It is true. I am in a Mixed Diet Relationship.
I often get questions how Rob and I duke it out in the kitchen.
In my corner, I am the whole-foods vegan devoid of white flours and sugars.
At the opposite end, we have Rob, who will eat anything.
Thankfully, we actually don’t have segregated corners.
Before I met Rob, he was eating vegetarian at home. Actually, when Rob met me, I was eating a flexitarian diet (mainly vegetarian with occasional fish but I still ate meat, too). Rob had no clue what he was getting himself into, haha!
One of my friends who is vegan won’t allow any meat into his home. I am definitely not like that but I could see how dietary choices could definitely divide relationships. Thankfully both Rob and I are more accommodating, as well as our friends and families.
At home, Rob and I eat mostly the same stuff. Mostly vegan, although sometimes Rob eats yogurt and adds butter to his granola. There are some Rob-only ingredients, like the red and green curry pastes in the fridge (they include shrimp, so a definite no-go for me). There are some Janet-only foods, too, because Rob doesn’t really care for them- like my Amazing Grass for breakfast. For breakfast fruit, Rob gets the bananas and mangoes while I relish in berries. Rob loves spicy foods, so if cooking for himself, he usually increases the chilies. If cooking for both of us, they fall more into my own comfort zone (1/2 tsp Aleppo max!). Rob also has a sweet tooth and is pretty content to munch through the rare dessert that I make.
I think we’ve got things worked out pretty well in the kitchen, actually.
Rob eats out way more often than I do, which is where he gets his occasional fix of meat. If
we Rob cooks meat at home, it is for our guests. Rob’s last birthday party kind of had me in a tizzy because I didn’t want to cook meat. Rob couldn’t use the barbecue so grilling was out. Thankfully the slow cooker came to the rescue.
I still contend that while I don’t crave it, I probably miss fish the most. Here I am sharing a smoked salmon sushi pizza that I made for a party with mixed company. While traditional sushi can be finicky to make for a large crowd, making a casserole of sushi pizza is much quicker and easier.
I used the seasoned sushi rice from Yo Sushi and the sushi pizza recipe was modified from Bonnie Stern’s HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends. I ended up doubling the recipe to fit a 9″x13″ pan but I probably didn’t have to double it. It made a ton of food. My pieces were a bit big which necessitated using a knife and fork to eat, so next time I would opt for smaller bite-sized pieces, with overlapping cucumber slices.
I am still too shy to try a nontraditional raw take on this for a crowd. If I test-run it first, I may have more courage to try Ricki’s vegan sushi pizza next time.
2 cups short grain sushi rice (I used Taiwanese Yih Chuan Aromatic Rice, which has a faint aroma of taro)
100 mL rice vinegar
1.5 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
24 thin slices English cucumber (or more if you overlap, this was a quarter of a cucumber)
1/4 lb (125 g) smoked salmon, thinly sliced
2 tbsp mustard (I used half Dijon, half honey mustard)
1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise (or yogurt)
1 sheet toasted nori (about 8×7 inches/20×18 cm)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or green onions, for garnish
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
1. Prepare rice as usual. I made mine in the rice cooker, but Bonnie recommends the following: Rinse rice in several changes of water until water runs clear. Drain well. In a medium heavy pot, combine rice and 2 1/4 cups cold water. Allow to rest for 15-30 minutes. Bring rice to a boil, covered, on medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Do not lift lid at any time during cooking and resting.
2. Combine rice vinegar with salt and sugar and stir until dissolved.
3. While still hot, transfer rice to large bowl and gently toss with vinegar mixture. Fold the vinegar in, do not mix. It should look like it has a glaze on top of the rice. Cover rice with damp towel if not using right away.
4. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with plastic wrap. Arrange cucumber slices in a single layer on bottom (or overlap them for more cucumber goodness). Arrange smoked salmon slices on top of cucumber. Combine mustard and mayonnaise/yogurt and spread over salmon.
5. Gently and carefully spread half the sushi rice on top of the salmon. Dip your fingers into a bowl of water and gently pat down the rice. Place square of nori on top of rice, cutting it if it does not fit perfectly. Pat on remaining rice. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down with several heavy cans of food for at least 30 minutes.
6. To serve, unwrap and invert onto a square serving platter. Sprinkle with chives and sesame seeds. Cut into small squares.
Makes 12-16 squares.