Me?
I used to be one of the biggest beef eaters in the bunch, so talk about intimidating when my future in-laws were coming for dinner for the first time – AND THEY’RE VEGAN!

What does someone cook? I had no idea. I didn’t think I’d be able to get away with just a salad with an oil and vinegar dressing… plus my growling stomach could get embarrassing during that first meeting.

With a chef training in French Cuisine, it’s pretty tough fighting the urge to put bacon, duck fat or just butter into an entrée. Naturally, MY parents think this is great when they’re en route for a family feast – but when both families are coming? What is a girl to do?

As might be expected, I set off blazing for and all vegetarian cookbooks I could get my greasy mitts on searching for answers. The books were filled with beautiful images of quiches, soufflés and vegetable lasagnas. Hmmm, ooey gooey goodness…
Stop. Wait, hello! They don’t eat eggs or cheese.
Vegan – NO animal products, no milk, no cheese.
Now, what was I supposed to feed them? Sand?

As I researched and studied food science a bit more, this funny thing happened, I realized that they are not rabbits and nor could I feed them birdseed like I was raised to think. However, I still personally had one dining hurdle to overcome myself. How was I to complete a meal without just having a plate full of side dishes? My brain and my stomach,  needed to get that satisfaction from eating. I started slowly and realized that spaghetti without the meatball might be a good alternative, but they may be on to me after a few meals. Besides, many pastas contain eggs, so that wasn’t the answer. But I felt I was getting somewhere, I was on to something.

With the help of this blog I’ve started to get it all down. There are so many gratifying meals to be had. I’ve come to realize that being vegan does not mean that one must give up certain foods. In fact, it has opened the door to much more possibilities with food!
I’ve learned I actually can please people all of the time and, if it was any addition to my new accomplishment, I think I’ve shed a few pounds in the process of developing these evolved eating habits. I usually have an idea of what to cook for dinner when company is coming and it’s something that I can feel satisfied eating. Something filling, but also something I can recognize it as a meal, a main course and not just a series of side dishes.

Be creative, evolve and enjoy.

I’d love to hear from you.

Dayna
Writer, stylist, photographer and cook of all things edible.

 

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Dayna McIsaac
http://www.veganvisitor.com
http://www.foodandphotography.com