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Want to go vegetarian but DH and kids eat meat

(18 Posts)
nong45 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:15:17

I stuffed and roasted breast of lamb for a big family lunch today. The recipe by Hugh FW sounded delicious, with apricots, thyme, garlic roasted over fennel and onions. But as the meat was cooking the 'fruity' smell was just too much. I know breast is usually the waste meat, it is a more old-fashioned and 'tastier' cut and a whole lot cheaper than leg...By the time I served up I just couldn't face it but ate some smothered in mint sauce as I didn't want to put everyone else off too. It is the last straw. I've been feeling for a long time now I want to go veggie. Discovered last week I actually love tofu! My DH and the kids refuse point-blank although I already insist on one meat-free day a week at least. I do most of the cooking. Lovely MN people, do you have any tips, ideas, meal plans or recipe book suggestions for how I cook meaty things for them and veggie for me without twice the work?

PencilsInSpace Sun 16-Apr-17 19:30:49

DH is veggie and I eat meat. When the DC lived at home they both had phases of being veggie / eating meat.

My tips are:

Cook a few portions of whatever you are having and stick the spares in the freezer so you can just heat them up.

Get DH to do more of the cooking. He could similarly batch cook meat based dishes so there were portions in the freezer to heat up.

We've got it down to a fine art, e.g. spag bol - one time DH will cook his veggie version, freeze a spare portion and heat up my frozen meat based one from the freezer. Next time I cook a meat based one, freeze half and heat up his veg one from the freezer.

Find more meat free dishes DH and DS like and do several meat free meals a week. I only have meat 2-3 times a week.

Get some cold cooked meats for the fridge so they can just add a few slices to whatever you are cooking if they feel like they are wasting away.

alltouchedout Sun 16-Apr-17 19:31:45

I've been veggie since I was 10. DH and the dc eat meat. Never been a problem.

nong45 Sun 16-Apr-17 20:17:23

Thanks Pencils, I think I need to do more batch-cooking, I like the idea of storing up portions in the freezer & getting DH to cook more of the meaty things they all want. I have more time than him to cook during the week as I finish work earlier and altho I usually try and cook from scratch, on busy evenings I just need things I can chuck in the microwave/oven.

Gizlotsmum Sun 16-Apr-17 20:23:18

You can also do meals where you cook most of the bits separately and then add meat so stir fry can do risotto and take out a portion to be veggie

Gizlotsmum Sun 16-Apr-17 20:24:26

There are lots of veggie alternatives such as quorum sausages so toad in the hole either they go veggie or you do two pans but only need one batch of batter, veggie pies and fillets...

nong45 Sun 16-Apr-17 20:38:43

Gizlots I've just had a look for my online shop at the variety of veggie meal options and meat substitutes, I'd not noticed before but so much better than 30 years ago when I was vegetarian as a teenager. Meat substitutes don't really appeal but I'll give them a try anyway as I bet many of them taste really good these days. Iit'll all probably be easier than I think, just feel a bit daunted by extra organising!

ExConstance Sun 16-Apr-17 20:46:21

Quoin is your friend if only part of family is veggie - Quorn chilli is wonderful. My DH eats meat and our grown up sons and I are veggie. If the food is good enough DH is happy to eat veggie 95 percent of the time. I'm a much better and more adventurous cook now. Anna Jones and meera sodha recipes are current favourites.

canyou Sun 16-Apr-17 20:47:04

I batch cook mince in a slow cooker with onion and garlic and freeze I can then make a lasagne/shepard pie/taco etc. Cook off veg and or meat replacement, take out veggie portion, then add meat.
Individual crustless quiche, different fillings into the muffintin add egg and cheese then bake serve with chip and salad.
Stir fry, risotto with fish/meat on the side if needed.
A roast with oven roasted veggies and a nut loaf and a joint.

JaneEyre70 Sun 16-Apr-17 20:49:06

I've got a system where I try and double up so cook enough for 2/3 nights instead of one. The other night I cooked a meat bolognese sauce and a veggie one for me, and it's lasted 2 nights. I often cook a veggie pasta bake, stir fry or curry that I can then add a chicken breast to for DH and my DDs. It does get easier with practice, I've not eaten meat for over 10 years and thankfully our DDs aren't huge meat eaters either. I find some of the meat "alternatives" are a bit tasteless so I tend to make mine using lots of veggies and tinned beans/lentils etc.

Gizlotsmum Sun 16-Apr-17 20:49:47

Def a lot easier now. My lot will eat quorn mince as long as it has flavour ( lasagne, spag Bol etc) some meat substitutes are better than others , tried the fish fingers.. will not have them again too fishy,

DeliveredByKiki Sun 16-Apr-17 20:51:46

Unknowingly vegetarian foods go down well here - risotto and curries particularly also lots of pasta dishes

I sometimes do "meat and 2 Veg" style as DD only eats chicken which is the one meat DS doesn't like, so I'll do whatever veggie sides then stick inthe oven a chicken breast for DD, chops or steak for DH and DS and a cauliflower steak for me, no extra washing up or prep

LaContessaDiPlump Sun 16-Apr-17 20:52:36

I'm vegan and family are omni. Generally we cook vegan meals and DH adds meat/cheese as needed (although he's lazy so often just eats as is)!

We're not keen on meat or cheese subs, although they sometimes hit the spot. Meals relying on veg/pulses are much nicer IMO.

nong45 Sun 16-Apr-17 21:24:39

Oooh thank you this is great, reading about what other people do is so helpful. I've heard about Anna Jones, think I've seen some of her recipes in the paper, will investigate your suggestions further. I want to get a slow cooker but was wondering if I try all-vegetable things whether it would end up one big mush but the quorn mince sounds like it would be useful and work well. Lots of things I cook already I can probably modify with some thought and some frozen add-ins, it's just my kids are still so anti-vegetables which does my head in. I thought they'd have grown out of it by 11&13. I love veg and am hoping the more veggie options I come up with the more used to it they'll all get. DH actually still has a fetish for the good old spicy bean burger from his teenage years!

Rockaby Mon 17-Apr-17 07:15:41

If I'm doing the cooking, I just cook a veggie / vegan meal and then add a bit of meat for DH and DD if she wants it. I find that easier than trying to make a meaty meal and then taking out the meat or subsisting the meat with something iyswim.

Favourites are Thai brown rice or rice noodle salad, (shredded chicken or prawns for anyone who wants it), roast veg with crusty bread (bit of meat or sausages on the side for anyone who wants them), lentil bolognese, veggie curry, veggie fajitas, soup and bread, (DH and DD like all these, so I don't add a meat alternative), homemade pizza, (meat toppings for anyone who wants it), loads of different salads (meat / tuna / prawns for anyone who wants it).

The only exception is a roast dinner, which DH always makes. He cooks meat and I just eat the veg plus something vegan / veggie in place of the meat. Bisto granules / powder are vegan, so I make separate gravy for myself if DH has done a meaty one.

Rubberduckies Mon 17-Apr-17 08:08:29

Dh is veggie. We start off cooking all meals meat free and then if I want a Meat fix I add some chicken breast or ham to my portion, or split into two pans and add quorn to one and some sort of meat to the other. Doesn't take any more time, just more pans! We usually have a mixture of quorn chicken style chunks for things like curry or rice dishes, and quorn mince for chilli/lasagne. Don't like the quorn sausages but the cauldron ones are lovely.

I probably have meat once a week at home, but will always choose a meat option if I go out for a meal.

Whatsername17 Thu 20-Apr-17 20:01:28

I make things like pasta dishes, curry, risotto etc veggie, then add meat at the end. If dh wants steak then he cooks. I've been veggie for 20 years so no idea how to cook it!

Hulder Sun 23-Apr-17 17:06:34

I'm an ex-veggie and DH is very much not veggie. I cook a lot of Anna Jones and pretty much every meal has been a hit so far.

She is prone to giving the recipes meaty titles - lasagna, moussaka, steak, burger etc etc. As soon as I stopped telling DH these, appreciation increased as he stopped expecting something liked the meat version and just appreciated that they were yummy.

Have made nearly every recipe in A Modern Way to Cook now, will need to buy the first book for variety.

Meera Sodha however was a big fat no from him.

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