Making the transition to vegan eating wasn’t hard for me as I had eaten mostly vegetarian for years. Mr. Harris definitely missed meat but embraced the healthier lifestyle for the most part. Achieving our health-related goals made the sacrifices worth it. Then some other health issues necessitated me getting some heme iron. Letting the cow out of the barn, the dietary slide went from necessary for right now to only meat for special occasions to only meat while dining out to, well, COVID.

With the gal home from college and her beau as well, plant-based dinners morphed back to simple comfort foods like baked chicken and mashed potatoes. From a pantry devoid of snacks and sweets, we soon had those old favorites readily available. The pandemic also created the issue of after a guy works all day, every day for, well, all these days, he looks forward to dinner. A sit-down meal is the highlight of the day and salad just is not going to cut it.

Couple all this with broken toes, plantar fasciitis and stormy nights, it wasn’t long before I became alarmed by the numbers. Watching my scale rise, I knew drastic action was needed. I remembered how great I felt eating vegan. I missed the energy I had before and did not like the heartburn and tummy issues. I decided if cooking two meals every night was needed than that is what I would do.

Re-working preferred dinner items, I found ways to take one meal and make it work for both the carnivores and vegan. Proud of my efforts, I enjoyed a laugh recently when my hubby cut into a lasagna I had prepared half vegetarian with shaved zucchini and the other with meat. Directing him to choose from the right, it took a minute before I realized the pan had been rotated as it came out of the oven. His relief was visible as we swung the pan around and he found it more to his liking. It is a bit of work to alter recipes and meal plans, but it might get easier now that Leo has joined the family.

While helping to unload his personal effects, I took note of a large bag of kale. I had requested the kids pick up a cooked chicken and was surprised they had grabbed this leafy green. “Is the kale to go with dinner,” I questioned, delighted they had grabbed something healthy.

“No, the kale’s for Leo,” answered my daughter. Apparently, Leo prefers a diet of fresh fruits and veggies along with dusted crickets. While I’m quite sure he’s an omnivorous lizard, it was suggested he will mature into a fully plant-based eater. Research will determine if this is correct, but for now, I have gained another veggie-centric diner in my home.

Kale is a vegetable I have come to adore now that I know to massage it properly to get the most out of it. That is my focus with every meal, regardless of whether it’s as healthy as it could be. COVID has altered many things, but we are all together once again. I’m hoping to make the most out of this time, no matter what fills the individual plates at our table.