginning but now after 1 year it is easier. I got to know what recipes everyone likes and which ones they don't like, and it's often not related to whether or not there is meat involved. In the beginning I had to cook a "side dish" of meat or fish every evening but now I only use animal products in the family meals a couple of times a week and my family eats vegan with me many nights without even noticing. The biggest problem for me is that sometimes if the food is there I eat it. I haven't thought of a real solution, but more than once I've been known to have butter or margarine while serving it to the kids (they won't eat nut butters or avocado which I try to use instead) or a serving of a non-vegan dish I cooked for the family. I think I would do better if I could get my family to agree to eating vegan at home, and just not buying the stuff, but DH won't.
Interesting, I came across an old shopping list from 2 years ago and the change to our shopping was amazing, even if I don't consider myself or family to be "vegan"! So, every little bit helps and makes a step in the right direction.

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