You’ve taken the leap! You’re cooking like you’re expecting a famous Sumo wrestler to appear at your front door. You’ve gone vegetarian and you’re excited, to say the least, about trying out new foods and dishes. You’re looking forward to all the health benefits that come with being a vegetarian. There is only one problem in your hip and exciting lifestyle; your spouse/lover/partner/significant other isn’t a vegetarian and shows no interest in your new diet.
Don’t worry! You’re not alone. There’s no need to try and push him/her into going veggie along with you. Whatever your reasons for being vegetarian, they’re your reasons and not your partner’s. You can still have dinner together and not make two completely different meals.
It was difficult, at first, for me to make meals that were flexible for both our diets. I’m not exaggerating when I say we ate a lot of spaghetti. My poor husband used to keep a can of Spaghetti O’s in the pantry, just in case dinner was a flop.
Surprisingly, I’ve found myself developing only four minor changes in the kitchen. They’re simple, efficient, and only one of them required me spending any extra money. You’ve already made one huge change, there’s no need to insist on driving yourself insane over making healthy choices in your diet. Just remember these four simple things: be organized, remember what your partner’s favorite foods are, be adventurous, and get a second crock pot.
I’m a big organizer, so it wasn’t anything new for me to think ahead of time for meals. You don’t have to think to far in advance. All you really need is to take a moment before you leave work to marinate your partner’s meat. That evening it will be tender and juicy and flavor filled for him/her.
If you know your partner likes one or two things, and craves them on the regular basis, make a lot of that item and freeze it. That way, it’s on hand if you’re ever in a crunch. I know my husband loves it when I make lasagna with Italian sausage. Now every couple of months, I make his favorite dish and freeze about two thirds of the dish. This means he can enjoy the left overs, and I won’t panic when company arrives and I have nothing else to serve but Boca burgers and salad.
Remember to be adventurous, even if your partner isn’t. Make a falafel or a new curry dish, and offer your partner a bite. If your partner likes it, ask your him/her if this would be an acceptable dinner for you both. This gives them the option of trying something new and making dinner time less stressful for yourself.
Also invest in more than one crock pot. I have two crock pots at home. When I’m making chili or soup, I start off making the dish in one pot. I add my water, tomatoes, beans, whatever the recipe calls for. Then I divide the contents of the soup or chili. I pour half of it into one crock pot and the other half into a different crock pot. If my husband want ground beef in his chili, I’ll add it in one of the two and remember that the red crock pot has his ground beef and the stainless steel has my soy grounds in it. This makes clean up time a bit more time consuming, but he always appreciates the effort I go through to fix him dinner. If dinner was really good, he’ll even help me do the dishes.
By keeping these four things in mind, be organized, remember your partner favorite foods, be adventurous, and invest in a second crock pot, you can relax and enjoy dinner time without giving up on your new lifestyle. More importantly, you won’t find yourself twisting your partner’s arm to follow your lead. Becoming vegetarian is a personal choice that shouldn’t be shoved onto anyone.
There’s no need in causing resentment or strife in a relationship you’ve worked hard to build. Remember to keep it simple since your relationship is bound to be put under enough stresses without one more adversity being added to it. This should be a happy and exciting time in your life. Don’t allow it to be ruined by something that’s so easily remedied.