My husband has been making huevos rancheros for himself. The other day he decided to try a recipe for tofu in Ranchero sauce.
When it came home from work, my husband had Spanish flavor right rice ready for me, with tofu in the spicy homemade Ranchero sauce, and also some Chinese pot stickers. I’m pretty sure my husband simply found the recipe by googling tofu Ranchero sauce online so if you’re interested, you could do something similar. I thought this made for a very nice combo on a chilly San Francisco evening.
If you are able to shop at an East Asian market, typically I have found it’s pretty easy to find accidentally vegan potstickers and/or dumplings, bao, in the frozen section. Usually the dough or wrapper is already vegan, and you can get the veggie flavored ones which do not include pork or other meats.
Remember that I normally eat all big picture vegan or totally vegan food like this. However, unlike a vegetarian or a vegan, I am willing to eat any type of food, including meat, for various reasons. As an example, I don’t see the point in going hungry when fully vegan or fully vegetarian options aren’t available.
And I don’t see the point in generating negative feelings by refusing when somebody wants you to try something that isn’t what you normally eat. Sure, if avoiding that food is part of your religion or if you’re allergic to it or the food is unappetizing too you, that makes sense.
But if you’re trying to help animals, which is my goal, I don’t see where the animals get helped by refusing the food in that situation. For me, it won’t cause any digestive distress to just have a bite or two, and it goes a long way toward promoting more harmonious relationships in a family or with a group of friends or co-workers.
Some people fear that if they are willing make exceptions, other people won’t take them seriously or it won’t understand that they indeed want to have whatever type of food it is that they normally eat. That is totally valid if that has been there experience, but my experience has been the opposite.
When people see that I’m willing to be flexible, they see me as being more reasonable, as compared to someone who is totally strict. Alas, it’s an unfortunate circumstance, but people who are totally strict about their food, without it being a food allergy, religious practice, or a medical recommendation, can be viewed as difficult, contrarian, attention-seeking or controlling. A person who is willing to be flexible diffuses all of those misconceptions because, if you’re flexible, you make things easy and are able to go with the flow. And that puts other people at ease.
From my experience, since I’ve made it clear that I’d like all vegan food but I can be flexible, most people (not all) have become MORE accommodating (not less) toward setting up vegan options for me.
That goes for anything from trying vegan recipes when I come to visit or bringing vegan options to a work function.
Maybe it gives people more confidence to try something, knowing that I can be flexible if it doesn’t work out quite perfectly. Even if there is a “mistake” … like they accidentally bought pasta that contained egg or they bought soy-based cheese but it turned out to have casein in it … it won’t be a disaster because I would actually appreciate the effort and still eat it anyway.
Wherever you are in the world, we would love to hear from you. What kind of meals and fresh produce are available where you live? What types of barriers to finding nutrition vegan or meatless meals are present in your life? Remember that you can post in the let’s go vegan-ish Facebook groups any time or become an author here at Veganish Dot World.