Polyamory Meal Planning

Revised and re-posted 10/11/16. My polycule has changed several times over the past few years, and the details of my meal lists have changed as people moved in and out of my life. But I still keep these three lists. Main changes here are fixing grammar and typos.

meal planning polyamory
Are family meals ever really this idealistic?

In a few weeks, my metamour will be coming to visit. She’s allergic to vitamin K. My partner is on a restricted diet due to heartburn. And I keep Kosher. My metamour’s husband is staying home this time, so we don’t need to eat vegetarian.

Yup, polyam meals can get complicated. If you live together, the process can become habit, but sometimes it will still be a hassle. Luckily, there are ways to make life easier.

Polyam Meal Lists

My favorite trick for putting together polyam meals is to keep these three lists. The first two I keep saved on my computer though if you live together it might be easier to post them in the kitchen. The last one I keep in my head.

  • Food restrictions – what doesn’t each person eat.
  • Food preferences – what does each person like to eat.
  • Emergency meals – what can you throw together on the fly that everyone can eat.

Here is an example of my food restrictions list. I combine this with food preferences, and I have a pretty good guideline for planning meals, depending on who is going to be there.

Restrictions list:

My partner –

  • tomato-based sauces
  • ‘hot’ foods
  • broccoli (he just can’t stand it)

My metamour –

  • Anything with vitamin K including
    • Dark leafy vegetables
    • Broccoli
    • Asparagus

Me –

  • Pork
  • Anything that mixes dairy and meat
  • Organ meats
  • Shellfish

My sister –

  • Oregano
  • Rosemary

Metamour’s Husband –

  • Meat (includes fish)

One time, when my metamour and her husband came down, theĀ ‘vegetarian’ boxed meal I picked up, wasn’t. It was a massive scramble to find something everyone could eat. That’s when I came up with my emergency meals list. It’s 3 meals that everyone I might expect to be at my home can eat and that I can throw together quickly. This way, if a planned meal falls through, I have alternatives.
My emergency meals list is:

  • Pasta with light pesto sauce
  • Rice balls with corn or another veggie filling
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches

These are meals that I reliably have the ingredients for, and can cook practically in my sleep.

I hope somewhere there exists a polyamorous relationship that doesn’t need to jump through hoops to make a meal everyone can enjoy. So far, every polyam family I’ve been in has had multiple food restrictions, often contradictory ones! A bit of thought, planning ahead, and most of all keeping these lists, makes meal time a lot easier, and a lot more enjoyable.

What are you polyam meal tips? Share them in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Polyamory Meal Planning

  1. My favorite solution for this is compartmentalized meals, where the basic meal concept is the same, but different variations are presented, and you do some table-based assembly. Spaghetti and meatballs is a great example — let’s say you’ve got a vegan, someone who can’t eat tomatoes, and someone like me (celiac and doesn’t feel right without eating meat regularly). There are three parts to the meal: protein, pasta and sauce, and you can split it up in a few ways. You can have a tomato sauce and a pesto, seitan ball and meat balls, and a gluten free pasta (if everyone likes it enough) or regular pasta and an alternative (zuchinni or squash works in cases where there’s someone who needs to limit carbs, too). Now you don’t have to have all of these at the same time, you could make the seitan and the tomato sauce one dish to save cooking, for instance (and if you find a gf pasta everyone likes — good ones exist — you can just have the one pasta) but there’s a lot of possibilities.

    This can work with other types of meals, particularly since veg*n entrees can often double as side dishes for another diner with some other restriction. So you can have a meat dish, a mushroom dish, a gluten-containing vegan side, and another vegetable, and everyone will get to eat 3 of the 4 options. Or you can do tacos and have various fillings ready to assemble.

    These are just some of the (rather common) dietary restrictions I have experience accommodating in group settings, but I think the basic concept can probably be applied to a wide range of restrictions, excepting allergies severe enough to preclude being in the same room — thankfully, few foods seem to provoke that.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I can see how that would work well for people who are able to put together a more complicated meal.

  2. My favorite solution for this is compartmentalized meals, where the basic meal concept is the same, but different variations are presented, and you do some table-based assembly. Spaghetti and meatballs is a great example — let’s say you’ve got a vegan, someone who can’t eat tomatoes, and someone like me (celiac and doesn’t feel right without eating meat regularly). There are three parts to the meal: protein, pasta and sauce, and you can split it up in a few ways. You can have a tomato sauce and a pesto, seitan ball and meat balls, and a gluten free pasta (if everyone likes it enough) or regular pasta and an alternative (zuchinni or squash works in cases where there’s someone who needs to limit carbs, too). Now you don’t have to have all of these at the same time, you could make the seitan and the tomato sauce one dish to save cooking, for instance (and if you find a gf pasta everyone likes — good ones exist — you can just have the one pasta) but there’s a lot of possibilities.

    This can work with other types of meals, particularly since veg*n entrees can often double as side dishes for another diner with some other restriction. So you can have a meat dish, a mushroom dish, a gluten-containing vegan side, and another vegetable, and everyone will get to eat 3 of the 4 options. Or you can do tacos and have various fillings ready to assemble.

    These are just some of the (rather common) dietary restrictions I have experience accommodating in group settings, but I think the basic concept can probably be applied to a wide range of restrictions, excepting allergies severe enough to preclude being in the same room — thankfully, few foods seem to provoke that.

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