Mission not impossible - cooking for a vegan and a carnivore...

I have been on a promise to entertain some friends as a thank you and the "connecting friends" couple who, had given us a strong impression they don't do dinners. I think it's just to avoid awkwardness as one is a (not entirely strict) vegan for medical reasons and her partner is more carnivore than omnivore (and fussy with the omnivore bit). I needed to get creative...
We started with some homemade antipasta of grilled eggplant, fennel and artichoke (blanched first) tossed through EVOO, garlic, lemon rind and a few slithers of a dried chilli. The Erskineville deli provided the last-minute additions of olives and dolmades.

With that we followed up with hot smoked salmon, homemade aioli and pizza breads - one using the olive marinade oil, a rosemary one, and a plain one.

Racks of lamb marinated overnight in EVOO, garlic slices, lemon zest and fresh rosemary were cooked on the weber - they'd been a "blackboard" special last week, with apple and mint jelly. We had back up by way of Quattro Stelle lamb & rosemary sausages.

I made a fennel and savoy cabbage slaw with red wine vinaigrette and a cauliflower salad inspired by a post on the stonesoup for "winter tabouli" with pearl barley, my take on several recipes for baharat, almonds, an orange juice based dressing and pomegranate. On finding the carnivore didn't eat fennel hubby quickly sorted some diced potatoes for roasting.

I made pumpkin and chickpea fritters for the vegan.

We finished with a baked custard tart with whipped cream (and defrosted mango cheeks for the vegan). Coffee got a bit weird with golden rum and whiskey venturing from the cupboard, and then we were spent.

I know it's not Everest, but reflecting on this earlier today I felt a mild sense of achievement in putting together, what I thought, was a fluid meal for eaters at each end of the dietary spectrum.


Duncan | Syrup&Tang said...

A pretty good solution to a tricky situation, grocer:) And you've come away from it feeling successful, which is even better. I had to cook for a lactose-intolerant, gluten-intolerant guest and a vegetarian guest recently and didn't feel quite so successful.

t h e - g o b b l e r said...

Like a criminal 'profiler' you've got to get into the 'mind' of the veggo, lacto or gluten intolerant guest. From here one is able to draw inspiration, however it takes its toll eventually.
Soon you start avoiding meaty things, breads & stinky cheeses. Your partner notices the change & starts to fret. At restaurants you forensicly scan the menu & a trip to the supermarket becomes a mission of information gathering.
Unless you snap out of this you end up in a platic bubble & only fed pure oxygen-Kidding!

purple goddess said...

well done, you.

A tricky situation, as Duncan says.

Have bookmarked those recipes for next time our version of that couple come over.

I am sure they're sick to death of my bog standard option which, up to now has been vegan/non vegan pizza bases with do-it-yourself toppings.


grocer said...

Thanks guys.

I think the thing that was most satisfying thing was getting around the vegies-as-side-dish perception and still offering a substantial meal...

PG, I found both lucy's blog and the stonesoup inspirational in coming up with textural and tasty options.