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Topic: Help! My Spouse is a Carnivore!  (Read 16238 times)
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012 10:07:27 AM »

Bean casserole is epic win at our house, and we're all Homo carnisapiens. It's a vegetarian dish, not vegan, as it contains cheese.

-1 can kidney beans
-1 can six bean medley
-1 can tomato sauce
-1 package bowtie pasta
-assorted vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, celery, brocolli, etc)
-enough cheese to top the pans

You'll need at least 2 9x9 pans. I use one 9x9 and one 18x9. Set your oven to between 350 and 400 Fahrenheit (I usually set mine to 375, but every oven is different).

Get your sauce going first. I simply add every conceivable vegetable from my fridge and let it stew for about 20 mins. Simultaneously put a pot of water on to blanch the bowties (they only need to be half cooked). This is the time to open and rinse your beans, as well as grating the cheese.

Once the sauce and bowties are ready, lay down a layer of beans in each casserole pan, then a layer of bowties, then pour sauce evenly over the whole thing (use a spatula or spoon to smooth it out). Top with as much or little cheese as you prefer. Cover each pan with tinfoil or the matching lid if you have one, and toss 'er in the oven.

Check your casserole after 20 mins, and every 5 to 10 minutes thereafter. Once the cheese is bubbling merrily away, take off the lid/tinfoil so the cheese can brown. Turn the oven to broil if you have that setting.

Including cutting up that insane quantity of vegetables, it takes me almost precisely an hour from beginning to devouring.

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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012 10:20:16 AM »

My husband was a big meat eater but slowly (for lots of reasons) adapted to choosing to not eat meat along with me (he still sometimes eats it when we eat out but that's it).  So I have to think about how we used to deal with this.

I have typically not been willing to cook meat (the odd turkey aside), but one concession I would have was frozen chicken breasts directly into the pan (that was for extended family one time).  My husband used to sometimes cook up bacon or something to go with what we were eating but it wasn't that common, or he might eat frozen fish if I was eating veggie chickn nuggets for a meal.

We eat a lot of soups with lentils in them that are very filling (squash and lentils; tomatoes, leeks and lentils), or we have been eating chic pea and squash curry a lot lately as well.  

We eat a lot of pasta so I really need to think about things that don't include it.  I make quiche a lot or the bisquick version (search for impossibly easy pie and there are tonnes of variations).  

Here's one of my favourite recipes for a hearty vegetarian meal http://www.plantoeat.com/blog/2012/01/baked-lentils-with-cheese/
In the cookbook the submitting author swears it will win over any carnivore. 

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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012 01:14:43 PM »

SunflowerSmiles, will your family eat tofu? I know that some people really have an aversion to it.

If I fry it in olive oil and add lots of salt and pepper.  I love it and could eat it all the time. My family doesn't like the texture. Bummer huh?  I can usually get away with tucking it in some stir fry but they're pretty good at picking it out. Shocked Roll Eyes

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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012 02:40:48 PM »

I've been vegetarian all my life, so I wouldn't know how to cook meat even if I wanted to (but I don't, because I think it's gross). But my partner eats meat, so when he wants it he cooks a big batch himself and eats it throughout the week. He's also really good about making vegetarian meals when it's his turn to cook. Some things that satisfy us both are:

Pizza loaded with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, avocado, and extra cheese.
Soups of all kinds, like cream of broccoli, potato leek, tomato (with grilled cheese!)
Black bean burgers with fries
Nachos loaded with cheese, guacamole, salsa, and refried beans
Simple egg things, like scrambled with veggies, or fried with some sauteed greens, and toast
Saucy hot carrots and lentils
Veggie lasagna (he's always asking for this) and garlic bread
Mac and cheese (either baked homestyle, or from a box with sauteed mushrooms, tomato, and cilantro)
Burritos made with morning star farms brand veggie crumbles (sauteed with onions and taco seasoning), and other burrito fixins.

I love all the ideas on this thread! Maybe I'll try making seitan soon, it can be quite delicious.

Also, maybe sausage would be something one could keep in the fridge and easily add to vegetarian meals?

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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012 10:20:36 AM »

My mom is a vegetarian and the rest of us are carnivores, so coming at this from the other side I actually have some experience doing this.  When my mother is in charge of food, she refuses to cook meat so 99% of their meals are out of cans or from take-out places.  Personally, I think her approach is not very kind since she converted after they married.  Sorry, I digress...

Back to my answer to your question, have you looked into pouch cooking?  They are vegetables, seasonings and whatever 'meat' option you want, sealed in parchment paper and cooked in the microwave.  The recipe I have in mind is from Alton Brown on the Food Network.  His example is a fish dish on top of julienned vegetables.  You can make them in 'bulk' and then they cook in about 2 minutes.   Since everything inside steams in juice/alcohol/broth/stock it is very healthy as well. 

I don't know if you can get it in your area, there's a product called Quorn that has the consistency of ground beef crumbles.  I've made it for everyone in Hamburger Helper, tacos, enchiladas etc.  The consistency is perfect and the flavor is very good as well.  I'm pretty sure that the protein content is high. 

Look into Dreamfields pasta, it's got a high glycemic index rating and is the only pasta consumable by my diet-controlled diabetic friend.  It enables me to eat 2 bowls of spaghetti and not feel over full or wicked guilty.

Have you had quinoa?  If not, it's also a good protein option.
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012 10:28:18 AM »

I definitely want to try these bean and lentil casserole dishes! Thank you for pointing me in that direction and for sharing your recipe, Alexus. Those both sound really hearty and filling.

I also want to try black bean burgers and quinoa patties. My hubby loves burgers so I'm sure he'd like that Smiley.

SunflowerSmiles, I usually cook my tofu in small squares with a little bit of oil, browned on each side with a splash of soy sauce. It gives it nice flavor and texture. I don't usually like big slices of tofu.

I am familiar with Quorn. We've used it once or twice for tacos and it's been pretty satisfying. I haven't heard of Dreamfileds pastas though - I'll check them out. We try to avoid too much pasta and other carbs in the evenings but we splurge now and then Smiley.

Thanks for all of the great thoughts and suggestions!

« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012 11:07:58 PM »

I have been in this situation for my whole adult life (I stopped eating most meats 26 years ago but my husband is definitely a carnivore). Luckily he has come to understand that I do not cook meat and if he wants it, he needs to cook it. In fact, I am not a very good cook, so he often cooks and kindly will cook the meat separately. It does mean that two versions are often cooked. I personally use a lot of beans - they are filling and satisfying. I also love tofu (my girls like it a lot, but my husband is a bit less convinced) - I personally like it baked or in soup - frying it can be good if it uses very little oil, but I really don't like the deep fried tofu much. Falafels are fantastic - you can bake them as well which is a bit healthier but still has the great flavor. Have you tried tempeh? It often works in the place of a slab of meat - it can be put on the BBQ, or used in a sandwich (it is awesome in a reubin...). I am not a big fan of the big mushrooms, but I know many use that in place of meat as well. Sorry for the rambling, but this is a subject that I think about often! Smiley

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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2012 09:03:54 AM »

Disclaimer: Veggie conscious, but not a vegetarian.

Here's my favorite black bean burger recipe.


I usually add a pepper (green or red) and leave out a lot of the spices. It's delicious and my meat-loving hubby eats them!

I made fajitas the other night - chicken for the hubs and sweet potato for me. I made them exactly the same in two parallel pans and it really wasn't all that difficult to manage. Though you would have to cook the chicken...

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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012 03:39:01 AM »

I was more or less vegetarian when I met my husband. I also have some experience of vegetarian vs carnivore cooking from before I moved from my parents. My sister was a more convinced vegetarian than me and we often cooked the meals for the family. Our parents just added some ham or whatever cold meat they found in the fridge to their meal.

But I know all about the problem with veggie meals that aren't filling enough for a grown man Wink

My husband invented "Chicken surprise" (the surprise is the lack of chicken) and it's filling enough for both of us.

The protein in the dish is chunks of quorn and borlotti beans or black beans.
The trick is to fry the quorn first to get some colour and taste going. We often use sesame oil. Remove from pan when they're fully cooked and golden brown.

We often added zucchini and red onion at this stage, and when the veggies were cooked we added cream and seasoned the sauce. The flavourings we used were mustard, stock cubes (hubby usually cheats and use chicken stock in this step), and a bit of berry jam or jello to make the sauce sweeter. The quorn pieces are added and cooked in the sauce while it thickens. The beans are added last since they only need to warm up in the sauce.

We served this with pasta, but potatoes or rice would also work.

Another tip: Try to find different types of tofu in asian stores. The silken tofu gets boring quickly, but there are tons of tasty alternatives that work well for stir fry.

If you want to make risotto, try to make it with sharlott onions, celery and borlotti beans. Oh, and tons of good cheese. The celery really adds something to the risotto, and I don't even like celery. The carnivores in the family could add bacon to this.
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2012 07:24:05 AM »

I'm here for the recipe suggestions!  I'm not a vegetarian either,  but I don't like to eat meat at every meal.  Keep the suggestions coming!  Great topic, Lime!

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