The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Cooking for Non-Vegan Parents

Posted on June 11, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Lily Donofrio

My family has evolved from radically against vegetarianism to open
mindedness about veganism. They have thoroughly researched the lifestyle
and have created a plan to stay on top of me about my nutrition. They
remind me to incorporate protein sources into every meal, and they have me
make shopping lists, adding in their own suggestions to ensure optimal
nutrition. They often plan meatless meals and they are willing to try
any vegan food that I make. I love and appreciate my parents acceptance
of my diet.

I’m always experimenting with vegan foods. I love to share my creations
with friends and family. They are always honest about how they feel
about the foods, which I greatly appreciate. What with my two parents
having full time jobs, I often find myself helping them out with making
dinner. These are the nights where I get to share my vegan recipes.
We’ve had some great meals, and some not so great ones, but we always
figure out ways to improve a dish. In the past, I’ve made southern
comfort foods, tacos, build your own pizzas, breakfast spreads,
desserts, and so much more.

Recently, I made a few items for my family to try, with the hopes of
receiving helpful feedback. I made Asian tofu on a stick, lentil sloppy
Joes, and chocolate mug cake. My mom loved the tofu, which she typically
doesn’t enjoy, and the sloppy Joes. She said that my mug cake was a
little dry, but flavorful. My dad said that the lentil sloppy Joes
tasted similar to the meaty variation. He liked the tofu’s flavoring but
the texture wasn’t expected. He enjoyed my mug cake. My boyfriend
participated in the tasting and enjoyed the tofu and the sloppy Joes but
agreed with my mom in that the cake was too dry. He ended up topping his
with coconut/peanut butter.

The general synopsis of the tasting was that they enjoyed trying out
the different vegan foods and that the exercise broadened their vegan
knowledge even further. I hope to improve upon these recipes and to
create even more enlightening vegan meals for my family.


1 block of extra firm tofu, cut into chunks
3 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
½ tbsp fresh grated ginger
½ tbsp Garlic

Marinate tofu chunks in sauce. Saute chunks until
all water is gone. Serve on a stick “kabob” style or
regularly on a plate.

SLOPPY JOES (yields 2½ cups)

2 cups cooked lentils
1/2 can Tomato paste
2 tbsp Yellow mustard
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Cook lentils fully and combine with sauce. Serve on vegan bun
of choice.


2 tbls flour
2 tsp almond milk
1tsp Olive oil
2 tsp sweetener
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder

Combine ingredients into a microwaveable mug.
Microwave for 2 minutes.

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