My man not only loves meat, but has a diet similar to that of a picky, stubborn toddler. His favorites are things like corn dogs, bacon, eggs, rice, French fries, ribs, and ketchup-only cheeseburgers. I’ve seen him devour an entire McDonald’s double cheeseburger in a single bite. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but I love the guy. And since I was raised by a stay-at-home mom who knows her way around the kitchen, I absolutely adore cooking for him.
Since we live together in one of the most expensive states in the country, splitting grocery bills and meals are a must. But how does a meathead like him share a kitchen, shopping cart and fridge with a veggie lover like me? After all, he’s a creature of habit, while I like to experiment with a vast array of spices, veggies, fruits, and ways of cooking.
Thankfully, we easily respect each other’s preferences. Since I avoid animal products on a health basis, I’m comfortable cooking up meals with meat. Secondly, because my man has seen the physical & mental benefits of his girl on a plant-based diet firsthand, he supports my choices one hundred percent.
The only way we make it work food-wise, though, is to find some middle ground. I’ve discovered that he has an addiction to caesar salad, broccoli (as long as it’s cooked and covered in cheese) and roasted brussels sprouts (only if they’re seasoned with olive oil, lemon, & pepper) and any kind of potatoes. Consequently, I serve up these side dishes and pair mine with beans, tofu or tempeh while he chows down on meat.
I’ve also figured out how to ‘sneak’ veg-friendly meals in without him realizing they’re plant-based. Since we’re from California, I frequently make bean and cheese burritos, enchilada soup, cheese enchiladas and quesadillas for dinner. And since they’re all things that are naturally served meat-free, he doesn’t even notice that he’s eating on the veg. The same goes for fried rice, vegetarian chili and a manner of other yummy, boyfriend-approved dishes.
Surprisingly, my commitment to a vegetarian lifestyle has made our relationship stronger. He’s opened up more than I ever thought possible. I’ll never forget the first day he brought home a veggie burger for me from Burger King, or happily cooked kale and sweet potatoes for dinner one night. It’s touching that he’s willing to try out my lifestyle to make things easier, even if it is every once in a while. For those of us who know how to cook, sharing a home with an all-out carnivore isn’t too tough – especially for guys that love to have their girls cook for them.