Last year about this time, I fretted about the vegan child coming for three weeks. Now we don’t have any vegan children. One child has become vegetarian and we have an adult child coming home for Christmas who has been vegetarian for years and years. The vegan has quit being vegan. This is good, because she has moved home for a bit.
On the other hand, since moving to Illinois, we have fallen out of eating vegetarian in general. This bugs the girl child still at home that became vegetarian. It makes my carnivore child and mother happy.
I am facing making some changes to every day dinners–not only temporarily since boy child plus girl child plus three “Yay! Vegetarian” family members outweighs vocal carnivore child and mother.
So, I’ve been tracking what goes over well with the whole family and part of the family. I’ve also been thinking about ways to adapt favorites into vegetarian meals that won’t cause much fuss from the meat eaters.
I also need to stick to a budget and what can be feasibly obtained this time of year in Illinois. This rules out a lot of fresh vegetables. The quality is middling, the price is high or both.
The other thing that sort of surprised me was looking at what the family actually enjoys and eats. Pizza, pasta, salads, tacos, burritos and chili were all popular at one time. Now the round of approval for those has fallen (sometimes into “Why did I make this?”) Hmm–all well and good to make a healthy dinner, but not if no one eats. On the other hand, changing tastes have meant recipes I wouldn’t try in the past now shine.
Sorting all of that out is the challenge I face this month. Healthy meals. Frugal meals. Meals that keep us from being short-order cooks and keep ravenous teens from raiding the kitchen after hours mean happier family and happier mom.
Step 1 was identifying those things
Step 2 is working in some new recipes and having the taste kitchen
Step 3 is refining.
In the meantime: Baked potato bar with Chili went over well (chili cheese baked potatoes–mutations for the non-chili eater and the various toppings for everyone.
A cumin crusted tofu with corn/avocado/tomato salsa–very popular with 2 adults, one adult not happy with the corn tortillas, one adult not happy with the tofu–but she ate it anyway. Of course, avocados tripled in price before I could make it again for the younger set of kitchen lab rats.