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I am Vegetarian cooking for non-veg boyfriend... I want to impress!

I am 30 yr old who has been a vegetarian (no to eggs, yes to other dairy) for 20 yrs, so I have never cooked any meat dish. My bf is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, loves good cheese, and not a picky eater. I am making him dinner in a couple of days and I want some ideas. Either something vegetarian and hearty or meat that is easy to make and requires no tasting during the process. (maybe rib eye?? or some cheesy dish? )

He will eat fake meat (he loves seitan buffalo wings at a local restaurant) but in general his food background is pretty straight forward midwestern (he has never heard of gazpacho, for example.)

Any ideas? Just to re-state, I will not taste any meat product but I am open to cooking easy meat dishes. (if my OCD self is willing to handle meat it must be true love :) )

Thanks!

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  1. My husband is an omni. His favorite veg dishes are veg lasagna (I use a tomato sauce, not the bechemel that is common with veg lasagnas), risottos, soups and stews.

    1. Men LOVE meat loaf. There are plenty of good recipes on this board. Make a rich mac&cheese as a side. It's a traditional accompaniment to meat loaf and will be a good entree for you. Send the leftover meat loaf home with him for sandwiches. You can bake both in the oven at the same time. or if it's too hot and you want stovetop, shape the meatloaf mixture into inch-thick patties and saute over low-ish medium heat for 10 minutes per side.

      5 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        You could even scale a recipe down to 4oz-8oz of meat and make a cute mini meat loaf! A couple vegetable sides (mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, roasted asparagus with shaved pecorino, or whatever you please) and you're sure to knock his socks off.

        1. re: operagirl

          I was just looking at ths meatloaf recipe, http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/am...

          do you think I could cut it in half, no problem?

          1. re: rizzah

            Yes, you could halve it. But it looks low on onion - I would not halve that part, Unless you have a special meat loaf pan with an insert that allows the fat and juices to drain away from the meat, it is preferable to shape the meat and bake on a flat pan or grilling pan, to get it nice and crusty all around. Mini-loaves and muffin tins are cute but the sides aren't as nice.

            You can go a lot simpler. Recipes using dry onion soup mix are really quite tasty. You can use varying amounts of vegetable, anything from just onion to also carrot, bell pepper, cabbage, celery.....

            1. re: greygarious

              by the way, gryegarious, I kept the onion portion more than half and I cooked it in a large stainless steel skillet, with the meat kept a few inches away from the sides of the pan. seemed to work well.

          2. re: operagirl

            Mini meat loaf is a great idea. I make them all the time for DH and I since we have an empty nest.

        2. rizzah,

          Yes, I suppose a steak like rib eye is not a bad choice because you can gauge the meat by touch and look without tasting it. Another choice is to just add bacon into his dish. You cook the same thing for him as for you, but add bacon to his dishes. You cooked a eggplant dish. Well, his will be bacon bits eggplant. You made salad. Well, his will be bacon bits salad. I don't it is impressive in a fancy way, but most guys love bacon, so he will like it. In addition, bacon is very forgiving. You cannot really mess it up. It tastes fine when it is soft. It tastes fine when it is crispy.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Another vote for the loaf--you can never go wrong with it.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              that would be pretty funny, if I just added bacon to whatever it is I made. I might do it...

              1. re: rizzah

                You could also add bacon to the meatloaf ;) I shape mine kind of like an egg (well, like a flat-bottomed Easter egg candy) on a jelly roll pan and cover it in bacon. After awhile, baste with sauce made of chili sauce/dry mustard/brown sugar. Yum.

                Steak seems risky to me as well. Yes, you can judge doneness without tasting ... but not, perhaps, if you've never cooked steak before.

                1. re: rizzah

                  rizzah,

                  I kinda of agree with foiegars, so I like to modify my original support for steak. It is a good choice and you don't need to taste to judge doneness, but it is difficult for someone who has never ever eaten or cooked a steak. It can be unforgiving. You know how certain food are very forgiving, like stews, bacons, cookies, turnip green, ... Well, a steak is not one of them. It can be easier undercooked or overcooked.

                  Meatload is still great.

                  1. re: rizzah

                    I'm an omnivore that cooks a lot from vegetarian cookbooks. I find that so many of the recipes are a better to my taste with a little bacon added!

                2. I think a really great eggplant parmasan would be awesome with a great salad, nice dessert. Do a nice antipasto appetizer platter and include some typical italian meats, cheeses, olives, etc.

                  1. I have a few options for you.

                    As GG said, a nice meatloaf with mac and cheese is a great idea.

                    A veg lasagna and make a couple of Italian sausges for him to go with.

                    A Greek salad with a souvlaki on the side for him. (Since it seems like you're okay to grill)

                    My whole point would be that you make a dish that the two of you could share and just augment his with some meat of some sort.

                    And just before he comes over, fry up some bacon, let the grease cool and then rub it all over yourself. He won't be able to resist you ;-)

                    DT