Can a Vegetarian and Meat Eater Be Together?
What happens when a person is absolutely compatible with another person in every area of life except at the dinner table? When a vegetarian meets a meat lover, there are some challenges to the relationship that like-meal minded couples do not face. But, there are a few tried and true kitchen tips to help easily bridge the vegetarian-meat eater dinner table gap.

Communicate meal time preferences and limits. It is important from the onset to communicate vegetarian and meat loving meal preferences as a couple. If seafood is acceptable to a vegetarian, then the fact must be communicated. If red meat is a must at every evening meal for a meat lover, then that too must be communicated. Many couples find that the dietary restrictions are not as strict as society's labels claim and that they are also very compatible in the kitchen as well. On the other hand, if there is a religious or ethical diet dilemma at hand, it is vital to bring the issue to light as soon as possible.

Learn to compromise. This certainly does not mean that a vegetarian accept a steak for her dinner protein-but, it does mean that a vegetarian may need to learn to adapt to a steak cooked in her favorite grill pan if possible. Living in a combination vegetarian/non-vegetarian home often encourages a non-vegetarian to branch out and accept a few meatless meals when convenient or necessary. As with many other relationship aspects, collaborative meal planning requires a bit of give and take when a vegetarian and a meat eater live together.

Create weekly meal plans. Planning any couple or family meal cycle is difficult and time consuming-but, for those accommodating both a vegetarian and meat eater in the meal plan, there are added concerns and considerations. Household budgets further restrict meal plans, so it is very important to sit down weekly or even monthly and plan out meals that fit everyone's needs and dietary requirements as well as the household food budget.

Share cooking duties. Sharing cooking responsibilities often helps couples learn to compromise in the kitchen. When both parties accept a portion of the responsibility for meal planning and preparation, compromise and realistic meal menus become much easier for all.

Keep meals versatile. As most vegetarian/non vegetarian households are quick to note, versatile meals are keys to long term meal time success. Finding pasta or rice dishes to which meat is added separately-or meals to which a serving of meat is added to vegetarian friendly dishes requires some versatility. The internet provides a wealth of vegetarian recipes and versatile meatless meal options.

Living in a vegetarian/non-vegetarian home requires planning, compromise and versatility. It requires commitment on the part of every member of the home to make meal time a success for all. Certainly, planning for various dietary needs is not effortless-but, it is manageable and can be accomplished if everyone works together and plans ahead.

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