Feeding my increasingly complicated family(10 Posts)
Apparently as of today, we have a 14yo vegetarian in the family. We also have a meat lover who is highly allergic to nuts (DH) and another teenage daughter with sensory issues who can't tolerate anything even slightly spicy. Me? I'll eat anything but I'm permanently knackered and don't want to end up cooking three separate meals.
So please hit me with your top tips for vegetarian-friendly, nut-free, non-spicy meals that will satisfy a meat-loving man and do not involve us eating processed veggie burgers and sausages for the rest of our lives!!
Lots of vegetarian food is perfectly satisfying to a meat lover, especially if it's hearty enough. I think the bigger problem is the one with sensory issues. How bland are we talking, only chilli or is it literally any spice at all beyond salt?
Quorn Bolognese/ lasagnes (meat eater probably won't be able to taste much difference)
Baked potatoes with a range of fillings
Macaroni cheese and other pasta bakes (chuck some lardons in a separate dish for the meat eaters to sprinkle on top if they want).
Roasts with all the trimmings and a meat replacement for the veggie.
Stir fries, meat cooked separately and added on top
Oh and maybe things that are veggie but a meat eater wouldn't feel they require meat with like
Cheese and onion pie
Quiches and salad
Soup and bread
Chips eggs and beans
Potato bake! Just slice some baking potatoes thinly & later in the baking dish with spinach mushrooms or other veg.
Add a "sauce" made from egg cream / sour cream and water. Spice with nutmeg/ salt & pepper / garlic ... Tool with greater cheese and bake for about 40-60 minutes (depending on thickness of potatoes) serve with chicken/ pork chops / salmon, or have as veggie meal!
You can make 2-3 variants by changing spices and vegetables.
So for instance I would suggest that any meat eater should be perfectly satisfied with:
Sweet potato and black bean stew topped with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips and guacamole
White bean and tomato stew topped with avocado, feta cheese, (more) tortilla chips and coriander
Mushroom, potato and gruyere puff pastry pie
Squash and sage risotto
Courgette and potato pancakes topped with sour cream and frankfurters on the side for meat eaters
Literally any veggie pasta
Barbecue beans and sweetcorn fritters
xiaoxiong in answer to your earlier question: salt yes, pepper no. She's ok with garlic or lemon. Likes sweet and sour sauce from the takeaway, strangely enough.
Definitely no chilli, curry powder, garam masala, paprika or anything "weird"!
I'm enjoying these ideas, though. Definitely some things I can work with that I wouldn't have thought of.
We’ve got a similar set up, only our 14 year old Veggie also has a Quorn allergy!!
We do eat a lot of curries, which I know you said are no good but Mexican food works pretty well and you don’t have to make it spicy.
Tofu is actually pretty good and you can do a lot with it, so is Paneer and Halloumi
Cauliflower is good, you can do a lot with cauliflower
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 route you choose to go down will probably depend on what sort of meal you’re making.
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. 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.
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 www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3077673/bacon-and-ricotta-ovenbaked-frittata
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.
I'm liking the idea of a vegetarian meal with added meat for those who want it. That's a different mindset, which I think I can work with. We had a roast chicken today (DD2 had Yorkshire pud and roast veg, which she was happy with). Normally we'd have cold chicken with chips and salad tomorrow. But now I'm thinking I'll make something like a stir fry and fish her portion out before chucking in the chicken.
She's also just helped me with the online shop by choosing some sausages, pies etc for the freezer. Good start.
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