Cooking for different diets

 If you are lucky, everyone in the household will be happy eating the same diet.

If you are usual, then when you make a meal you will be altering it to suit how some folk need to eat.

If life has dealt you a meaner set of cards, you could end up cooking four different meals in one dinnertime.

We spent many years cooking one main meal with adjustments.  A usual adjustment for us was ensuring there was a Gluten-Free option.  It was- and still is -  too expensive to cook GF for everyone, whereas cooking just a handful of, say, GF pasta is completely manageable.

These days when I cook a main meal for us with our little bubble of extended family I have to ensure I have food for:

  1. A person who eats meat and potatoes, but who is fussy about different vegetables.
  2. A vegetarian.
  3. A vegetarian who won't eat gravy, any sauces or any messy-looking foods, and has to have their foods set completely apart on their plate.
  4. A paleo person who doesn't eat meat, dairy or gluten but does eat fish and eggs.
  5. A pescatarian.
  6. A wee one who 'hates' vegetables, and would eat their body weight in Yorkshire puddings if they could!

So I plan a meal - say vegan lasagne - and alter it to fit the majority of folks.

        I use GF pasta for the whole dish (suits everyone, but especially person 4)
        I use non-dairy cheese (person 4)
        I use grated veg (onion, garlic, mushrooms and courgettes) with a tomato-                based sauce, but keep aside a portion of each veg that is sliced and served             with sliced cheese. (Everyone, and the portioned veg for person 3)
        I use non-wheat flour to make my white sauce (4)
        I serve this with slices of oven-roasted HM chips made from potatoes (1-3, 5             and 6) and sliced sweet potato (4).

Do you have to cook for a wide variety of different diets?
What might you cook and how do you keep it as stress-free as possible?

Tracey xx


  1. Oh yes! Luckily I have to alter meals a little less. Some allergies: 2xchicken (poultry), 1x onions ( onions, leeks, chives...) 1xpepper( chili, bell pepper), 1xbananas, 1xlactose intolerant 1xmushroom sugar intolerant.
    Only one has an eating disorder ( real diagnosed one; can't eat mixed foods like lasagna or smooth soups but can eat chunky soups). One doesn't like fish, fish fingers are ok. One doesn't like any other meat but pork.
    So, making lasagna is an easy task: I make one with meat, cheese sauce and tomato sauce ( just don't use any paprika, onions, mushrooms, or dairy with lactose). I cook pasta and remember to take some of mince after seasoning and frying to give for that one who doesn't eat lasagna. He'll eat veggies raw as a side dish, and maybe fried mushrooms.
    And then sometimes I cook 4 dishes. I can't use any mixes or sauces from shops, everything has to be made from scratch.
    Oh the joy of cooking to my family... but I love them to bits.

  2. I am thankful that there are no dietary issues which makes for an easy life.


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