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Cataleya

Vegetarian eating with a meat eating partner

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I've been wanting to move more toward removing meat from my diet, and maybe more than that, for both ethical and health reasons. I have hypothyroidism and PCOS and I have tried pretty much everything else. I also am concerned about climate change and factory farming, as well as a general increasing squeamishness about eating things that were at some point conscious, especially if I didn't kill it myself. So that's that.

 

My partner is not interested in becoming a vegetarian, though he's not unsupportive of what I want to do. He will even eat vegetarian with me when I make a meatless meal, but I know he's going to want meat at least sometimes, if not often. I haven't had this conversation with him lately but just generally he's a supportive guy but I know he's also going to want what he wants, if that makes sense.

 

What I was curious about was whether anyone here shares a household with people who eat meat? How do you work with that? I usually make meals, though he has also done so, and he cooks with me as well. Do you make dishes you can just leave the meat off of and the other person can add it in? Do you make your own meals? I have no problem handling meat, so I don't mind making him meat, I just don't want to cook two different meals several days a week.

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It can be pretty challenging - sometimes you will need to either resign yourself to making two meals, or both of you will need to compromise/eat leftovers once in a while. The best strategy I can think of is to create complete meals without meat, but where meat could act as a beneficial 'seasoning', or there's an easy veg analog. Eg. Stir fry - make it with seitan, and your SO can add meat in. Tofu steaks with salad & soup, and he can sub in a meat steak. Bean burritos, meat optional. Tempeh with grilled veg, he can have chicken wings instead. Sprouted lentil salad, he can add bacon.

 

For your own sake, I'd start with a meal plan/recipe collection that offers enough variety to make sure you're getting all the essential amino acids, as well as macro ratios for sufficient protein intake. Yes, you can absolutely get enough protein with a vegetarian/vegan diet, it just requires extra planning - and fair warning, many plant-based protein rich sources also have a decent amount of carbs and fiber (since each day will likely be at least 2-3c of beans, minimum). So again, that's where planning really comes in so that you're not feeling stuffed all the time, but also not eating 4 portions of soy stuff every day. ;) Protein powders/smoothies can help. And the occasional 'meat substitute' processed stuff helps too, just be aware that they're not a 1:1 replacement for meat.

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I'm vegetarian leaning toward vegan with a meat eating husband.

Overall  it works pretty well for us. I take his tastes into account but also push him some to try things he wouldn't on his own. In our case that means that mushrooms are absolutely out of the question (fine by me, I'm not a fan either) and he'll try things with sweet potatoes but probably like it much. Sometimes we'll do a meal where he can add meat to it (mostly spaghetti) but overall he's fine with either meat-free or meat-substitutes. Hell, he actually prefers fake ground beef (Morningstar veggie crumbles) to the real stuff in burritos. I would personally do without even the fake stuff in that but we compromise and are happy with it.
Occasionally he'll get a meat laden meal while I eat something I know he doesn't like. Today he's eating chicken and dumplings while I had a huge salad (which he likes but doesn't think is a meal on it's own).

Also, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Eating less meat (as opposed to none) while you're finding more mutually agreeable vegetarian recipes is better than trying to do it all at once an both of you getting frustrated. I've been slowly experimenting with vegan recipes the last couple of years and have found a few that we both love and make regularly now, but still have plenty of non-vegan foods I still make. Even just reducing the amount of meat in a recipe is fine

 

If you want some of the recipes that my meat-eating husband loves let me know and I'd be happy to share

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Yeah, anything would be helpful, especially if it can be scaled up for batch cooking, which I want to do to make life easier. Thanks!

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https://www.contentednesscooking.com/high-protein-salad/

https://vegetariangastronomy.com/teriyaki-tofu-stir-fry/#

https://vegangela.com/2014/01/09/coconut-curry-lentil-soup/

https://ohsheglows.com/2013/08/27/sun-dried-tomato-mushroom-and-spinach-tofu-quiche/

https://www.shelikesfood.com/best-vegan-chili-recipe/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a38846/mushroom-quinoa-burger-recipe/

https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/vegan-slow-cooker-tofu-tikka-masala/

https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/lentil-tabbouleh/

https://www.thissavoryvegan.com/vegan-buffalo-cauliflower-tacos/

https://veganheaven.org/recipe/vegan-meatball-sub/

https://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/06/everything-white-bean-hummus/

https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-snickers-cheesecake

 

When in doubt - canned chickpeas & frozen veg with a pre-made curry sauce will always save the day. ;) Extra protein points for quinoa instead of rice with the curry.

 

Soft tofu is handy to blend into soups for creaminess and extra protein again. When you freeze firm tofu it gets 'spongey', almost similar to the texture when fried - just defrost and drain before using! Seitan & tempeh are good choices to keep in the freezer for easy meat swaps (those are the only good 1:1 options, IMO) and quick meals.

 

Wheat pasta & bread are great options, in appropriate portions. TVP is a handy 'ground beef' substitute as well. Steamed edemame with salt sprinkled on top are always a good appetizer choice. 

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I’m in a similar position.  I want to eat less animal products (but not cut them out entirely) and my bf is ok with eating *some* veggie/vegan meals, but he’d prefer to keep more meat in his diet than I’m aiming for.  I have a fair few veg/vegan recipes that he enjoys but I also make meals where all the components are laid out and you build your meal at the table.  This works really well with things like tacos, fajitas, wraps, salads, etc.  

 

A couple of us were thinking of doing a plant-based PVP during the next challenge if you’d be interested? 

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I’m in a similar position.  I want to eat less animal products (but not cut them out entirely) and my bf is ok with eating *some* veggie/vegan meals, but he’d prefer to keep more meat in his diet than I’m aiming for.  I have a fair few veg/vegan recipes that he enjoys but I also make meals where all the components are laid out and you build your meal at the table.  This works really well with things like tacos, fajitas, wraps, salads, etc.    

A couple of us were thinking of doing a plant-based PVP during the next challenge if you’d be interested? 

 

I would love that! It's one of my goals for the next challenge. Having the support would be excellent. 

 

 

I made quinoa for the first time yesterday and really liked it. That might end up being a staple. default_smile.png

 

 

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5 hours ago, Cataleya said:

I would love that! It's one of my goals for the next challenge. Having the support would be excellent. 

 

 

I made quinoa for the first time yesterday and really liked it. That might end up being a staple. default_smile.png

 

 

 

Ooooh, I’ve been meaning to try that for a while, must have a go. 

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