So, once upon a time, my family all used to eat the same food. Before then, we couldn’t because my youngest had nut-milk-egg allergies. When she could finally eat milk and eggs, that was the best. Then she decided to become a fish-eating vegetarian.  Fine, there were a lot of dishes we could all eat together – lasagna, baked ziti, pasta with pesto, nachos, pizza…Then after a billion years together with me telling him this, the husband finally believed me when I told him that he is lactose-intolerant. That wiped out at least half the dishes we could enjoy together. And now that my oldest is only home half the time because she is a busy job-holding high school senior, unless I want to eat certain dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days, I have to deal. I love cooking, I really do, but when you are dealing with all of these restrictions, all the joy gets sucked out of it for me.

This is what we can’t eat together as a family anymore:

  • pizza
  • various kinds of pasta with cheese or cream and definitely not meat sauce
  • chicken pot pie
  • chicken soup in its various iterations
  • chili (unless we use TVP crumbles of which we all can’t get over the meat-texture-that-isn’t-meat)
  • most of our previously-loved Mexican-type dishes (meat tacos, fajitas, nachos, enchiladas – anything with cheese or meat)
  • this Thai dish that we all loved – khao man gai
  • regular grilled cheese
  • butter chicken
  • roast chicken/pork
  • beef stew

When we are able to eat together, I have to come up with some creative ways to make sure everyone is getting what they need so that someone is not left to eat a bowl of cereal while the rest of us chow down on something good.  These are some dishes or modified dishes that are in heavy rotation in our house due to a peanut allergy, lactose-intolerance, heavily-spiced-food-intolerance, flavour-intolerance:

  • Indian Food – even though I can’t make butter chicken/chicken tikka masala or saag paneer, we can have other dishes that The Vegetarian-who-generally-eats-blander-foods will touch and Mr. Lactose Intolerant can eat. We eat this when the Non-Heavily-Spiced-Food Lover-who-usually-doesn’t-like-chickpeas is at work.
  • Pasta with Red Sauce – served with meatballs on the side for the win.
  • Grilled Goat Cheese/Red Peppers with Soup
  • Salmon Teriyaki Bowls – we all love to eat this. Yay!
  • Burgers – The Vegetarian gets a vegetarian burger while the rest of us carnivores get the other stuff.
  • Thai Food – there are some things I can make with and without meat that are quick and easy, but for the most part, The Vegetarian refuses to eat any of it so she makes herself a veggie burger and eats it with rice so we can all share in at least one dish. The Non-Heavily-Spiced-Food Lover only likes pad Thai and tom kha gai (chicken coconut soup) and that’s it so…sad face.
  • Cheese Platter – charcuterie for the carnivores, goat cheese for Mr. LI. Another score.

Fish Tacos – our current fave. Mayo-based crema for the win.

Take Out – my personal fave because everyone gets what they want

California Rolls – the husband makes this with no, some and a lot of fake crab sticks and we all eat what we want.

Ramen Bowls – can make with vegetable broth  and with chicken broth. Veggies and meat on the side and everyone tops their bowls with whatever they can eat. Yum.

Falafel – another win all the way around because I only have to cook one version and everyone can eat it.


Oh. It looks like there are way more dishes here than the 2 I thought was it. One thing is for sure, my family will never be left wanting for good grub.