Monday, February 22, 2010

On the Menu

My oldest son spent one week as a vegan. I'm glad that's over. I didn't go out of my way to cook for him, since it was his choice to be a vegan and, being nearly 17, he's perfectly capable of cooking for himself. But I must admit that I was concerned about his health. He pretty much ate a lot of hash browns, refried beans, and tofu. He's not a really great vegetarian because he doesn't fix himself, um, vegetables. He should be a carbohydratarian.

Anyway, veganism is over and he's just a vegetarian now, except I think he'll eat fish. While I avoid making statements like, "Oh, you know how teenagers are" because I happen to really, really like teenagers and find them fun, I will say that teenagers can be…quirky.

But so can I.

I don't have much to report on from last week's menu. I did try Pioneer Woman's Pasta with Artichokes last week. It was okay but not breathtaking. We decided that sauteed mushrooms would be much better than tomatoes, and it needed lots of parmesan, which we were out of. Dr. H. made his spectacular Chicken Piccata for my birthday, and we also ate out one night (which is quite the event around this Dave Ramsey household).

I'm not trying anything new this week, but it is a double crockpot week. In other words, I have two days that are so insane that I need crockpot meals for those days. So we'll be having Taco Soup one of those nights and Chuckwagon Soup on the other. My vegetarian will eat, um, rice and cheese on those days. In just a minute when I get my butt up from this chair, I'll be fixing Ginger Beef, except with chicken. And one day this week I'll actually fix salmon, so that poor Jesse can have the main meal with us.

So now I'm wondering: am I a mean mom for not catering to my son's vegetarianism? I have nothing against being a vegetarian. I could easily be one; however, the rest of my family likes a few meatish meals each week. In general, our meal rule has been: if you don't like what we're serving, eat a bowl of cereal or make yourself a sandwich.

So how far do you go in catering to everyone's likes, dislikes, and personal preferences? Do you think I'm a mean mom?

More ideas for what to eat this week at Menu Plan Monday.


  1. Ella is a vegetarian by choice as well, and I OCCASIONALLY move some of the food to the side before adding the meat, if it's a recipe where I'm adding meat last, but just as often make her pick the meat out herself. I also keep some veggie burger type things on hand in the freezer, and if we eat a large "hunk of meat" she can nuke herself a veggie burger (and eat it plain) instead of eating our hunk of meat. She will eat fish, though.

    and she's not particularly strict--she will occasionally have sausage, etc.

    To conclude, no, you are not a mean mom. And yes, I also worry about the tendency for vegetarian kids to become "carbohydratarians," which is one reason I am happy to buy the veggie-heavy veggie burgers. (Not just beans or soy--there are some that are actually made mostly from vegetables like carrots and zucchini and spinach and whatnot....) (Look at Costco or Sam's club.....also some good portobello mushroom varieties...)

    good luck!

  2. my husband is a vegetarian by choice and for health reasons. we, also, have a large stock of boca burgers and smart dogs. the funny thing is that my kids prefer the tofu dogs and will also eat the fake burgers as well. he eats fish, so that makes it easier. i've learned to make two meals out of one. in fact, tonight we're having pork stir-fry with veggies. i'll just divide up the rice/veggies and add the pork to ours. you're definitely not a mean mom! he's going to have to learn to fix stuff on his own soon anyhow, right?:)

  3. I stopped eating meat when I was 12. No one else in my family is one. With my mom, (divorced parents) I ate sides. Bread, fruit, cheese, veggies. My dad sometimes got me really gross microwave vegetarian meals, but he had more no-meat meals in general. For the most part I was on my own. At 17 he should definitely be making his own since he made the choice. My mom always made the same comments about lack of veggies....though she used the fruitarian not carbohyratarian.

  4. No, I don't think you're a mean mom. :) We do the same thing around here - you don't like what we're having then you can eat some cereal or a sandwich. I'm not cooking 2 meals. :) I do occasionally pull out plain noodles for my daughter who doesn't like any flavor on them (blech!)
    If any of our kids becomes a vegetarian, I will be very surprised. If they have any of my husband's genes, they are definitely meat eaters!!

  5. Oh sure you're mean... we all are :)

    In our house, if either boy doesn't like what I fix, the response generally is "THIS is what's for supper." Their other option is to not eat anything. THAT's how mean I am. :) In my kids' case, they are in need of learning how to eat a few things that are not their favorites (I think it's an important skill for when they are at someone else's house). They are 11 and 13 and both perfectly capable of making a sandwich or cereal or a TV dinner or a frozen pizza... but those options are reserved for when I'm not fixing supper for some reason.

    I think I'm the meanest of all! :)

  6. Oh and by the way... I made the Baked Potato Soup last week and it was a big hit :)

  7. My daughter (16) is a vegetarian, and has been for about eight years. She makes most of her own meals since I won't make two. She eats a lot of rice, cheese, vegetables, fruit and beans. She's not big on carbs but does eat them. She doesn't eat a lot of sugar. We make sure there is plenty of food in the house she can eat, but she knows it's her responsibility to eat well, including making her own meals. It's not unusual for her to eat before we go out in case wherever we're going doesn't have something she can/wants to eat. If she decided to be vegan we'd have to talk because her diet is so limited already. For now I think it's healty- she never gets sick, even if the rest of us do. It's an ongoing conversation around here, but I refuse to make an issue out of food, making the whole thing an even bigger deal than it is now. Eating should be fun and she's old enough to make her own decisions about what she puts into her body.

  8. Our teen is turning 18 years old this week. I still worry about his diet. I wish he ate more healthy.
    Sometimes, I can slip a salad in front of him and he actually does eat it.
    I love MPM! I get lots of inspiration from the various participants. It definitely helps us from getting bored.
    You have a yummy meal plan.

  9. I am not a huge fan of meat, so for me vegetarian meals are welcome. My children are not that big of fans of vegetables (nothing new, huh?), so I decided to start sneaking them in with Boco burgers. My 7 year old informed me that they are the best hamburgers he has ever eaten, and even when told the truth prefers to eat those. Too bad they are so expensive.

  10. well, you big they wil write a song called La La LaMomma!! ;)
    There is no catering around here, and I don't have a vegetarian...

  11. of course you're mean. isn't that part of a parent's job description? my 19-y/o went vegetarian at age 14. in theory, i didn't cater to her diet; in practice, i often did, kinda sorta. i never fixed two meals, but i would often separate out some veggies & potatoes for her if i was cooking them together for the fam- stuff like that. but there were times that i just said, "fix yourself something because i'm making chicken enchiladas." notice this is all past tense, because she has moved out. however, she stops over for dinner a few times a week, and then i feel like i do need to make accomodations for her so she won't stop stopping by! :-) i don't mind making meatless meals, though. what was really interesting was last december when she was still at home and had to cook dinner for the fam 3 nights a week in exchange for her "rent"...

  12. I do not think you're a mean mom! You can't be expected to make separate meals for every kid--a lesson I have discovered because I have some picky children!! You definitely ought to officially coin the word "carbohydratarian", though!

  13. We've got the same rule here, but it's because my younger sister is such a picky eater! Most of my vegan friends make their own meals because the rest of their families eat meat and it seems to work out all right.
    I'm sure no one will think you're a mean mama!
    I dropped in via Friday Follow, and am now a follower <3


  14. Hey there Im now following from Friday Follow. Thoguht id also let you know I'm 19 and I am a Vegan so the next time your son trys something like that tell him he can email me if he needs help. If he does it right it can be healthy :)

    anyways take care & hope to see you over at my blog .

  15. wow, it's amazing to read the comments and see so many teens are vegans...that will not happen in my house but there are so many great recipes out there for those that choose to limit meat. Thanks for linking up at Tasty Tuesday. Make sure and link to us so that everyone can join in the fun. :)


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