Hubby said I should serve vegan food only (in response to my mother's lack of hospitality when I dine in her home). But I know that serving my typical healthy meals would only make my parents uncomfortable. The idea of tofu, beans or other "health" foods makes them squirm.
So I've devised what is, I think, a pretty good compromise. I admit, however, that it's designed to show my mother that it's possible to put together a meal for vegans and meat-eaters with very little extra work.
Here's the menu:
- Salad: A basic, green salad with baby spinach and romaine lettuce. Nothing intimidating about this, and it should appeal to everyone. I'll have Ranch dressing for those who prefer it, and oil/vinegar dressing, too.
- Italian Baked Tilapia: Hubby will prepare the fish, which will be baked with diced tomatoes, a little bit of garlic, some lemon juice and fresh basil. This will rest on a small bed of...
- Whole wheat Italian pasta: I chose a thin spaghetti so the bed of pasta seems like a lighter "side" (instead of making the dish feel like a heavier spaghetti meal). I'll toss it with a very light sauce of cooked diced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, fresh oregano and maybe some sundried tomatoes. For the meat-eaters, Hubby will toss in some cooked shrimp and shredded cheese right before topping it with a filet of Tilapia. I will garnish with fresh basil leaves and then serve plated.
- Rolls: Rather than serving garlic bread, I am opting for fresh-baked rolls.
Truthfully, the pasta would probably be good without the addition of the shrimp. But I have a hard time creating healthy dishes that my family likes, and I thought it might help make this one more appealing to them.
Hopefully the meal will be tasty. I am also hoping Mom learns that vegans and meat-eaters can basically eat the same meal with just a teeny tiny bit of extra effort.