Romancing the Vegetarian

Courting Tips for Carnivore Cooks

Can you meet the mate of your dreams through a shared passion for fine food and wine? Can we win our way into someone’s heart by cooking for them?

I think a romance based on food would be an absolutely gastronomical success! I’ve been cooking for family, friends, and neighbors all my life, and I find that there is nothing more bonding and gratifying than a delicious meal. Sitting around the table breaking bread is—why, it’s an almost religious experience.

I’m the Cooking Cupid, here to offer advice on anything and everything pertaining to food and love. I know that many people are full of questions on these delicious topics. Questions like this one:

Dear Cooking Cupid,

I’m in a new relationship with a vegetarian, and I’m a meat-eater. So far we haven’t had too many problems because when we eat out at restaurants we can usually agree on places that will accommodate both of our tastes. But, I’m ready to start inviting him over for some good home-cooked meals. What would you suggest for a first time dinner that would be special for both of us?

— Ms. Matched

- - -

Dear Ms. Matched,

I would first of all ask if he’s averse to seafood. Mainly because that would open up a world of delight for the both of you. Otherwise, I say focus on the seasonal crops: vegetables, vegetables, vegetables are your new world. Have faith: It really is a big, wonderful, satisfying world to explore, and you can find an infinite number of recipes that will send you both into ecstasies.

I would save my carnivorous cravings and culinary arts for family visits, business meetings, and lunches with the girls. But if you just can’t, then make a beautiful side dish for yourself in addition to the meal you are sharing with him.

For your first home-cooked meal together, I recommend the following menu. You’ll see that there’s no need to go hungry!

Appetizer: Bruschettas (pieces of garlic bread toast) with antipasto toppings such as artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and tomato with garlic and basil.

Salad: Arugula, radicchio, pear, and roasted pine nuts with Italian vinaigrette dressing.

Main Course: Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with a light béchamel sauce.

Wines: Pick up a nice bottle of Prosecco to split between the appetizer and the desert. A Sauvignon Blanc would go well with this dinner menu.

Desert: Peach gelato with fresh fruit topping.

Then, if it’s time, straight off to bed!

Happy cooking and loving, from the Cooking Cupid! For recipes, shopping suggestions, or to ask me anything about food or love, email me at

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