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Meat Optional Menus?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
We have vegetarians and carnivores in our house. A couple times a week I make meat dishes for appease my husband, but we end up[ fishing out the meat (or making a veggie version) for my vegetarian dd. Does anyone have good recipes done in a "bar" style where each person coudl add or not ad dmeat and it woudl still be a filling, healthy dish?
post #2 of 19
We like to do a taco bar with meat and crumbled soy. I usually have preseasoned taco meat in the freezer and the soy too. I just make half as much of each. It is a good fast meal you can do last minute.
post #3 of 19
The taco bar is a great idea.

Pasta dishes where the sauce is split in half or with meatballs on the side work, too.

Another thing is just to think of meat as a side dish.

Hamburgers for him, veggie burgers (we prefer Amy's Texas burgers here) for everyone else.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Those are good suggestions.
Problem is- my daughter doesn't like those things. She's a picky eater.
post #5 of 19
What kinds of things does your dd like to eat? Maybe, we can come up with some good ideas using the things she likes in new ways.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
crappy fried foods, anything with no nutritional value, and sugar LOL She doesn't like too many meat substitutes, so I was thinking of meals that would be "complete" without the meat. She does really like falafel, but eats only the falafel and not the pita/lettuce/tomato sandwich.
post #7 of 19
Does she eat cheeses and will she eat veggies that are grilled or cooked up, but not fried? Does she like stir fries? Salads? Pasta?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
she can't have cheese except on occasion because of a sensitivity to it. She will eat some vegetables- broccoli, corn, carrots
she likes pasta, but not sauce- and not with anything else in it
not a fan of salads
stir fries are so so
post #9 of 19
What about polenta?
post #10 of 19
We have the same planning challenge at my house. Taco bar is a favorite, too bad that doesn't work for you. Another boring but functional idea is pizza, we make two, one veggie, one meat. Chef salad works well too, but sounds like your dd won't go for that either. How about soups, stews, or chilis with any meat thrown in after a veggie portion is removed? Loses some of the flavor by not cooking the meat together with the rest of the ingredients, but works okay with some recipes, especially chili. Another "meal" for us is baked chicken, french fries and brocoli and the vegetarians have soy burgers or no chicken patties in leiu of the meat.
And, hello, khrisday! It's been ages since I ran into you here!
post #11 of 19
What about broccoli tacos, use the taco seasoning on the broc/veggies she likes and tomato and lettuce, meat on the side? Or Tuna Noodle Casserole without the Cheese? Just egg noodles and Cream of Mush soup with peas added in. Tortillas with black beans and lettuce and avocado with Grilled Tuna or Beef on the side? Could you sneak some soy meat into spaghetti sauce? Just trying to think of what we do at our house. I made Basmati Rice quite often. Is your daughter old enough to start 'cooking' Starting at age 3 or 4 my mom had us 'cooking' really at that age we picked out healthy meals with her help and then helped to cook it on our night. She could pick out pictures of what she wants to 'cook'.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey dalai mama! You have another baby! CONGRATS!!!


I made polenta once, and I really didn't like it- neither did anyone else.

pizza is an issue because of the cheese- we can't even find good vegan cheese around here unles I special order it from the co-op. My son has a problem with the smell of vegan cheese, so if I make it I have to listen to him complaining and possibly not eating because the smell bothers him that much.
I do a lot of soups (which the kids are not fond of either), and just fish out the meat for my dd She doesn't seem to mind, but I was hoping to figure out other ideas.
We do the same thing with you as the roast chicken- just fix an alternative. I do that probably 2 times a week. I love roasting a whole chicken because then I have leftovers for another meal or two.

Max's mama thanks for youre reply
I don't think that veggie tacos would fill us up, and ds would not eat them. Tuna noodle casserole is a no go because of the cream of mushroom soup.
soy meat in pasta sauce would seriously offend my husband lol We usually eat pasta with marinara type sauce, and sometimes I toss some veggies into it.
She helps cook most days, but it still doesn't mean she will eat it.

I think my biggest problems is that I am trying to accomodate a dairy sensitive vegetarian who doesn't like beans or vegetables, a sensory defensive strong smelling picky eater, and my husband who wants meat and potatos every day.

There's NOTHING that all of them will like!
post #13 of 19
There is a vegan taco mix at wholefoods market that could fool even the pickiest meat eater. My husband who manages a steak house loves it and his father the canivor does too. You really can't tell the difference. I picked up a really great vegetarian cook book that is really great, called the five ingredient vegetarian, or something like that. I have cooked almost everything out of it and only disliked one or two of them. They have a huge section on pizzas, wraps, and salads that can be modified for meet eaters. I also like to make baked potatoe soup. It is so easy it isn't funny! Just make mass potatoes and add water or milk till it is more like a soup. Then each person adds sour cream, bacon, chives, cheese to their own bowl. It is so good and it is very filling. Great for cold weather. And with all the different kinds of potatoes you can find now you can make it interesting. I like it with blue potatoes or yukon golds. I am so glad to find this chat it will be helpful when I am in a rut.
post #14 of 19
i was a "bad vegetarian" as a teenager. (didn't eat meat but wouldn't eat vegetables or beans). cutting processed foods with lots of sugar helped me to acquire a taste for foods that are healthy.
post #15 of 19
khrisday!
I don't make it round here much these days! Two hands always busy and my ds doesn't nap anymore! :LOL
How about a good chick pea curry over rice. Excepting the coconut milk, it's pretty cheap, and I throw in whatever leftover veggies we have or frozen if there are no leftovers to be had. It's a hit with everyone.
Here's the recipe (got it from another MCD mama on the pregnancy boards last summer):
approx 2 cans chick peas (or lentils)
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp corriander
1 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp chili pepper
sea salt (to taste)
1 can coconut milk
garlic (to taste)
ginger


yummy!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks dalai mama
I made a tuna curry (dd does eat fish) over rice not too long ago, but the chil'ins complained that it was too spicy. *sigh*
post #17 of 19
Kris, have you ever tried Natures Burger? It is a grain burger made by Fantastic Foods and you can buy it as a mix and you just mix it with hot water and let it sit a few minutes and then cook. I LOVE them. You can make a meat one for your dh and grain ones for everyone else.
My close friend whose has this same situation makes many meals where the meat is always cooked and served separately. For instance they make salad, baked potato and broccoli plus a steak for dh. Or the taco bar is a favorite for them too. They all eat theirs with beans and cheese and lettuce etc and dh adds meat.
I would cook soups without meat and towards the end separate it into two pots and add meat to only one of them.
You can buy won ton wrappers and put almost anything into them as a filling and fry or bake them. I make little pizza ones and also rice and meat ones. You can put shredded veggies in them. Anything at all really. My kids LOVE them.
Does she like Hummus? I can make that the center of a meal anytime. Meat can always be served on the side.
I make a lot of pasta and cook chicken on the side. We all eat meat in my home but I frequently wish to avoid the extra fat and calories.
I know I can come up with more if I put my mind to it. You should bring this up at park day as well. There are many vegetarians there and some who have "blended" families

Collette
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Collette,
I have tried Nature Burgers- nobody liked them (except me). We have yet to find a meat alternative that everyone likes. There are a couple things dd likes, but nobody else will eat them, and the ones that I like nobody else likes lol
I do much of what you described with your friend- cooking the meat separately as a sort of "side dish", it just gets to be a pain. I am trying to do more crock pot/freezer type meals so that I don't have to cook every single day.
The won ton wrappers sound good to me, but I doubt the picky dd would eat that- she doesn't like egg rolls or anything filled with veggies. I am making fried rice this week, I am going to make some of those to go with it and see.

Humus- HA! That's the dreaded BEANS according to my kids. They can smell beans from a mile away, and although they will eat them if absolutely forced, they hate them in any form. That's really my big hang up is that they hate beans and "fake meats". We're working on it, though.
post #19 of 19
I regularly make a meal planned around the veggies and grains, with a bit of meat as a side dish for me and my daughter. My husband isn't a big meat eater, and is extremely picky. So, I might make a big pan of roasted veggies and brown rice, then grill a steak for me and Talia.
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