I’ve been vegetarian for 4 years, since before I met my boyfriend. He’s a big meat eater, and I honestly don’t mind what he eats. I’ve never tried to convert him. We’ve found some common ground – we cook a couple of great vegetarian dishes together – but I’m getting tired of compromising on having meat in some food. I try to be flexible and a “laid-back” vegetarian, because I don’t want to be seen as difficult, but it’s starting to really bother me.
When we make meals like fajitas or a green curry, we cook them with chicken in, and then I just fish out the chicken when we eat. For the curry in particular, this means the whole curry tastes like chicken broth. It spoils it for me. I’ve suggested cooking the chicken separately but he says it wouldn’t soak up any flavour. We can’t cook different meals at the same time, either – we’re in student accommodation with a miniscule kitchen.I’d like to at least add more vegetables in to give me more variety, but my boyfriend dislikes broccoli and carrots (my favourites) and he says it would be too much work to fish those out (which I find a bit hypocritical…). Sometimes I can cook them separately and add them to my portion, but he sighs about me getting in the way with my chopping and my extra saucepan. He goes home every weekend, so we only have 4 meals together per week and I’d like to be able to enjoy them more.I don’t want to cause arguments; we both like having couple time by eating together, it feels nice and homey after a stressful day at college. But I want to fix this issue. I am making my choice from a moral perspective – I love animals and don’t want dead ones in my food. I don’t think it’s the same thing as just not liking carrots, but he sees them as equivalent. How can I approach a proper conversation about this without coming across as the stereotypical preachy/picky vegetarian and maybe get him to take my feelings more seriously?
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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 November 2018):
How about cooking meals with meat free substitutes like quorn? I’m not a vegetarian but we buy vege burgers, spicy bean burgers, and quorn mince just because we like them. Go to the library and borrow a load of vegetarian recipe books and ask your boyfriend which recipes he likes the look of.
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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 November 2018):
Cook the dishes which must have meat seperately for him and share the vegi dishes or cook seperately altogether for each.
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A female reader, Honeypie + ♥, writes (7 November 2018):
Cook (if you can) one big portion of curry without the chicken, divide it up into meals and freeze. That way you can just heat YOUR veggie curry and add veggies. And he can COOK and eat his chicken curry.Whether or not carrots and chicken are comparable is irrelevant.YOU don’t WANT to eat meat, so DON’T.I don’t eat much meat. Maybe twice a week. (I’m not a vegetarian though) but I cook for my family with meat (5 out of 7 days) I just don’t eat the meat. I cook extra veggies for myself as well. He needs to SUCK it up with you using and extra sauce pan for crying out loud. As long as you CLEAN it after what the big deal? I cook 2 spaghetti sauces. One with meat and one without as I have a teen who doesn’t like ground meat. The “veggie – sauce” I make once a month and divide into 4 portions – freeze 3 and serve one.Also you COULD clean your veggies before you two start cooking together. Cleaning and prepping veggies don’t take long. And again, you CAN clean and prep them and bag them up for the fridge/freezer.COMPROMISING is life skill, OPDOESN’T mean you HAVE to eat meat or food with meat in it. It just means you find ways to make this work.And yes ,curry doesn’t taste the same when not cooked with chicken. BUT if you make a Veggie curry, you can make it YOUR way.Also, you two should perhaps look into recipes together. What would be good to make – especially dishes where the MEAT goes on the side/is cooked separately.And of course, there are a LOT of veggies you can eat RAW. You just need to clean them. So again, another option.What you need to do is explain to him that you have CHOSEN to not eat meat (no need for a feel-good explanation or excuse as to why. YOU JUST DO NOT WANT TO EAT MEAT). Therefore you two need to find recipes that works for the two of you. You shouldn’t have to CHANGE what you eat for him and vice verse. So you two need to figure out how to make it work.Seems like you at least TRY and compromise.
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