Dating a vegan but you eat meat? The all too common dilemma couples often ask, “where should we eat?” is perpetuated by our dietary differences. Gina Ragnone, holistic health coach, creator of the blog, “Granola Bitch” and co-founder of Fala Bar has found the answer in her new vegan eatery. Fala Bar’s emphasis is on good, clean plant-based nutrition. Period.
We love their #NoFakeShit slogan and the fact that even vegan “mystery meat” is left out of their food. When food is flavorful, tastes good and satisfies, there is no longer a struggle to please the singular meat-centric tastebuds of our other half. Get Gina’s tips below on how to dine out to please different diets and steal the recipe for Fala Bar’s newest menu addition, the Sriracha Bowl.
Opposites attract like yin and yang, so it’s no wonder many couples find themselves in different food categories. It can be challenging when one person is vegan and one a carnivore, but it’s also very manageable. First of all, plant-based nutrition is on the rise in the health scene and it’s no secret that we all should be adding more vegan meals to our diets on a weekly basis. This works in favor of the vegan in the relationship, but in order to make it appealing to the carnivore, it is wise to consider the following:
Leave out the fake stuff! Anything “unfamiliar” to someone who is not vegan should be saved for solo meals or meals with your vegan friends. Examples are tempeh, seitan, tofu, vegan cheese, and all packaged, processed protein substitutes etcetera. Stick to ingredients like portobello mushroom, beans and legumes, eggplant, lentils, cauliflower, quinoa, avocado, and the like, as the “meat” of the meal.
Keep it simple yet flavorful! We all know that rice and beans is a classic favorite among many and a great obvious choice when it comes to a vegan meal. Sound boring? It doesn’t have to be. Spruce it up in a simple way by adding in shredded cooked kale and chopped veggies for fresh texture. Season it with delicious fresh herbs and clean sauces, like sriracha, tahini or your favorite robust olive oil. Add a few slices of avocado on top for a dose of healthy fats and beautiful presentation.
Preview the menu! For couples dining out, to avoid any issues, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the menu online before making your decision. In most non-vegan restaurants, one who is vegan can typically find something on the menu or even special order if need be; however, there are some places that are truly meat driven and should be saved for nights out with other meat-eating friends. When considering a vegan restaurant, is it mostly raw or does it offer warm cooked meals as well? Often vegan joints are fully or mostly raw and this wouldn’t be the best choice when dining out with a meat eater, as warm cooked foods will feel more like “home” to them.
Be flexible at home! Don’t feel like dining out? Stay in and make bowls. There are a million different ways that everyone can alter them to their liking while still not making two entirely separate meals. This nutrient-dense vegan sriracha bowl (hold the fake stuff) is a spicy dish that both of you will be sure to enjoy:
Sriracha Bowl Recipe
Makes 8 servings
8 cups cooked quinoa
8 chopped Roma tomatoes
4 chopped Persian cucumbers
4 large avocados
8 handfuls arugula
sriracha to your liking
pinch of cilantro or parsley for garnish
For the falafel taco meat:
1 lb ground sprouted garbanzo beans **see directions below
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp granulated onion
1 Tbsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp dry oregano
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground pepper
** Garbanzo beans should be sprouted by soaking them in water for 24 hours then rinsed and drained. Next cook them: Place in a large pot with water and boil until soft.
Rinse the soaked cooked garbanzo beans and finely shred in a food processor. Add in remaining taco meat ingredients (all spices) and mix in food processor until evenly combined. Then, empty the shredded bean mixture into a bowl.
Grab a small handful, pat and smooth out into a small patty. Do this until the mixture is gone.
Either fry in a fryer with grapeseed oil or if you don’t have one, heat a non-stick pan on high, add a generous amount of grapeseed oil, and place the patties on pan, flipping until cooked through and a bit crispy around the edges.
Next crumble the patties in the pan like taco meat and continue to cook until all is nice and crispy. Set mixture aside.
Assembly per serving:
Layer in a bowl as follows: 1 cup cooked quinoa at the bottom, handful of arugula, scoop of falafel taco meat, add chopped cucumber and tomatoes, top with 1/2 of a sliced avocado and drizzle sriracha on top. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!