Friday, May 11, 2012

Adventure Cooking In The Land Of Vegetarian

My daughter has never loved meat.  She'll eat it in some things and like it in others and flat out refuse it if it looks questionable.  And then a few weeks ago, she said she'd like to become a vegetarian.

I kind of laughed and said she had to do a lot of planning and learning and she disappeared for hours and came back down with some very well thought out ideas.  I said her next hurdle was convincing her dad.

He was, of course, against it. He was, of course, right, when he said it sounds like more work for me.  But after listening to her explain, and arguing in a friendly sort of way, he conceded to let her move forward in this new lifestyle.

I said it wouldn't hurt us to try some meatless dinners, besides the old standard of homemade mac and cheese, so my daughter and I poured over my cooking magazines, and tore out everything that looked good (and she tore out a few that didn't, I hate mushrooms) and the adventure began.

I'm not sure how this is going to work, though, since she hated the rice and beans meal, which her brother was quick to point out was very good with the sausage I'd added to the meat eaters plates, and I wasn't too keen on tonight's dish of zucchini parmesan, but the rest of the family had seconds and there is only one tiny little spoonful left in the baking dish, so it's okay, and the spring veggie pasta dish needed quite a bit of tweaking before I attempt it again.

And as much as I thought I didn't like meat, I do.  When I took my "rotisserie chicken" out of the crockpot to take the meal over to my new niece and her family, I couldn't help but steal a piece, and it was so delicious!

My daughter's plan is to cook a few meals on Sunday, and freeze them into individual servings, so on nights when the meal plan is chicken with a side of steak and a huge helping of meatloaf all smothered in sausage gravy, she has another option.

She did decide on an exception: she will still eat my spaghetti sauce, meat based and all.  Thank goodness!  It's my favorite special dinner to make. Christmas wouldn't be the same without spaghetti for dinner!


  1. My stepson became a vegetarian when he was still living at home, and it was hard at first to get used to cooking. Now he's been out of the house for years, and we still eat several vegetarian meals a week. I find great recipes at

    Happy Mother's Day weekend!

  2. That is great for your willingness to let her pursue this type of eating. I too would miss meat, I like the protein in it that I'm not sure where I could find it elsewhere. Good luck with the new adventure!


  3. As a vegetarian, I say good for her. (: is my favorite for recipes, and there are many articles on how to transition from meat eating to vegetarianism with loads of tips.

    Good luck!

  4. We would have a really hard time with that in our carnivore household. Good for you for working so hard to please her.

  5. Having been vegetarian much of my adult life, due to an inability to digest red meat, I am following this story with a great deal of interest. Here in Mendocino County, we have an awesome array of soy products to choose from also, that makes being vegetarian so much more viable. For those who are inclined to Denny's Restaurants, their Boca Burgers made me feel like a real American, with my cheese burger and fries.

    Kudos for your daughter for trying a different approach, and double acknowledgement to you and Dad for being open-minded enough to allow her to go for it.

  6. Thanks everyone! I've loved reading all the comments! I think my biggest hurdle is trying to help my daughter be a vegetarian while my son and husband are most decidedly not. One of my son's friends has had the honor (or misfortune) of staying for dinner at our house twice this week, both times on our nights for trying a vegetarian meal. As he had seconds of the zucchini parmesan, he said he hates zucchini. I didn't say anything to dispel him of that belief!

  7. Check out the Moosewood Cookbook and the Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Vegetarian recipes that even a carnivore can love. Many of them can be used for a veg main dish, nutrient wise, and then your meat eaters can have them for a side dish. I am a reformed vegetarian who married a Texas boy. They love their beef. This is how we compromise.
    You're a great mom.

  8. I totally snorted in laughter at the "chicken with side of steak and meatloaf smothered in sausage gravy" FUNNNY!!! And I also now know what we're having for dinner tomorrow!

    Good for her for doing the research necessary for making such a huge transition into vegetarianism. Hope it works out for all of you!

  9. My niece went vegetarian at the age of 12 and my sister worked hard to compromise to meet everyone's preferences and requirements. My niece is 20 now and still vegetarian, though she confided to me the other day that she still regularly misses bacon. When the subject of bacon came up, it hit me that I could probably give up most meats without any qualms, but there's no parting me and my bacon. :)