I’ll just admit it up front. I’m your local annoying vegetarian/vegan. I’m the tofu-loving weirdo and the one who acts like Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally” in a restaurant (and I’m not talking about her fake orgasm).
My family members, on the other hand, are big freaking cavemen meat eaters. Much to my chagrin, I watch as my 11-year-old sucks the marrow out of random animals bones while grinning from ear to ear. I gaze longingly at my veggie burger while my two other kids and husband gnaw at some sort of fatty piece on a lamb shank I just made for them.
You see, for a long time I would make my family nice, healthy, balanced and, yes, meaty dinners while giving myself the big middle finger and heating up the latest and greatest vegetarian Lean Cuisine offering. After all, how could I possibly make two separate dinners night after night to please everyone? Like many moms, I chose them over me. I chose their needs over mine.
At a certain point, I got fed up and wondered how I could create yummy, homemade meals for all of us to enjoy without also being resentful in the kitchen slaving away at the stove while the little cave people played outside or did their homework. And I came up with a solution.
Now, don’t think for a second that what I’m going to tell you next is that we all learned to love brussels sprouts and seitan and lived happily after ever. A girl can dream, but this likely will never happen. Last time I tried to offer the girls tofu, I was met with an unfortunate incident, which I’ll just say ended in tears and some unwanted bodily fluid around the dinner table.
What I did start doing, however, was create efficiencies and compromises that we could all be happy with. I started using The Purple Carrot, which, like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, is a food-delivery service that gives you all the ingredients and recipes in a box sent to your door for up to six meals a week. The Purple Carrot just happens to be a vegan version of these meal services.
I started using a food-delivery program as an experiment — to see if it even made sense and if I had the time. It’s been a remarkably great choice for me, and I’m going on three months now. I get to eat a really delicious veggie meal and have enough left over for lunch the next day — and my family is still happy as well. Some of you may balk that I have decided to make two separate meals every night. But, to be honest, I’m happier this way. It doesn’t have to be a choice of who gets the shaft tonight, me or them, but a way for us all to delight in food and share a meal together and catch up on the highs and lows of each day — which is truly the most important part anyway.
And by the way, the one meal we can ALL agree on is a good pizza night, which makes our local Comella’s a very happy establishment as well. Is it bad that they know our names and can recite our exact order to us before we even utter a word? Let’s go with it.
If you’re interested in learning about meal-delivery services, here are some links to consider!
- Blue Apron
- The Purple Carrot (owned and run by a Needham resident)
- Just Add Cooking (another Boston-based meal kit service)
- Pantry (a Brookline-based pre-portioned recipe kit store)
How do you handle it when one or more family members are picky or eat differently than the rest of your family?