Cook Rules?

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Home, sweet home.

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Only here for 22 hours though!  Better enjoy the sunshine and flowers and puppies and soft bed while I have the chance.

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Oh – and the home cooked meals.  Definitely something to love about home.

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What is that secret sauce of awesomeness?  Well, I’ll give you a hint:  it’s two of  my favorite foods, combined.

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No – not Panda Puffs and Mmmm Sauce!  Although – I bet in Mama Pea’s hands, that would be delish…

 

It’s goat cheese + pumpkin!

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This dish was super easy to create and tasted positively gourmet.  For the sauce, I combined 1/4 cup herbed goat cheese and 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree in a pot on the stovetop.  I heated it on medium high, stirring constantly, until it combined.  The, I spread it on top of millet, white beans, roasted broccoli, and topped it all with some honey roasted peanuts <—the ultimate topper.  So delicious.

 

Free Webinar!

 

My friend Andrea, a personal coach, and I are hosting a free (yay – love the word FREE!) webinar called “Negative Self-Talk and the Habit of Pleasing Everyone But You:  Learn to Love Yourself Full On.”  The event is at 7:30 PM EST on Thursday, October 20, and if you have a phone, you can participate.  I’ve never done a webinar before but think this will be really fun.  Webinar is limited to first 100 people, so be sure to register if you want to join!

 

Question for the Vegetarians…

 

I received this comment earlier and thought it would be an interesting discussion.  Katie wrote, Do your vegetarian readers cook meat for their non-veg spouses/partners?  I went veg a little over a year ago, and have been cooking strictly veg fare at home. My husband is a pretty adventurous eater and hasn’t said much… until now. He recently asked if I would buy and cook beef for him, and I honestly replied that I’d prefer not to. I’ve always been the cook in our relationship, but the deal has been since going veg that he can cook his own meat (or microwave a Hot Pocket) if he wants that kind of food.  I don’t think this is unfair but he was kind of put off by my direct response.”

 

My opinion?  I’ve bought and prepared meat a few times for house guests since going vegetarian – once for an extremely picky friend who doesn’t ‘do’ vegetables and hates all the ‘weird’ food I cook, and one other time for a toddler who only ate chicken nuggets.  Because I’m a vegetarian for ‘ethical’ (and I use that term with trepidation) reasons, I don’t really love the idea of supporting the industry with my food dollars or touching and preparing meat – I can understand where Katie is coming from.  

 

If my spouse or partner wanted me to regularly prepare meat… well, I subscribe to the belief that they can turn on an oven and pick up a spatula, too!   Everyone woman and man for themselves!  After all, if we turn this argument around and assume that the cook is an omnivore and the other spouse is the vegetarian, I would expect the cook to make moderate accommodates (like no chicken broth in the mashed potatoes) but the vegetarian would be on their own for fixin’ an entrée if everyone else is having steak.   So – I guess my answer is that, within reason, the cook rules.  They make what they want to make – and feel comfortable preparing.  

 

Other posts about going veg, for your reading pleasure!

 

How does it work in your house when one person has different dietary requests?  Any advice for Katie?

{ 183 comments }

 

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life October 18, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Interesting question. I am a vegetarian and my hubby loves his meat. I do buy and prepare meat for him (about 3x per week, the other nights he eats vegetarian) because he simply is not “satisfied” no matter how much of my vegetarian fare he eats for dinner. He loves what I make as a vegetarian but if I did not prepare meat dishes for him as well he would be eating very unhealthy by hitting up the local drive-thru all the time for his “meat-fix”. He can’t cook for himself because he is 1) lazy and 2) he does not know how. His cooking abilities are with the microwave and I want him to be on the same healthy lifestyle that I am. In order to ensure that he too is properly fueling his body with the diet (omnivore) that he chooses I cook him some meat for a balanced diet. I choose to not eat meat for both ethical reasons an health reasons; but still I do not feel that my husband should be forced to follow the exact diet I choose when we have different beliefs. I support him and he supports me. (sorry for the novel!)

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 1:34 pm

      Ah, very interesting point. In Katie’s scenario, he’ll eat her healthier fare, and doesn’t seem to run out for fast food/takeout if he’s not totally into the meal. It would be harder for me not to cook meat for my spouse if the alternative was something much unhealthier (and more expensive). I can see your point!!

    • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life October 18, 2011, 1:36 pm

      Whoops I meant he is a carnivore, not an omnivore. I guess I did missed the dinosaur unit in first grade…

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) October 18, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I’m the vegetarian in our relationship and I will not cook or prepare meat. And my fiance doesn’t expect me to. In fact, most of the time she will just eat veg with me, because I do most of the cooking.

  • Krista October 18, 2011, 1:32 pm

    My husband knows that if he wants meat, he has to buy and cook it. But I’m this way with everything! I did not married to be someone’s mother, I am their partner. So I am not the sole cook, cleaner, launderer, or most important parent. It works out nicely for us since he doesn’t expect me to have dinner for him or his clothes folded. Of course I will do these things for him when I’m already in the kitchen or the laundry room, but it is definitely not a given. It works for us and our personalities, but I know many are not like this!

  • Lauren October 18, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I’m a vegetarian, but my boyfriend is not. He’ll eat what I make as a side dish and cook his own meat. What works well is making meals that you can add meat to if you want – like tacos/burritos. I add tofu or black beans, and he just replaces the tofu with meat.

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 1:33 pm

      GOOD suggestion!!!

    • Janelle October 18, 2011, 2:13 pm

      That is also what I do for myself (vegetarian) and my boyfriend and his son (who sometimes want meat).

      I cook normal vegetarian meals that they eat. Every so often I get the sense that they are itching for meat and then I cook up something that’s meat-like (such as Morningstar or Gardein products), or a stir-fry that they wouldn’t miss the meat in anyway. With the meat-substitutes, I gotta tell you: they never know the difference. They think it’s real meat! In other words, yeah, I’m not above trying to “trick” people haha 🙂

      I will say that I’ve had the same issue as Katie at times and had the same exact reaction, on my part and the part of my boyfriend and his son. But I do all the meal planning and cooking, AND I’m the one who feels passionately about feeding our family in a healthy manner (read: plant-based) so I don’t feel bad or see it as unfair.

      To Katie, if you’re reading: a virtual high-five to you!

  • Amanda October 18, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I agree with your stance that the cook rules. My husband and I are both vegetarians, but I eat a mostly vegan diet and he’s more open to eating dairy. He knows I would prefer not to cook with cheese, for example, and wouldn’t expect me to prepare something with it if I wasn’t planning on also eating it. It was similar when I was growing up too – my parents were vegetarians, but I ate meat once in a while. My mom had a problem with touching/preparing meat, so if I wanted to eat it, I made my own meal. Made sense to me.

    I think, when possible, people should try to be respectful of each other’s eating preferences.

  • Brandi @ The Vitamin Bee October 18, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I agree. I actually don’t go over to people’s homes without asking if there will be veg options for me to eat and if they say no, then I bring my own dishes (to share). But most people are accomodating.

    As far as the cooking meat thing goes…my boyfriend is a meat eater and I’m not. I’ve only ever “prepared” chicken (in college, limited skills) so I’d say no if he asked me to prepare meat for him (which he wouldn’t). Why someone would want me to prepare meat is beyond me since I wouldnt know how to properly cook it in the first place. So, I think I’m fortunate. My boyfriend takes the “if you want to eat, you better know how to cook and feed yourself” approach so it’s been a non issue. He even rarely cooks beef in my presence because the smell makes me nauseous.

  • Ashley October 18, 2011, 1:35 pm

    What a great question. I’m a vegetarian and my husband isn’t. I do all the cooking and grocery shopping (because I love to do both!). I cook meat for my husband and something different for myself. Most of the time I don’t mind, but sometimes I do get a little sick making 2 different meals. I am all for having your husband cook his own meals, but mines in law school – I’d rather have him focus on school than worry about cooking dinner for himself. Can’t wait to see what everyone’s suggestions are.

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 1:36 pm

      Another great point… sometimes, one person has to do all the cooking!

      You sound like a very sweet wifey 🙂

  • Jamila6452 October 18, 2011, 1:38 pm

    I’m vegan, my husband is omni, and our son is vegetarian (lacto-ovo). Our deal is that I won’t buy or cook meat. I cook mainly vegan or veg-adaptable meals – like we’ll do individual pizzas and they can put cheese on theirs. My husband buys and cooks his own meat whenever he wants it and feels like going to the trouble for it. He also eats out for lunch everyday, so has plenty of opportunities to get his meat in.

    Honestly, I’ve been veg for so long now that I’m sure no one would WANT me to buy or cook their meat! I really have no idea HOW to do that anymore!

  • Faith @ For the Health of It October 18, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Since my man and I don’t live together, this isn’t a big issue for us, but when we do cook meals together, it’s an unspoken rule that he cooks the meat, if he wants it. Thankfully, I don’t exactly know *how* to cook meat, so even if he wanted me to do it for him, I don’t think he’d really want me to – if you catch my drift! We’ve done scenarios where I buy and cook all the ingredients for a big couscous bowl, omlette or pizza, but he picks up the meat ingredients for them and preps them at my place to add to whatever I come up with. It works pretty well!

  • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Cute leopard shoes! Pumpkin and goat cheese is an ingenious combo…

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:03 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  • Chelsea October 18, 2011, 1:40 pm

    I love your reply! The cook rules is a great way to put it when others ask a vegetarian to cook meat. Most of the time my boy-friend understands my discomfort with meat when I cook. Like his mom cooks her tortillas IN meat. It makes me sad when I can’t eat stuff just because she chooses to cook it in the same pot, but it’s her way and I choose personally not to complain.

    • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life October 18, 2011, 1:43 pm

      I totally agree, I do not get the whole cooking things “in meat”. Like why do so many soups needs to have a chicken/beef broth?! I mean even the vegetable and tomato soup at many restaurants have a beef base. It makes no sense to me!

      • Janelle October 18, 2011, 2:18 pm

        Amen Ashley! Broccoli cheddar soup at Panera Bread… chicken base! How disappointing.

        • Chelsea October 18, 2011, 3:39 pm

          I NEVER KNEW THAT ABOUT THAT SOUP! I’ve been eating that forever. Greaaaattt. The things you never knew…I really need to start doing more research. If I get something without meat I obviously don’t want any meat additives…

          It’s worse though when people you know that KNOW your eating habits though put it in there sneakily without telling you…That’s just disrespectful =/

          • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:04 pm

            Most soups at most restaurants are meat-based – it blows!

  • Leanne @ The Skinny Architect October 18, 2011, 1:41 pm

    I don’t have a problem buying meat, but the boyfriend knows that if he wants it, he will have to cook it himself. When I first became a vegetarian I didn’t think I would have a problem making it for someone, but I realized that it actually grosses me out a little to cook it from raw. If someone came to my house with a dietary preference, I would absolutely accommodate as best as I could. My dietary restrictions shouldn’t have to impose on someone else (except, of course, the boyfriend). He understands and is actually mostly veg himself, but he always eats meat when we go out.

  • Sue @ Sue In Training October 18, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I’m a vegetarian, and my husband is an omnivore. He usually cooks our meals at the moment, making either a vegetarian dish for the both of us, or adding some meat to his plate. When I cook a meal, I rarely prepare meat for him. I find it a bit gross, and I don’t really know what to do with it. A pork roast? Sorry, I don’t know how! Thankfully, my husband doesn’t mind eating mostly vegetarian dishes, and he knows how to prepare meat or fish for himself.

  • Krystina (Organically Me) October 18, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Honestly? I’m no longer veg, but when I was, I had no problem cooking meat for others. I think that your eating lifestyle is entirely yours, not other peoples. If you don’t want to eat meat, fine, but you shouldn’t force your spouse or guests to eat the same way. My boyfriend isn’t a very healthy eater, but I wouldn’t force him to eat the way I do because that’s just not what he wants right now.

    I don’t believe in pushing my beliefs on anyone, and I think refusing to cook something that another person wants based on your lifestyle is inadvertently pushing your beliefs on them.

    On days when I want to hold off on the meat and he wants it, I’ll just add a side of meat to whatever I’m making. Instead of focusing a meal around meat, add meat as extra protein to a meal. I use that as a compromise and it works great for us.

    • Krystina (Organically Me) October 18, 2011, 1:47 pm

      This is entirely dependent on if your spouse WANTS you to cook meat. If he’d prefer to cook it himself, then let him at it. But if my boyfriend comes to me and asks if I could make chicken for dinner, I’ll do my best to accommodate him.

  • Kat October 18, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I quit eating meat a little over 2 years ago and about 3 months ago made the final switch from vegetarian to vegan. I’m lucky that my husband is super supportive and cooks his own meat 🙂 he’s also out of town most weeks, so I’m usually on my own for food anyway – but I think that telling your spouse something is important to you (whether it’s a way of eating, a job you’re pursuing, working out, etc) should be enough for them to support you. Once you get a routine down (for example, we’ll do build-your-own salad or taco night, with tofu or beans for me and then he cooks meat for himself) it really is pretty simple and not like cooking 2 complete meals every night.

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal October 18, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Glad the PA trip went well, Ciatlin:)
    I still cook(ed) meat for my husband. He doesn’t cook at all…and if he does it’s a frozen pizza. And I don’t really mind. Plus, I always buy organic and ethically raised meat for him 🙂

  • Katherine October 18, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I am 28 have been a strict vegetarian for close to 20 years. I slowly started to dislike meat as a child, and I eventually stopped eating it all together. My family continued to eat meat, and my fiance eats it every day. I do buy and cook meat for him, including chicken, pork, turkey, all types of fish, etc. I very rarely buy red meat, but that’s because I personally feel that it is unhealthy to eat in large quantities and I know he will typically eat it at a restaurant once every 2 weeks or so. I don’t eat meat because I don’t like it and the idea of it freaks me out- if he chooses to it eat, I have no problem cooking it for him.
    The only thing that bothers me sometimes is how time consuming it is. If we are in a rush, I can throw together a quick grain, vegetable, and bean dish, but cooking the meat takes some planning ahead.
    The other issue is that I have no idea how the meat I cook tastes. My fiance says its good and I’m assuming that he would tell me since he has a lifetime of eating my cooking ahead of him. I tend to season the meat with whatever I would season my meal with, so I have a pretty good idea of how to eyeball ingredients at this point.

  • Nicole Mullins October 18, 2011, 1:50 pm

    I’ve been vegetarian for four years and my husband still eats meat, however, since I do most of the cooking, he’s vegetarian most of the time anyways. Occasionally we will buy local organic meats and I don’t feel so bad about cooking that or meat that he hunted in the wild but there have been times when I’ve gagged 🙁

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels October 18, 2011, 1:51 pm

    I’m a vegetarian and I do cook meat often for my boyfriend … and here’s why:

    When we first moved in together we struggled for a long time getting our household routine down. In fact there were times I thought that we just weren’t compatible for living together and in the first year there were times that I thought we weren’t going to make it, all of this stemmed from fighting about household duties.

    Finally we got our routine down and we totally divided chores so that we were entirely responsible for this chore or that chore (no alternating). One of my duties was meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.

    Fast forward a few years and THIS is when I went vegetarian. He was totally supportive but not interested in being a vegetarian himself. I didn’t feel it was the best thing for our relationship for me to start requesting that he make his own meals. Because let’s be honest I wasn’t about to take on some of his chores. So to this day I still cook meat. He eats 80% vegetarian these days so it’s always becoming less and less that I have to handle it, but I still do.

    But that’s just my family … I can’t say what the *right thing is to do?

    • Sunny October 18, 2011, 2:07 pm

      I agree with exactly how you do this and for the same reasons. He has the stuff he ‘always’ does and I have mine, if I changed my lifestyle (became veg) I would still cook because its how we’ve always done things.

  • chrissy October 18, 2011, 1:54 pm

    My husband and I cook for ourselves. I eat a veg diet and he eats meat, meat, meat. I’ll tell him what I’m making and ask if he wants any, and if so, then I make enough for us both. But if I was the only one shopping and cooking for us both, he would be out of luck.

  • Katie October 18, 2011, 1:57 pm

    First, Caitlin – thank you so much for posting this question and so quickly!!

    Second – so many helpful responses here! It seems like most say fend for yourself, if you want meat, but many of you still cook meat for your spouses. Great to see the spread of responses.

    Also, I’m not totally veg – I did add fish back into my diet about 6 months ago. So, I also cook fish for us – which my husband was very happy about.

    Thanks again for the many responses!! 🙂

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:05 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Carla @ write-foot-forward.com October 18, 2011, 1:59 pm

    Once in a while I’ll prepare meat for my husband, but usually, when he wants it, he buys and prepares it himself. For the most part, he packs meat with his lunches and we have a veggie dinner.
    As a side note, I don’t think he would want me preparing meat for him – I’ve been a vegetarian for over 13 years, and I have forgotten my meat buying and preparing skills – if he wants quality meat prepared well, he’s best to buy and cook himself LOL

  • Samantha October 18, 2011, 2:00 pm

    Since becoming a vegetarian I have read and learned so much about the meat industry that buying meat or cooking it is just not something I want to do. As the years go by, I also feel that the smell and appearance of meat products is kind of gross to me now. I’m single, and I hope that being a vegetarian will not work against me in relationships, but I just can’t see myself cooking or buying meat. On the other hand, I would commit myself to not judging or commenting on the hypothetical SO’s meat eating. Also, how good will the meat she makes be, if she’s unable to taste it at all?

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans October 18, 2011, 2:00 pm

    As the persn who does the majority of the cooking in my household I find it challenging to navigate between my own personal choices and those of my boyfriend (I don’t eat red meat and he does. I try to eat more whole foods while he’s happy with a Pizza Pocket)For the most part when we eat together we don’t eat red meat because it just doesn’t make sense to make sperate meals when he’s happy with, say, chicken. That said I will throw a steak on the BBQ or order pepperoni on his half of the pizza because while I don’t subscribe to his choices I don’t expect him to change them for me either. I hink every relationship is different though and needs to work out what is best for bot people involved.

  • Danielle October 18, 2011, 2:01 pm

    I became vegetarian in January and currently live at home with my parents. Both my parents, though they do eat healthily, are not vegetarian. My dad, in particular, tends to eat a lot of meat (he is allergic to wheat and dairy, which limits his food options sometimes). My transition to being vegetarian has been an adjustment for everyone. I am constantly reminding myself that just because I am vegetarian does not mean my parents want to be! We’ve found a good middle ground – I am cooking 2 veg meals a week for everyone! On the other hand, I agree… If a spouse or family member would like to eat meat, (with the exception of a child requesting it), I don’t think you should be expected to make it.

  • Lee October 18, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Although I do eat fish and seafood, I eat mostly vegetarian at home and don’t cook meat for my meat-eating husband. Usually, I’ll cook something that lends itself well to meat being added separately and he’ll add his own meat.

  • mi-an d. October 18, 2011, 2:02 pm

    my boyfriend is a vegetarian and my diet is about 90% veg and 10% seafood. whenever i cook fish, he has no complaints whatsoever. he’s self-sufficient and is able to cook food on his own which i love. i don’t have to worry about him at all. katie’s bf should learn to cook! like you said, every man and woman for themselves!

  • Shelly October 18, 2011, 2:05 pm

    What about your pets? Do you feed them meat (or dog food with meat products in it?) Do you feel weird about it?

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 2:08 pm

      I wrote a post about this a long time ago (sorry the pics aren’t working). http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2009/08/vegetarian-pets.html We feed them organic meat but it does feel weird to me. I’m just not sure I could feed them vegetarian and have them be healthy! I know dogs can go veg if they are supplemented but cats cannot or they go blind (interesting!).

      • Ashley @ Good Taste Healthy Me October 18, 2011, 2:21 pm

        I actually have read that it’s really bad for pets to be vegetarian and I’ve also read some newer research that stated a grain-free diet is great for dogs. It’s really interesting the various nutritional needs of us and our pets!

        • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans October 18, 2011, 2:53 pm

          When it comes to our pets we need to think about what’s natural for these creatures.

          Felines are obligate carnivores and while we have domesticated them their physiological makeup still requires that they eat meat and makes it difficult to digest plants. I don’t really think this is a situation where ethics can be applied to be honest.

          With respects to canines and grains, this is another sitution where nature needs to be considered. A wild canine wouldn’t come across grains so while omnivores (ie meat or plants) it doesn’t mean that they have evolved to eat foods which do not naturally occur in their environment. Domestication has not rally changed that all that much.

  • Katie October 18, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 14 years and don’t keep eggs or dairy in my house (I will eat them when I am out). I actually take a two-sided stance on this. When I entertain in my home I will always include cheese and/or something with meat that I will cook. I think it’s important to respect other’s choices in terms of eating, but I want them to respect mine when I’m in their home ;). When I lived with my ex and now with my roommates, however, I do not cook meat for them on a daily basis. If they want some of my vegetarian/vegan fare, they are, however, more than welcome 🙂

  • Sarah B October 18, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I am really off-put by the “every man/woman for themselves” mentality.

    Turn it the other way… say your spouse is responsible for taking out the trash. You want to add a garbage can to a room. Of course you’d expect him to empty that can right?

    I think it’s about mutual respect and working as a team.

    • Katherina October 18, 2011, 7:39 pm

      Agreed. I’m surprised at the number of people that don’t accommodate their SO’s requests.

  • Ashley @ Good Taste Healthy Me October 18, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I have a similar situation. I am the cook in the household and toyed with the idea of going vegetarian. My fiance pretty much had a heart attack. This man is extremely “challenged” in the cooking arena and is super lazy. I think we both knew he would never cook meat for himself and he would be “forced” to have a life of veggies. He claims it’s not satisfying. Anytime I do make a vegetarian dish, he looks at me and says, “where’s the meat?” then proceeds to whine about he’s not full afterward (drama queen! ;)). I’m cutting back on meat for myself but I think I will always have to prepare it for the future hubs.

  • Madison @ Espresso and Cream October 18, 2011, 2:17 pm

    Fun to read the responses everyone has about this topic, and to hear there are a lot of others in the same boat as me and my hubby. I’m a vegetarian and have been for a little over two years, and my husband is not. In fact, he was raised on a cattle farm.

    Like some others have said, my husband and I divide our household duties up. I do the cooking and laundry, we share cleaning responsibilities, and he washes the cars, takes out trash and takes our dog out in the morning (major bonus in the winter months!) Although I don’t eat meat, I actually really love preparing it and seeing the look on his face when I make something meat-based makes me happy. Usually our meals revolve around something we both find satisfying, such as baked sweet potatoes and steamed veggies, and then I add meat on the side for him. That way, I don’t have to prepare two entirely different meals to satisfy us both.

  • Dianne October 18, 2011, 2:18 pm

    I think about this question a lot. I was vegetarian before I met my meat-and-potatoes boyfriend, and went vegan after we had been together several years. He continues to eat his regular food- and we each prepare our own food, for the most part. But if I want to have a romantic dinner together, I don’t mind putting cheese on his pizza/lasagne or chicken in his pot pie. In fact, if I’m the one in charge I get to control the quality of the ingredients that go into his food, and I’m happy giving him real, local, organic farm-market animal products because I know that’s one trip to the crappy supermarket meat section he’s not going to make.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:06 pm

      Mmmm chicken pot pie! I miss that.

  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete October 18, 2011, 2:19 pm

    My husband works late every night of the week so while he COULD make his own meals, I try to be nice and make it for him so he has something to eat when he finally gets in around 8 or 9pm. My husband is a carnivore through and through. I try to make meals that can easily adapt either way – things I can add meat to for him, but can leave meat out of for me. Sometimes it’s two entirely different meals, but not always. I love my husband and I appreciate all the hours he is putting in to support his family. Cooking him some meat for dinenr is the least I can do!

    • Ashley @ Good Taste Healthy Me October 18, 2011, 2:28 pm

      I love your response. I totally agree with you 100%.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:06 pm

      <3 Cute comment, Callie!

  • Ashley @ Good Taste Healthy Me October 18, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I actually have read that it’s really bad for pets to be vegetarian and I’ve also read some newer research that stated a grain-free diet is great for dogs. It’s really interesting the various nutritional needs of us and our pets!

  • Nena October 18, 2011, 2:25 pm

    My 26 year-old sister has extremely high cholestorol and I have gall stones. When she wants something fried (even though she shouldn’t have it) I occasionally cook it for her. I did tell her, however, that I cannot do it all the time. That if she wants to continue eating poorly, she’s going to have to have a restaurant do it for her because I just can’t. So far, she’s followed my rules. She eats what I prepare for her and if she wants grease, she goes out and buys it. 🙂 We both win.

  • Amanda @ JustAmandaJ October 18, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Personally in my situation with my Husband, I’m a stay at home mother/wife so I feel like its my job to take care of the kid, house, and cooking. Granted, he does stuff around the house (toilets, trash) and does help with the baby when he isn’t deployed. But I have always been the one to do the cooking. He always eats whatever I make, and generally half our meals are meatless anyway because of cost. That being said, when he gets back from deployment I am switching up our eats because we do have a soon to be eating more table foods baby and another on the way. Any meat we do eat will be organic and there will be more “vegetarian” type meals on our table. I’m certain he won’t have an issue, but if he did complain about it I wouldn’t object to preparing special portions for him because food is a personal choice and I don’t expect to make those decisions for him.

  • Nena October 18, 2011, 2:31 pm

    My BF eats what I cook. We both eat pretty similar except sometimes he can do without the Carbs. I’m Puerto Rican and we totally grew up on rice. He’s not used to it. But we do good 🙂

  • Erica October 18, 2011, 2:31 pm

    I became vegetarian/pescatarian for health reasons and not ethical ones, though I’ve stayed vegetarian for ethical reasons.

    I’m a vegetarian/pescatarian and my fiance is a meatatarian. We’re moving in together in just a few weeks and I will be the main cook. He understands that his take-out-for-every-meal days are over and that he will start eating healthier. He also expects me to cook meat for him at least a couple of times per week.

    Because I’m pescatarian, we can have seafood a couple of nights with no issues. We both love Italian food, which is very easy to make vegetarian-friendly. On the nights when he wants meat, I will simply use a separate pan for his meat and serve it as a side dish to the main course vegetarian meal. If I’m making a casserole of some sort, I will just use two smaller dishes instead of one big one and make one vegetarian and the other not. At least that’s my plan for now.

    We’ve also discussed children. They’ll be vegetarian for the first part of their lives simply because I’ll be in charge of all of their meals. When they’re older, I’ll let them make the decision for themselves.

    I’m definitely very curious to see all of the other comments because my plan is clearly still a work in progress.

  • Elizabeth October 18, 2011, 2:33 pm

    I’ve been vegetarian since I was 12. I have no idea how to prepare meat, and to be honest, I don’t care to learn.

    The hubs was omni for the first 7 years we were together. He also happens to be the one in the kitchen most nights. He would prepare veg meals vs. preparing 2 separate entrees. His choice – I’d fend for myself if I had to.

    About 3 years ago, he decided to become vegetarian also. 🙂 But he’ll cook meat on occasion for others(usually grilling, but he cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving one year).

    I think there are plenty of “meat optional” meals out there, and it’s not out of line to ask that the one eating the meat be in charge of that part.

  • Stefanie-Anne October 18, 2011, 2:35 pm

    My guess was going to be pureed sunflower butter and dates! Haha how wrong was I?!

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:07 pm

      Those are some of my fav foods, too! And I bet it would taste awesome.

  • Karen @ Run Shop Travel October 18, 2011, 2:37 pm

    I agree with your philosophy that within reason, the cook rules. I would call myself flexitarian and eat meat about half the days of the week and no meat the other half. I cook it far less than what I was used to growing up where pretty much every dinner included meat. I try and buy organic and grass-fed but that isn’t possible 100% of the time. I am very lucky my boyfriend isn’t picky and will eat whatever I make, meat or no meat! Recently we have had veggie “fried” brown rice for one dinner, and roasted country pork ribs for another. I like the flexibility!

  • Sarah @ w30 October 18, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I agree! I only became a vegetarian about 3 months ago and am the cook in the relationship. I’m lucky because my boyfriend is an adventurous eater as well and likes vegetables, so he doesn’t complain. I don’t care if he eats meat, but I do subscribe to the belief that if he wants it he can cook it. I know he would probably like it if I’d cook meat for him, but I think he also understands. Of course, I do take care to cook foods we both like – I won’t force him to eat brussel sprouts even though he’s wrong and they are delicious! 😉

    • Sarah @ w30 October 18, 2011, 2:41 pm

      I should say, however, that we share our finances, and I don’t ask him to “deduct” his meat purchases (that sounded dirty) – so in that way I compromise.

  • Hillary October 18, 2011, 2:39 pm

    My bf and I like pretty much the same foods, but I do enjoy vegetables a lot more (and in a lot more different ways) than him. He’s getting used to trying new stuff, so that makes my life easier!

  • Sarah October 18, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I haven’t had red meat or pork since I was 10-years-old. My boyfriend loves red meat (and can’t cook), but I absolutely loathe touching/preparing it. So, I’ll buy him a steak every so often, and he throws it on the Foreman. Otherwise, he eats what I make and seems pretty satisfied with the arrangement.

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair October 18, 2011, 2:42 pm

    My fiance eats meat and I don’t but we rarely buy meat because it’s so so expensive. I have cooked meat a few times in the 1.5 years since being a vegetarian, and I don’t mind doing it but I’d rather not. I will throw a beef burger on the grill for him if I’m making a veggie burger anyways but I don’t really like the idea of handling raw meat.

    For the most part, though, he eats what I cook. And if he wants meat, he cooks it. He’s a big fan of some of the fake meats and even though I try to stay away from them for the most part I know the occasional meatless “sausage” or meal made with veggie ground round makes it that much more enjoyable for him because it’s like eating meat 🙂

  • Rachel October 18, 2011, 2:43 pm

    I’m so impressed with how calmly everyone is answering this question! I would have a very difficult time being cool-headed in her situation. When my fiance and I moved in together two years ago, he didn’t cook at all. Because I did all the cooking, he quickly became a vegetarian by default! Eventually we both went vegan together because he loved how he felt when he didn’t eat animal products. If he had wanted to continue eating meat, it would have been his job to put on his big boy pants and learn how to cook it! Today there’s NO way I would purchase or prepare meat for human consumption (my dogs still eat food with meat in it). When my omni family or friends visit for a meal, I try to make something familiar to them (chili and cornbread, etc) that is easily veganized, and I’ve never had anyone complain!(to my face at least, haha) I just feel so strongly about the health benefits (for people and planet) of being vegan that I could never serve someone meat with a happy conscious.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:07 pm

      I love it when people have mature discussions!! So much more fun and interesting.

  • kalli October 18, 2011, 2:44 pm

    funny that you brought this up! today i blogged about a dinner party we jad on saturday night. hus and i are mostly vegan but i made a meat and potatoes dinner because i was worried the guests would think our normal food was too hippie 🙂 i am struggling with this…..any advice is welcome!

  • Lyndsey October 18, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Wah Wah Wah. You would all expect for your spouse to cook the foods you like, why can’t you do the same for him? You expect your spouse to respect that you don’t eat meat, but are you respecting that he does? My boyfriend is the pickiest eater in the world (ie: no cheese, no seafood, not too many vegetables, no weird vegetarian burgers etc)and I understand it, and I work around it. This often means eating the foods I love for breakfast and lunch so that dinner, the one meal that is made for both of us, can be enjoyed by both of us. I definitely would rather save my battles for real issues. Pick up the damn steak and stop crying.

    • Rachel October 18, 2011, 3:15 pm

      I don’t know…I would never buy cigarettes for someone because I think they’re one of the worst things you can do to your health, and I see steak exactly the same way. For me, it’s a battle worth fighting. (And no, I wouldn’t expect anyone to cook the foods I like–that’s why I cook for myself.)

      • Lyndsey October 18, 2011, 3:20 pm

        It sounds like you don’t live with a boyfriend or spouse, so you don’t understand. Okay, since you have things against steak (which I understand) lets use the example of chicken. Chicken and pork and the occasional steak causes your body no harm in the long run, and comparing them to ciggarettes is pretty innapropriate. For what it’s worth, I do refuse to buy ciggarettes for people, but a skinless boneless chicken..whatever.

        • Rachel October 18, 2011, 3:27 pm

          I actually live with my fiance, and have for a few years. He learned to cook soon after we moved in together since he was an omnivore and I was vegetarian. Now we’re both vegan (at his suggestion). I understand what you’re saying, and I know that my point of view on meat is a little contentious. I’ll agree to disagree! We all have things that are more important and less important to us.

  • Rebecca October 18, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I thought your husband was vegan?!

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:08 pm

      I really should’ve never called him a vegan because he’s not. He’s like, an 80% vegan because he occasionally eats eggs and sometimes ice cream. 🙂 Most just a veg who avoids cheese.

  • Mer October 18, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I am a vegetarian and my husband is not. He also works full time and goes to law school at night. He does not have the time (nor the skill, really) to cook meals for himself. So I do cook meat for him. The alternative would be that he ate out all the time, which would be unhealthier and more expensive. I would prefer him to have wholesome homemade meals with meat, rather than carry out food all the time. I try to buy humanely raised, organic meats when I can.

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 7:56 pm

      There was another law school omnivore husband situation in the comments section, too! 🙂

  • Lindsay October 18, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Any chance those honey roasted peanuts were left over from an in-flight snack? 😉

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 7:57 pm

      I rarely see peanuts on flights anymore! All those allergies.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife October 18, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I would really love that sauce too….mmmmm yummy!

  • Khushboo October 18, 2011, 2:55 pm

    Goat cheese and pumpkin are a fab combo, especially in the form of risotto!

  • Maggie October 18, 2011, 2:59 pm

    My mother has been a vegan for about 2 years and continued to cook meat for my father until recently. She says that he can cook it himself or he can eat what she eats. So he’s been eating what she eats, she just doesn’t tell him what’s in the food or he wouldn’t eat it 😉

  • Vanessa (@IsleStyleLiving) October 18, 2011, 3:06 pm

    It’s not necessarily cook rules, but whoever has the most “selective” diet.

    My husband and I eat pretty much the same things.

    Until I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Because I have to eat according to a specific meal plan, he’ll eat it too.

    I think part of it is that he doesn’t want to cook a separate meal. But then again, if I was a vegetarian, he might be cooking up his own steak.

    He’s picked up most of the cooking recently which has been a big help, but he cooks according to my dietary needs.

  • Army Amy* October 18, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I’m vegetarian, and I don’t cook meat for my hubsband. Mostly because I don’t know how! The last time I cooked meat was for thanksgiving a few years back. (I put the turkey in the oven!)*

  • Laurel (Runaway Laurel) October 18, 2011, 3:09 pm

    I have lived with a non-veg who watched the process of me becoming a vegetarian, so he got to understand what I would and wouldn’t eat (he didn’t get that chicken broth was NOT ok…), and we also got to plan some new meals we could enjoy together. Still, I gladly cook ground beef for him, and fake ground beef for me when we’re having tacos or chili, and other equivalent meals where making the veg and non-veg versions side-by-side is not a huge issue. I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me, but I think I’ve just adapted to this system and I can’t imagine doing otherwise.

  • Stephanie C October 18, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Interesting question. One thing I’ve noticed some commenters say is that they haven’t cooked meat in a while so they wouldn’t know what to do with it – but that is what recipes are for! Although if its physically repulsive, obviously that’s another issue.
    I’m a flexitarian, who mostly eats vegetarian. My husband and I went vegetarian around the same time, so it hasn’t been an issue for us. However, when we go to immed. family’s houses they are ALWAYS asking us what we can and can’t eat, sometimes we make exceptions if we know where the meat came from. We went veggie out of ethical/political reasons, so sometimes we’re okay if the meat is organic/free-range/etc. So I always appreciated that they were concerned with our dietary restrictions.
    If my husband DID eat meat, I think I would prepare it for him as long as I knew it was good quality and wasn’t from a CAFO. It also just isn’t practical all the time. He is supporting us while I’m in grad school and it’d be pretty mean of me to make him follow my beliefs if he didn’t feel the same way.
    We are coming to a point though, where I want to start reintroducing meat back at home once a month and I don’t think he likes that very much 😉

    • Stephanie C October 18, 2011, 3:13 pm

      Oh! I also forgot to mention.. I do a big fast twice a year for religious reasons which basically makes me a vegan and he AND his family are always so accommodating . I feel like if he and his family can do that for me, then I should be able to do the same.
      We made Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches for them last Xmas.

  • Rachel October 18, 2011, 3:14 pm

    I don’t know…I would never buy cigarettes for someone because I think they’re one of the worst things you can do to your health, and I see steak exactly the same way. For me, it’s a battle worth fighting. (And no, I wouldn’t expect anyone to cook the foods I like–that’s why I cook for myself.)

    • Rachel October 18, 2011, 3:14 pm

      Oops, meant to post this elsewhere.

  • Joanne October 18, 2011, 3:23 pm

    I love to cook. I am vegetarian but my husband is not so I do cook a lot of his “carnivore-ish” meals. If not cooking his meaty meals would make him go Veg, I wouldn’t do it but it won’t so I’m ok with that.

  • Jamie October 18, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Aside from dietary restrictions and kids with picky tastes, my personal rule is that if I’m cooking I’m going to make what I like and want to eat…if there’s something they want to add they can do it themselves…
    (Birthdays are of course the exception to this rule…everyone should get their favorite foods on their birthday… 🙂 )

  • Espie October 18, 2011, 3:31 pm

    I’ve been veg for 16 years and have cooked chicken twice in my life. Once for my college boyfriend who considered any vegetable “salad” and claimed he didn’t like “salad”. Whatever.

    Over the summer, i attended a potluck with a small group of people. Because I didn’t know most of them well, I knew i would feel bad if i brought something “too weird” that no one ate. I ended up making buffalo chicken dip AND a quinoa salad. I agree that the cook should have final say in what is cooked or served, but i also think that you should give people options and not shove your practices in their faces without some sort of compromise.

    Can’t really speak for a married situation but off the bat agree that if one person wants meat, he/she should prepare it. Ultimately, they would have better control of how it tastes (ownership therefore value), you know?

  • Therese October 18, 2011, 3:36 pm

    I don’t love to handle raw meat, but I do love it when my husband eats more meals with humanely raised, local, grass-finished meat as opposed to a Hot Pocket or fast food. Which is exactly what he’ll eat if I don’t prepare something. It’s not that he’s lazy– he is the hardest worker I know at his job and with various projects around the house. It’s just that he doesn’t care about what he eats. Food is not something he is passionate about.

    I think part of marriage is serving one another even when it’s not particularly something you’d do if you lived alone. In fact, if it’s not something you want to do the lesson is that much more valuable.

    I do see the struggle if you really ethically believe that all meat-eating is wrong. However, for my husband I know that if I don’t cook meat at home, it’s not going to reduce his animal consumption. He’s simply going to go find a cheap, factory-farmed piece of meat to eat instead and that makes me uncomfortable.

    After 3 years of marriage and numerous conversations, we are both happy if I add a meat option to 1-2 dinners a week and he gets all the meat leftovers. For example, I will eat red beans and rice and he gets to add Andouille sausage on top of his, or I will eat veggie taco salad but make some beef taco meat for him to make tacos instead.

    It’s not perfect. And not everything should be a compromise. But this is what works for us!

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 7:58 pm

      Sounds like a pretty good and loving compromise to me!

  • heather October 18, 2011, 3:38 pm

    My husband and I are vegetarian 98% of the time. We occasionally will eat meat, but not often. I think it gets challenging when you are having guests over for dinner/party. I feel like if you don’t prepare something with meat for them your actions begin to get ‘preachy.’ Why make them “suffer” just because you dont eat it? I think it all comes down to balance – we provide guests with a ton of veg options (and new foods that will open their eyes!) but there’s always a dish or two that has meat in it. Sure I don’t love handling the meat, but I want my guests to feel welcome and comfortable. I have my beliefs.. they have theirs and I like that. The last thing I want is to be rude.

  • Janelle October 18, 2011, 3:47 pm

    You have to use their “Nutrition Calculator” to get to the ingredients: http://www.paneranutrition.com Kinda silly.

    Their wall menu (well the soups) are labeled with V for vegetarian and broccoli cheddar didn’t have a V which was baffling so I had to look it up. Sorry to break the news! :-/

  • Sarah @ sarahrunsinheels.blogspot.com October 18, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian since age 13 so my omnivore husband definitely knew what he was getting into. I cook meals that are easy for my husband to throw meat into or eat on the side. I’ve never prepared it and he is fine with it. However, I’ve gotten snide comments from more traditional friends/family members. I think the key is about respect- my marriage is a partnership and so my husband is supportive and respectful not only of my vegetarian lifestyle but of my opinions and my career. I’ve found that those who are the most put off by our food prep agreement are those who are more conventional. I’m sure if you pose the issue to your husband as a matter of respecting the parternership that is your marriage he will happily oblige! As for everyone else, it’s none of their business who wields the steak knife in your home!

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) October 18, 2011, 3:53 pm

    Hubby, pretty much eats the same meal for lunch and dinner. He precooks his meals to last him 3 weeks so I don’t have to worry about cooking for him. Though that doesn’t mean he doesn’t ‘sneak’ food from what I cook or buy 😀 Except for the tuna, he HATES when I mix up tuna salad. lol. That cats love it though.

    He wouldn’t cook any thing else for himself. Our small kitchen stresses him out. If he wanted meat to eat, I would cook it for him. I have no qualms about it as long as I know it came from a good local farm that practices methods I agree with. Supporting local farmers is important to me.

  • Amy October 18, 2011, 3:53 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about two years, and my husband is omni. I do nearly all of the cooking, and I do not prepare meat in our house. It totally works for my husband and me, because he’s an adventurous eater and seriously loves everything I cook (even if I think it’s gross). He’ll sometimes order meat when we go out to eat, and he usually has lunch meat in his packed lunches (which he packs himself), but other than that, it’s a veg life for him. The one time he DOES cook is when we grill, and in those cases, he usually grills meat. We usually add veggies to the grill for both of us, and I prepare some alternate protein source for me.

    After a while, my husband started to really like how he looked/felt on a less meat-centric diet, so he chooses to eat much less meat these days. At this point, he often chooses tofu at Asian restaurants and regularly suggests veggie dining spots. I think it helps that’s he not at all picky and has a super open mind.

    I think it’s important to note that I did talk to my husband before making the transition, and we discussed how our cooking/eating would change. He was totally of the mind that if he wanted meat, he would cook meat. Otherwise, if he was expecting me to be in charge of meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking, I could cook whatever the heck I wanted. And obviously, I agreed! 🙂 I just think it’s important to be open and honest, and I’m sure something different will work for every couple. But for us, the chef is the decider!

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 7:59 pm

      You influenced through example!

  • Jen October 18, 2011, 3:58 pm

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I am definitely the household cook, and I cook my fiance all kinds of crap that I find gross and would never touch. Giant hamburgers, chicken fried steak, sausage gravy – I don’t like any of it. But it’s all food that he loves and I know he feels taken care of and happy when someone makes it for him, so I do. Being a little grossed out is a very small price to pay for knowing that my sweetie feels supported and loved. 🙂

  • Erin October 18, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Hi Caitlin, thanks for bringing up such an interesting topic… I have been Vegetarian (going Vegan) for almost a year now and I have continued to cook meat for my boyfriend (not a veg). Throughout our 4 years together I have always been the lead cook and when I decided to take the leap and become a Vegetarian I decided I would make sure that it didn’t effect his life in anyway. I completley understand why some people swear off touching and cooking meat but at this point in my life I try not to let it bother me. So far, it’s worked out just fine.

  • Emily October 18, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Interesting subject… I’m a fairly longtime vegetarian and my husband is — uhm — not. I believe that we both have the right to make our own decisions. And, because I am the designated cook, I think it’s only right for me to cook meat occasionally for him. That being said, I like to give him vegetarian options and let him choose.

    Sounds kind of harsh, but I’m not going to sacrifice a happy marriage just so I can force my beliefs on him.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:00 pm

      I agree with that last sentiment! I would NEVER force my beliefs on my spouse, especially if it caused disharmony!

  • Allison October 18, 2011, 4:10 pm

    I made the switch to veg last year, and I’m very fortunate that my husband is totally on board with my decision. Although he hasn’t given up meat completely (usually he just sticks to seafood a few times a week), he has cut back his meat consumption drastically. I will not cook meat again — it’s always grossed me out and I just don’t feel ethically right doing it. My husband is very supportive and happily eats the vegs meals I cook (and we really both prefer them –I’m a much more adventurous cook now). He eats seafood or meat when he goes out. Sometimes he’ll buy smoked salmon to have with breakfast, which is fine with me.

    In potluck situations, I always bring a veg dish so at least I’ll have something to eat — South Louisiana is not a veg friendly place!

  • Kelly October 18, 2011, 4:14 pm

    That’s a toughie, because on one hand, I can understand upholding one’s ethical principles. If you’re buying meat for ethical reasons and not just out of personal choice, I can understand not wanting to have any part in buying meat. But at the same time I think if you’re going to be incredibly militant about it (not saying the person you mentioned is, just talking in general) it seems like the best way to uphold this would be to be in a relationship with another vegetarian.

    But when I’m cooking I’m generally not just thinking about not just what I want but the other person in the equation’s happiness. When I have vegetarians over I’m always thinking about what I can serve for them that will be more than a side dish, but I guess I don’t expect that when I dine at their house there will be meat present because omnis obviously can eat veggies too. However, I think with a marriage, it’s a little different.

    One thing you could always do is develop a meal plan where the meals stand on their own but that the spouse could add meat to if they so desired. That way the spouse doesn’t have to cook the whole meal, but still has some flexibility. To me that seems like the best possible compromise.

  • Jason October 18, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Giving some male feedback here.

    I do about 90% of the meal prep in my marriage because I’m a bonafide healthnut(I do eat meat about 3x a week, but only turkey, chicken, or fish.) at this point and my wife is not. As I have eaten healthier, I have taken on more of the cooking since I’m the one with the more strict dietary wants.

    Personally, I don’t mind fixing her something unhealthy when she wants mac & cheese and I want brussel sprouts I fix them separately for us. All I ask for is she wants something different than what I have planned to simply provide something to augment the meal or something simple to prepare in place of it. Or we can grab her something takeout if that’s what she wants. I’m completely flexible except I refuse to eat something I consider unhealthy is all.

  • Laura @ Watch Laura Go October 18, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Pumpkins AND honey roasted peanuts?? LOVE! I was so bummed when I was grocery shopping the other day & they had run out of the peanuts.
    PS. I wish I had a puppy to snuggle with! So cute! Enjoy your brief time at home

  • Lisa October 18, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I’ve been vegetarian for about eleven years and absolutely would not buy or cook meat for anyone. Because my food choices are motivated by ethical and environmental concerns, it would be committing an act of injustice (possibly even murder depending on far you want to go with animal welfare). It is much less of a personal infraction for someone who does eat meat to simply eat plant-based protein, than to force a vegetarian to contribute to the meat industry. My husband actually converted to vegetarianism when we moved in together, not by coercion but just because with me cooking good, veg food he realized how easy and good it was to align his food choices with personal values.

  • Jessica October 18, 2011, 4:21 pm

    I was vegetarian for a short while last year and while my boyfriend still ate meat, we didn’t run into too much trouble preparing meals. I found most of the meals we would normally eat could be converted to fit a carnivore or omnivore! For example stir fry, fajitas, and rice bowls can all be made to easily convert into two different meals. The best part is that the BF started helping me prepare meals so not only did we please both of our appetites but we got to spend some quality time in the kitchen!

  • Danielle October 18, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Have you ever done a post on your top veggie meals to throw together quickly? I would love to decrease the amount of meat in my diet as well as the amount of time I spend in the kitchen but because I am new to vegetarian meals, the task just seems daunting to me and I find myself staring at my cupboard forever trying to put together a meal that is going to be healthy and delicoius and happen quickly!
    More specifically, I think it is lunch that is the most concern as my lunch time meals are needed to be created quickly! Dinner..well I have more time to putz around in the kitchen. Any help would be great 🙂

  • Jessica October 18, 2011, 4:30 pm

    I didn’t even cook the meat in our relationship when we ate it frequently. Now we only eat meat maybe 2x a month and I still don’t cook it. If I went totally veg. and my husband wanted a steak, he would have to cook it himself.

  • Meagan October 18, 2011, 4:35 pm

    I would think it should depend on why you’re a vegetarian. If you’re vegetarian for ethical reasons, and you’re primarily uncomfortable with how most mainstream meat is produced, I wouldn’t see anything wrong with cooking ethically sound meat for your S.O., family, whoever.

    If you don’t eat meat because you think it’s straight up bad for you or whatever, then I understand why you wouldn’t want to prepare it for others – no one wants to think they’re contributing to their man’s unhealthiness!

    My boyfriend and I both include meat as a primary part of our diets, so no arguments in the kitchen for us. 🙂

  • TC October 18, 2011, 4:36 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 14 years. The question of whether or not I would cook meat for my partner has never even come up because it’s a given “No.” Heck, I don’t even like to wash the pans that he cooks meat in!

    I think a bigger issue is having only one person doing the cooking in the family. I’m lucky because my partner likes to cook and doesn’t expect me to prepare food for him that I wouldn’t even eat myself. On nights I cook dinner, we both eat vegetarian, and he realizes he’s probably the better (health wise) for it.

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness October 18, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Oh my, that meal sounds amazing! <3 Must. Make. 😛 xyx

  • kathy October 18, 2011, 4:48 pm

    I have been vegetarian for more than half my life. When my husband met me I was a vegetarian. When we we first married I cooked for him because I thought I had to . I was too young and dumb to know better. I do not cook meat for him. My children and I are vegan and vegetarian for ethical reasons. I do not cook meat for other people he does. If I knew I was going to be having kids I would only had married a vegan or vegetarian. It does not seem like a big deal in the beggining but it is.

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:01 pm

      Agree – Our friend Isaac was raised a vegetarian and once we had a really interested discussion about how he feels he could have never gotten serious about a non-veg girl because it was so central to his belief system.

  • Mama Pea October 18, 2011, 4:49 pm

    I thought you made Pumpkin Mmmm Sauce. I can’t decide if that would be wonderful or disgusting. 🙂

  • Tricia October 18, 2011, 5:06 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over a year now. Part of that time was spent with college roommates part at home with my mom. One of my roommates was veg, 2 carnivores. Mom’s a carnivore. We’ve all learned to compromise a bit. We tend to make dishes that you could easily cook the meat on the side and add to it. I don’t mind from time to time, but I don’t cook it on a regular basis.

  • Heather @ Bake, Run, Live October 18, 2011, 5:07 pm

    I’ve been grain-free about 6 months now. My boyfriend still eats grains. Normally I plan the menu, and he starts the meal. The main dish is something we can both eat (grain-free) and if he wants rice, or whatever, he makes it for himself.
    He respects my decision to go grain-free, and I respect his decision to eat them!

  • Lisa October 18, 2011, 5:11 pm

    I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 25 years, and my boyfriend is an omni. I do pretty much all of the cooking, and we’ve never even had to really discuss the fact that I don’t cook meat. And as a result, he’s lost weight and gotten healthier overall in the 3-plus years we’ve lived together.

    I wonder for those of you who say that it wouldn’t affect your significant other’s habits if you stopped cooking meat — that he/she would get it elsewhere — do you really think that’s true? That they’d go to all the effort? Especially when your meals are probably delicious, well-balanced and filling since you yourself are eating them? Because mine still orders meat when he’s eating out of the house, but those meals that I serve him have really benefitted his dietary choices even though he’ll probably never go completely veg. It just evolved that way and he admits now that he benefits from it.

  • CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ October 18, 2011, 5:32 pm

    I love the free webinar! I am hoping to attend. Its such a great topic!!

  • Lauren October 18, 2011, 5:51 pm

    Hey Caitlin! I signed up for the webinar…but I live in Canada…how will that work (if it will)? I don’t want to kill my parents with a million dollar cell phone bill 😉

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 5:56 pm

      Hmmm I will ask Andrea!

      • Lauren October 18, 2011, 5:58 pm

        Perfect! Thanks so much!

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 9:13 pm

      She will pay whatever her long distance carrier charges for a call to the
      U.S.. It’s a midwest number. She can check with her phone service to
      better determine this.

  • Karlee @olivewineandfood October 18, 2011, 6:08 pm

    I have not cooked meat since I became a vegetarian 3 years ago. I have dated my boyfriend for 5 years and have lived with him only about 5 months, but I have always expressed my opinions about not cooking meat with him. He never minded eating vegetarian and actually became a pescatarian shortly after we started living together! win win for me : )

  • Ashley October 18, 2011, 6:20 pm

    I have been a vegetarian for 10+ years and been with my live-in boyfriend for 4 of those years. While my boyfriend is not a vegetarian, he eats like one at home, because I do not cook meat at home. It’s not that I can’t, but it’s way easier to make something that we both can eat, rather than make two meals. If he’s dying for meat, we hit up the farmers market to buy local beef or brats to cook on the grill!

    As for company, when I have overnight or dinner guests, I do not change how I cook. It never hurt anyone to have a pizza sans meat, or italian without meatballs. I don’t whip out the tempeh, tofu, and other crazy veg stuff, but I do still cook meatless meals!

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 18, 2011, 6:22 pm

    My thought process when I saw that first picture: “How is that dog staying on her legs like that?!”
    Then I realized you’re sitting down & not standing. That explains a lot.

    Anywho, you’re so crafty with your meals! Goat cheese + pumpkin? Who would have thought!

  • Molly @ RDexposed October 18, 2011, 6:26 pm

    Um…only date a guy who is open to all foods? 🙂

    I think getting the person to try a vegetarian meal is the first step. Start with basic, familiar foods first!

    • Katherina October 18, 2011, 7:34 pm

      In this example she has been cooking strictly vegetarian for a little over a year; he’s been open to those meals. He’s only just now asking for her to cook some meat.

  • m October 18, 2011, 6:35 pm

    Hmm, I’m not a vegetarian 100% but I’d say 90% of my meals are veggie while my husband pretty much craves meat every meal. Its not something that bothers me (probably because I’m not fully committed to it), but I think our system works pretty well. I’ll cook dinner, and if he isn’t fully “satisfied” he always has some meat in the fridge he can just add to it. We switch around our nights cooking based on our work schedules and he always makes sure to make tons of veggies (b/c he loves them too) in addition to the meat. That way, if I’m not in the mood, I have plenty of other options.

    Overall, I think you never have to cook for someone else, but its also nice to take your spouse’s wants into consideration. Example, every time I celebrate with my husband (i.e. once a year birhtday) we’ll go to his favorite steak restaurant. That would be my dead last pick. That being said, I get first dibs during my days, so it works…

    • Caitlin October 18, 2011, 8:02 pm

      🙂 I think that sounds like a pretty awesome way to celebrate birthdays! It’s all about the birthday girl or guy!

  • Juniper October 18, 2011, 6:39 pm

    I’m a vegan…. no meat, no dairy, no eggs (i’m also allergic to gluten). So I normally make two meals, one for myself and one for him.
    My husband is a meat/egg/dairy and also veggie eater 😉 I do cook him meals that he prefers but I buy his foods at Whole Foods Market, which has ethical standards for raising their animals… such as free roaming room to move etc. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/meat.php
    I’m lucky we are at a place in our life where we can afford to make more humane choices in the meat/egg and dairy products we purchase.

    I do try to make vegatarian meals for him often, but when he requests meat and dairy… buying it from the above store is my compromise.

    I work part time and he works long 70 hour weeks… so If I told him I would not cook the foods he prefers, I don’t think he would get the nurition he needs and it seems unfair in our particular marriage due to his long work weeks to not compromise on the issue.

    🙂

  • Jacalyn October 18, 2011, 6:41 pm

    My husband is not a vegetarian, nor is my son. I will cook meat for the two of them if they want. I think that being a vegetarian was my personal decision and I don’t think I should push it upon them. Just as I won’t push my religious or political beliefs upon them. My husband loves vegetables and tofu, but there are times when he really wants meat. He usually does most of the cooking in our house, so he will typically cook me one meal and himself another, but for his birthday, I made about 5 meats for him since he has been so good about eating mostly veggies for me.

  • Scarlett October 18, 2011, 6:57 pm

    I’m currently pescatarian looking more vegetarian, and my live-in boyfriend is omni. I think as comments above suggest, this question is very relationship/personality-specific. In our situation, I will buy the meat he requests when I am the one buying groceries (just as he buys some of my foods he doesn’t eat when he buys groceries). I occasionally cook it for him if he is really busy (he’s in med school). Though, I can relate to the above comments in that I doubt my preparation is very good given a lack of recent experience. Personally, I think of it as helping him not enabling him because I know he would eat the same meat whether I bought and cooked it or not. I don’t feel that he should criticize or try to change my vegetarian habits, so I don’t believe I should try to change or criticize his omnivore choices. Food is so personal. Everyone has to come to their own decisions based on their own important factors.

  • Amy S. October 18, 2011, 6:58 pm

    I told my husband from day one that I won’t cook meat, and if he wants it then he can cook it himself. And he’s okay with this! As far as house guests go, I’m not shy about my vegetarianism so they know what they’re getting into. I’m always sure to not cook anything “weird” and I know everyone will like though–I recently made black bean burgers for my meat-eating in-laws and they loved them!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 18, 2011, 7:11 pm

    You are the queen of creative sauces and spreads lately. I love all the combos you come up with!

  • Katherina October 18, 2011, 7:29 pm

    I cook meat for my boyfriend. If I’m going to be the primary cook then I’m definitely going to take the other eater’s palette into consideration. Obviously you can say “cook it yourself”, but it seems unnecessary. If you’ve established a routine as the primary cook, then cook for both tastes and not just your own. If this is the first time in a little over a year that he’s asking you to cook meat I think he’s been pretty awesome.

  • Rebecca October 18, 2011, 7:31 pm

    When we had our exchange student living with us last year, she prepared meat for us a couple of times. She does at home, because she’s the only vegetarian in her family, and she cooks a lot of the time. She has no problem preparing meat, just won’t eat it.

  • Nicole Y. October 18, 2011, 7:41 pm

    I am the main cook in my house (just me and my bf), and although I eat mostly vegetarian (for health and ethical reasons) I would NEVER push my dietary preferences on anyone! That’s a little one-sided to me. He would never cook meat-only meals and I certainly would never tell him to make his own dinner if I’ve been in the kitchen making myself something yummy. I don’t know. I’m pretty old-fashioned when it comes to male/female relationships so this just seems completely strange to me. I enjoy taking care of my man, and if that means preparing meat-filled dishes, that’s what I’ll do.

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 7:56 pm

      I like cooking for my husband, too 🙂 It does feel nice to take care of others through food.

  • Jessica October 18, 2011, 7:53 pm

    I don’t like to label myself as “vegetarian” or “vegan”, but I do eat a mainly plant-based diet, avoiding animal products. On the rare occasion that I am a guest and it is important not to offend the host (i.e., they aren’t a close friend or family member who wouldn’t care if I left meat on my plate or made something for myself) I will eat meat/dairy. I also am not super picky about trace amounts of animal products in foods.

    If it were just me, I would have only vegan foods in my house and cook vegan meals, but I do accept that my husband doesn’t share the same environmental/political/ethical views as me, at least not as strongly as to stop eating animal products. I prepare our meals and so he eats vegetarian dinners every night unless he chooses to add meat. Most of the time he’s just happy I’m cooking for him and he likes what I make. There are vegetarian recipes out there that even a meat lover would enjoy!

    • CaitlinHTP October 18, 2011, 7:55 pm

      I agree 🙂

  • jen October 18, 2011, 8:15 pm

    i am a no meat and no dairy vegetarian and my husband is a meat an pototoes kind of guy. i absolutely love to cook, and i get really creative iwhat i make for myself, and hes really developing a taste for it. he love seitan, veggie stir fry, and tempeh. since hes always so open to my food, i do make an effort to cook meat for him, bc i know he likes it! i do though, refuse to look at or touch certain things: red meat of ANY kind, meat with bones, or skin. i honestly cant expect him to become a vegetarian, so i have compromised by finding recipes that are wholesome and healthy for him. a great resource is the magazine “clean eating”, i have their cookbook ”
    the best of clean eating”, and so far every meal hes eaten has been a winner.

    i know he could just cook himself some meat while i cooked my meal, but i love cooking for him and i love sitting down together to eat. my disclaimer though is that i have been married now exactly one month and one day, so were pretty much doing everything for each other and acting all googly eyed at it all, haha.

  • Lauren October 18, 2011, 8:32 pm

    I had pumpkin and goat cheese tonight as well! You are right, two very amazing things combine into one. Delicious!

  • Anne T. October 18, 2011, 9:28 pm

    I am a vegetarian and the primary cook in my house, while my husband is an omnivore. He eats what I make, and if he wants meat, he cooks it himself. I’m lucky that he is very willing to try out all the veggie things that I make, though he is still dubious about tofu. I’m really happy that since we moved in together, he has gone from eating meat every single night to only a few times a month.

  • Michal October 18, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Is your webinar going to be recorded? I have a webinar for work at 8:30, which is cutting it too close for me to sign up for yours. 🙁

    • CaitlinHTP October 19, 2011, 6:06 am

      I think so! I”ll be sure to blog a link if it is 🙂 thanks!

  • Fit Chick Britt October 18, 2011, 10:15 pm

    I like to eat veg and the husband likes to eat meat. Often I’ll buy precooked meats like chicken breasts and I’ll heat one up so he can eat it with whatever I decided to make weather it be stirfry, soup, or anything. I don’t think it’s really fair to ask someone else to change there eating habits, but I also do get annoyed when the husband asks for meat sometimes when I’ve made a big veg meal.

  • Marissa C October 18, 2011, 11:04 pm

    I have nothing to add as we both eat meat except…I got MAJOR Deja Vu reading a couple of the comments above. Like…was able to anticipate the rest of their comments. I checked the date to make sure this wasn’t old. So weird.

    • CaitlinHTP October 19, 2011, 6:06 am

      Isnt deja vu the weirdest thing? I had it over something that I could not possible have experienced before the other day. It was weird!

  • Claire October 18, 2011, 11:38 pm

    I am a vegetarian and my boyfriend is not. We don’t do much cooking together, but I am happy to make him a steak now and then. Cooking with meat does bother me a little bit, but I love to cook and the satisfaction of seeing someone enjoy a meal that I made, regardless of what’s in it, is worth it, IMO. Also, if I am cooking meat for him, he will buy it – so I’m not technically “voting” with MY consumer dollars (which is a big part of the reason why I myself am a vegetarian).

    That said, if we lived together and he wanted me to cook meat for him a lot, I would probably just teach him to do it himself. Not because I don’t agree with it, just because it would get tiresome to always cook something I wasn’t going to eat! Usually though, when I make meat for him, it’s as a supplement to a vegetarian dish that I’ve made for the two of us. This ends up being a pretty good compromise – I feel like I’m expanding his horizons with healthier food and he doesn’t have to give up what he likes 🙂

  • Katie October 19, 2011, 1:40 am

    I think cooking for someone is a sweet and lovely gesture, but not an obligation. If she feels uncomfortable cooking meat for him, I think it’s kind of ungrateful for her husband to take offense. If he really misses meat that much, there’s nothing wrong with learning how to cook it himself.

  • Sophie @ threetimesf October 19, 2011, 2:34 am

    Been thinking about going veg lately, or at least mostly. So will check the posts out, thanks Caitlin!

  • Brittany @ Pretty Fit, Pretty Healthy, Pretty Happy October 19, 2011, 3:17 am

    That sauce sounds absolutely delicious! I’m a bit of a goat cheese obsessor, and, well… I go through cans of pumpkin like families of 5 go through a gallon of milk. I’m pretty excited about trying this sauce out. 🙂

  • Eliza October 19, 2011, 4:19 am

    I haven’t read all the comments yet (cause I should be studying) but this is an interesting topic. I live with my parents and sometimes my older brother, and I don’t eat meat and never make meat for them (they do eat meat). Usually I don’t cook specifically for everyone, so I will make myself a veg stirfry, and everyone eats it, but because I made it for me, there isn’t any meat. If I was making a meal specifically for them I might consider putting some meat in it but sometimes they make meat and add it to meals I made for themselves

  • Jamie @ FoodinRealLife October 19, 2011, 8:18 am

    I’m not sure how I feel about the question posed about the meat because i would want more background. If the couple used to eat meat on a regular basis and then all of a sudden she decided that she won’t eat it anymore and isn’t cooking it without ever asking or getting an okay from her husband I think that’s a little harsh. Things like that need to be discussed as a couple. Perhaps she could sign him up for a cooking class so he can learn how to cook meat properly, or they can sample some meat alternatives together. It needs to be more of a compromise than just “She cooks.She rules”

  • Krissy October 19, 2011, 8:37 am

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years now and with my boyfriend for two. He was a little thrown off by my lifestyle at first. Now he’ll eat whatever I make him. If he wants meat in addition to my meals he usually just makes it himself. He doesn’t ever ask me to do it for him because he knows I’d rather not do it. However, I don’t mind buying the meat or cooking it if he’s not able. If he’s home, though, he comes to the kitchen and cuts it up for me and puts it in the pan. That’s love.

  • Lungs October 19, 2011, 8:57 am

    From a practical point of view, as a vegetarian of 12+ years, I’m a very poor cook of meat. I don’t have enough recent experience plus I’m not willing to taste for seasonings… The results can be pretty horrible!

  • Sara October 19, 2011, 9:26 am

    I told my husband if he wants to eat any meat, he can make it himself. He grills his own beef hot dogs and grills my veggie dogs for me. He makes himself grilled chicken and I have a Quorn chicken. We eat meatless chicken nuggets … it all works out! I just make my own thing if he bought or is preparing a meat item for him (usually this only happens on the grill.) I did buy him some Brunswick Stew at a church festival. He ate it for dinner Sunday and I had pea soup! Win-win! Everyone’s happy. He wants to make a seafood gumbo but I told him that’s not going to fly. I can’t stand the smell of seafood! So if he can’t cook it on the grill, I’m not a fan of it being cooked in our home, but he is welcome to go to his mother’s and use her kitchen 🙂 I’m actually very lucky that he is so supportive. He eats all of my ‘weird food’ and ‘weird food combos’ and actually enjoys it!

    • Sara October 19, 2011, 9:28 am

      P.S. (Sorry so long) I don’t push being Vegetarian on anyone, in fact, I don’t really bring it up unless it comes up … my husband actually said he wouldn’t mind giving up everything but fish! But then he said maybe he’d just give up red meat and pork and just eat a little chicken, turkey and fish. Kind of cool he came about that idea himself. He said a year or so ago that he would NEVER stop eating meat. Interesting!

  • Beth (Well I'll Be) October 19, 2011, 11:41 am

    My husband loves meat. I made him watch Food Inc. to convince him to buy “happy meat” and that worked for the most part and he gets his meat from the farmers market and it’s local, free range etc, etc. I’ve never said I wouldn’t cook meat for him and have on occasion just depending on what our night is like. But, I usually make a vegetarian meal for me, that meat can be easily incorporated into. What usually happens is I am making the main dish, and he prepares his meat. I think even if it’s subconscious he’s more willing to help if he knows I’m willing to cook meat for him. Does that make sense at all??

  • Brigid October 19, 2011, 12:09 pm

    I am opposed to eating meat, therefore there is NO WAY I would prepare it for my other half. He has never complained about the way I cook at home, and if he did, I’d tell him to take the lead and I’d fend for myself, if need be. He’s incredibly laid back, though, so I don’t see that happening. As long as the food is tasty and filling, then he’s fine keeping a meat-less household.

  • Shelley@MileHighHealthy October 19, 2011, 12:20 pm

    I’m a little late to the party, but would like to add my two cents! I am a vegan and my husband is a dedicated meat eater. I ate meat when we got married but went vegan while he was deployed. Needless to say, upon his return home it was a bit of a transition. I’ve always been the cook in the family because it is something I really enjoy. I struggled at first with figuring out how to feed both of us. He is very open and will try my vegan food, but sometimes he just wants a traditional meal. In order to save money, time, and my sanity, I have started figuring out ways I can make one meal two ways (that is one main meal with a traditional and vegan version). Basically, the main meal is vegan and then I will prepare a meat or add dairy products to his part of the meal. It has certainly made the transition easier. Although I of course want him to eat healthier, I believe that it is his body and therefore his choice. I understand where he comes from and he understands me. I do my best to please us both. Many vegans and vegetarians would not dare buy/touch/cook meat. I still don’t cook it near as often as I used to and a lot of the time he will handle the meat portion of the meal anyway. Sometimes compromise is the best option and I have found this to be very true for our family.

    • Shelley@MileHighHealthy October 19, 2011, 12:23 pm

      Oh and I have found a grill to be a wonderful tool in keeping us both happy! It is very easy for me to prepare a vegan meal and then for him to grill up a steak or some chicken to go along with it.

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny October 19, 2011, 12:35 pm

    What an interesting thought. I hadn’t really considered that since I’m the homemaker, and cook, that I should/could/may or may not impose my dietary restrictions, or choices on the other members of my family. I am a veg for a multitude of reasons, but the one that I feel most strongly about is the hormones and antibiotics that most livestock are injected with, making most American meat unsafe. I rarely cook meat in our house because my husband generally eats out of the house due to his work, and so I cook mostly for myself and my 2 year old. However, on “family nights” or weekends, or even family get togethers, I cook what will make people happy, and in our big Italian family, that often includes meat. That said, I try my very best to only cook hormone and antibiotic free meats, so that I know what I’m serving is safe.

    The long and short of it is, I think of food as love when youre cooking for people in your home, and I want them to feel happy, at home, and comforted. Not judged, or bad about their choices. Now, if only more people would make as much of an effort for us lonely Vegs out there!!

  • Pam October 19, 2011, 1:17 pm

    I don’t think (as some commenters have suggested) that cooking vegetarian/vegan is ‘pushing your ideals’ on someone, or somehow leaving someone out – because of a very obvious fact – all vegetarian meals are omnivore-friendly but not all omnivore meals are vegetarian friendly. Duh. I really don’t understand this line of thinking that non-veg should be pitied or otherwise specially accommodated in the meal. Isn’t that the point of staying an omnivore (eat whatever)? Why does that HAVE to include meat? *grumblegrumble*

    But for your questionneer (?) I think it matters most why they’re veg .. it sounds like most of the commenters who do cook meat for their partner don’t have an ethical aversion to meat or just plain aversion (my now-husband went vegetarian a couple years ago, and has he says “Meat’s just gross!”).

    Another totally different thing is that I don’t cook with cheese/eggs either as a vegan, not necessarily because those terribly gross me out to touch (like meat), but because I’d hate to be cooking something that *I* can’t taste to check for quality! How do you know if your meal tastes good if you can’t try it?

  • Amber K October 19, 2011, 1:37 pm

    I have been a vegetarian the entire time my husband has been with me, so he was really used to eating meat-free. He was free to buy lunchmeat for his sandwiches or chicken if he wanted to cook it for himself. If we eat with others it is usually a potluck so people bring whatever they want. If they want to eat meat, they can make it, but I won’t cook it.

    After watching Forks Over Knives with me though he has cut out meat almost entirely, and has cut out dairy completely.

  • Elizabeth October 19, 2011, 1:58 pm

    As a life-long vegetarian living with a life-long, well, non-vegetarian, I definitely get where Katie is coming from. I started learning to cook meat/poultry/seafood for my fiance when we moved in together. It has definitely had its ups and downs (and it’s rather a miracle that I haven’t poisoned him yet– I can’t always tell when things are actually cooked… probably shouldn’t admit that), but there are few things I like more than providing a good, healthy dinner for the people I love. I think this is one of those cases where you need to do what’s best for you, and be comfortable with that choice.

  • Bobbie October 19, 2011, 7:19 pm

    In my house I sometimes make meat for my family. I’m not thrilled about doing it but because I’ve only been vegetarian for 9 mos my 3 daughters have all had meat. Since they eat very little to begin with I will give them the few kinds of meats they like. My reasons for going veg are more health-related than ethical, though I feel that is a bonus b/c I’m certainly not thrilled with animals being killed for food. I regularly make about 4 meatless meals a week and 1 meal that contains meat (not for me of course). So by default my family is eating a lot less meat. I’d love it if they eventually all decided to go meatless with me but I’m not forcing them to do so. Luckily my girls are not huge meat eaters to begin with.

  • Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted October 19, 2011, 8:07 pm

    I will cook my husband meat if I’m using a meat substitute which is really only in one case – I make egg/cheese/veggie sausage sandwiches on English muffins for breakfast every once in a while. So I microwave his real sausage for a minute. I’d never make a whole meat dish though. I’m not putting all that effort into something I can’t eat. We have lunchmeat in the house every once in a while, but other than that his meat mostly comes from leftovers when we’re out or at mom’s house.

  • Kris @ tryingtotri October 19, 2011, 9:23 pm

    I’m a day late, but – I’ve been the primary cook for our entire (13 year) relationship. He has watched me try vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, and assorted other food variations. I say watched, because in the end, over 13 years, I have been able to get him to try a few different dishes, but at heart, he’s a 55 YO meat & potatoes kind of guy.

    I don’t feel it’s fair to try to change him when he’s in good health and at a healthy weight, and happy eating the way he does. If I’m making changes for MY health, then I will make different dishes for myself while I cook “normal” for him.

  • Gabby October 21, 2011, 8:14 am

    Thank you so much for this post. When I saw a link to “Being a Vegetarian Teen in a Meat-Eating Family,” I flipped! Because I am one. Luckily my parents are usually supportive, but my dad still thinks I “need” chicken or fish because I’m an avid runner. He also thinks when I get married I’ll be obligated to serve meat to my husband- WRONG.

  • Hannah Hawley (@sirenical) November 3, 2011, 11:13 am

    I am a little bit behind on this post and responding, but had to throw my two cents in.

    There are a few things in the question that bug me:
    I went veg a little over a year ago…
    My husband is a pretty adventurous eater and hasn’t said much… until now.
    I’ve always been the cook in our relationship…
    The deal has been since going veg that he can cook his own meat…

    So prior to going veg, you were also a meat eater, preparing meat for the both of you.
    You said he is adventurous and hasn’t said much.
    I am curious, did you and your husband have a discussion over him cooking his own meat? Or was it an assumption or rule you made?

    I am actually for the most part a “cook’s rule” type person, in that you are going to eat what I fix, or fix yourself something else. However, if I were to make a serious change in my eating habits/patterns that would affect my fiance, I would sit down and have a discussion over how that would affect him and how we would handle it.

    Now, with all that said…
    I think you are perfectly in your right to not cook meat if you are making that change for yourself, but your husband deserves a discussion on what his responsibilities will be, and what you will do. Which might include buying meat for him, but having him do the cooking.

  • Jessicas November 3, 2011, 11:43 am

    I am LOVING all of your posts on these issues right now!
    The Universe gifted me with finding these,
    at the exact moment I was trying to figure out my own thoughts!

    I am a [mostly] vegan eater, living with a meat eater boyfriend.
    He has been eating my cooking, but I can tell it’s not his food of choice.
    He asked me to cook meat for him, when I make myself my own food.
    I am trying out how I FEEL about all of this!

    I’m off to read all of your posts on these subjects 🙂
    Thanks!

  • Kim November 3, 2011, 12:48 pm

    I’m currently single, but I’ve been a vegetarian for years and I’ve always taken the “you want it, you cook it” approach. I like cooking and I think there’s something kind of old school enjoyable about making a man dinner, but I don’t have the desire or the knowledge to cook meat. I’m a pretty good cook, but it’s a skill I developed after becoming a vegetarian. The only boyfriend I’ve ever lived with was a vegetarian prior to us meeting, but nobody I’ve dated since has complained about eating my food. I don’t lecture or try to convert anyone, and if you want to add meat to your portion of things I make that’s fine, but you’ll have to buy and make it yourself. To me that seems fair.

  • Carina November 3, 2011, 3:16 pm

    So interesting, not sure how I missed this when I posted. I’ve been a veg longer than I’ve known my husband, and I’d definitely cook meat for him if he were a quadripilegic or something, but since he’s an able-bodied adult, if he wants meat, it’s up to him. It just seems odd to me to cook something I wouldn’t want to eat or really know how to cook — I also wouldn’t make something based on bananas since I don’t like them, or with nuts, since I’m allergic.

    Our big compromise though is that he does the grocery shopping (I list what I want for meals I prepare), so he can buy his own meat to add to meals I make, and we also tend to have a couple unplanned meal nights each week — we see what looks good in the fridge and sometimes that means cereal, sometimes he eats tuna and tomatoes (which sounds awful to me), sometimes I grab a veggie burger, whatever.

    But I’m lucky would he’s generally content eating veggie and that he’s willing to avoid making me do the extra work to make meat if he wants it. Very interesting question!!

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