Recently we had guests, some old friends who we had not seen in quite some time. We eat plant-based and they do not. In fact, the girl was doing a low-carb, keto style diet.
Naturally, we were anxious about the food we were going to serve, what to serve, were they going to like it, and so on. After all, they were eating in the ‘opposite’ way to how we eat.
And it all went well. It all went great, in fact.
Vegan Serves All
We were initially worried, yes, but then we started to think what we could serve and we immediately realized that plants have the answer to all our questions.
Plants are the most natural human food, everybody loves them and there is such a variety of plants available that we can satisfy any type of diet there is.
Here is the vegan menu we came up with.
As a starter, we made this delicious Raw Sunflower Seeds Soup with cucumber. Then, we had a big fresh bowl of Broccoli and Tofu Green Salad and as a main meal, we served these soft and chewy White Bean Nuggets with the easiest and yummy Cashew Sauce. We baked some oil-free Zucchini Sticks as a side dish, and for an even greater variety of tastes, we made an easy vegan Tofu Scramble with roasted peppers.
It all turned out a delicious menu with enough low-carb foods that everybody was happy with. Our friends really loved our food and we even sent them some of it for them to have it later at home.
In fact, we had a great evening and the food was there to feed us and bring us some joy, not to be the center of it all.
It’s All in Our Minds
When we started our plant-based journey, food became such an important topic in our lives. We needed to know what to eat, everybody was curious (and worried) what we were eating and we wanted to tell everybody how much better we felt eating this way.
Food started to define us in the eyes of others and slowly it started to drive us away.
When you put a label on somebody, any kind of label, you start looking at them through the lens of that label. He’s a Capricorn, a rocker, a Democrat, a German, gay, a vegan… The moment we put the label on people, we start to see them in a limited way.
We put the label ‘vegan’ on ourselves and we changed how everybody, us included, looked on ourselves.
So we were worried how that dinner might go not because we might like or dislike the people we were with but because of the food we were going to eat. And food, as long as it tastes well (and we perceive it to be healthy enough) is just food. It feeds us, brings as all together and allows us to enjoy our company, to connect.
We Shouldn’t Focus on Our Differences
Let’s be honest here, we don’t always like our friends’ clothing style, their cars, apartments, music taste… They are different and they choose to behave in their own peculiar way. And that’s why we like them.
Their point of view makes them interesting, makes them valuable to us. Sometimes we agree with them, sometimes we don’t but at the end of the day we are that much richer for knowing their take on life. And we continue to enjoy each other’s company.
It’s the same with food. People have different tastes. Some people dislike garlic, some dislike beans, some chicken. In most cases, people accept that and accommodate the menu. Period. Usually, nobody judges you for no liking garlic. They make a garlic-free salad and we don’t discuss it that much. We go on to have a nice evening.
It’s about the Connection
We were anxious about that dinner the days before. As if there wasn’t tasty vegan options to serve everybody. We knew there were.
We were more afraid of them judging us than if the food was going to be tasty. Plant based food is not less tasty than animal based foods. We were worried that a decade-old friendship was going to be ruined if we served bean nuggets and not meat-based ones.
They were coming to see us, not for some free food. They loved the food (thank God!) but we all loved the connection so much more!
And when I think about it, they were not our first guests since we went vegan and we never had a bad time because of what we ate (or didn’t eat).
Food is just a delicious way to bring us together. And everybody loves plant foods. It’s all-inclusive!