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Vegetarian meals that a meat eater will like?

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Hey guys,

I am on a health kick, and let's just say that my husband ISN'T. He is an American that has moved here to Australia, and he has adopted the typical aussie tradie lifestyle. He buys kebabs, meat pies, sausage rolls, Mcdonald's or Hungry Jacks (Burger King) for lunch, and then will have something like pizza for dinner! On the weekend he drinks too much alcohol, too.

I am not willing to cook healthy meat dishes for him, so what are some things I can cook that a meat eater will like? I need them to be relatively low calorie, because he packs in the calories whenever he gets a chance. The only veg meal that he likes is something that is packed with like 1000 calories of cheese... help!!! Any ideas??

I'd also like some healthy lunch ideas that I can pack for him too! Thank you..

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grilled cheese and tomato soup,

peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,

pita stuffed with hummus and grilled or raw vegetables, 

open faced tomato sandwich with a slice of mozarella cheese and some basil toasted in a broiler and served with grilled veggies sauteed in a bit of olive oil with fresh herbs,

or ww pasta with black beans, kidney beans, broccoli, and peas tossed in with a light marinara sauce and a bit of parmesan cheese on top

hmmm...try not to substitute the meat because many meat eaters will be dissatisfied, but just make alternative dishes...using beans, and lentils, tofu, and other veggie friendly products but don't go making him a veggie hot dog, not smart. in my own opinion.

also you could make rice, and stir fry some veggies in teriyaki sauce and serve them on top with soy beans mixed in for protein!! yummy!!

hope this helps!!

You're vegitatian right, not vegan?  If you're vegan ignore most of my responses.  If you eat seafood then there are about a million more options.

stir fry - you can put whatever you want into a stir fry and make it tast good.

bean burritos

almost any pasta dish

mac & cheese (there are healthier versions)

soups (lentil soup, 16 bean soup, vegetable soups, french onion soup, brocolli and cheese, just plain broccoli, split pea, corn chowder, etc - there are so many)

portoballa burgers or portabella sandwiches

stuffed mushrooms (if homemade these can be healthy, store bought usually aren't)

not an entree but sewwt potato fries are good

breakfast for dinner: buckwheat pancakes, blueberry pancakes, etc)

sushi (with or without seafood)

veggie lasagna

spinach puff (also more of a side dish)


black bean burgers

veggie burgers (if the boca burgers are too much for him, get or make the real veggie burgers - no say or tofu or meat subsitute isised, just veggies)

salmon burgers

fish tacos

vegetarian chili

pasta salad and potato salad (again sides, but could be a meal if paired with something like salad)






This is a tough one, but I'm in a similar situation. My husband eats very healthy, but he is a meat and wheat eater and I am not. Here are a couple of suggestions and ideas that may help you to meet in the middle ...

First off ... Google vegetarian recipes, there are millions

How about soups and stews with hearty veggies. I made an Italian one last night that was good:


red onion, carrots, celery, garlic, (vegetarian bacon strips) - saute until onion is translucent then add two cans of white beans (such as Navy), a big can of peeled whole tomatos, chicken stock, cabbage and kale. I thickened with gluten free bread cut in cubes ... you could use whole grain bread to do this. Just cube it and add to the stew. Then add fresh basil. (as much as you think it needs)

Simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir a few times to break up the bread crumbs.

A very hearty and filling soup. Can also add different veggies if you want.

Other ideas:

quesadillas on the grill filled with all sorts of things. I like baby spinach leaves and feta cheese, but could saute onions and peppers and add cheese.

Anything with potatoes as the base!! Potatoe soup, Potatoe taquitos, baked potatoes with all the toppings. (Sometimes I make mexican potatoes by adding mexican flavors like sour cream mixed with  taco seasoning, salsa, cheese and olives. Other times I make Italian ones with marinara sauce and mozz cheese and still other times I'll make a blue cheese potatoe with hot sauce and blue cheese dressing topped with cheese. Sooooo good. And you can do just about anything with a potatoe and it will still taste good.

Vegetarian pizza (can add potatoes to this too.)

Hope this helps. And remember, Google for recipes. It will be the best way to find what both you and your husband like.

Good luck!


If he loves "pies" try this mushroom pie: m-galette-recipe-r235153

Vegetarian chili - there's tons of recipes!

Minestrone soup


how about eggplant parmesan? Its not traditionally super healthy (breaded & fried...), but you can doctor it up a little to make it much healthier.

(I'm a vegetarian too, ordered this at a restaurant the other night, and couldn't even eat it because it was seasoned and sliced soo thin that I kept thinking "roast beef" and got a little freaked out. ick!!)

Are you opposed to cooking meat because you're vegan?  If so, this will be a tough situation.  I would suggest you gradually try to make meat portions smaller and increase fruits and vegetables.  An overnight change is likely to be rejected.

Whole Foods has a Vegan Chicken Salad which is awesome.  They also sell the "Mock Chicken Filets" they use to make the Mock Salad.  These (IMHO) taste just like chicken and are a little juicier.

Textured veg protien (TVP) can be cooked similar to cooked/crumbled ground beef (can't make a burger).  I buy it from the bulk section of WF.

TVP Lettuce Wraps
1 cup TVP rehydrated in 1 cup hot water, then drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1-3 serano (or other hot) pepper chopped
1/2 red onion, slice thin (half rings)
1 bunch of red leaf or romaine lettuce leaves

1/4 c Soy Sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1-2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 Tblsp Peanut Oil (do not use olive oil, the flavor is too strong )

Wisk or shake together all ingredients of dressing.
Mix together other ingredients (except lettuce), then add dressing
Chill 1-2 hours
Serve lettuce with salad on the side, scoop, roll, and enjoy.

gpat, that sounds great! Thanks!

May I play devil's advocate and ask why you are "not willing" to make healthy meat dishes for your husband?  Would it be that horrible, too time consuming, too annoying to do that?

I guess I can come to the same conclusion as everyone else and guess you're not eating meat right now (and perhaps never again).  But would it honestly be too much for you to make him a healthy meal with meat so that he can refridgerate/freeze the left-overs and reheat them during the week?  Or would he just blow through it (is that why you're not willing)?

My best friend is vegetarian, and all us meat-eaters love to go to her house for dinner.

Fake meats can a long way, especially in pastas/spaghetti.

Eggplant parmesan... mmmmm....

vegetable curry

any meal with beans as the protein.

In addition to everyone's great suggestions, I'd also suggest picking up a vegetarian cookbook.  My favorite is the Moosewood cookbook by Molly Katzen.  There are amazing soup recipes, casseroles, ethnic entrees...things like ricotta/zuchini pancakes, all really interesting and tasty stuff.

Helloelloello- I went to WF yesterday.  The product I was mentioning is Delight Soy Nuggets and patties. ; These are VERY good tasting and I cannot tell the difference between it and chicken.  It got the flavor, texture, everything.  You can eat them right out the package.  These also work well with the recipe I posted above..  just chop them coursely in the food processor.

11 Replies