With creating a body full of health and healing foremost in her mind, nothing pleases the vegan more than a meal that has taste, is easy to make, and doesn't make you feel nostalgic for the days of cured meats and stinky cheeses. It's a tall order but she tries to maintain a positive attitude about this, even when they go out to restaurants and she watches as everyone else eats steak, or meatloaf, or delicious pork buns with a side of honey bacon butter cornbread. She orders some mushroom buns and a rice dish she believes is meat free. But then it comes with pork and she spends the rest of her dinner trying to pick the pieces of pork out of the rice. Ahh a completely unsatisfying dinner, yet again. No one likes an obnoxious vegan but it's truly hard to eat out and not be.
What can the vegan eat out she wonders? Salads usually with the meat and cheese removed, some soups, some vegetable sides, and did she mention salads? Especially this vegan who tries to avoid the usual vegan trap of eating too much soy. She often thinks how hypocritical it is that the people who believe they eat so much better than the general corn eating population (corn-syrup, corn fed beef and chicken, etc) can believe they are so superior by eating just as much of a different not so great for you product: soy (soy yogurt, soy ice cream, soy sour cream, soy cheese, TVP). Most vegan cookbooks rely heavily on fake soy products to add texture and flavor. Yes they work, but you are still eating fake food. And if she is going to eat fake food she would prefer it to be in the form of chicken fingers.
All this near vegan wants is some understanding and love. Feed her some delicious vegetables with flavor and she will be yours forever. Don't make her feel bad about how she can't eat normal food and she will be forever grateful. Be willing to experiment.
Well, I can't write from the non-vegan experience, although I am usually a non-vegan. This week has been tough because the dietary change has finally hit my husband hard. He loves to cook and provide beautiful, delicious meals and takes great pride in feeding his family. I'm missing that lovely gene and unless I'm throwing a party or babysitting, feeding others is low on my totem pole.
Since I can hardly eat anything, this really throws him through a loop. Plus he is not that great at trying new vegan things like seitan, tempeh, tofu, or nutritional yeast. He also suffers from what I used to suffer from when I didn't eat vegan at all and had vegan friends. You think "there has to be something at this restaurant" or "there has to be something we can just 'make' vegan". But anyone who eats this way for a long time knows most flavoring in regular recipes comes from meat or dairy. When you remove those items you are left with pasta or rice, plain vegetables, and not a lot of flavor. But I understand the non-vegan perspective. You don't want to "suffer" just because the other person has to.
Bottom line: Alot of frustration on both parts. Growing pains I'm sure all vegan, non-vegan couples go through. Wish Linda Goodman had written a book for us!