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Topic: Help with my picky boyfriend  (Read 3638 times)
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spooky2012
« on: December 28, 2010 09:33:45 PM »

So I want to cook dinner for my carnivore boyfriend but have no idea what to cook. He's fairly picky (well, by my standards, but I come from a family of human garbage disposals). He'll eat some veggies, but he won't eat most of the things that I normally cook (he doesn't like tomato sauce on pasta, he doesn't like chili, he hates beans, hates most squash). I'm at a bit of a loss, because asking him what he WANTS to eat is like pulling teeth (because he "doesn't know" and I am sick of pizza... and my sister's cooking, which is good but blindingly fattening). So I come to you with your collective wisdom in hopes of finding a solution.
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010 11:36:36 PM »

I wonder why you post in the vegetarian thread.

Anyways, I have few suggestions:

1. Burgers and fries
2. Steak with gravy and mashed potatoes
3. Sausages with toasts
4. Pasta with white sauce (Carbonara or Alfredo)

Just enumerating them makes me hungry. Grin
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deviouscrafty
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010 05:30:46 AM »

Hmm, you could try an Indian vegetarian curry? Paneer and peas or potato and cauliflower are both delicious, and the options of having yogurt/salad/naans/rice/chutneys on the side means he should like something. Or a Thai Coconut Curry with tofu?

Whenever I have to feed meat-eaters, I try and distract them with halloumi/tofu/or a style of cooking they don't normally eat Smiley
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spooky2012
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010 12:42:15 PM »

I wonder why you post in the vegetarian thread.

I'm a vegetarian, and the idea of cooking meat squicks me out beyond all reason.
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010 01:15:24 PM »

Spooky, will he eat Portobellos?
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schnerby
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2010 03:06:09 PM »

Hmmm... picky eaters can be difficult.

Here's some suggestions:
Parmagiana made with eggplant (crumb it if you want to disguise it more) or mushrooms
soups and bread
curries are a great option
lentil con carne (low on chilli)
some kid of pastry wrapped filling, maybe spinach and ricotta?
dumplings - very good for disguising them as meat free foods! Think Chinese jiaozi dumplings, Japanese gyoza or steamed buns (baozi).
Stirfry with noodles or rice
stuffed capsicums (bell pepper)

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spooky2012
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2010 07:53:01 PM »

Spooky, will he eat Portobellos?

If I recall correctly, he doesn't like mushrooms.


Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I'll figure something out... I hope.
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BoxOfRocks
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2010 08:13:25 PM »

Why try to satisfy someone who is nixes so many of your ideas, yet doesn't provide any guidance on what he wants to eat?  From the information provided, this issue is larger than the original question posted.  Let him get his own food.
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McJulie-O
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2010 08:43:56 PM »

Why try to satisfy someone who is nixes so many of your ideas, yet doesn't provide any guidance on what he wants to eat?  From the information provided, this issue is larger than the original question posted.  Let him get his own food.

Let HIM cook! Trying to satisfy a picky eater who eats contrary to your conscience sounds like a frustrating journey for all involved..
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spooky2012
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2010 08:54:54 PM »

Why try to satisfy someone who is nixes so many of your ideas, yet doesn't provide any guidance on what he wants to eat?  From the information provided, this issue is larger than the original question posted.  Let him get his own food.

Let HIM cook! Trying to satisfy a picky eater who eats contrary to your conscience sounds like a frustrating journey for all involved..

I like to cook, and I want to cook for him. It's not like he only eats steak and potatoes, it's just coming up with something that we can both eat (like, for example, we both like pasta, but he likes cream sauces which i don't). He has offered suggestions, but the thing is, he likes meat, which i don't even like to TOUCH, let alone cook. I mean, I could enlist my sister to help, but my boyfriend is also trying to lose weight, and my sister's cooking is REALLY fattening.

What I'm thinking of doing right now is cooking pasta, have a couple sauces out, salad, and bread. That way, he can have his creamy pasta sauce, I can have my tomato sauce and we can both eat, and I don't drive myself COMPLETELY insane in the process.
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schnerby
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010 02:45:21 AM »

Sounds like a sensible solution. Finding foods you both like to eat is important if you're going to be cooking for one another, and in relationships that generally happens. It's not really helpful to just say he should get his own food and stop being picky.

Hopefully he will come up with more suggestions in the future. Many people are scared off by the concept of vegetarian foods when really they already like heaps of meat-free meals and sidedishes.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2010 06:06:59 AM »

I think you're headed in the right direction with your dinner plan spooky. I hope it goes well. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2010 06:56:10 AM »

Oh no here comes THAT reply.  I think it is thoughtful to cook what he enjoys but look at the big picture.  Consider this as a long term relationship and ask yourself how much you would enjoy cooking according to his narrow guidelines for the next decade. 

My friend's husband is like this.  In fact, we invented a game where we try to guess what he will and won't eat.  While it may be fun for us, I know it is a source of stress for her.
 
What you do in your relationship sets precedents that last a loooong time. 

Try making him eggplant parm over pasta.  Or maybe a grilled cheese sandwich then you can add ham for him and have just cheese for yourself.  Slip in a tomato and argula if you can.  And have a nice salad on the side. 

 
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spooky2012
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2010 10:31:13 AM »

Oh no here comes THAT reply.  I think it is thoughtful to cook what he enjoys but look at the big picture.  Consider this as a long term relationship and ask yourself how much you would enjoy cooking according to his narrow guidelines for the next decade. 
 
What you do in your relationship sets precedents that last a loooong time. 

I've already been with him for over 6 years. Also, in all honesty, he is less picky than when we first met (he used to be a LOT worse) so he's working on it and that's all I can ask for.
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BoxOfRocks
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2010 01:46:34 PM »


I've already been with him for over 6 years. Also, in all honesty, he is less picky than when we first met (he used to be a LOT worse) so he's working on it and that's all I can ask for.

It looks like you've made up your mind, and have decided to continue to try to find dishes that will satisfy you both, despite your previous experiences.

One last thought.  Look at it this way: regardless of any progress he has made, this issue is still a source of frustration for you six years later.  Per your OP and responses, there doesn't seem to be any reciprocation--is he cooking for you?  You don't need to respond to that question.  I posted it merely as food for thought.)

Best of luck in your endeavors.
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spooky2012
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2011 08:18:18 PM »


I've already been with him for over 6 years. Also, in all honesty, he is less picky than when we first met (he used to be a LOT worse) so he's working on it and that's all I can ask for.

It looks like you've made up your mind, and have decided to continue to try to find dishes that will satisfy you both, despite your previous experiences.

One last thought.  Look at it this way: regardless of any progress he has made, this issue is still a source of frustration for you six years later.  Per your OP and responses, there doesn't seem to be any reciprocation--is he cooking for you?  You don't need to respond to that question.  I posted it merely as food for thought.)

Best of luck in your endeavors.

Why does this bug you so much? -really confused-
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schnerby
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2011 10:54:38 PM »

Spooky2012, don't let this worry you. Keep posting here, we're a welcoming community.


Remember Spooky didn't come here for relationship advice, but recipes and food ideas. Please respect Spooky enough to answer the question and not pretend you know all about their relationship. You're probably trying to be helpful, but it's really not appropriate.
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011 04:13:00 PM »

I agree with schnerby. Please keep posting spooky! Smiley
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spooky2012
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2011 07:03:23 PM »

Spooky2012, don't let this worry you. Keep posting here, we're a welcoming community.

Don't worry, I'm made of stronger stuff than that, I generally like this community and all the people here.
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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2011 07:39:17 PM »

Hello,  I have eaten in a vegetarian restaurant.  They serve BBQ using a meatless ingredient.  I forgot what it is called.  It does look and taste like pork BBQ.  I wouldn't know the difference if I didn't know it only serve vegetarian dishes.  A yummy disguise!  Grin
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spooky2012
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2011 08:22:40 PM »

Hello,  I have eaten in a vegetarian restaurant.  They serve BBQ using a meatless ingredient.  I forgot what it is called.  It does look and taste like pork BBQ.  I wouldn't know the difference if I didn't know it only serve vegetarian dishes.  A yummy disguise!  Grin

Thank you! Could you let me know if you find out what it is? Because he would LOVE that.
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schnerby
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011 02:28:59 PM »

Actually, I ate in a Buddhist temple in China (I often did that, their food was always free of animal products) and I had some foods that I would have swore were meat. If you're into simulating meat without actually using any there are certainly products available to help you out. Do you have an Asian grocer? I have a vegetarian Asian grocer nearby which does all sorts of meat simulations. They're not my thing, but they do stock them.
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dancedupapillon
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2011 11:08:15 PM »

I agree with the idea of eggplant parm, especially if you serve it with tonnes of mozzarella and/or as a sandwich with garlic bread.  Oh yeah!  I'm not even a veggie and it's one of my favorite meals.

Other tasty ideas:
Welsh rarebit (like fondu, but with beer.  Total man-pleaser)
lentil soup
potato (or potato-leek) soup
Fritatta
quiche
spanish tortilla
stuffed pasta shells, though this might not work with a pasta sauce instead of a cream one
angel hair pasta with fresh tomato, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil
rizotto (especially one with spinach and herbs  YUM!)
ratatouille on a bed of rice or quinoa
home made mac and cheese, can't go wrong
Chana masaala and veggie samosas
perogies with fake bacon bits

Have you  managed to make him try tofu?  My fianc and his friend once made vegan bulgogi with tofu that they had frozen to change the texture.  Tofu is lovely Smiley
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spooky2012
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2011 11:18:55 PM »

Have you  managed to make him try tofu?  My fianc and his friend once made vegan bulgogi with tofu that they had frozen to change the texture.  Tofu is lovely Smiley

He likes tofu, and generally likes the vegetarian stuff/fake meat that I get him to taste. He's open to trying things... most of the time.
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dancedupapillon
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2011 10:03:12 PM »

A veggie friend of mine also made amazing gyoza with ground round.  They're super tasty and though they're asian, the flavours aren't too out there, so he may like them.  Same goes for most Korean food.   If he's a fan of most fake meats, that simplifies things!  "Meat"loaf, "meat"ball subs, lasagna...

I feel your pain about pickiness.  My brother is very meat and potatoes too, and when he was diagnosed with hypoglycemia we had to try to expand his diet a little.  Creativity and lots of cheese...  Good luck!
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« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2011 02:28:15 AM »

I know it's been a long time since the last post, but wanted to say I am a carnivore trying to incorporate more meatless meals. We used to have a GREAT vegetarian restaurant in town. They made really cool sandwiches and such using seitan and veggie bacon, etc.

I like tons of Indian cuisine and lots of it is veggie friendly.

I want to try "sloppy lentils" too (sloppy joes using lentils)

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krisjo
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2011 01:24:29 PM »

Way late, but I'm curious: what kinds of dishes can you get a meateater to eat tofu in? 

I've got one who claims that he just hates the idea of tofu standing in for meat, but I've convinced him to give it a try.  Ideally something that isn't just a meat dish with tofu as a replacement... I want him to see tofu as a standalone food stuff.  Anything fit that bill?
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schnerby
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2011 10:31:03 PM »

As a transition you can put tofu in a meat dish so they are seen together as seperate things rather than as a substitute. That might make him more friendly to the idea of tofu. That sure helped me transition my brother to eat tofu. Suitable dishes are Chinese mapo dofu (tofu) and 'scrambles' like you might put in a pie or pastie mix. Also try curried tofu dumplings.

I don't eat meat at all, and I see this as a good way to help others eat less meat by becoming more familiar with tofu.
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dancedupapillon
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2011 09:17:59 AM »

Marinate some firm tofu in soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil, then bake.  Also, korean tofu soup!
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2012 11:48:54 PM »

Way late, but I'm curious: what kinds of dishes can you get a meateater to eat tofu in? 

I've got one who claims that he just hates the idea of tofu standing in for meat, but I've convinced him to give it a try.  Ideally something that isn't just a meat dish with tofu as a replacement... I want him to see tofu as a standalone food stuff.  Anything fit that bill?

I know I'm late too, but here's one!
take pressed tofu and cut it into 1/2 inch slices, dredge it in soy sauce [or tamari], 'flour' each side with nutritional yeast and fry for a couple minutes per side in a small bit of olive oil in a shallow frying pan
this is THE BEST way to eat tofu in my opinion. My uncles gf used to work in a huge LA restaurant that would serve that, [she shared with me. Smiley] and it just tastes fantastic. somewhat like chicken kind of taste. but really good.
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krisjo
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2012 05:19:07 PM »

Quote from: schnerby
As a transition you can put tofu in a meat dish so they are seen together as seperate things rather than as a substitute. That might make him more friendly to the idea of tofu. That sure helped me transition my brother to eat tofu. Suitable dishes are Chinese mapo dofu (tofu) and 'scrambles' like you might put in a pie or pastie mix. Also try curried tofu dumplings.

I don't eat meat at all, and I see this as a good way to help others eat less meat by becoming more familiar with tofu.
The problem is I don't eat animal products, nor do I cook them. Luckily, I've got his word that he'll try something.


Quote from: annigirl22
I know I'm late too, but here's one!
take pressed tofu and cut it into 1/2 inch slices, dredge it in soy sauce [or tamari], 'flour' each side with nutritional yeast and fry for a couple minutes per side in a small bit of olive oil in a shallow frying pan
this is THE BEST way to eat tofu in my opinion. My uncles gf used to work in a huge LA restaurant that would serve that, [she shared with me. Smiley] and it just tastes fantastic. somewhat like chicken kind of taste. but really good.
Sounds a lot like the tofu-nuggets I make, but I bake those. Maybe I'll go with those. :]
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2012 09:22:58 PM »

Look up the blog Vegan Dad. He has tons of recipes that are really creative.

I tried making vegan seitan ribs....really good but chewier than I expected (have to admit, it was a bit off-putting, maybe I need to adjust?). But more "solid" than tofu.

I am liking TVP crumbles a lot to sub for ground meat in spaghetti sauce. Yum!
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schnerby
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2012 11:06:10 PM »

Quote from: schnerby
As a transition you can put tofu in a meat dish so they are seen together as seperate things rather than as a substitute. That might make him more friendly to the idea of tofu. That sure helped me transition my brother to eat tofu. Suitable dishes are Chinese mapo dofu (tofu) and 'scrambles' like you might put in a pie or pastie mix. Also try curried tofu dumplings.

I don't eat meat at all, and I see this as a good way to help others eat less meat by becoming more familiar with tofu.
The problem is I don't eat animal products, nor do I cook them. Luckily, I've got his word that he'll try something.

Sorry! I don't eat or cook 'em either so I get where you're coming from. For some reason (not reading the OP for a while) I had you down as people trying to reduce meat intake.

He says he'll try - that's pretty good!
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