(Closed) Vegetarian bees with meat eating SO?!?

posted 6 years ago in Cooking
Post # 3
879 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I used to be a vegetarian, but became a pescatarian a few years back. Cooking for the both of us isn’t difficult, it just takes a little more time. Your chili example, I would cook the chili sans any meat or meat substitute in one big pot, then divide them and add your meat. I found this saves some time versus making two separate chilis from scratch. Pasta, casseroles, soups, etc I do the same. If let’s say Fiance wants a nice steak with his rice and vegetables and I want tofu stirfry, I will just cook him his steak on the side. I try to pick proteins that will cook in relatively the same time.

I’m lucky that Fiance loves fish and tofu, so I end up cooking a lot of fish and tofu when I’m strapped for time hehe. If anything have your Fiance help you make dinner! I love cooking together with my Fiance – like in the above example, he would cook his steak 🙂 Good luck!

Post # 4
64 posts
Worker bee

I’m basically @arabesque:  under a different name. J/k, but really that’s eerie…I too used to be vegetarian and am now pescetarian (or Presbyterian, as SO’s uncle refers to it lol). I love to cook and prepare many  of our meals, and I do the same thing. I try to reserve part of the recipe as meatfree for myself, for example I have a breakfast casserole recipe that uses crumbled sausage. When I mix the casserole up, I leave a square that is sausage-free for me to eat (one time, SO made the casserole for him and his friends while I made myself something else, and he left me a meatfree square! Now that’s love)

Or if the meat’s a standalone recipe (and not just a garnish) like steak or pot roast, I’ll make that for him and prepare a bunch of sides to make up my dinner. We usually do have to eat separate things, but we try to keep it related and convenient. Like if he’s grilling steaks for himself, he’ll pick up salmon for me to grill on a cedar plank (or in your case, some veggie dogs?)

Would your Fiance be okay with a purely vegetarian chili? No meat crumbles, just beans, carrots, celery, onions, and spices? I understand his aversion to things like Chik’n, and honestly I try not to rely too heavily on that stuff myself (it gets expensive!). And then you can share a main dish, and maybe some meat sides for him if he insists (bacon cornbread?)

Post # 5
2777 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I am like you guys I was a veggie and now I eat fish.  FI used to be annoyed by the no meat thing but he ended up eating more like I do so he has saved money and is healthy.  He wanted me to do what OP was saying but I told him no because it was too time consuming so when he wants a dish to start out with meat in the first place he makes it (like he makes a shepards pie with meat and a little dish for me with soy ground crumbles.)  FI will eat tofu and fish and purely veggie things, like when I make a stirfry he will cook his meat in another pan and add it to his own portion of the food.  

When you say he eats only meat do you mean hes not a veggie guy at all?  That could prove difficult to you and I would say that you need to talk to him about expanding his food repertoire or making his batch himself or at least help because that is a lot of effort.  

We make a lot of bean and pasta dishes because its easy to make a side of meat for those.

Post # 6
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

I am a strict vegetarian, and Mr. HC eats meat, but we eat vegetarian most nights, and he is fine with it, as long as he feels full. If I make meat, it’s usually just the one dish and we can both eat everything else – veggies, grain, salad, etc. – and I’ll just throw a chik’n patty or something in for my own protein.  I make vegetarian sweet and sour meatballs (no fake meat, just no meat) and that works for Mr. HC as a main dish as well.  We make it work :). The only thing that I ever make two of is chicken soup for the holidays – I’ll make a chicken soup and a small pot of vegetable soup.  Everything else is as is!

Post # 7
879 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Mrs. Hermit Crab:  ooh, how do you make your meatballs? I’m not a big fan of meat substitutes so I can only think of blending tofu or some kind of bean or nut when I want to make a “burger” or something!

Post # 8
367 posts
Helper bee

Boyfriend or Best Friend and I are the opposite, LOL! We do not cook separate meals – we just find recipes that we both like. I would NEVER ask Boyfriend or Best Friend to handle raw meat for me, much less cook me something with meat in it – just like he would never expect me to cook something that grosses me out. If he insists on eating meat, I’d say he should cook it himself… But if you’re really okay with cooking it for him, then that’s really sweet, and I like your idea of keeping the meat in a separate pot for him to add to chili, spaghetti, etc. You could even cook it ahead and freeze small portions for him to add to his vegetarian dishes.

Now, Boyfriend or Best Friend loves peas, but I hate them. When I make baked macaroni and cheese, I only put peas on one side of it, and I eat the plain side of the casserole while he eats the side with peas in it. Maybe you could do that with meat in some casseroles, and only eat from the veg side? You can also split casseroles into two 8×8 dishes instead of one 13×9 dish. (We do this a lot because I often break big dishes, but it would be handy if I wanted to make something with meat in it.)

Despite doing most of the cooking in our house, I have gotten to the point where I never cook meat at home; I now only get it in restaurants (or when I eat at other people’s houses). I actually find vegetarian cooking a lot easier anyway, and it’s very easy to make filling meals without meat if you do some exploring and experimenting. I would be cool with meat substitutes, but Boyfriend or Best Friend actually hates fake meat and barely tolerates tofu, so he makes his chili with black beans. I make my lasagna with fresh spinach instead of ground beef now so we can both eat it. His stepmom makes awesome black bean burgers from scratch, but ours always fall apart 🙁 

When we go to my (meat-eating) parents’ house, they do cook something separate for him instead of making a whole vegetarian meal. Ex – we made him a stuffed portobello (Bobby Flay’s recipe with onions and fresh mozzarella) last time my dad made steaks. I’m too lazy to do this every day, but it’s nice for special occasions.

Post # 9
42 posts
  • Wedding: December 2011

I make mainly veggie meals for my husband. Occasionally I’ll make a pack of chicken and freeze the extra pieces. When I make my veggie meals I’ll just throw in a few pieces of precooked chicken. My husbands doesnt complin because he’s eating and not making the meal. I use a lot of morning star and boca products. When you replace the meat with soy products its barely noticed that its not “real” meat in the food.

Post # 10
1402 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

SO eats meat, and I am a vegetarian.  He used to be a three times a day meat eater, but now he only eats meat when we go out to eat.  He says he feels better.  I’ve never pressured him into not eating meat, but I’m happy with how his diet has changed!  Obviously, since he only eats meat out, we only cook vegetarian meals in.  He would never ask me to handle meat – and I don’t think he would want me to, because I have no idea how to cook it!  

This might help you more:  When we go to his parent’s house (they’re big meat eaters) they’ll either cook something like pasta and let me get my serving first, then add the meat, or they’ll make me something separate.  When we go over there and cook we have lots of meatless sides and he and his dad usually grill steaks.

Post # 11
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I’m vegan and my husband is a meat-eater. It’s quite hard but he’ll actually eat the food I cook him. My food is 100 times healthier than a steak and he actually agreed it’s tastier. If he wont eat vegetables… well that’s a problem. You need vegetables to remain healthy. I actually cooked a few meals for my husband with ‘fake meat’ and he didn’t even notice. Vegan lasagne has completely blown the minds of my meat-eating friends. Try to expand his horizons with food.

Post # 12
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I was vegetarian for 10 years…  My SO is a very country guy, and he didn’t understand my vegetarianism at all.  After a few months of dating, he dared/ bet me to try a piece of chicken, and I’ve been slowly un-vegetarianizing since lol.  

Honestly I did it because my family raised me to be pescatarian, and I became vegetarian on my own.  I didn’t have any reason for not eating meat except it’s just how I’d always eaten.  It’s strange branching out to try these new dishes, but I don’t regret it at all.

Also, SO has widened his range as well.  I’ve introduced him to a lot of yummy veggie recipes that he’d never considered before, so we’re pretty balanced now (:

Post # 13
1748 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

See, I won’t touch meat and my Fiance thinks it’s disrespectful to cook it in my vegetarian kitchen (mind you, he pays the bills…but whatever!). So he eats what I cook, enjoys it, and he doesn’t complain. When we go out to dinner he’ll almost always order meat and i’m okay with him bringing in take-out that has meat, but I won’t add it to meals or have anything to do with it. As a result of my diet, he eats vegetarian 99% of the time (I put together his lunches), but he has no health or ethical reasoning for it, it’s just ’cause it’s what we have in the kitchen and what we buy. 

Post # 14
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I know this isn’t very helpful to say, but I couldn’t do it. It’s one thing to go out and have them eat meat, it’s something else to have that smell embeded in your kitchen. I feel so blessed that my Fiance became (again, he’d done it of his own accord for a few years when he was younger) vegetarian happily.

For my vegetarian friends in these situations the hardest thing seems to be when they have children. Too many meat eaters are convinced that kids ‘need’ meat to be healthy. It’s one thing to see you adult SO make a lifestyle choice, and quite another to see your children be raised in a way contrary to your own choices.

Post # 15
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

This is a great thread!!!  I used to date vegetarians pretty much exclusively, since I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with meat eaters.  Fortunately, my SO is super veggie friendly and he tries really hard to be accomodating.  He very rarely eats meat around me, actually.  And he loves tofu! I’m honestly surprised your SO doesn’t like the crumbles since I’ve snuck them into meals for a lot of meat eaters, and they didn’t even notice! 

I do recommend you looking into flexitarian cooking classes in your area, or possibly flexitarian cookbooks.  The idea is to have a dish that can easily be eaten either way, so maybe a chicken dish that can also be replaced with tofu, or a veggie dish that can have some meat added on top.. that way both people are happy.  You can also just simply steer away from dishes that use meat substitutes, if soy is not his thing.  I find that mushrooms can be a very hearty and savory filling.  Also, some meateaters who don’t like soy will actually go for seitan instead.  I have never met a meat eater who didn’t love this recipe-

You might enjoy this article too, while we’re on the subject.http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/13/dining/13incompatible.html?pagewanted=all

Post # 16
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I am very much like @mrs.hermit crab.

I do 100% of the cooking in our house and almost every meal is vegetarian. Mr. Brit enjoys most dishes and is ok with whatever I cook as long as he’s full.

I do keep some frozen meat in the house, and once or twice a month will cook it for him and subsititute a veggie protein for myself. Sometimes I make burgers, and I make a veggie burger for him and a salmon burger for me.

When we moved in together I don’t think either of us knew how it would work.
He hadn’t tried many of the “fake” meats and thought that vegetarians mostly eat salad.

He quickly realized that:

a) unless he is cooking, he doesn’t get much of a say in what the menu is

b) eating vegetarian is *generally* cheaper, (although I do spend a fair amount at whole foods)

c) vegetarian food can be filling *and* tasty

d) we eat out/order takeout fairly frequently, he eats lunch at work, and sometimes he sees his mom for dinner so he has PLENTY of opportunity to eat meat outside of the meals I cook.

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