When I first started customizing my recipes to accommodate two diets, sometimes I had a hard time keeping track of which one had the meat and which one didn’t. Some of it, admittedly, has to do with the fact that I’m a little (okay, a lot) scatterbrained. But cooking is often a form of therapy for me; I’m in the kitchen so I don’t have to think much.

I’ve carved a “V” into the top crust of a vegetarian pot pie and a “C” in the chicken version. I sprinkle a bit of the meat on top of a meat-filled dish. I even try to keep the meatless version on the left at all times because I’m the left-handed vegetarian oddball of the family.

But far and away the best strategy I’ve found, so far, is to use different colored dishes.

Use different-colored dishes to keep track of meatless vs. carnivore dishes

A prime example of this tip at work is with these terrific 16-ounce Le Creuset baking dishes. These two little dishes get a lot of use in our kitchen. Green is my favorite color, so green is always mine.

Holiday Breakfast Strata with Sausage (or Not)
Holiday Breakfast Strata with Optional Sausage
Cheesy Shepherds Pie with Ground Beef or Lentils and Cremini Mushrooms
Cheesy Shepherds Pie with Ground Beef or Lentils & Cremini Mushrooms

An awesome bonus is I love dishes and bakeware, so it’s a good excuse to shop, too. Score!

Do you have to keep track of mixed diets when you’re cooking? What are your strategies?

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