Monday, January 17, 2011

Mister likes it simple

My poor husband.  Every weekend, I sit around dreaming up some crazy new menu with as much culinary variety as I can muster, making an earnest effort to cook every recipe in my cookbooks that does not contain an ingredient Mister or I won't/can't eat (except my occasional sneakiness).  I make a list of exotic sounding dinners, both because I think they sound fun and because I am pretty sure no one wants to read about the Chinese take-out we ordered the other night.  Then, after all the plotting, planning, listing, and shopping, it comes time to cook these delights.  I always have trouble picking the first recipe of the week, so I usually solicit Mister's assistance.  Here is a rough transcript of our pre-dinner conversation:

Me: what looks good?
Him: uummmmm......
Me: anything jump out at you?
Him: uhhhhh.... one of these, because I don't know what Caulipots are and I don't want to eat Bulgur Kale Stew.

So, I made what I was leaning toward even before this interaction: Farfalle with White Beans and Cabbage, from Vegan on the Cheap.

It was very tasty in a subtle, slightly sweet way.  Green cabbage is really growing on me (not literally) and I replaced the onion the recipe called for with about 5-6 cloves of garlic, pressed.  In place of the liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper, I shook a generous amount of Mediterranean Sea Salt over it and I think that probably added a little extra something.

But...Mister's "outburst" got me thinking.  It's a little bizarre to feel badly for a man who never has leftovers for dinner and only has about a dozen repeat dinners in a year due to his crazy wife's penchant for culinary exploration, but stick with me.  I've mentioned before that Mister would probably be happy if 50% of our dinners were Italian-influenced; I'm starting to think Mister would be happy if every once in a while, I shelved the cookbooks and just made dinner.  Normal people dinner, like spaghetti with marinara or burgers and fries, or stuff like that.  I actually can't think of any others because I've gotten so good at wanting to "gourmetize" everything we eat that I don't really know what other people eat for dinner.  Maybe it's because we really don't know any other veg-folks, so I have no archetype for a "typical," June Cleaver-esque vegan meal.

Mister eats a lot of weird stuff he probably wouldn't choose from a menu at a restaurant.  To thank him for bearing with me through my wing-stretching and recipe-testing, I'm going to make an effort to have at least one "normal" recipe on each menu.  If I can actually think of more than one (right now, all I've got in my brain is pasta with sauce), maybe I'll do a "theme week" and just make simple, Mister-approved meals. 

No.  Probably not, but it was a nice thought.


  1. I think we're married to the same man (or brothers)! I finally decided to make Ryan his favorite meal, breakfast for dinner, about every other week--he says tofu scrambles are better than the special omlets I used to make him when we were first married. I sometimes make the Pain Perdu from the Urban Vegan cookbook as a treat.

  2. so funny! I'm glad I'm not alone, though! I think if I could just integrate more curries and pasta (like Italian, not wacky soba or udon stirfries) he'll be happy. I just need to remember that I'm not actually a chef at Horizons and I don't actually have a cooking show :) yet.