This was my brother talking, and I couldn't figure out if he meant I was making dinner, or if my family was simply the bomb dot com. And the winner is...option number two!
Okay...so dinner wasn't vegan; but it was vegetarian, which is so generous of my family. My dad found a Giada De Laurentiis recipe similar to (but better than) eggplant parmesan. And because he can't leave a recipe well-enough alone, he added zucchini and portobellos and made it into a veggie lasagna!
If you're curious about this recipe...we used 6 sheets of no-boil lasagna noodles instead of breadcrumbs and had two layers of veggies. We found that 1 fennel bulb was plenty. Let me know in the comments if you need/want further instruction; I would encourage you to get creative here!
But this girl is not complaining...it was phenomenal. Just take a look yourself!
I personally brought along the following:
Carrot Cake Scuffins
Dark Chocolate Cranberry-Almond Granola Bars
Raw nuts and seeds (Cashews, Almonds, Pecans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
Protein powder (Nutribiotic Chocolate Rice protein)
Vegan chocolate chips
I would also recommend things such as:
Kale or other veg chips
Whole grains (brown rice, barley, wheat berries, oats, quinoa, etc)
Beans (black, kidney, pinto, garbanzo, etc)
Other legumes (lentils, walnuts)
You may want to buy certain things once you get there such as:
Fresh fruits and veggies (especially veggies)
It honestly just depends on what your family has already.
Staples I can usually find at home:
Fresh fruit and veggies
These are simply precautions so you have a back-up plan in case there isn't much of a selection at home.
#2 My family will basically just hand over the credit card if I offer to make dinner. They enjoy those breaks from cooking so much that they are open to vegan food. Of course this kind of thing wouldn't last for say... a month; but they would probably eat vegan dinners for a week!
Offer to make a vegan meal. Try asking what kind of things they would like to see/be open to having in it and use a recipe including such things.
Plan these potential meals ahead of time by looking through ingredients and bringing anything your family may not already have/want to pay for if they won't use it regularly. Examples would be curry powder, miso, and nori (or other sea vegetables).
Sweeten the deal by fixing a vegan dessert...or show them how great vegan food can be ahead of time with a vegan muffin or other breakfast item. (Extra points if you serve it without telling them its vegan and they LOVE it!)
Ask them to at least have vegetarian options available for you, or to simply omit meat, eggs, and/or dairy from dinners while you're there. (Meaning they can still have eggs for breakfast and a chicken sandwich for lunch, etc)
#3 If you already plan to go out and about, let this be an opportunity to experience some vegan restaurants!
I have yet to do this because of my budget and the fact that I love cooking so much, but it's a great option when traveling.
#4 At the very least, let this be an opportunity to let your family see why you have made this choice 9even if you can't maintain a vegan diet there).
While I know why I want to be vegan, it is hard to explain with eloquence at this point. All I know is that the strong vegan presence in the food blog world and Alicia Silverstone's book were enough to convince me. I will have to read through the first section of The Kind Diet a few more times and continue to research before my words are powerful enough to even make others contemplate the same choice. I am excited to eventually get to that point...
Is there a lifestyle behavior or interest you have that your family or friends cannot relate to/understand/accept? How do you cope with this and/or try to educate them?