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Cooking for two!

I recently moved in with my new husband- which is great. My problem is that he eats like a horse and easily gets bored- if I feed him the same thing two weeks in a row he rolls his eyes, and he's got fairly vanilla tastes.

Anyone have any recommendations for meal ideas? I've made several different kinds of pork tenderloin, flank steak, pasta, lasagna, sausages, and burgers. I don't need recipes so much as meal combinations...I appear to suck at putting together well rounded meals!

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  1. IMHO, for meal combinations (menu planning) for more well rounded meals, you''ll probably find better answers at the library than here. This board is mostly about suggestions regarding individual recipes

    That said, two things come through loud and clear from your message: You're trying hard to put things on the table that please your husband, and he's not. (Otherwise, why the post.)

    Reality check: Is he as unhappy with your cooking as you think he is? Is he aware of how frustrated you are trying?

    Nobody can argue about the need for well-balanced, nutritious, tasty meals. But most of the time that pursuit should enjoyable.

    No offense intended, but maybe what's going on is less about cooking and more about how you communicate with each other. Only you and your husband can answer that. and If you can work that out, the cooking issue will likely recede in importance.

    Enough said, and good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DPGood

      Good post, DPGood. Have him cook if he's such a whiner. I've dated picky eaters, before, but they knew better than to ask me to cook for them and then complain about it. It does NOT sound at all to me like you suck at putting together meals, Navan.

      Now, specific meal suggestions:

      -- baked (or nuked) potato + pan fried chicken / steak / pork chop + green veg (oven roasted or pan fried asparagus is a fave in my household)
      -- leftover baked potatoes convert into potato salad to be had with oven baked "fried' chicken (below)
      -- leftover baked potatoes also convert into twice baked potatoes, aloo gobi (if that's not too 'exotic'), roasted baked potatoes, potato / leek soup, potato / cheese gratin
      -- cider glazed pork chops + sauteed Swiss chard
      -- pita pizzas topped with sliced leftover meat + Greek salad
      -- oven baked "fried" chicken + rosemary roasted potatoes / corn on the cob + tomato and cucumber salad (or just fresh, vinegar / dilled cucumber... sort of like a quick pickle)
      -- roasted chicken + roasted potatoes + chopped salad (i.e. Turkish shepherd's salad)
      -- southwestern corn and bean salad + soft shelled corn tortilla tacos with shredded chicken left over from roasted chicken
      -- lettuce wraps filled with rice + ground chicken or pork, stirfried with veggies you have on hand (mine, tonight, included green, red and yellow peppers, baby corn, fish sauce, soy sauce, tomatoes, sriracha, onion, garlic, thai basil, lime juice)
      -- stew / chili + corn bread / rice / mashed potatoes
      -- leftover mashed potatoes convert into potato pancakes with sour cream and apple sauce, good as breakfast or a side with almost any protein
      -- shepherd's pie
      -- fajitas with beef strips, peppers, onion
      -- breakfast for dinner, i.e. cheese and veggie filled omelettes + homefries
      -- fritatas
      -- quiche
      -- savory strata
      -- pot pies made with phyllo dough or puff pastry
      -- leftover chicken shredded and mixed with bbq sauce served with a roll, sauteed veggies (i.e. summer squash, broccoli rabe, shredded brussels sprouts)
      -- savory crepes
      -- crockpot ribs / tougher, inexpensive meats + polenta + green veggie
      -- polenta can be allowed to set over night and then cut into squares and fried for the next meal.
      -- risotto as a bed for any protein; leftovers may be frozen and reheated or turned into arancini

      *** On the seventh day, rest, for you will have earned it. Have wine, cheese and fruit for dinner. Or even better, he should take you out to dinner. ***

      If there are leftovers that you can't / don't want to use, soon, freeze and bring back to life two weeks later.

      If he complains after all your efforts, he should eat toast for dinner. Or maybe he needs to learn what it's like to go hungry. =)

      Please, please keep us updated on how this goes for you. *hug!!!*

    2. Wow sounds like my husband and my husband does not like leftovers either (if there is any).
      Just work with the 3 main groups of a meal: meat (protein), starch (carbohydrate), and vegetable. Last week I made chicken parmesan which I know my husband likes but paired it with sauteed spinach/garlic which I haven't made for him before. No spaghetti b/c I wanted it to be a lower carb meal but you could add that in. My husband loved it. Now I also recently made a casserole that he did not like and ended up throwing most of it away.

      I guess the point is just keep trying. Mix up old recipes with new recipes. Ask your husband to be honest about your cooking and if he likes/dislikes something have him tell you specifically what it was to help you fine tune your recipes.

      Also, get your husband in the kitchen! I work alot and sometimes my husband has to cook dinner (he does not cook but he is learning). He enjoys it and I think it helps him realize putting meals together is not easy, Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: tenshi77

        agreed my Mom's old cookbooks are marked with pencil marks and notes about whether or not Dad liked the meal.

      2. My husband was never crazy about my spanish rice casseroles, but he loves them in a stuffed pepper, which combines protein, grain and veg. The red, yellow and orange peppers seem to hold up better than green. I also use the same basic rice to stuff zucchini and yellow squash. I put cubed cheese in the mix before I stuff and bake.

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          1. New Husband. You didn't know his food tastes and you married him?
            Go buy the Betty Crocker cookbook and work your way from cover to cover.

            Or tell him to eat what you put on the table or cook his own meals.