So many members of this community find the task of projecting their views on food and eating habits hard with their other half. When you love someone and know that a way of eating may be better for them and the planet, it’s hard not to want to shout about it, but is being pushy going to help anyone?
I know my boyfriend Riley doesn’t read my blog posts, so I can confidently divulge his eating habits without consequence.. or so I’m hoping.
When I first met Riley he was not a fan of cooking. His weekly shop essentials were frozen chicken, pasta, cheese and cereal. I don’t judge him for that, when you have a busy schedule, and have way funner things to think about than your food choices, a beige meal may be exactly what you want. I’m more of a fan of green, but that’s just me.
Instead of convincing Riley that cooking and eating vegetable based meals could be fun and delicious, and make you feel a million times better than meat eating on the regular, I showed him. In this blog post I’m sharing 4 ways to show not tell your partner, friend or family member that good food, is amazing.
We are all creatures of habit, we stick to what we know we love. The best way to get someone cooking new ingredients and enjoying them is developing their signature repertoire. Take the pasta dish Riley made daily then sauté some broccoli and basil, spinach, add garlic, sundried tomatoes and chilli. Start with the small additions, and keep on switching those up. If you don’t live with the person, just suggest one new ingredient each time you see them cook, send them a recipe or bring the spinach over yourself!
BETTER THAN MEAT
It’s surprising how many foods can act as a decent meat replacement and hold just as much flavour as its meaty alternative. You can make some of my sweet potato & black bean burgers that might not taste meaty, but they hold their own as the centre of your meal. There are also some delicious store bought alternatives, beyond meat being a staple in my home. Beyond burgers and sausages give you that meaty fix you or your partner craves, and is made from pea protein, tasting and chewing exactly like the real thing.
Take tofu and when cooked in a certain way (my Sesame tofu is out of this world delicious) it can act easily as a meat substitute, served with buckwheat pasta, as part of a hot pot style meal, or simply seasoned with some local veggies.
Once you begin to experiment with ingredients like these, the possibilities you can create become a lot more apparent, and you can really begin to have fun with your tasty meat free meals.
TAKE IT ONE STEP FURTHER
Eating less dairy products is another great step to eating ethically. If someone isn’t sure about oat/almond milk, try using it when you make oatmeal, a smoothie or tea/coffee. The flavour is combined with others, so it’s not quite as shocking for a full-on milk king or queen. There are so many delicious dairy free chocolates and ice cream substitutes as well as butter and cheese.
Here are some of my favourites:
Chocolate: Ombar UK, Hu Kitchen USA
Icecream: Van Leeuwens USA, Booja Booja UK, Halo Top USA
Butter: Earthbalance USA, Pure UK
Cheese: Violife UK/USA
Cooking like anything is all about building a habit, if you do it daily you will continue to enjoy it more. Cook together and make it into and enjoyable time. Instead of stressing about following a recipe, make it flexible, creative and fun. Listen to great music and use it as a time to catch up, de-stress and unwind. Frame it like this and cooking becomes a lot less of a hassle, and actually something to look forward to. The more into the process you become, the more your partner will want to try different meals and ingredients, and maybe just maybe you’ll get breakfast in bed.