I have a husband and two daughters – all three of them eat meat and dairy, soy, gluten, and corn. All the things I either don’t want to eat or are allergic to.
So, I’ve learned how to cook for everyone at once without having to spend all day in the kitchen.
Everybody is different, and every body is different. But dinner comes once a day. While I am willing to accommodate, I’m not willing to be a short order cook every night.
The way I’ve learned to solve this over the years is simple: All my main courses are plant based, allergen free (for me) foods. Everything else is treated as an add in or topping.
For example, last night I made a main course of Steamed Potatoes with Coconut Kale Sauce. This dish is what I had. My husband, being a meat eater, had some leftover steak. I just heated up a piece and added it as a topping to his portion of my plant based main course.
It was simple, fast, and easy for me to make two versions of this meal without having to spend a lot of extra time cooking.
I do this with soups, salads, stir-fries, burritos, casseroles… you name it.
Whatever the main course, I always make sure it’s a big dish of something I can eat. Extras like meat, cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, soy sauce – are all treated as add ins and toppings my family can grab on their own once the meal is cooked.
Doing this allows for variety in our diets without having to make four separate meals every night.
It doesn’t take much to add a bit of cheese to my husband’s burrito while keeping it out of mine – the same goes for croutons on a salad, soy sauce on a stir fry, or tortilla chips with a chili.
As long as the main course is plant based, the rest is just a ‘grab and go’ party every night!
Cooking for a mixed diet family can be easy and time efficient. It just takes a little bit of imagination, a willingness to compromise, and some easy add in or topping choices for everyone.
What are some ways you can be creative in your kitchen? Check out my Instagram page for more recipe and meal ideas!