Where’s the Meat?
Personally, I love vegetables. I love the colours, textures, the infinite variety. I enjoy making interesting food with vegetables, trying out international recipes, making healthy salads.
I don’t get a lot of opportunity to do so because I live with a man who thinks no meal is complete without meat. More than one vegetable is not only unnecessary, but spoils the meal according to him.
It was easier when my daughters lived with us. Two were vegetarian and loved to help me in the kitchen produce interesting and healthy meals. Now there is just the two of us and I have to make two separate meals if I want my fill of vegetables.
I get around it a bit by making lots of soups which are the staple food for my lunch. He will sometimes join me in eating tomato soup or one made with chicken stock, but that is a rare occasion.
I try to grow vegetables in the spring and summer, not always successfully. When they flourish, then I am left with the problem of how to eat mountains of beetroot, courgette and beans all by myself. It doesn’t stop me.
I experiment with different recipes in a vain attempt at finding something that is made with vegetables that he will eat. It brings back memories of weaning small children and the expressions of disgust on their faces when they taste something new. So far, I almost got approval for roasted cauliflower with Indian spices, and there are a few other staples that I can rely on. The road to success here I believe is to smother the vegetables in strong flavours, disguise them in as many ways as I can discover.
The addition of cheese can also be a useful tactic. Any dish with bubbling melted cheese on top looks better to him than the greens and yellows of uncovered vegetables. A little bit of crumbled bacon on the top sometimes works as well.
Will I ever change him regarding his views on vegetables? No. That’s a foolish question. When he complains that there is not enough variety in our menus, I just grit my teeth and say nothing.
Telling him he needs the vitamins and goodness of fresh food is countered by his comment that he takes a multivitamin tablet every day. I can’t win.
Never mind. I have delicious vegetable soup seasoned with smoked paprika for lunch today. We may not be compatible when it comes to vegetables, but we find a way to live in harmony. After all, someone has to support the beef cattle farmers ( our next door neighbour in particular). I will try to do my bit for climate change in other ways.