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Going vegetarian

(50 Posts)
Newquay Mon 09-Sep-19 08:44:03

DH, certainly since we both retired, has been “cook of the house” which he enjoys doing and he’s a good cook. I don’t enjoy cooking. I eat whatever is put in front of me-we do agree meals for the week before going to the supermarket. On my own, I would eat very different meals-more pasta which DH doesn’t like for example. I don’t particularly enjoy meat but, as I say, I eat what i’m given and DH has accepted I eat smaller meals and not much meat and it’s no comment on his cooking.
I really would now like to stop eating meat altogether-just don’t enjoy it-but don’t want to upset DH. What’s to do?
Anyone else a vegetarian living with a meat eater?

Teetime Mon 09-Sep-19 08:47:47

I would get Jamie's new Vegetarian cookbook - there are some lovely recipes there hearty enough to satisfy a meat eater.

Lessismore Mon 09-Sep-19 08:50:29

I know it's perhaps not ideal , but I often make things where the meat is an added extra or the bulk of it is vegetables.

mosaicwarts Mon 09-Sep-19 08:56:17

My late husband was a meat eater, at first I ended up just having extra veg and was missing out on my protein. Gradually I found the veg substitutes I liked, so if he was having chicken, I'd have the Quorn chicken fillets. My husband would eat Quorn mince, so spag bol was a one cook meal. Bangers and mash I'd have the Linda McCartney sausages. Try a couple of the ranges and see which you prefer. Jamie Oliver has a programme coming up on Meat Free meals, I'm looking forward to it.

Lisagran Mon 09-Sep-19 08:57:42

Could you suggest substituting soya alternatives for some meat dishes (one in the first week, then two....) - e.g. soya mince for shepherds pie, spaghetti bolognese? Great that he cooks a lot! Is it mostly meat and two veg, or does he do quiches etc?

Fennel Mon 09-Sep-19 09:07:45

I could quite happily go without meat or chicken. In fact our meals are mostly vegetarian.
The main problem , from my experience, is that veggie meals take more planning and preparation. And you need to find substitutes for the meat protein. And iron.

merlotgran Mon 09-Sep-19 09:13:16

We grow a lot of vegetables so like Lessismore they form the main part of a meal. Meat or fish plays a lesser part or you may decide you don't need to add anything at all.

There are lots of vegetarian recipes online. Just type in an ingredient and recipe suggestions will come up.

I agree about Jamie's latest book. It arrived while my student granddaughters were staying so one of them nabbed it and I had to order another one for her sister grin

janeainsworth Mon 09-Sep-19 09:13:33

Why would your DH be upset because you’d decided not to eat meat?
It’s not a reflection on his cooking.

It’s a hassle cooking two different meals at the same time - perhaps if he objects on those grounds, you could cook your own meals?
Remember though that just as you are entitled to give up meat, he is entitled to continue eating it. I wouldn’t try to pressurise him into changing his diet if I were you.

Daisymae Mon 09-Sep-19 09:13:50

Start slowly, have meat free Monday for example. Get a good veggi cook book. Consider supplements, especially b12. I get mine from the vegan society or floradix from boots. I was veggie a couple of years before my husband. In the end he stopped enjoying meat so it's much easier.

Hetty58 Mon 09-Sep-19 09:38:03

I've been vegetarian for over fifty years. I'm very fit and healthy (apart from a back injury) so recommend it.

When I was young and lived with a carnivorous family I just had the vegetables, didn't substitute anything for meat and made my own muesli and veggie snacks.

My first husband was vegetarian and cooked a range of delicious meals. My second husband and children ate meat and fish but they were added 'extras'. Now, one daughter is vegan (trickier to balance the diet) and she takes B12 supplements.

I've never needed supplements myself, or been anaemic, even in the ten years when I produced and breast fed four children. I'm sure that it's a healthier diet, not lacking in any way.

crystaltipps Mon 09-Sep-19 09:50:10

My OH eats meat and I’m vegan and he does most of the cooking, he has tried a lot of the recipes in the BOSH veggie book and BOSH online. Puy lentils are better in a shepherds pie or chilli than Quorn IMHO. Lots of veggie, chick pea, coconut and cashew curries etc . If OH so wishes he adds a bit of chicken or fish on the side for himself or sometimes he doesn't bother. I haven’t eaten meat since I was about 10 so I just don’t think
of dead animals as food.

dragonfly46 Mon 09-Sep-19 10:50:48

My DH is a meat eater but I have never been really bothered about it. Since being diagnosed with cancer I have turned more to vegetarian but avoid soya as it is bad for me. I would rather use beans and lentils than substitute meat.
I often cook two meals a day but if I do shepherds pie for example I always make double the quantities and freeze one.

Doodledog Mon 09-Sep-19 10:55:45

It's the other way round in our house. I eat meat, and my husband doesn't. We both cook, so when he cooks we both eat veggie (he cooks a lot of pulse-based brown sludgy meals smile), and when I cook, I either make veggie food (and there are very many delicious options), and we both eat it, or sometimes I add meat to mine (eg mac and cheese with bacon on mine).
It's much easier than it used to be to accommodate both of us. Yesterday, for instance, I made a cottage pie using Quorn mince, and we both enjoyed it.
I eat meat when we eat out or get takeaways.

cookiemonster66 Mon 09-Sep-19 11:30:31

I have been veggie for 45+ yrs and all partners/hubbys have been meat eaters. In the old days (before the current trend) I would just have the same as rest of the family , minus the meat. Nowadays with so many 'meat-a-like' products you could have the same meal, one with meat, one with a 'pretending to be meat product'. Personally I cannot stand the meat alikes as I do not like meat, do not want things to taste like meat, but understand that many newly converted veggies like them.

Whingingmom Mon 09-Sep-19 11:47:12

We went veggie and DH didn’t notice. Quorn mince bolognese/lasagne/chilli, the Cauldron Cumberland sausages are vegan, for bangers and mash, toad in hole etc and Linda McCartney mozzarella veggie burgers are nice. Veggie curries from scratch are easy, chickpeas, spinach, potatoes, paneer etc, and marinated tofu makes a quick and tasty stir fry.

Tweedle24 Mon 09-Sep-19 11:57:27

My sister is vegetarian but neither her son nor late DH were. There was never a problem. She cooked for all of them but substituted or left out the meat.
When we go to a carvery she has everything, including turkey which she takes home to a very grateful pussy cat 🐱 🐈

Theoddbird Mon 09-Sep-19 12:00:25

I have been veggie for 40 years and vegan a year. Why would he object? Have you talked to him about it? If he is a reasonable cook he wont mind so am sure. Just eating the veg will not be healthy. You need protein...obviously cheese is a good one. I am sure that if he cares he will adapt what he cooks and enjoy expanding his range of cooking skills. May be bulk cooking and freezing will help as well. Good luck.

Hm999 Mon 09-Sep-19 12:01:37

Can you get him just to eat meat 2x a week, and get him to use veggie mince 2x a week in lasagne, moussaka, burgers etc. as I think it's almost undetectable. Chicken casserole using veggie chicken fillets ditto. I'd leave sausages until last. Veggie sausages are very variable and they're all quite dry, but fine in casseroles and toad-in-the-hole.

Coconut Mon 09-Sep-19 12:05:33

Yes ! My daughter and I are vegetarians, her husband and son are not ... altho they do agree to have 2 x meat free meals per week. We’ve got used to it now, tho it did take some juggling at 1st. If my other 2 sons and families all come to visit, I’ll just cook a large chicken for them and leave them to it. Do watch Jamie Oliver’s meat free programmes, it’s a lot more simple than people think.

crystaltipps Mon 09-Sep-19 12:06:35

The Cumberland Shroom mushroom sausages from Sainsbury’s are really good. My OH doesn’t notice they're not meat ones.

CanuckaLatte Mon 09-Sep-19 12:11:09

Newquay, what are some examples of the sorts of meals your DH cooks? If it's typically meat/chicken/fish and rice or potatoes + veggies, easy enough to have packets of veggie burgers in the freezer to be thrown in the pan whilst he is cooking his protein portion.

I agree with the others that Quorn is brilliant! We don't eat a lot of analogues (veg things that "look" like meat) but on occasion we have Quorn "chicken nuggets" in taco shells with all the trimmings (guacamole, cheese, salsa, etc) and they are tastier than actual chicken nuggets!

Quorn mince in shepherds pie or spaghetti sauce (+ a little marmite for more depth of flavour) - can't tell the difference - perhaps you could take on the cooking one night per week and whip up some of those (and see if he even notices it's not meat, which might put it on his radar for future meals that he prepares for the both of you).

On the other hand, as he loves to cook, he may actually relish the challenge of coming up with new vegetarian dishes for you both! You could always affirm to him that you think he's a great cook and really creative and what would he think about doing some vegetarian meal exploration together?

Aepgirl Mon 09-Sep-19 12:12:04

Why not do it gently. Perhaps eat only vegetables every 2 days or so, so that your husband doesn’t think it’s his cooking that’s at fault.

ReadyMeals Mon 09-Sep-19 12:20:02

I'm a vegetarian myself and have been for many years. But I am not sure I'd bother to change if I had reached retirement age before changing and especially if there was the added complication of someone else in charge of the cooking. Is it really worth the upheaval? I guess it partly depends on the reason. If it's because you've suddenly become horrified by the idea of animals being slaughtered then you have to go with your conscience. But if it's mainly a health issue then you could just chat to your DH about your thoughts and see if he is happy to make a few adjustments like less red meat, more fish, a couple of meatless days a week etc. That should make some difference if indeed it's going to make any. I am always a little skeptical of the health claims. Of course you can have too much of anything and most meat eaters probably eat far more meat than they need.

Craftycat Mon 09-Sep-19 12:23:43

I was Veggie for 25 years.
My ex learned to eat what I was having although I did start off by coking 2 different meals- our boys were about 8 & 11 at the time & ate whatever was put in front of them as boys do- hollow legs! I taught Veggie cooking at night school too having taken a course with Vegetarian Society
When we split & I moved on with my current DH he would not eat anything BUT meat so I started cooking 2 meals a day again & the boys -then well into teens- asked to eat the meals he had. It really wasn't that hard to be honest- you can do a lot of meals that you just leave the meat out of for yourself- I never used substitute meat products- they all taste like cardboard to me.
After several years I became less fanatical & the odd animal product got into my diet too. Now I eat whatever I fancy but I do stilll enjoy a veggie meal & DH still refuses to touch it.
Over time I became less

maryhoffman37 Mon 09-Sep-19 12:27:14

I have been a vegetarian for 50 years and have been nearly 47 years married to an omnivore. We have always made it work.