Family/friend gatherings are super important to me. They can be so fulfilling emotionally and physically (I just want all that yummy food in my belly!), but a delicious meal is definitely the crux of the experience. As an Italian/Sicilian-American, food as glue that binds us together has been ingrained in me since the beginning of my existence.
The frustration, disappointment, and feeling left out of these large special meals is something I've struggled with for over a decade. Even if I spend boatloads of $$ and make my own entirely vegan meal, it still feels substandard to eat re-heated food served in tupperware containers rather than the decorative holiday plates with heaping piles of fresh-out-of-the-oven scrumptiousness that everyone is practically bursting with excitement over. Now I don't expect my family or any other host to make an entirely vegan meal on my account, but my mind has always been boggled by how even the vegetable side dishes that could easily be made vegan are slick with butter and covered with cheese.
I'm really NOT looking to be a whiny "cater to meeeeee" vegan. I just hope to inspire others to create veggie-based dishes that are super yummy while still remaining simple. Hopefully my "How to Feed a Vegan" posts will help the larger families/communities of vegans/vegetarians find accessible and enjoyable ways to make meals that everyone can truly enjoy.