Sunday, February 21, 2010

Combined Dining 101

Yesterday was all I was hoping it to be, and more. The only thing that could of made it better was a little sunshine. I finally got to spend the day with Eric, free from any sort of commitments and just do whatever the day led us to do. We spent most of the day just driving around because what else is there to do when it is raining and you have no money?

After driving around we decided it would be fun to make dinner together and ended up making Vegetarian French onion soup with a grilled caramelized onion, tomato, cream cheese ( Tofutti Cream cheese ) and herb sandwich. I loved every morsel of it, and Eric did too. Normally Eric is my biggest skeptic on anything I cook because it is not the kind of food he grew up with and the lack of meat is a turn off from the start…but I discovered if he helps out in the kitchen I can convince him to like pretty much anything he had a hand in making. He builds up a sense of pride and ownership over the meal and instead of tearing it apart, he builds it up.

The dinner table conversation was dominated by talk of the onion soup, what was in it, what it tasted like, and repeated. He looked almost nervous as he paid close attention to everyone’s body language as they sipped our product. It felt good to know that he wanted others to like the food as much as I wanted them too, and it was cute to see him care so much. There are a few rules that I forgot to go over with him first though.

Combined Vegetarian and Carnivore Dining 101

Rule #1

Never emphasize the fact that the meal is meat free. The Carnivores already miss the meat enough and to be reminded that is not there doesn’t help them to better enjoy your meal.

Rule #2

Never reveal mock animal products. If you use veggie cheese instead of real cheese, or in our case use Tofutti Cream Cheese instead of real cream cheese and nothing is said, leave it at that. Revealing a mystery product is setting yourself up for failure. 


Guest: “What’s for dessert?”

Host: “Cheesecake made with Tofu instead of cream cheese.”

You just completely ruined your dessert before they even had a chance to try it..and probably not even notice.

Rule #3

Avoid the 4 dirty words of vegetarian and carnivore dining while at the dinner table. These words include:





The last one is especially dangerous and is like dropping the F bomb in the middle of Bible study. If you want a carnivore to instantly dislike your food this is the magic word to say. To carnivores being a Vegetarian is already a strange and restrictive lifestyle, but to them the Vegan lifestyle is just insane and only a bunch of loony’s would ever try it. They don’t want to dine with “crazy” people, or eat their food either.

Stay away from phrases such as:

This _______  is Vegan. <---Carnivores can here this word echoing in their ears from miles away.

Rule #4

Never serve a meat alternative and expect them to be tricked into thinking it is real meat. No matter how meat like it may taste to a fellow vegetarian, or to yourself, it may have been years since you have had the real thing making nearly anything taste “meat-like”. Carnivores have most likely been eating meat their whole lives and can surely tell the difference. There are a few exceptions but in most cases they will not like it. If you must serve a meat alternative, this can be the only exception to rule #2.

If you serve a meat alternative it is best to reveal it before hand, because when they notice ( and they will notice ) they will feel as if you thought they were actually dumb enough to fall for your mock meat prank. If you wish not to offend them you must let them know that it is not meat, and the secret to enjoying meat substitutes is to treat them as new type of  food, instead of a meat mocker.

Rule #5

Never bring vegetarian views or issues up at the dinner table. Unless you are asked directly no one wants to hear your views of  the world and why you choose not to eat meat. It is not a time or place to preach your lifestyle. The dinner table is a place to come together and enjoy each others company regardless of ones views and opinions.

I am sure there are more rules to be added but I find these to be the most important. Vegetarian or Carnivore, are there any rules that you would like to add to the list?


  1. Good rules, but at the same time I enjoy hearing about what to stay away from and what's in foods. That's how I learn/learned. Guess it depends on who's at the table.... :P

  2. This made me laugh, only because it's all 100% true! As a vegetarian with a very carnivorous boyfriend, if I so much as call a slice of cheese pizza vegetarian, he would look at it funny... le sigh.

  3. Okay, I'll put my two cents worth in. The meal was very good, the sandwich was fresh and tasty and the soup was a great onion soup. So what if there was no meat, the meat was in the company, he he, God didn't make you out of vegetables, and we had a great time eating good food, vegan or not.

  4. I have seen the carnivore freak out session when they say "WOW this is sooo good" and you reply "thanks it's vegan" they act like you just told them you mixed a little dog poo in the special sauce. Really great post today!

  5. "they act like you just told them you mixed a little dog poo in the special sauce."

    Chicken- Haha so true! That or you poured some kind of contatious vegan disease onto the food, or that their hair will instantly turn to dredlocks...I guess their reactions can be kind of worth it sometimes :)

    Savvy Soybean- I hate that lol why does vegetarian have to be such a dirty word.

  6. haha your rules are so true! From time to time I make veggie meals for myself and my mom. My dad will look at the packages seeing, tofu, meat alternative, soy...and he's like "EW". Meat eaters have no idea how good some meatless meals can be!

    xo anastasia b