Are you dating someone who’s a vegan or a vegetarian but don’t know how to cook for them or accommodate their dietary choices? If you want to impress them and be considerate and accommodating, do some research beforehand and know what each stands for. A vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat. Some will eat fish, most won’t. A vegan however in addition to not eating meat doesn’t consume any animal products such as eggs, milk or cheese. You should ask your date specifically what they do and do not eat. But put them at ease. Let them know you got it, you just want to know all of the particulars. They will be very happy that you asked. Be prepared to have them ask questions at the meal and don’t feel that they are giving you the third degree. Understand that their dietary choices are a big part of their life, and if you want to be a part of their life you will have to get used to accommodating it. Make sure you check the ingredients of the foods you wish to serve. Sometimes the manufacturers use certain animal products but you would never know without reading the labels. If you are ever unsure, check with your date. They won’t get mad. If they are worth your time they will appreciate your effort.
Try to find out what kind of dishes your date prefers. There are lots of different vegetarian dishes that are delicious and you can enjoy together from tabouli to eggplant parmesan. What restaurants have you visited together? What did your date order? Just because they are not meat eaters doesn’t mean they don’t need protein. Make sure you use lentils, kidney beans, garbanzo beans or some other type of plant based protein. Nuts are good, too. It would be easy to plan even a three or five course meal, if you are so inclined, with soup, a main course and dessert. Try to visit a local health food store. They will have lots of ideas on what to make that your date will love, along with the ingredients to get you there. Search online. Go to a bookstore and buy a cookbook. Watch videos on how to prepare delicious vegetarian or vegan meals on YouTube. There are plenty of places to find good recipes. Why not have a contest and see who can make the more delicious vegetarian or vegan meal, you or your date? You can cook one night and they can cook the next. If there is a chance that they are staying over, make sure to have stocked up on some food that they can enjoy for the length of their stay. Watch the shampoo, soap or laundry detergent you use as these may contain animal products as well. To learn more about the vegan diet, read the advice of Julieanna Hever in her book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.