How to be a vegetarian

I know the vegetarian meal posts have been a little sparse lately, but I swear, I have a good excuse:

I’m super tired of taking pictures of my food.

I mean seriously, there are only so many ways to style a shot of an assortment of vegetables and grains!

However, as you guys know, being a meatless family* is incredibly important to me. My husband recently made the transition to meatfree and I’ve been doing tiny celebration dances in the kitchen ever since.  Speaking of husbands, the #1 comment I receive on every meatless recipe I share is, “I would love to make this… but my husband would never go for it.”

Somewhere along the line, especially here in the south, I think not eating meat has become synonymous with “weak” or “effeminate”. Not that there is anything wrong with having a tendency toward womanliness – we women are awesome! Everyone should be like us 😉 But there is certainly nothing weak about finding sources of nutrition outside of what’s considered “normal”.

You think not eating meat is weak? Tell that to these guys.

Anyway, in honor of my better half’s decision to cut out the meat, I decided to compile a list of a few helpful suggestions for meatless husband feeding. My husband was a happy, meat free camper within the walls of our home for 5 years before he became a vegetarian, and yours can be too!

Don’t tell him it’s something it isn’t

This doesn’t work on your kids and its certainly not going to work on a full grown adult. If you tell your husband you are having burgers for dinner and serve him a veggie burger – you and I both know that’s just not going to fly. Vegetarian alternatives need to be presented as their own “thing”. A veggie burger tastes like a veggie burger – not like a hamburger. But that’s okay! They can be appreciated as their own thing!

And there are TONS of variations available ready-to-eat from the freezer or refrigerated section of all grocery stores. Can’t find one that suits him? Homemade patties are even better. 

Serve huge helpings

I often hear gentlemen complain that they just can’t stay full from a meal without meat. Makes total sense to me. If you’re served two of the same sized portion, one of broccoli and one of beef, the latter is certainly going to be more calorie-dense. A great way to help keep your man feeling satisfied (in the food department. You guys are on your own elsewhere…) is to cook with whole grains (like brown rice, barley, quinoa, and farro), beans and nuts. These are all protein-packed and great for beefing up a meal. A family favorite of ours is this Meatless Chili recipe, full of beans, brown rice and sweet potatoes (you can even add a little fake meat, if that tickles your fancy!)

Another awesome thing about being meat-free is you can eat huge helpings and feel great about it! This recipe for Buddha Bowls allows you to basically eat your face off, without eating something with a face.

Learn to make amazing sauces

If the flavor is solid, nobody is going to care that they if are eating pressed soy curds or a cut of beef. Good flavor is good flavor.

One of my husband’s favorite meals is this recipe for pasta with pesto. The sauce is full of almonds, which makes it hearty and satisfying and totally masks the fact that there isn’t a whiff of meat anywhere in the recipe.

The pour-over sauce for these meatless enchiladas, is so tasty (and requires only two ingredients!), I’ve caught my husband licking the pan after dinner.

If they like the taste, they will learn to get used to the new textures that meat free eating requires. It may take a little while, but eventually they will actually enjoy biting into tempeh!

Let him cook it

We all know that men have an innate desire to grill. There is something in their DNA that drives their need to know how to cook the perfect burger or steak tip – so go ahead and feed that need, by giving them a new challenge: Can he cook the perfect marinaded tempeh? Veggie kabob? Mushroom cap?

Long before my husband turned the corner to eating meat free, he was grilling up my meatless concoctions and finding joy in not ruining them each time. So much joy, in fact, that he would need to sample his efforts from time to time.

Like I said, baby steps.

Do you have a meat free recipe that your husband enjoys? Share the link to it below! We’re always looking for new ideas and recipes to share!

*I’ve mentioned this before, but I always want to be sure that I share that our children are free to eat whatever they choose. We don’t have meat in the house (besides the occasional fish), but restaurants/friend’s houses are fair game. 

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