Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Quest for Healthy Cooking

As the "head chef" in our the house, I realized the immense power I have over both my, and my boyfriend's, eating habits.  When we first started dating, my boyfriend would visit me at my apartment during his lunch break, which was about 9:30 pm, and basically eat whatever I cooked.  A lot of these meals would be vegetarian or vegan since I was a vegetarian at the time (I have since started eating fish very occasionally).  Rarely did I get a complaint from him, and he tried everything from falafel on pita bread to General Tao's Tofu to "raw" enchiladas (recipe by Natalia Rose).


Now let me get this out there right now...I enjoy cooking. It's relaxing, fun and rewarding.  Cooking for my boyfriend is even more pleasurable because I like to show-off for him and he is always a gracious diner.  It's what I do for him because I want to, and I love it (except, as you will see, when I run out of ideas).

On rare occasions, I would make some kind of meat dish, maybe chicken or a pepperoni pizza (homemade or Trader Joe's organic) but for the most part, he ate healthy and meat-free.  Once I moved in with him, last March, my cooking habits changed.  I guess I felt like a guest or visitor and bowed to what I thought was the norm.  I bought and cooked steaks, boxed mac n' cheese, pre-made orange chicken...stuff I would have never thought to buy before.  But for some reason I felt I had no 'right' to pick what went into his refrigerator.  

Recently, I spoke with my BF about how I was running out of ideas for things to make him for dinner.  I felt that all the meals I was making were boring and not really appetizing.  I'd rotate chicken, rice and green beans with steak, mac n' cheese and salad, throwing in a spaghetti dinner once in a while.  Granted, the BF's idea of helping come up with meals was a note that simply said: meat, starch, veggie, so THAT was a big help! Later we talked about my dilemma...which was really his since I don't even eat the things I cook for him.  He reminded me of how I used to cook for him and that he had never complained about eating vegan or vegetarian.  Sweet!  

With his help I've slowly come to the realization that I can make whatever I want and he can eat it or not.  But I would be doing a diservice to him (and me) if I continued to make things that I knew I didn't want him to eat (at least not ALL the time, and no, I am not a control freak).  I could pretty much regulate how much meat, sodium, cholesterol, fat, sugar, etc. he consumed...and he wouldn't even complain!!

So I am on a quest to find my inner cook again and to use the knowledge I have gained over the years to cook healthier meals for him.  I've also been scouring some blogs, so don't be surprised to see some familiar recipes and references to some awesome bloggers out there.  Below are two resources I will be utilizing to make some healthy meals for my BF and me.  The recipes are pretty simple and delicious.  I also am going to be visiting the Peas and Thank You blog which has a plethora of recipes and Sarah, the writer, has even posted a meal plan for FREE on her blog.  Great stuff and definitely worth checking out! 


  1. I hear ya with having the power in the kitchen-although most of the time we are on sep schedules and he ends up eating god only knows what! One "Vegan" meal he actually loves is marinated portobello mushroom, artichoke, roasted red pepper with pesto on an ezekiel bun with sweet potato fries-it's a good semi-manly meal!

  2. I completely understand the separate schedules thing. We have Thur-Sat off together and the BF works nights so he either eats crap or nothing when I'm not home...more often then not, it's nothing. Luckily, he comes home for his lunch break every night but it's so late so I don't eat WITH him, but we sit together. I can only hope that one decent meal a day will help balance out whatever he is doing the rest of the time.

    I haven't made any mushroom based meals for him, yet. I love the portobellos even though they freak me out with their "just like steak" texture! I might be able to slide those past him!!

  3. I can relate to this post so much. My husband basically eats whatever I fix for him. He never, ever complains unless I fix something that is completely inedible (which I do more often than I'm willing to admit, being an experimental cook). Once I asked him why he never asks for anything specific and he said, 'well, I figured that since I'm not the one cooking I really shouldn't have much say in that department. You're cooking on your time so you should fix what you want.' Enough said. He's now into things he'd never before tried like spaghetti squash and artichokes. I am always on the lookout for more ideas as well because I am also a lazy cook. I tend to do the same tried and true things that even I get bored with!


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