Blog Image

Cooking Class: Vegan Family Meals

Vegan Meals for the Whole Family

I hear from people all the time that one of the biggest challenges to eating vegan is that family members are often not on the same page. Mom might want to adopt a plant-based diet and cook vegan family meals, but Dad and the kids are sticking to their guns and are fearful to try new recipes. Maybe there’s a well-informed teenager in the house who’s decided that a vegan lifestyle is the best way to show compassion toward the planet and the animals and now Mom and Dad don’t know how to support this brave choice while making foods the rest of the family likes. It’s often a mixed bag of appetites and preferences in every family which can make mealtime a real challenge. Either someone’s got to plan, shop and cook for multiple menus or it’s every man, woman and kid for him or herself.

To help tackle this problem, I designed a class to teach and inspire folks to create vegan family meals that everyone could enjoy. These dishes were adaptations of family favorites that had the animal products removed without losing the comfort and familiarity of dishes that family members could enjoy together.

We started with a hearty Meatless Meatloaf and served it along with vegan mashed potatoes and an out-of-this-world golden gravy. Almost no one could deny themselves a full-sized portion (even though I cautioned we had lots more food to cook and eat!) Our Eatloaf had it all, texture, taste and a simple and fun presentation made by using a muffin pan instead of a loaf pan.

Next up was our Mexican Lasagna. Using the layering technique of traditional lasagna, we hit this one right out of the park by using spicy, smashed beans, sweet seasonal corn and zucchini, fresh salsa and corn tortillas to create complex layers of flavors.

What would a family dinner table look like if it never had a heaping dish of Macaroni & Cheeze on it? In our version, we used butternut squash and cauliflower to create the creamy orangey-colored sauce and I’ve just got to say…if you’ve got kids, you’ve got to try this healthy version.

Finally, one of my family’s favorites is Wheatball Subs. We used seitan to make vegan meatballs and they are so perfect and full of goodness that the meat eaters may never want to go back to traditional meatballs. These subs are super for a Friday night dinner or a picnic in the park. Lose the bread and put them on top of spaghetti, all covered with sauce…!

We had a great night, ate too much food and connected with others who were facing the same challenge at home. Luckily, there are lots and lots of options.vegan family meals class1

Compassionate Cuisine Assistant, Lovely Lois serving up our Eatloaf!


vegan family meals 2It’s a mother-daughter thing in the kitchen!

vegan family meals 3

Making vegan meatballs!

vegan family meals class4

Plates are empty now, but Macaroni & Cheeze is on its way.




Add Love + Stir, Compassionate Cuisine, Cooking Classes


, , , , ,