Our daughter Kayla is a vegetarian. When she first told us, Hubby and I were shocked. For goodness sakes, we lived on a farm. As part of Hubby’s job he raised cattle for meat. Growing up, Kayla’s highschool job was milking cows for a neighbor. We treat the cattle well…our neighbors treated their cattle well. We just didn’t “get it”. Admittedly, we were both a little “old school”.
For me, I went into a panic. How was I going to feed her? We are a meat and potatoes family. How was I going to make something for her but still make things for the other kids? I was flustered and worried how I could possibly be the mom that fixes the favorites and have vegetarian options too.
Time (a few years) have passed. I’ve calmed down. I’ve talked to Kayla and taken time to think it all through. Kayla is really good about not being too picky when she’s here which helps too. She tries to stay true to herself without making me feel bad if I don’t “make it completely right”.
Nowadays, I make chili with no meat…then have a bowl of meat on the side. People just add meat who want meat when they scoop up their chili. I do the same with spaghetti. I do the same with fajitas. If make brats or hamburger we buy a vegetarian option for Kayla. It’s all gotten to be so much less of a worry. The longer we do it, the easier it gets.
I don’t object to her food choices at all…I just didn’t know how to “be a good cook” for a vegetarian and as a mom cooking is one of the ways I love my kids. It’s what my son Buck calls “a whole thing”. If you’re a mom who purposely makes your kids’ favorite foods and enjoys cooking, I’m sure you can understand. I felt like if I couldn’t cook “right” for her, I wasn’t being a good mom and loving her like she deserved. (Oh my…how dramatic I am over food…but like I said, if you’re “that” mom, you get it!)
Kayla sometimes helps me out by bringing something we all can eat that she prepared. One day she brought Big Mac salad.
Rather than putting hamburger in the salad, she cooked up lentils and spiced them. She put all the ingredients in the canning jar and brought with a bag of lettuce. PERFECT. We all had some! I’m sure kidney beans would have worked well too.
Anyway….I thought I’d share another recipe that I’ve tried when Kayla comes and has been a success.
I love ring macaroni. When I was in the grocery store the other day I grabbed some.
I ended up making this….ring noodle, ham, cheese and pea salad.
Typically I use mayonnaise with some sugar and milk as the dressing….this time I used something different. The dressing for a different pea salad I made this summer.
I modified that recipe to this…
1 box of ring noodles cooked and cooled
1 lb peas, frozen
¼ red onion, diced
6 ounces cheddar, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
as desired salt and pepper
I’ve found I LOVE this mayonnaise…it’s found in the Mexican section at Wal-Mart. I’m not sure where else as our local grocer doesn’t carry it.
I mixed everything together MINUS the ham. I put some in a pyrex for Kayla and added the ham for the rest of us. Easy Peasy.
I’d love some good ideas from any of you who have some good recipes that can be made both vegetarian and with meat….I know there are lots of great recipes out there that are vegetarian but remember I also have Hubby and there’s no way he’ll eat without meat. I’d so love a comment section full of great ideas!! As I said, it’s gotten MUCH easier but I still feel like I lack on variety…(Again, Kayla’s great and doesn’t care…it’s me the mom that wants to be a good cook for her!) So please give me more ideas!!!