If there's one lesson I learned immediately when Dayv became vegan, it's that I could not just make him any old recipe without some significant alterations. Read: Dayv is incredibly picky. It took a lot of practice, but I believe I finally have a handle on what he will and will not enjoy depending on how a recipe is altered. I attribute it to my ability to quickly make measurement conversions in my head and understanding better the types of flavors and the amount of heat he can handle.
Take for example Dayv's dinner from Sunday night(as well as his future dinners for the next few days): Snobby Joes and Homestyle Corn Pudding, both from Veganomicon. Both recipes contain quite a bit of spice and heat, but I was able to alter them according to his taste. Most of you(probably) own Veganomicon, so you won't mind that I don't post my adapted recipes. I will, however, share with you my adaptations.
For the Snobby Joes:
-Instead of using a whole onion, I used half. Dayv doesn't like onions. I can get away with using them in soups and stews, as long as it's not overly noticeable.
-I omitted the green pepper. Dayv HATES peppers.
-I reduced the chile powder from 3 tbsp to 1 tsp. 3 tbsp is A LOT of chile powder!!
For the Homestyle Corn Pudding:
-I omitted the red bell pepper.
-I used one jalepeno instead of two.
-I used a 1/3 cup of chopped scallions instead of one cup.
After two years, I still hold my breath when Dayv tries something new that I've just made him. Luckily, he very much enjoyed both recipes. He said that the corn pudding was just a little too spicy, but enjoyed it enough to go back for seconds. I think next time I will only use half a jalapeno, though.
For those of you who are just transitioning yourselves or your loved ones to a vegan(and gluten-free) diet, but are having a difficult time due to picky tastebuds, the key is to not give up. Trust me, it will get easier. Two years ago, I never in a million years would have thought Dayv would enjoy faux sloppy joes made from lentils. But now, he does! The trick is to find the right amount of alterations to recipes while slowly introducing your tastebuds to new flavors and textures.
I hope these tips help! I plan on doing a couple more posts similar to this one during the month ;)