5 Dinner Ideas for Cooking Vegan When Your Significant Other Isn't!

Whenever you have dietary restrictions that your significant other doesn't, cooking can be a bit of a challenge. Whether you're Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Pescatarian, Vegetarian - you name it, if your other half doesn't eat the same way, how do you meet in the middle? Here are a few things that I've found work for me and my meat and cheese loving boyfriend:

Pasta: One of you wants pasta, the other wants zoodles - so make it half and half! We find a sauce we both love (the Vegan Pesto from this recipe is one of our favorites), boil some Banza spaghetti, spiralize some zoodles, and mix it all together in a sauce pan. He will usually add some diced chicken on top of his, and I'll keep mine plain, or add some crispy chickpeas, diced tomatoes, etc. We've also used a simple drizzle of basil olive oil and lemon juice for a light and fresh flavor, or gone the Italian route with Rao's marinara. There are lots of options that can work for everyone when you're thinking about sauces. Find one you both love, and then tackle the toppings separately.

Pizza: This one is easy, it's as simple as saying: that half is yours, this half is mine! We get fresh pizza dough from Bova's bakery, and split the pizza down the middle. He typically likes chicken, or chicken sausage on his, with shredded cheese. I pile roasted veggies on my half, with a Vegan cheese sauce (I like the Mexican White Queso recipe from Veggie's Don't Bite, or Siete Cashew-Based Vegan Queso if I want something pre-made). All we really need to agree on is the veggies, since he'll usually steal a few of mine for his side.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: We love baking sweet potatoes and stuffing them with our favorites. Agree on a theme (we like Mexican!), and you can fill them with whatever you want. When we're going Mexican, we both start with salsa and guacamole -- he will typically (again) add chicken and cheese, while I'll add black beans and some type of Vegan cheese. We also usually agree on a vegetable to throw in there as well, like sauteed red pepper or onion. You could also try a pizza theme with these: I'm a big fan of sweet potato on pizza so I would bet that combination would be delicious (my Southie people know what I'm talking about - if you've eaten at Lincoln, you know how good this is!).

And More: We love quesadillas - again, you just put in whatever toppings suit you! The main difference is the cheese (and he will usually add some type of meat). I usually always have regular shredded cheese in the freezer for him, and a batch of homemade Vegan cheese for me. It makes dinner preparation that much quicker. Lastly, Tomato Soup is always a winner - who doesn't like Tomato Soup? He will typically pair his with a Grilled Cheese, and I'll make a salad.

I would love to hear what you all cook when you are with friends, family, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc that don't follow the same diet you do! What are your go-to recipes or ways you meet in the middle?

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