Creating An Omnivore-Friendly Vegan Kitchen Creating An Omnivore-Friendly Vegan Kitchen | Corinne Bowen

Creating An Omnivore-Friendly Vegan Kitchen

by Corinne on July 11, 2012

Four years ago, I went vegan. My husband, Steve, did not. Today, we have a vegan kitchen (except for the occasional jar of mayo or Parmesan cheese that Steve brings into the house). We also have happiness in the kitchen. It’s my favorite room in the house, but that wasn’t always the case.

We used to cook the same 3 or 4 tired dishes every week. It was uninspiring. I felt frustrated and lost in the grocery store and I’d choose takeout over a home-cooked meal any day of the week. Then, about two years ago, I got pregnant. Suddenly, I wanted to slow down, relax and take care of myself (and my growing babe).

The answer to all three of these things was waiting for me in the barely touched cookbooks piled on top of my fridge. I dove into their pages and gained confidence in my kitchen, recipe by recipe. The mystical, complex and frustrating world of cooking quickly transformed into a source of nourishment, comfort and escape.

When I went vegan, I didn’t set a veg-only mandate or create a list of rules about food in our home. Creating a plant-based kitchen just happened naturally. Also, I don’t judge or criticize Steve for his omnivorous ways and he supports my choice to be vegan. When we eat at restaurants, Steve sometimes eat omnivorous and sometimes vegan. Plus, when we go out to a restaurant it’s special. So much sweeter and enjoyable. This mutual respect has helped us maintain a healthy marriage despite our dietary differences.

I became even more at ease and fulfilled in the kitchen while editing Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr and Chef Chad Sarno. Crazy Sexy Kitchen taught me the basic cooking techniques and recipes I needed to make the meals of my dreams. I started to adjust ingredients in recipes to fit me and Steve’s preferences. I began creating recipes of my own based on what was left in the fridge. Armed with my new found knowledge, I’ve worked my way through even more cookbooks, plus magazines like VegNews and Vegetarian Times.

Today, food shopping is a joy. Before stepping foot into the grocery store, farmers market or co-op, I pull together a few recipes and make a shopping list. This also helps me save money (less impulse purchases) and cut down on trips to the store. I can’t help but smile when my fridge and cupboards are stocked with fresh food that will feed me and my family for the week.  Overall, cooking has enriched my entire life and I feel blessed to have discovered this simple joy. I love that it makes my family happy too and helps to keep them healthy as well.

Lately, I’ve received some emails, asking about my go-to cookbooks and the best vegan recipes for omnivores (especially dudes). Well, here it is!


Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan

❤ Dijon Dill Green Beans (side dish)

❤ Southwest Tofu Scramble (breakfast or in a wrap for lunch/dinner)

❤ Lemon Basil Potato Salad (side dish)

❤ Macro Mac and Cheeze (add Sage and Apple Field roast!)

❤ Fiesta Quinoa Salad

❤ Black-eyed Pea BBQ Stew

❤ Curry Chicken-less Salad (great in sandwich)

❤ Un-tuna Salad (great in sandwich)


Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr with Chad Sarno

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pistachios and Cipollini Onions

❤ Save-the-Tuna Salad

❤ Roasted Chanterelle Gravy

❤ Crazy Sexy Bean Chili

❤ Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Chickpea Crepe with Mushrooms and Artichokes

French Toast

Split Pea Soup


Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

❤ Baja-Style Grilled Tempeh Tacos

❤ Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Roasted Chile Sauce


Post Punk Kitchen website (Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

Hottie Black Eyed Peas With Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Apples


Eat Awesome e-cookbook by Paul Jarvis

❤ Chickpea Curry

❤ Hummus

❤ Cashew Cream


Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli

Peanutty Perfection Noodles (add cubed and steamed tempeh + steamed broccoli)

LA-Style Chimichurri Tacos

❤ Oh-La-La Lasagna

❤ Peanutty Noodles


The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions

❤ Buttery Savory Quick Bread

❤ Creamy Polenta Chili Bake


The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas

❤ Tri-Color Salad

❤ Tangy Tahini Dressing

❤ Lentil Soup



Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr with Chad Sarno

❤ Super Fudge Low Fat Brownies


Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

❤ Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

❤ Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Crumble Topping


Good Great Dairy Free Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan

Chocolate Cake to Live For with Chocolate Ganache


Chocolate-Covered Katie‘s Blog

Totally Addictive Cornbread

Secret Peanut Butter Cookies


Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan

❤ Zucchini Bread

The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas

❤  Zucchini Raisin Muffins


Also, here are some vegan substitutes for dairy/meat that my omni-husband loves:

❤ Vegenaise or other vegan mayo (substitute for mayonaise in any recipes or on sandwiches)

❤ Field Roast Sausage (perfect sausage substitute: stews, soups, chili, grilling, casseroles, etc.)

❤ Daiya Cheese or Veggie Shreds (great on sandwiches and for nachos)

❤ Amy’s California Burgers

❤ Tofurky Pizza

❤ Earth Balance (butter substitute)

❤ Almond or Soy Milk (dairy milk substitute)

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily July 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Yes! I love that you guys can peacefully coexist, culinarily speaking. I need to see if this can work with my meat-and-potatoes hubby.


2 Corinne July 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm

It’s taken time to learn how to make us both happy, but as soon as I started cooking most nights and trying different recipes, things came together quickly! Keep me posted:)


3 Tofu Mom (Marti) July 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Nice article! My omni hubby and I shared a kitchen for 25 years (his leaving had absolutely nothing to do with our food choices, and he still admits to missing my cooking a great deal – HA!).

I think respecting each other’s choices goes a long way (and tolerance for the occasional stray item in your fridge).

I think a lot of it, too, is that we adore home cooking and if a non-vegan is presented with a huge, hearty, gorgeous, (even vegan) home-cooked, comfort-food meal, chances are, they’re going to dig right in, rather than whine about the lack of “meat”.
My husband ate meat when out (sometimes) but LOVED my cooking, in fact, preferred to eat at home. Having a homemade meal (almost) every night is something so many have strayed away from, and is more of a treat than you realize.
Kudos to all the home cooks out there, keeping their (not always vegan) families happy, one vegan dinner at a time!


4 Corinne July 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Great to meet you! I love your philosophy–it really resonates with me. Cooking is such a joy. My biggest hope is that others will be inspired to cook more meals at home (especially healthy + tasty ones!).


5 Wendy Irene July 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thank you for sharing some of your favorite Vegan cookbooks. I only have 2 in my house – Dr. Barnard’s and another. I really need some new inspiration. I started eating a vegan diet 1.5 years ago. My husband does not, although he is really coming around to eating more and more vegan foods which makes my heart smile. It is great to hear about your kitchen and what the journey has been like for your family.


6 Corinne July 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Hi Wendy,

Cookbooks are such great motivators when it comes to getting creative and excited about your meals. I also love the recipes in VegNews and Vegetarian Times. I’m so happy to hear that you’re enjoying my blog. Hope to see you around more!



7 The Omnivore September 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm

This was such a wonderful article; thanks for sharing it. In our family, I’m the omnivore and my partner is the vegetarian. While he doesn’t begrudge my eating (or cooking) meat, it took me a LONG time to enjoy cooking for him with so many restrictions. I found that making him an active part of meal-planning (and, when he’s up to it, cooking) helped us quite a lot.


8 Corinne September 24, 2012 at 6:51 am

Participation and an open mind seem integral to making an omni-veg home work! Glad to here you two are in a happy place in the kitchen:) Thanks for stopping by!


9 Susan Z. March 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I am 5 weeks into full vegan eating after several years of vegetarian eating. I live with my husband and two young adult sons who are omnivores, and I am getting frustrated with meal planning. I am currently working with the “vegan sides with meat” plan most days of the week with at least one day of completely vegan dinner for all of us, but many of my vegan sides are met with cautious, polite nibbling (mostly from my sons–myhusband is pretty open to new foods). I also have soy and wheat allergies which means if I make pasta, I have to make two pastas. I anyone has any ideas for family friendly vegan meals everyone would eat, I would appreciate hearing about them! Thanks!


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