The meat eaters I've cooked for have typically liked what I make, even though it doesn't have meat or dairy. I cook a lot of ethnic foods with fresh produce, herbs, and spices. This may not be practical for you.
Fake meat is probably the way to go.
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You can slice up, marinate, and bake a package or two of tofu and/or tempeh once a week. If you have a toaster oven you don't even have to heat up the house. Then when your family is BBQing you can just throw a piece or two on the grill to warm up and get a little smoky. If they are making tacos you can chop a piece or two up, sprinkle with taco seasoning, and warm through, etc. It makes weeknight dinners super easy. The packaged products are helpful, but I try not to eat them all the time because they are so processed. If you like seitan you can make a batch or two of homemade (lots of flavor options when you make it yourself!) and stash it in the freezer. They thaw out super easy and you can use it all sorts of ways. On the occasions that I'm not the one cooking my family usually makes sure that all the "sides" are vegetarian and then I add my own "main" dish to match whatever they are having.
One of my favorits is Morningstar Chik patty in a tortilla with whatever condiments you like. Remember though that many of these products are filled with hydrolyzed 'stuff' and things I can't pronounce. Try eatingwell.com - they have a lot of good vegetarian recipes too. I live with 4 meat eaters so I have the same problems.
Love shines bright in the life you live, in the smiles you start, in the joy you bring, in the good you do...
I keep veggie steak strips and tortillas in my house at all times. When I want something quick, I heat up the veggie steak strips then throw them on a couple tortillas with lots of veggies and salsa. Or I just make a HUGE salad and throw the steak strips on that. Lately my hubby has been whining that he wants my dinner instead of his.
It isn't easy, but I also keep easy to make Boca and similar products in the freezer. My DH does our weekday food shopping, and I am having trouble because he keeps buying me Boca chicken burgers that have egg white in them (I now have 3 boxes in the freezer!) when I ask for Gardenburger Chick'N Grill that are vegan. I'm vegan and don't want any animal derivatives in my food. I even cut up the box and stapled part of it to my list and he still brought home the Boca, saying they don't carry the other. However, I see how lucky I am that he tries to help me, because he eats chicken, turkey and fish still, and he feels my way of eating is a real inconvenience to him. I keep telling him it's non-negotiable, that I'm doing this because it's right for me ethically, environmentally, and for my health. It does make dinner prep complicated. Hang in! People are giving you great ideas.
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Whenever I am at home with either my parents or my in-laws, I make sure there are Boca/Morningstar/etc products in the freezer. That way, if they are having meat, I can easily pop a veggie burger in the microwave (good substitution for steak, pork chops, etc.), or a fake chicken patty, or a fake italian sausage... etc. I also found that my mom and mother-in-law both like to use the Boca crumbles and make me a separate stuffed pepper or something. Then you can eat with them, they feel like they are helping you out and its awesome to realize all the choices you suddenly have. Hope this helps!
- Liz G.
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I am a college student, home for the summer...both of my parents eat meat, but try to be supportive of my vegetarian life style, although they have trouble with the concept of not having a 'meat and potatoes' meal. When I'm at school I live with all meat eaters and I have the same problem! I could use some suggestions for 'main dish' type things....so when they make for example pork chops I have something easy to make for myself. Any suggestions would be appreciated. It gets so frustrating at times!
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