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to think my friend is being unreasonable about vegetarian food

(71 Posts)
PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 15:45:25

I had a friend over for lunch today.

We were talking about food and so on, and my friend said that she could never be a vegetarian because "vegetarian food is boring."

I said that IMO this wasn't the case, as there are loads of different ways to cook vegetarian food, so if you do a bit of research into vegetarian recipes and use a bit of imagination, I couldn't see how you'd get bored of it. I admit someone who likes eating meat would probably miss meat if they never had it, but I don't think that's the same as being "bored".

I can see that if you only cooked a narrow range of vegetarian receipes then you could get bored of being a vegetarian very quickly - but I think that it's equally possible to have a boring meat based diet, if you only cook a narrow range of meat based receipes. So the boringness of a diet isn't down to whether or not it includes meat.

Friend was unconvinced by my arguments and continued to insist that a diet without meat must be boring. AIBU or is she?

(should point out here that I'm not a vegetarian myself and usually serve meat dishes when this friend is round for a meal)

HumphreyCobbler Mon 04-Mar-13 15:47:55


I am not a vegetarian either but I am much better cook from learning how to cook vegetarian meals properly.

Dannilion Mon 04-Mar-13 15:47:58

Neither of you are unreasonable, your friend is just a bit ignorant and you are just a bit er, keen.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 04-Mar-13 15:51:17

YANBU. Daft to dismiss an entire cuisine with one word. It's like saying 'sandwiches are boring' when we all know there is a world of difference between a flat 'British Rail' cheese slice on white and a granary baguette stuffed with delicious deli meats. Probably your friend is basing her opinion on the ubiquitous 'mushroom stroganoff' or similarly bland crap that gets churned out as the veggie option on so many menus smile

curryeater Mon 04-Mar-13 15:53:16

I think your friend has a point, especially if there are other restrictions on her diet, like trying to eat seasonally, or low carb.

I live with a veggie and am horrifically bored of vegetarian food. To be fair this is not his fault because I was veggie myself for years before I met him so was sick of it anyway; and he doesn't expect me to eat veggie food so if I do, it's all my own fault.

I am over it and over the hair-shirt mentality that made me think it was something I should do. In my case (not all) the acceptable face of an eating disorder.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 04-Mar-13 15:57:27

SIBU. Vegetarian food isn't just nut roast (which I hate).

There are loads of delicious veggie recipes, it's a bit much to make a sweeping generalisation about a whole dietary group.

Although saying that, is a vegan diet boring? grin

JandT Mon 04-Mar-13 15:57:37

She's just being a bit judgemental.

I'm vegetarian, have been for more than 20 years and still regularly eat 'new' meals and don't get bored. We are probably quite 'adventurous' with food and do get bored quite easily. DH and DC's aren't vegetarian but all happily eat 'meat free' a couple of times a week.

I would however point out that we have a much more varied diet than most meat eaters I know so think that is more our personalities than 'vegetarian'....

FireOverBabylon Mon 04-Mar-13 15:58:08

Your friend is BU. I've always said that I couldn't be vegetarian in this country as I don't like red peppers or aubergines, and that vegetarian pub grub staple, the vegetarian lasagne, would be out of the equation.

However, we live near Leicester and the range of Indian vegetarian food is amazing, with dhaal, gram flour etc.

I guess your friend is only referring to British vegetarian food, and if you cinsider that egg and chips is vegetarian, there's not a huge variety. If you start to look at Greek salads, Mexican bean dishes, and asian countries with nuts, pulses etc, there's a better range of options.

WaitingForMe Mon 04-Mar-13 15:58:18

I think she has a point. I'm not a vegetarian but I created some vegetarian dishes for a cookery class I was teaching and meat is a shortcut to texture and depth of flavour. I created some very nice dishes but it was a challenge. Vegetarian food needn't be boring but I think it takes more effort to make it interesting and varied.

ouryve Mon 04-Mar-13 16:01:18

Well, FOB, there's egg and chips, but there's also egg, beans and chips, egg, egg beans and chips, fried egg and chips, scrambled egg and chips, egg and chips with extra chips....

AlfalfaMum Mon 04-Mar-13 16:09:10

I'm a pescetarian, so mostly eat vegetarian meals. I think the answer is yes and no. The food I cook at home is not boring, I'm an excellent cook and buy good ingredients. I'm also easily bored so like to keep food interesting and unrepetitive. Likewise, I have a few veggie/pescy friends who cook for me and their fare is always delicious and interesting.

Eating out on the other hand, unless you go to a dedicated vegetarian restaurant, the vegetarian options (if youre lucky enough to have more than one) are usually boring shite. For example, I went to a lovely wedding recently with amazing food. I went for the pescetarian options, some kind of beautiful smoked salmon starter, then sea bass - all lovely. Friend sitting beside me was a proper veggie, she got spring rolls followed by risotto hmm

PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 16:12:16

Maybe my friend is thinking she'd be restricted to egg & chips with the occasional vegetarian lasagne thrown in! Thinking on it, she isn't the most adventurous of eaters.

So far as I know, she hasn't any dietary restrictions.

Moominsarehippos Mon 04-Mar-13 16:13:52

Meat + 2 veg = bo-rrring!

ConfusedPixie Mon 04-Mar-13 16:14:18

Being a vegetarian is boring in many places and with many veggies imo! I say that as a veggie!

I lived with vegans for three months. Their diet consisted of pasta, tofu sausages and peas. Nothing else. Until I was 22 my diet consisted of carbs and quorn really. Really really boring.

My older sister's diet is pretty much the old school 'vegetarian' style of mish-mashing stuff together that looks and tastes bland. A roasted courgette with a veggie sausage and mash potato (no gravy shock). Or "Grilled asparagus, chilli lemon & lime carrot, marinated tofu, cheesy mash and crispy sweet potato chips", veggie Kievs with a Chinese inspired noodle salad, cheese and tomato toasties with spinach for dinner hmm envy << sick face

If your friend has only been exposed to those kinds of veggies I can see why she thinks vegetarian diets are boring. DP and I were horrified when we first moved in together and realised our diets were so bloody boring. He is a meat eater through and through.

However, we have an awesome vegetarian diet these days ;)

CloudsAndTrees Mon 04-Mar-13 16:15:25

She might have formed her opinion from looking at the vegetarian options on most menus, which always seems to involve goats cheese, filo pastry, mushroom risotto and sun dried tomatoes and not much else.

If that's where she's coming from, she has a point!

theodorakisses Mon 04-Mar-13 16:17:32

My vegi sausage rolls are to die for

PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 16:22:54

Fair point that vegetarian options in restaurants tend to be very limited and samey. That's something I didn't consider until now!

We do live near a lovely little vegetarian restaurant. It hasn't got a big menu as it's tiny, but they do change the menu often, so it's quite varied. Maybe I should take my friend there for lunch sometime smile

PurpleStorm Mon 04-Mar-13 16:23:51

A tiny restaurant, I meant. Rather than a tiny menu.

ConfusedPixie Mon 04-Mar-13 16:24:51

Oh, and she is being unreasonable btw. Needs to meet some proper veggies ;)

I think Cog has it bang on with this:
"Probably your friend is basing her opinion on the ubiquitous 'mushroom stroganoff' or similarly bland crap that gets churned out as the veggie option on so many menus"
I can't eat in my hometown because of the few places that serve proper veggie options and not just salad, it's all shite.

Pobble You haven't tried my DP's Nut Roast, it's amazing. I could live off of the stuff!

We moved to Brighton at the end of 2011. Best thing I ever did! Really good vegetarian food everywhere, really imaginative and fun food too. We also got a copy of Hugh's Veg book, which should be enough if you can't just up and move to Brighton ;) The leek and chestnut risotto has become a staple in this house, even though the chestnuts cost a bomb hmm

I've just gone gluten free recently too, still managing to have a really interesting menu plan each week. Might be because DP is really good at cooking though grin

FellNel Mon 04-Mar-13 16:25:12

It's her opinion, based on what she knows about food and her personal preferences. She's entitled to think whatever the hell she likes. I will experiment with all sorts of foods but I frequently find food that is lacking in either meat or fish to taste strangely one-dimensional. Nice, very nice sometimes in fact, but only any good as a side dish or as an accompaniment to something involving meat. Or as an occasional lunch. Not as dinner night after night. My taste buds would pretty soon feel deprived.

The exception might be something that involves copious amounts of cheese, or a maybe really good vegetable curry or dhal.

Don't take it so personally. If you loved cheese or eggs and I said I hated cheese or eggs you wouldn't bat an eyelid. You are being chippy and seeing it as anti-your lifestyle.

Trills Mon 04-Mar-13 16:25:18

Thinking on it, she isn't the most adventurous of eaters.

If you listed all the things that she doesn't like or won't eat I'd probably conclude that her diet was booooring.

ScarletLady02 Mon 04-Mar-13 16:30:48

SIBU - I've been veggie all my life and have never been bored of my diet.

You just have to think about food differently....I think a some (not all) meat eaters base their meal around the meat and go from they find it hard to get their head around it not being there.

ScarletLady02 Mon 04-Mar-13 16:31:41

Oh and yes, I agree about vegetarian options in restaurants etc.

Being a vegetarian who hates mushrooms and aubergines....eating out can be a challenge grin

BiddyPop Mon 04-Mar-13 16:44:28

While we are not veggie, we currently have a veggie au pair (who eats fish) and we are eating more "meat free" meals than we used to (would always have lots of veg anyway!).

What i find is that I just don't have the opportunity to try out all my ideas, or go back to things I liked, as we have such a huge variety of things we like and eat all sorts in our house.

We eat lots of pasta dishes (many are veggie, or pescie), and curries, DH makes a nice chilli con carne, but tried a veggie chilli a few months ago and prefers it, we always ate a reasonable amount of fish anyway, I do things like Chinese and other Asian dishes (sometimes from a packet/jar of sauce, often completely from scratch), I make sushi the odd time, I do a few different types of risotto (and never order it out as its often very inferior - I use HM stock and lots of flavour).

And we also have lovely "regular" roast dinners too. Or chop, mash and veg dinners. I'm actually hoping AP doesn't take the leftover cauli cheese from yesterday, as I would rather like that for my lunch tomorrow at work!

curryeater Mon 04-Mar-13 17:52:59

Fish is not vegetarian.

Eating veggie food sometimes is completely different from being fully vegetarian. You are not "a bit vegetarian" if you don't eat meat 21 times a week.

A varied omnivorous diet = includes some food that is vegetarian = not boring

A vegetarian diet = BORING

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