Is anyone vegetarian with a meat-eating family?

(8 Posts)
Darklingthrush Sun 10-Jan-21 13:15:19

Well, I know a lot of people must be but I would like some advice. I mainly cook for dh and 3 kids and, although we have some meat-free meals, I just don't fancy meat at all and they do. I don't want to cook two whole meals though! Any good ideas for meals that can be easily made meat-free and meat-inclusive? We mainly eat Italian.

OP’s posts: |
Nookable Sun 10-Jan-21 13:27:48

A vegetarian blog I follow did a great post on this

Batch cooking is also great as then you just need to cook the option most people will be eating and can pull a single portion of the other option out of the freezer and serve with the same sides.

Fivemoreminutes1 Sun 10-Jan-21 13:32:12

When it comes to cooking for vegetarians and meat-eaters at the same time, there are a few different ways you can do it.
The first options is to cook vegetarian side dishes, then just serve a different protein for the vegetarians and meat-eaters. You’ll all be eating 90% the same, so there won’t be too many additional pans to wash. I know a lot of vegetarians aren’t fond of meat substitutes, but they’re really useful for this kind of meal. Veggie sausages, soya ‘chicken’ nuggets, grilled Quorn ‘steaks’ – they can all be used as one-for-one replacements for their meaty equivalents.
I’d do this for roast dinners, burgers, hot dogs, bangers and mash.

Another option is to cook a vegetarian meal, and then scatter some kind of meat or fish on top for those who want it. I sometimes find it helpful to do a roast/pulled chicken or roast/pulled pork once a week so that we have some cooked meat on hand for adding in at the end. You can add pulled chicken right at the end to enchiladas, fajitas and stuffed peppers. Roast chicken can be added at the end to a chickpea and couscous salad or tagine. I add the cooked pork at the end to dishes like curries and stir fries. It's also useful to have bacon lardons for frying and adding right at the end to egg fried rice, carbonara, risotto and lentil casserole.
Make a bunch of beef meatballs and keep them in the freezer, so that a veggie tomato sauce for pasta can get a beefy boost when needed. Also, lamb meatballs are great to throw into a chickpea and vegetable tagine over some couscous, or can be part of a tapas or mezze dinner.

Another option is to use two separate pans, which might sound like the equivalent of making two separate meals, but it’s not! If you’re making a stew or casserole, you can make the exact same thing in two different pans, with barely any extra effort. Chop all your veg, and rather than dumping them into one pan, separate them into two. All the other ingredients can be added to both pans, with meat added to one, and some kind of veggie protein added to the other. Sure, you’ll have two pans to wash instead of one, but there’s otherwise the same amount of prep work and cooking time. It's easy to make two small toad in the holes from one batter mix and just use different sausages. This oven-baked frittata is a good veggie dish if you fry the bacon separately and use two separate oven dishes, leaving the bacon out of one of them
It’s worth making a big batch of these kinds of meals. By the time you’ve started prepping, it’s not really any extra effort to make a larger amount. Stews and soups freeze really well, so you can freeze any leftovers in portions, to make for a quick and easy dinner another night.

Plussizejumpsuit Sun 10-Jan-21 13:35:46

I am but just have a partner not kids. I've been vegetarian a since I was in primary school and we've been together 16 year so have been able to make it work. I think it's significantly due to him doing lots of cooking and not having to have meat.

We do various meals where the meat component can be separate. For example he's making roast now.

He is also happy to eat vegetarian lots of the time. We also do stuff where we make something then split it and meat can be added.

I know lots of vegetarians aren't keen on meat substitutes I'm nit keen on them all. But there's loads out there so I'd explore those with the whole family and move them away from needing meat as much.

Darklingthrush Sun 10-Jan-21 13:36:53

Thanks! I have a really small freezer sad so batch cooking is not really possible but lots of ideas there!

OP’s posts: |
AtleastitsnotMonday Sun 10-Jan-21 17:07:10

Stir fry (add nuts to yours)
Pasta, same sauce add bacon or chicken once you’ve removed yours, add cheese to your if you want protein.
Same with risotto
Fajitas, tofu, haloumi for you, chicken or beef for others
If doing a meat and 2 veg kind of meal I’ll send to do haloumi or stuffed field mushrooms.
Chilli always two pans, same base beans and extra veg in one, beef in the other.
Same with curries.

infinitediamonds Sun 10-Jan-21 17:39:54

Yes, but with young kids I generally cook 2 meals as they dont really like vegetables. We do pasta, fajitas, spaghetti bolognese etc and just have different protein, and it helps that DH is fine having veggie food.


Stompythedinosaur Sun 10-Jan-21 17:57:36

I often cook in two pans or dishes but things that are cooked in the same way - so I'll do chicken noodle soup in one pan and veg noodle soup in another and I dont find it too arduous. Or a pasta bake with tuna and one without. Or toad in the hole with one tray of real sauages and one with veggie ones.

The biggest thing that I've found helpful was getting a George foreman grill for meat and then no meat goes in the regular grill.

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