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Family Meals - how to please everyone?

(17 Posts)
speakout Thu 10-Oct-19 10:22:10

There are 5 of us in the family and I am struggling to organise food and meals that we all like to eat.
My appetite for meat has been diminishing over the years and would be happy eating mostly plant based food and personally would like to see everyone eat a little healthier.

So family members:

1. Me- I like plant based I don't mind the odd piece of meat though and I do most of the cooking.
2. Family member two is similar to me, not a big red meat lover, doesn't like dairy either.
3. A hardened meat eater - in large quantities. Doesn't like plant based meals.
4. Another meat lover, but will eat the ocassional plant based meal.
5. One who would eat chicken nuggets and chips at every meal , and struggles with poor appetite generally.

I don't want to be sepnding all day in the kitchen. Help!!

OP’s posts: |
Weenurse Thu 10-Oct-19 10:28:07

I will often grill chicken breast then add a grain like rice or pearl barley or quinoa.
Then lots of salad stuff in individual bowls so people can build their own meals. All on the lazy sussan, help yourself.
Lots of condiments as well.

WhatHaveIFound Thu 10-Oct-19 10:30:37

We have this problem and I have got round it by making meals that can just have meat added to. So veggie chilli & wedges with sausages for the meat eater (DS) or pasta and veggie sauce with chopped chorizo or chicken on top.

I think in your list it's 3 & 5 who are hardest to please. Is there any chance of either of them cooking?

WhatHaveIFound Thu 10-Oct-19 10:32:36

Once when i got really fed up I explained to the child who complained that you can't please everyone and it just wasn't his turn that day!

speakout Thu 10-Oct-19 10:33:18

Thanks- ideas gratefully recieved.


Person 3 doesn't have the time- genuinely.
Person 5 would simply eat biscuits or chocolate if I didn't cook.

OP’s posts: |
BrieAndChilli Thu 10-Oct-19 10:43:56

I'm having this problem too. DD has become a veggie so we have
Me: not a huge meat eater, will happily eat veggie meals
DH: always been a big meat eater but also not fussy so will eat veggie meals too now
DS1: very traditional meat/potatoes/veg although will eat mild curry/chilli and lasagne etc but nothing adventurous
DD: Veggie and eats all sorts like olives/blue cheese etc
DS2: would live off junk food if you let him. not a big veg eater. doesnt like tomatoes at all.

I've started trying to make meals where the meat can be added after.

I also have started batch cooking so did a large meat bolagnaise and a veggie bolagnaise. I then portioned up and put in the freezer so I can easily make a meal for someone who doesnt like what the rest of us are having.

WhatHaveIFound Thu 10-Oct-19 11:10:39

Do you all normally eat together? What about things like curry? Would that be ok for everyone? In which case batch cooking might be your best bet as you can keep a stock of everyone's favourites in the freezer? Then just have rice/naan with it.

Or you could cook potatoes & veg, then add meat or veggie option to it?

We have...
Me - Eats everything apart from red meat (and does most of the cooking).
DH - Prefers to eat vegetarian where possible.
DS - Commited meat eater but will eat most things
DD - Vegetarian

The one good thing is that DS has a cooked school lunch and almost always goes for the meat option so he's getting plenty of protein away from home.

milliefiori Thu 10-Oct-19 11:16:11

I agree that making veggie based meals with meat on the sid eis the easiest way to go.
Veggie chilli with sausages
Veggie curry with tandoori chicken pieces
Veggie savoury crumbles
Home made pizzas
Stir fry with rice or noodles and separate strips of chicken or beef.

Tonight I'm making beef goulash, putting aside some of the veg and sauce for our veggie and at the last minute will fry some smoked tofu in paprika for him. As the main meal is already cooking in the slow cooker, there's only his tofu and the veg to prep at one go.

You could also pick up some ready meals and keep them in the freezer, then if you make something one won;t eat they can have one of those instead.

AthollPlace Thu 10-Oct-19 11:16:36

I cook meals with lots of veg and a portion of meat. If you don’t want your meat then don’t eat it. If you like meat you can have extra. If you don’t like plant based food it’s tough shit, I’m not going to enable unhealthy eating and as an adult you just need to accept that you have to eat mostly plants whether you like it or not.

speakout Thu 10-Oct-19 11:25:43

THanks, some great ideas here.

OP’s posts: |
Africa2go Thu 10-Oct-19 11:33:40

Yes to suggestion above about adding meat (so eg a pan of fajita veggies with grilled chicken on the side).

Also whats worked for us is everyone choosing a meal (with the older 2 - aged 14 - listing ingredients, checking whether we already have them and asking me to buy them if we dont, and then cooking it). Means everyone knows at least 1 night they get their "chosen" meal and at least for the older 2, they realise how much effort goes into meal planning and cooking, and therefore how ungrateful it is to pull your face at whatever is offered when someone else has gone to all that trouble!

Weenurse Fri 11-Oct-19 07:46:22

We have rostered turns to cook.
DD2 cooks Monday and generally veggie
I do Tuesday and deconstruct the meal so people build their own to own tastes
DD1 cooks Wednesday generally chicken based and again separate bowls to choose from for sides.
I do Thursday, take away Friday and DH does Saturday and Sunday.
Lots of dietary restrictions in our family so this works best for us.
I do keep pies from local pie shop in freezer if people want something different.( including veggie ones)

speakout Fri 11-Oct-19 15:45:15


Sounds amazing to cook only twice a week.

My family are either not at home or unable to cook unfortunately.
One is too frail, one too ill and the other two work long hours.

OP’s posts: |
Ylvamoon Fri 11-Oct-19 15:55:23

The cook has the last word!

On the other hand, I often do any type of potato bake ... veggie version & serve meat / fish as added extra. Also pasta & tomato sauce & chicken drumsticks...
I think you can convert your meat eaters to veggie by agreeing to 1 veggie meal / week. A month in 2.... And so on.

Oblomov19 Fri 11-Oct-19 16:09:27

I hugely batch cook. I buy Sainsbury's meatballs when reduced in trays of 12 and I cook 60 or so.

Bolognese, veg Bol, meatballs, veg meatballs. Chicken Curry. Cauliflower, chick pea and sweet potato curry.

Sausages and mash. Veg sausages.

All easily made to cater for both.

Jacket potatoes with beans and cheese or chilli.

Weenurse Fri 11-Oct-19 23:29:49

Slow cooker gets a workout in winter when DC’s turn to cook.
Had FIL staying for 2 months after brain bleed.
He took on cooking 1 night a week as well.
He loved the slow cooker meals so much, we bought him one to take home with him!
Batch cooking is a great idea, I just don’t have a very big freezer

Collision Fri 11-Oct-19 23:42:54

In our family we have

1. Me, a chicken and fish eater and on Slimming World
2. DH a vegetarian who’s a chef and does lots of cooking
3. Ds1 who likes most things apart from red meat and ‘cheap kids food.’ He’s 17 and learning to cook which is quite handy.
4. Ds2 who’s the fussiest and likes simple food.

So we have roast chicken with everything on Sunday and dh has cauliflower cheese with his meal. Everyone eats the same.

We now have a soup night with fresh homemade bread. Suits everyone.

We often all eat quorn as they can’t seem to tell the difference.

Sometimes I make SW food for me and the boys and dh cooks for himself.

It’s quite tricky at times though.

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