By now you've gotten a decent understanding of what this Vegan thing is all about. You've taken her/him out to dinner and things are going great. Now you want to wine and dime them. First you have to get some recipes. There are some recipes here but they are mostly one pot meals, they're tasty tho. You should also check out Vegsource for an extensive collection of recipes. Lastly you should consult your significant other to see what they like to eat.
It's best for your first attempt at dinner to try something that you already enjoy and are adept at preparing. When you have your menu decided upon, it's time to hit the store to buy the ingredients. The grocery store is chock full of dangerous foods lurking behind those pretty warppers. Grab a cart and lets go!
First things first, you'll hit the produce section. It's that place on the left that you usually never go to, if need be ask someone where it's at you will become well aquainted with it. See all the pretty colors, it's kind of neat in here. Okay, pull out your list and grab your veggies. Hopefully you haven't been given any exotic vegetables to pick out, just get your standard carrots, onions, broccoli and so on. I'm not even going to attempt to try and explain how to tell really good produce from not so good, mainly beacuse I'm not too sure myself. Just wing it and hope for the best. Remember: brown wilty-looking vegetable are probably bad.
Okay, not too bad so far is it? the produce section is probably the safest place you'll find in the store for vegans. Now, shoot through the paper goods and laundry soaps, just cruise on by the meat department (later grasshopper, later). Okay, here's where things get tricky. no matter what you are going to by always read the label before putting it into your cart. Even if the can says "Vegetarian" on it, it doesn't mean it's okay for a Vegan. You're looking for the obvious stuff like meat, meat broth, and meat flavorings. You also have to make sure there is no dairy in it either. That means no eggs, milk, WHEY (that's a biggie), any kind of cheese, gelatin, casien, casinate...I hope I'm spelling these right. All that stuff is bad. Fortunately there most items seem okay if there there are none of these items in them. Some argue that refined sugar and flour are not vegan but hopefully if this is a critical point your vegan will have mentioned it before now. Also beware the dreaded "Natural Flavorings" these could be meat derived, they could not, point is no one really knows so it's best to avoid them.
Don't despair, you're probably standing in the aisle with that same look you had when you were confronted with buying condoms for the first time. It will get easier with time, now that you know what to look out for.
Hopefully you now have a buggy full of stuff that you feel pretty confident with. Now it's time for desert. The bakery section will probably have almost nothing. So let's not even try that one alone shall we?
Okay, you're now ready to go, you have a bunch of food, some of which you've never even tried before, and are feeling like the triumphant hunter. (whops, bad metaphor) The triumphant nature photographer. You're standing in line feeling pretty good. You have you main items and you backup....You don't have a backup? Well if you're going this alone and you don't want to have to come back to make dinner get out of line and grab a box of spagetti noodles (no eggs in there right?) and a jar of sauce (and not one "flavored with meat"). Okay now you're ready to go. Now pay for this stuff and get outta here you scamp!
"Hey! My grocery store doesn't carry TVP or some other stuff you have here!" The only help for that is ask your significant Vegan where they would get such an item and go there. It will probably be a health or natural food store. And they're scarier to go in to but much easier to shop at. Take a look around one and you'll be amazed at the number of items that you can buy with confidence! Always patronize your local natural food store as much as possible, they'll help you out of a jam one of these days.
You should now be well on your way to preparing your first vegan meal. Don't worry if it doesn't turn out perfect the first time, you have you backup and I'm sure your significant vegan will love you for the effort. Next time we'll move on in the relationship, Chapter IV:"What DO I Tell My Friends and Family?!"