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Household food battles: Foods you love but your loved ones hate (and what to do about it!)

I've been wanting to add more diversity to my cooking when it comes to cooking for my boyfriend. However, there are certain foods I know he is just not ever going to like. For instance, I would love to cook more Asian flavors BUT...he just doesn't like Ginger.

Also on the list are Onions and Cucumbers.

What foods become battlegrounds in your household and how do you work around them/ sneak them into the rotation?

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  1. My food battle still isnt figured out. I love Pate, she cant stand it. I love ham, and she wont go near it. I guess I will just have to eat my own food sometimes, and cook her something different.

    1. Are you the one cooking? Or do you share that task?

      10 Replies
      1. re: wattacetti

        I'm the one cooking. The only times he's "cooked" for me that I can remember have been on days I'm sick or work has been too long. And then cooking is defined by scrambled eggs or heating up a can of soup. I love it, so i'm happy with the arrangement for the most part (unless he slacks on dishes :))

        A lot of these foods aren't a huge issue, but looking towards the cold fall/winter nights ahead, I wish i could spice up a chicken soup, etc.

        1. re: julseydesign

          Really easy, make the basic soup and then add the spices to your portion. I do that all the time for soups. And a side cucumber/onion salad when you crave it?
          After 17 years, I've learned how to be pretty creative with the least amount of extra work.

          1. re: julseydesign

            I asked who's cooking because if it's shared, then you can make things you like on the days you cook and vice versa. If it isn't then he really doesn't have a lot to complain about, does he?

            Anyway, Asian flavoring isn't just ginger, which is also found in Western cuisine. You can use a lot of the other aromatics alongside (e.g. cinnamon, star anise, clove, kaffir leaf) to mute the ginger or make an experiment with galangal, which is ginger-like but isn't ginger.

            Is there any asian cuisine that he does like?

            I do know someone who says he hates onions, but he only complains if he sees the onion. I've slipped onion into a lot of food I've served and there have never been any complaints. Caramelization does wonders, as does grating and juicing.

            Cucumbers… ever tried cooking them? Or mixing them with complementary flavors (e.g. melon) or contrasting flavors (e.g. jamón)? Does he eat pickles?

            1. re: wattacetti

              He loves pickled/vinegary things, but is specific about the pickles that he likes. He doesnt refuse to eat cucumbers, but hes doesnt much like them unless they are covered in salt and vinegar. I've never tried cooking them, though. Do you have any recommended recipes?

              He has eaten a lot of asian food and simply doesnt like any of those flavors or combinations. He would never order thai food with me, for instance.

              He will eat sushi by the bushel. and Lo Mein.

              I can most definitely cook with onion as a flavoring in things like sauces and likes them caramelized. Thats not an issue, its only if i wanted to use caramelized onions as an actual ingredient. (I also hate raw onion so we agree on that one!)

              1. re: julseydesign

                Just seed the cukes, slice and butter poach, awesome!

              2. re: wattacetti

                <<I do know someone who says he hates onions, but he only complains if he sees the onion. I've slipped onion into a lot of food I've served and there have never been any complaints. Caramelization does wonders, as does grating and juicing.>>

                When I was a kid, I used to say I hated onions. But my father discovered that what I actually don't like are *raw* onions. I don't like the taste and I especially don't like the texture. But when they are cooked so that there's absolutely no crunch, what's not to like about onions?

                1. re: Jay F

                  My father also claims to hate onions. He lived on a kibbutz in Israel in the '70's and worked the onion harvest, burned his clothes when he left the kibbutz, so I've gotten very good at hiding the onions. He loves the flavor, but if he can see them (except for in French Onion soup), he won't eat it.

                  1. re: Jay F

                    I used to say I hated onions before I learned that if you just sweated them in oil or butter first, they were fine. Caramelized onions are over the top delicious. But I hate them raw and crunchy, and please don't just boil chopped onions in a soup without sweating them first. Huge difference in flavor!

                    1. re: Isolda

                      I do know someone who says he hates onions, but he only complains if he sees the onion. I've slipped onion into a lot of food I've served and there have never been any complaints. Caramelization does wonders, as does grating and juicing.

                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      I was a former onion hater who grew out of it in her late 20s. For me, it wasn't the taste, it was the texture of onions, both raw and cooked.

                    2. re: Jay F

                      Yeah, seen that with a LOT of people. SIL and I had both tried to cater to elderly in-laws. SIL went so far as to make two casseroles, one with onions and one without, Great-grandma gobbled the cooked onion casserole down and when questioned by SIL said she could eat "a little onion". At another family gathering with the old folks, I made pasta with thre usual red sauce and meatballs, and although I made enough for 30 people, I ran out. Great Grandma ate seconds and asked for thirds. Unfotunately we were out of spaghetti. I would't have thought that a woman in her late 80s could chow down like that.

              3. I wont eat cheese, fish or eggs. And most vegetables. Of course my wife loves Cheese fish and eggs. And vegetables. Fortunately I travel alot........
                When I am home, we tend to cook on the grill alot; it solves the making two dishes issue without extra cleaning required.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I am a big fan of the KISS method. And in this situation it works for us. He knows that if he wants something that I refuse to buy (cheez wiz, triscuits, wheat thins) to buy it himself. It helps that he walks past 2 grocery stores everyday. He isn't a picky eater and we tend to share the same dislikes (canned tuna), so I don't really serve him stuff that he won't eat (except for hard boiled eggs and celery).

                    2. It might help you to figure out what exactly about those foods he doesn't like. My fiance kept saying he didn't like kalamata olives, so I left them out of dinner or added separately to just my portion at the end. One day I brought home kalamata olive bread and he loved it, said it tasted completely different than the kalamata olives he had before. When he described the ones he had, they were definitely just rotten olives. This could potentially be the case for cucumbers (rubbery ones). Also, if he doesn't like ginger because he finds it too strong, you could try using powdered ginger.

                      Generally, we each just compromise and eat things we don't like from time to time. Also, if something he doesn't like can be left on the side or replaced with something similar (would he eat leeks?), I do that.