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cooking for omnivores??

I've only been vegan for about 3 months, but it sort of happened overnight. At the time, I was living in a college dorm. Now I am back at my family's house and they are supportive when it comes to picking up a carton of soy milk at the grocery store but as for entertaining any idea of my cooking being less than "ew vegan" they fail miserably ::) I constantly get "oohhh that smells good!!! what is it?" and when they find out the ingredients are (naturally) animal product free... They look at it like roadkill (ironic in itself if you ask me ;D) It has gotten to the point that family dinner is an ongoing battle. I sit down with my salad and potatoes and veggies (often picking at what they cook instead of making a whole other meal for myself) but my stepdad insists each night to put in a few "humans are omnivores" comments and scoff at what I'm eating. My mom will say "oh, that salad looks good" when I've mixed in a few extras, but my stepdad will immediately exaggerate his enjoyment of his steak with plenty of loud "mmmm steak"s. >:(

So, for my question (finally hehe):

What are some tried & true vegan recipes that will shut up a family like this??? I need something (not too extravagant I'm on a budget haha) that will impress them. Maybe a dish with a tofu sauce or filling, but no blatant shows of tofu because it'll be lost before it is even started.
This recipe doesn't have tofu in it.  The only "strange" ingredient is nutritional yeast.  I've made it many times for omnivorous family and friends and never once has anybody turned up their nose.  Not only do they not turn up their nose, they ask for the recipe and devour the leftovers!  It has rapidly become one of my favorite all-time recipes to make for anyone.  If you make it as a layered enchilada casserole, it is even easier than rolling the tortillas up (I would definitely use corn tortillas).  And if you don't want to spring for canned enchilada sauce, you can always make your own pretty cheaply.

Even if it isn't the kind of recipe you want to make for your family, give it a try anyway for yourself :-)



Thanks Elizabeth, that looks delish ;D


I agree with baypuppy that pasta type dishes are kind of naturally vegan and popular.
I once posted a pasta dish that you can make with a variety of veggies and use either
tomato or pesto sauce on it. You can make it rich and filling by adding a avacado (un-
cooked) in with the veggies and sauce. I have gotten good feedback from non-veggie
people and the comments I got regarding posting were good also. It is not to expensive
to make (except I seem to gain an extra pound or two ever time I make it). If you want,
I'll re-post it here for you.

Try not to get to 'bent out of shape' at your step fathers comments; it will only
provoke him.


I'm always up for new pasta sauce recipes but I was actually thinking away from pasta; I'm half Italian so we do a lot of pasta already, and I was hoping to make something less typical (so to make dindin for the family I'd avoid average pasta dishes (just marinara sauce or whatever) or beans w/rice, etc.) But I'd love to have your recipe, personally I think I could LIVE off pasta haha, however... I can definitely see adding on more than a few pounds if I tried! Thanks for your comment :)


Okay,  here is what I posted some time ago:

Here is something I make every couple of weeks when I can't face any
more brown rice. It has gotten good reviews from many non-veg*ns and
you can put a bunch of stuff in depending on what you have around and
uses avocado. I think I have posted it here some time ago, in response
to a "What are we cooking tonight post".

It is basically pasta with veggies in tomato sauce.

(This is basically how I make it, but experiment.) In a large skillet
heat up some olive oil. Add spices like oregano, garlic (a must) and a
small amount of ground mustard seeds. Add a can of tomato sauce.
(I also add a spoon or two of tomato paste to add thickness.) Add some
red wine. Chop up some onions and saute them (leeks or shallots also
work) in the oil. Now you can add a bunch of different fruits or veggies.
In the fruit department I usually make this with zucchini and summer squash.
Veggies are also possible like califlower, broccoli, or string beans. Cut
them in fairly small chunks some they can be covered totally in the sauce,
(I would also steam them a little to soften them up). If you use zucchini or
summer (yellow) squash, just slice them thin, so they cook in the sauce. Also add
some fresh, chopped up tomatos. This can be cooked for a small amount of time.
Add some mushrooms in the last couple of minutes (so they don't overcook)

Make some pasta. Add some fresh (uncooked) avocados onto the pasta and pour
the veggies in tomato sauce over the avocados and pasta. Serve with the same
red wine used in the sauce.

As I said in the last post, I also make home made pesto sauce (without the cheese
in it) and use that instead of the tomato sauce. The avocados add a nice touch. I
sometimes also add some olives to this. Also, I have experimented with the basics
of the tomato sauce and experimented with mixing the oregano with some mint. This
tends to make the sauce taste more like pizza sauce. I have heard that some regions
of Italy use mint with oregano in tomato sauces as part of the local cooking style.
Mint and oregano are in the same family of spices, so you can experiment with
different blends.


Elizabeth, that cheesy bean enchilada recipe looks great!!

Janeyboo, the Sloppy Steves on this site are really good, but be sure to read all the comments & substitute some other tomato product for all the ketchup the original recipe calls for. It's also really good made with tempeh instead of tofu. Steam the tempeh first. Serve Sloppy Steve over brown rice for a filling meal.

Here's a Meatball Stroganoff recipe I've made that is really good! FYI - whatever type of "meatball" I choose to use, I don't store it in the stroganoff sauce. Store them separately & put the meatballs on top of the sauce at serving time.

Here's a Cheesy Potato Casserole recipe I've made. I ended up making breakfast burritos with these & they were fantastic! Lightly spread refried beans on a flour tortilla. Add a few spooonfuls of the potato casserole down the center of the tortilla. Add any veggies if you want. Roll into a burrito. Zap in microwave or wrap in foil & heat in oven. Top with salsa. Serve with vegan sour cream or guac.

Here's a Salisbury Tempeh recipe that is really good! Once I learned to cook tempeh I like it better than tofu.

Over the years I've learned the best way to open people's minds about veganism is to serve them excellent vegan food. Good luck with your endeavor & update us.

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